Bishop Mark Lawrence’s Letter to the Diocese of South Carolina

Posted by The_Elves

This and the following entry are sticky. Look for new entries below.

Global South Welcomes Diocese of South Carolina


My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ Jesus

As you will recall the 223rd Diocesan Convention of the Diocese of South Carolina meeting at Christ Church in Mt. Pleasant on March 14-15, 2014 unanimously accepted the offer of the Global South Primates Steering Committee for Provisional Primatial Oversight.

Now this morning we receive with gratitude this letter from the Global South Primatial Steering Committee. It is their acceptance of our request for this gracious relationship. I trust you will be heartened as I have been by their welcome of us “… as an active and faithful member within the Global South of the Anglican Communion, until such time as a permanent primatial affiliation can be found.” It is my joy to share it with you.

Faithfully yours in Christ,

+Mark Lawrence

The Right Reverend Mark Joseph Lawrence
XIV Bishop of South Carolina

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Filed under: * South Carolina

2 Comments Posted August 21, 2014 at 12:35 pm

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Global South Announcement Regarding the Diocese of South Carolina

Posted by The_Elves

The Global South of the Anglican Communion
21 August 2014

Announcement regarding the Diocese of South Carolina

My dear Brothers and Sisters,

Greetings in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ!

The Global South of the Anglican Communion welcomes the unanimous request of The Rt. Rev. Mark Lawrence, XIV Bishop of the Diocese of South Carolina, and the Convention of the Diocese of South Carolina to “accept the offer of the newly created Global South Primatial Oversight Council for pastoral oversight of our ministry as a diocese during the temporary period of our discernment of our final provincial affiliation.”

The decision of the Diocese of South Carolina was made in response to the meeting of the Global South Primates Steering Committee in Cairo, Egypt from 14-15 February 2014 [1]. A recommendation from that meeting stated that, “we decided to establish a Primatial Oversight Council, in following-through the recommendations taken at Dar es Salam in 2007, to provide pastoral and primatial oversight to dissenting individuals, parishes, and dioceses in order to keep them within the Communion.”

Recognizing the faithfulness of Bishop Mark Lawrence and the Diocese of South Carolina, and in appreciation for their contending for the faith once for all delivered to the saints, the Global South welcomes them as an active and faithful member within the Global South of the Anglican Communion, until such time as a permanent primatial affiliation can be found.

Yours in Christ,

+ Mouneer Egypt
The Most Revd Dr. Mouneer Hanna Anis
Primate of Jerusalem & the Middle East
Bishop of Egypt with North Africa and the Horn of Africa
Chairman, Global South Primates Steering Committee

+ Ian Mauritius
The Most Revd Ian Ernest
Primate of the Indian Ocean
Bishop of Mauritius Hon. General Secretary, Global South Primates Steering Committee
_________________________________________________________________________
[1] The full statement of the Global South Primates Steering Committee held in Cairo, Egypt from 14-15 February 2014 may be found on the Global South Anglican website

You can see the original signed letter (a PDF file) here.

[received via email and posted with permission - the elves. Note this is also posted at the Diocese of South Carolina website, along with an accompanying note from Bishop Mark Lawrence.]

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAlternative Primatial Oversight (APO)Anglican PrimatesAnglican ProvincesAnglican Province of the Indian OceanThe Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle EastEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: South CarolinaGlobal South Churches & Primates* South Carolina

15 Comments Posted August 21, 2014 at 8:19 am

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A Labor Day Reflection on Saint Joseph the Worker

Posted by Kendall Harmon

ZENIT spoke with Father Tarcisio Giuseppe Stramare of the Congregation of Oblates of Saint Joseph, director of the Josephite Movement, about Tuesday's feast of St. Joseph the Worker....

ZENIT: What does “Gospel of work” mean?

Father Stramare: “Gospel” is the Good News that refers to Jesus, the Savior of humanity. Well, despite the fact that in general we see Jesus as someone who teaches and does miracles, he was so identified with work that in his time he was regarded as “the son of the carpenter,” namely, an artisan himself. Among many possible activities, the Wisdom of God chose for Jesus manual work, entrusted the education of his Son not to the school of the learned but to a humble artisan, namely, St. Joseph.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsEconomyLabor/Labor Unions/Labor Market* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic* Theology

0 Comments Posted September 1, 2014 at 10:30 am

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A Kendall Harmon Sermon for Labor Day—Thinking about work from a Christian perspective

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Listen to it all if you so desire (give the audio approximately 30 seconds at the beginning to right itself [wait until the prayer is concluded and then about a five count beyond, after "Hello").

Filed under: * By KendallSermons & Teachings* Economics, PoliticsEconomyLabor/Labor Unions/Labor Market

0 Comments Posted September 1, 2014 at 6:30 am

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A Prayer for Labor Day

Posted by Kendall Harmon

O Lord Jesus Christ, who in thy earthly life didst share man’s toil, and thereby hallow the labour of his hands: Prosper all those who maintain the industries of this land; and give them pride in their work, a just reward for their labour, and joy both in supplying the needs of others and in serving thee their Saviour; who with the Father and the Holy Spirit livest and reignest, ever one God, world without end. Amen.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer* Economics, PoliticsEconomyLabor/Labor Unions/Labor Market

0 Comments Posted September 1, 2014 at 6:00 am

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(CT) Kyle Canty—Christ is the Answer to Our Race Problem

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Lastly, the power of influence and accountability is an incredible tool in the journey towards racial reconciliation. For instance, in the early church, Paul confronts Peter because of his duality towards Gentiles in front of his Jewish brothers. There was no option for Peter outside of repentance (Galatians 2:11-20). As a black man I am expected to check someone if they spew race garbage. But what if more of my white brothers and sisters took seriously their responsibility to confront the sin of racism?

Many conversations, emails, and messages that I will never hear or see exist within a world where there are no men and women of color. This is what I call white space. The opportunity to confront privilege, bigotry and systemic racism is not exclusively a responsibility of the black church or the more liberal/urban wing of evangelicalism. This is not a black church responsibility, it is a church responsibility. Let me say it plainly: white Christians need to check friends, family and acquaintances when they see anything racist that doesn’t resemble the gospel of Jesus Christ. The power of individual influence can marginalize those who hold onto the evil of bigotry all while claiming to love God.

In conclusion, the above suggestions—Indoctrination, Incarnation, and Influence—are public, personal and practical ways for contemporary evangelical Christians to confront ongoing racism within our culture and even within the church. Yes, Christ is the answer to America’s race problem. And faith in Christ without works is dead (James 2:17).

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchRace/Race Relations* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesEvangelicals

0 Comments Posted August 31, 2014 at 6:00 pm

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Sunday on T19

Posted by The_Elves

From August 24th
+ Service from this year's Keswick Convention with Ravi Zacharias and Stuart Townend
+ Father Terry Tee: Homily on Matthew 16.13-20
+ The Shepherd - Mark Meynell [Psalm 23 & 1Sam16-17]
+ More of Mark Meynell's talks on the Psalms of David
+ Lecture 2 on the Sons of Zebedee: The Fishing Industry - Richard Bauckham - Video [mp4] and Audio [mp3]
+ Lecture 3: Zebedee and Sons - Video [mp4] and Audio [mp3] - h/t Peter Carrell
+ Call to Prayer and Prayer Resource for those Suffering in the Middle East - Sunday August 24

From August 17th
+ St Paul in Athens - Michael Green [Acts 17:16-34]
+ The Sons of Zebedee: Two Galilean Fishermen - Richard Bauckham - Video [mp4] or Audio [mp3] h/t Peter Carrell
+ The Uniqueness of Christ in a Multi-Faith World - Ravi Zacharias
+ My Journey to Christ - Nabeel Qureshi
+ What is the Hope for Humanity? - NT Wright and Ross Douthat
Sunday Services, Talks and Resources

From August 10th
Charlie Hughes - How Christianity Came to the Maori people
William Taylor - Human Wickedness and the Grace of God [Genesis 34:1-31]
Jonathan Redfearn - How to pray effectively [James 5]
text
Canon Andrew White speaks to BBC Newsnight
Sunday Services, Talks and Resources

From August 3rd
Bishop Rennis Ponniah - Do not drift, Do not withdraw - Finish the Race [Hebrews 12:1-3]
Dr Kendall Harmon - The Kingdom of God, Power to Grow, and Change [Matthew 13]
Prayers for South Carolina - Lent and Beyond
Sunday Services, Talks and Resources

From July 27th
What is the future for Iraq's Christians? - Canon Andrew White Interview
Mosul Christian: Thanks for Changing Your #WeAreN Photo - Christianity Today
Sunday Service from the Buxton Festival with Mozart’s Missa Brevis in B flat
Prayer for South Carolina
Sunday Services, Talks and Resources

From July 20th
Sunday Services, Talks and Resources

From July 13th
A night of worship and testimony with Archbishop Benjamin & Gloria Kwashi at Christ St Pauls SC
More Sunday Services, Talks and Resources

From July 6th
A New Prayer for South Carolina - Lent and Beyond
Archbishop Ben Kwashi - Jesus Calls us to Discipleship [Matthew 10]
Archbishop Peter Jensen - The Final Authority [2 Peter 1]
Vaughan Roberts - Called to change the world [Matthew 5:13-16]
Videos of talks from the ACNA Assembly
The bells of York Minster
More Sunday Services, Talks and Resources

From June 29th
Archbishop Ben and Gloria Kwashi at the ACNA Assembly
Will this world see Jesus Christ again? – Professor John Lennox [2 Peter 1:16-21] MP3
More Sunday Services, Talks and Resources

From June 22nd
Dr. Kendall Harmon - Trinity Sunday: Who is Jesus to You? [Luke 3]
Bishop Grant LeMarquand - Making Biblical Anglicans for a Global Age: Relationally [Acts 16:11-15] speaking at Church of Our Saviour, John’s Island
Dr John Yates II – Trinity School for Ministry Commencement Address [1 Peter 5]
More Sunday Services, Talks and Resources

From June 15th
And he said, put out into the deep water..." - Bishop Mark Lawrence preaching at Trinity School for Ministry [Luke 5:1-5]
Pentecost Sunday Sermon - Bishop Mouneer Anis in Singapore [Acts 2, Psalm 104]
More Sunday Services, Talks and Resources

From June 8th
Ascension Sunday Sermon - Dr Kendall Harmon
Father Nigel Mumford talks about his call to healing ministry
More Sunday Services, Talks and Resources

From June 1st
Why do the innocent suffer? – Vaughan Roberts [Job 1-3]
The Historical Reliability of the Gospel of St Luke – Dr Peter Williams of Tyndale House [Luke 1:1-24:53]
Sunday Services, Talks and Resources

From May 25th
Never Forget - Dr Peter Walker
A Convergent Dichotomy: the Axioms and Implications of Science - Professor John Lennox
Sunday Services, Talks and Resources

From May 18th
Take Courage, I AM, Fear Not - Dr Kendall Harmon - Matthew 14
The God who cares – why should we bother? – Rev Hugh Palmer – All Souls, Langham Place - Psalm 73
Sunday Services, Talks and Resources

From May 11th
The Road Home - Bishop Ferran Glenfield of Kilmore, Elphin and Ardaugh (Ireland) visiting Church of the Cross, Bluffton
Zacchaeus met Jesus [Luke 19:10] – Bishop Mike Hill at St Andrew’s Cathedral, Singapore
Sharing in Christ’s Suffering and Glory – Canon Andrew White – Wheaton College Chapel - Video MP4
or audio MP3 download
Holy Communion from Down Cathedral, Downpatrick - Preacher: Bishop Harold Millar
Choral Evensong from Tewkesbury Abbey
More Sunday Services, Talks and Resources

From May 4th
A Sermon on the Resurrection by Dr Kendall Harmon
Sunday Services, Talks and Resources

From April 27th
Jesus is Risen – The New Creation has begun – Bishop Rennis Ponniah – St Andrews Singapore [John 20]
Easter Day Sermon – Bishop Paul Barnett – St Helena's Beaufort
More Sunday Services, Talks and Resources

From April 6th
Do the Work of an Evangelist - Bishop Mark Lawrence
More Sunday Services, Talks and Resources

From March 30th
God upholds human dignity - Bishop Henry Orombi - St Andrew's Cathedral Singapore [Psalms 8:1-9 John 8:1-11 and John 3:16-17]
The Woman at the Well - Bishop Mark Lawrence [John 4]
The Astounding Authority of Jesus - Dr Kendall Harmon (Luke 4:31-44)
More Sunday Services, Talks and Resources

From March 9th
Go Up The Mountain Of Transfiguration – Bishop Rennis Ponniah
The prophets speak God's truth and declare a coming savior - Craig N. Borrett
Three excellent talks by Roger Carswell, evangelist, at All Souls, Langham Place:
Real Lives 1 [Luke 24:36-53]
Real Lives 2 [Luke 15:11-32]
The Death of Jesus Christ [Matthew 27:45-56]
More Sunday Services, Talks and Resources

From March 2nd:
Bishop FitzSimons Allison: The god within versus the God of our fathers
Dr Kendall Harmon's Sermon: Psalms of the Savior [Ps 69]
Dr Peter C. Moore: “They Changed Their World – Thomas Cranmer”
More Sunday Services, Talks and Resources

Filed under: * AdminFeatured (Sticky)* Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, Worship

6 Comments Posted August 31, 2014 at 4:59 am

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(Wash. Post) An unholy alliance between faith and college football?

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Hugh Freeze takes his seat near the back of the Mississippi football meeting room, and from here, with his three daughters sitting to his left, the Rebels coach can see everything.

Players begin filing through the doors a few minutes before 10 a.m., some wearing dreadlocks and others buzz cuts. Several carry Bibles. Christian music plays through the speakers of this 200-seat auditorium, and Freeze mouths the words to a song titled “Jesus Paid It All.”

This room in the Manning Center is where the Ole Miss football team gathers to discuss its mistakes, players’ hopes and goals, the opportunities and pitfalls that lay ahead in the season, and anyway, doesn’t that sound like life? To Freeze, it makes sense to merge his beliefs with his coaching, holding a Fellowship of Christian Athletes worship service each Sunday during the school year. For the Rebels’ players and coaches during the season, this is church.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & CultureSports

1 Comments Posted August 30, 2014 at 4:08 pm

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(NPR) Iraqi Christian Village: From Sanctuary To Ghost Town In 2 Months

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The northern Iraqi village of — and some jitters — when NPR visited back in June. The Assyrian Christian villagers had opened their schools and homes to Iraqis fleeing the takeover of nearby Mosul by Islamist fighters calling themselves the Islamic State.

But these days, most of Al-Qosh is as silent as the overlooking the village from a hill. A few Kurdish security men guard the entrance to the village, primarily concerned with keeping potential looters away from the tidy stone and cement homes.

The villagers fled en masse in early August, when Islamist fighters made a move in Al-Qosh's direction. Now, as Kurdish forces begin to retake territory around Mosul, including the strategic Mosul dam, some families have begun to trickle back to Al-Qosh. Most stay only during daylight hours, however, afraid to stay overnight with Islamic State forces a mere 20 miles away.

Read or listen to it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & CultureViolence* International News & CommentaryMiddle EastIraq

0 Comments Posted August 29, 2014 at 7:55 am

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Good and Simple Encouragement from Rick Warren—Are we willing to pay the price?

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Check it out.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesEvangelicals

0 Comments Posted August 29, 2014 at 7:00 am

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More alarming Ebola headlines

Posted by The_Elves

The news of the Ebola outbreak continues to be very grim:

CNN: Death toll passes 1,550 as Ebola outbreak accelerates, officials say
The Ebola outbreak "continues to accelerate" in West Africa and has killed 1,552 people so far, the World Health Organization said Thursday. The total number of cases stands at 3,069, with 40% occurring in the past three weeks. "However, most cases are concentrated in only a few localities," the WHO said. The outbreak, the deadliest ever, has been centered in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, with a handful of cases in Nigeria. The overall fatality rate is 52%, the WHO said, ranging from 42% in Sierra Leone to 66% in Guinea. (emphasis added)


Bloomberg: Ebola Cases May Surpass 20,000, WHO Says in Updated Plan
More than 20,000 people may be infected with the Ebola virus before the outbreak in West Africa is controlled and curbing the epidemic will cost at least $490 million, according to a World Health Organization plan.


Filed under:

3 Comments Posted August 28, 2014 at 8:20 am

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Anglican Unscripted 117 - features Allan Haley on the legal news in San Joaquin and South Carolina

Posted by The_Elves

Allan Haley is Kevin Kallson's guest on the latest episode of Anglican Unscripted. Allan and Kevin discuss the legal situations in the Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin and the Diocese of South Carolina.




Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Analysis- Anglican: CommentaryEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: San JoaquinTEC Conflicts: South CarolinaTEC Polity & Canons* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues

0 Comments Posted August 28, 2014 at 7:10 am

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Persecution:  An interview with Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali

Posted by The_Elves

Via Anglican Mainstream we discovered this video interview with Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali. It's 28 minutes long. He focuses on how persecution is escalating beyond persecution of individuals and churches to attempted genocide of entire communities and ethnic groups.




Here's the link should the embedded video not play properly.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Analysis- Anglican: Primary Source-- Statements & Letters: Bishops* Religion News & CommentaryReligious Freedom / Persecution* Resources & LinksResources: Audio-Visual

0 Comments Posted August 28, 2014 at 6:50 am

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[AAC - Bishop Bill Atwood]  The Gospel is Under Assault

Posted by The_Elves

An alternate title for this excellent commentary by Bishop Atwood might be "Manure and the Anglican Soup." It pairs well with the article from Christianity Today which I'd just read and posted below.


[...]There is nowhere in the Church where there is more vulnerability for the Gospel to be undermined than in the Anglican Communion. Certainly, there are other churches and denominations where the historic faith has been more fully and formally abandoned by the official decisions of institutional leadership, but the current vulnerability in the Anglican Communion is that the historic faith and Gospel commitment which has driven missionary zeal and Biblical fidelity for centuries is being de-emphasized in order to “get along.”

Right now, there are countless initiatives at the institutional level to attempt to convince people that the “cut-glass crystal punch bowl” is so beautiful that when it is polished, preserved, and appreciated the recipe of the punch it contains is unimportant. The challenge, however, is how much adulteration to the punch is acceptable. I addressed the House of Bishops in one of our Anglican Provinces and pointed out that the soup that was being made (to switch metaphors) has lovely carrots, beautiful potatoes, succulent chicken, and tasty broth. “How much manure can be added to the soup before you no longer can consume it and stay healthy?” I asked them. Not surprisingly, they did not want to have any manure added to the soup, and yet, quite a number of them were participating in conferences sponsored by liberal entities that completely undermined the Gospel, replacing it with institutional focus and uncritical acceptance of sin.

While I was tremendously excited at the selection of Justin Welby as the Archbishop of Canterbury, and had hoped and prayed for his selection believing that he was the best of the available candidates, I have been concerned at what appears to be a perspective that everything can be reconciled with everything else. While most relational disruptions can be reconciled, theological positions are another matter. It is impossible, for example, for the position “Jesus is Lord of all” to be reconciled with “Jesus is not Lord of all.” While theological disagreements may not seem to be that stark, it is precisely that revelation that is at stake in the Anglican Communion. The Lordship of Jesus Christ as revealed in Scripture, and how He viewed Scriptural authority is very much in play.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Analysis- Anglican: CommentaryAnglican Church in North America (ACNA)Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture

4 Comments Posted August 27, 2014 at 8:23 am

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[Christianity Today] “The Wrong Kind of Christian”

Posted by The_Elves

A powerful article at Christianity Today by Tish Harrison Warren. The subtitle: "I thought a winsome faith would win Christians a place at Vanderbilt’s table. I was wrong." It's an excellent read from one who was at the center of Vanderbilt University's decision to rescind recognition of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and other Christian groups.

Kendall posted several entries on the Vanderbilt situation in 2011-2012. Links here, here, and here.


Tish Harrison Warren/ August 22, 2014
The Wrong Kind of Christian
Image: KEVIN VANDIVIER / GENESIS

I thought I was an acceptable kind of evangelical.

I'm not a fundamentalist. My friends and I enjoy art, alcohol, and cultural engagement.
We avoid spiritual clichés and buzzwords. We value authenticity, study, racial reconciliation, and social and environmental justice.

Being a Christian made me somewhat weird in my urban, progressive context, but despite some clear differences, I held a lot in common with unbelieving friends. We could disagree about truth, spirituality, and morality, and remain on the best of terms. The failures of the church often made me more uncomfortable than those in the broader culture.

Then, two years ago, the student organization I worked for at Vanderbilt University got kicked off campus for being the wrong kind of Christians.

[...]

At first I thought this was all a misunderstanding that could be sorted out between reasonable parties. If I could explain to the administration that doctrinal statements are an important part of religious expression—an ancient, enduring practice that would be a given for respected thinkers like Thomas Aquinas—then surely they'd see that creedal communities are intellectually valid and permissible. If we could show that we weren't homophobic culture warriors but friendly, thoughtful evangelicals committed to a diverse, flourishing campus, then the administration and religious groups could find common ground.

But as I met with other administrators, the tone began to change. The word discrimination began to be used—a lot—specifically in regard to creedal requirements. It was lobbed like a grenade to end all argument. Administrators compared Christian students to 1960s segregationists. I once mustered courage to ask them if they truly thought it was fair to equate racial prejudice with asking Bible study leaders to affirm the Resurrection. The vice chancellor replied, "Creedal discrimination is still discrimination."

Feeling battered, I talked with my InterVarsity supervisor. He responded with a wry smile, "But we're moderates!" We thought we were nuanced and reasonable. The university seemed to think of us as a threat.

For me, it was revolutionary, a reorientation of my place in the university and in culture.

I began to realize that inside the church, the territory between Augustine of Hippo and Jerry Falwell seems vast, and miles lie between Ron Sider and Pat Robertson. But in the eyes of the university (and much of the press), subscribers to broad Christian orthodoxy occupy the same square foot of cultural space.

The line between good and evil was drawn by two issues: creedal belief and sexual expression. If religious groups required set truths or limited sexual autonomy, they were bad—not just wrong but evil, narrow-minded, and too dangerous to be tolerated on campus.

The whole article is highly recommended

Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationLaw & Legal IssuesChurch/State MattersMulticulturalism, pluralismReligion & Culture

6 Comments Posted August 27, 2014 at 7:56 am

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(BBC) Ebola outbreak: Nigeria closes all schools until October

Posted by Kendall Harmon

All schools in Nigeria have been ordered to remain shut until 13 October as part of measures to prevent the spread of the deadly Ebola virus.

The new academic year was due to start on Monday.

But the education minister ordered the closures to allow staff to be trained on how to handle suspected Ebola cases.

Five people have died of Ebola in Nigeria. The West Africa outbreak has centred on Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, killing more than 1,400 people.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHealth & Medicine* International News & CommentaryAfricaNigeria

1 Comments Posted August 27, 2014 at 6:44 am

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A Prayer to Begin the Day

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Almighty and everlasting God, by whose grace we have been admitted into the glory of the new covenant: Grant, we beseech thee, that being delivered from the death of sin and the bondage of the law, we may rejoice in the life and liberty of the Spirit, and evermore find our sufficiency in thee; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

--Frank Colquhoun

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer

0 Comments Posted August 27, 2014 at 6:00 am

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Summer Open Thread #6: What are you grateful to God for?

Posted by The_Elves



Filed under: * General Interest

9 Comments Posted August 26, 2014 at 11:09 am

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Tim Keller on the Decline of the “Mushy Middle” in American Christianity

Posted by The_Elves

Blogger Trevin Wax, at his Kingdom People blog (one of the Gospel Coalition website blogs), has some interesting excerpts of a recent forum at which NYC pastor Tim Keller spoke on the increasing polarization of attitudes towards Christianity in American society:


In a recent forum, “Conservative Christianity After the Christian Right,” Tim Keller predicted moderate growth of conservative evangelicalism even as the culture at large has grown more secular. In these remarks, he explains why these trends are leading to increasing polarization:
When I say “growing moderately,” I mean that the number of the devout people in the country is increasing, as well as the number of secular people. The big change is the erosion is in the middle. The devout numbers have not actually gone down that much. It depends on how you read them. But basically, they are not in freefall by any means.

You don’t so much see secularization as polarization, and what is really disappearing is the middle.


Keller sees the middle as having once leaned toward nominal Christianity, out of a sense of respect, tradition, or for social reasons. He says:
It used to be that the devout and the mushy middle — nominal Christians, people that would identify as Christians, people who would come to church sporadically, people who certainly respect the Bible and Christianity — the devout and the mushy middle together was a super majority of people who just created a kind of “Christian-y” sort of culture.

The mushy middle used to be more identified with the devout. Now it’s more identified with the secular. That’s all.


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

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


Read the full entry.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & Culture

0 Comments Posted August 26, 2014 at 9:00 am

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A Prayer to Begin the Day

Posted by Kendall Harmon

O Almighty God, who hast revealed thyself in him who veiled his Godhead that he might unveil thy glory, and hast made him the eternal sacrifice and only priest of men: Grant that by the power of thy Holy Spirit the veil on our hearts may be taken away, and we may look on him who loved us and gave himself for us, and so be changed into the same image from glory to glory, until at last we shall see him with unveiled face, for evermore.

--W. M. Clow

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer

0 Comments Posted August 26, 2014 at 6:06 am

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Summer Open Thread #5—Memorable Vacation Destinations - aka the “T19 Trip Advisor”

Posted by The_Elves

Our favorite blog host, the Rev. Canon Dr. Kendall Harmon, has been showing off the beauty of Camp St. Christopher in the family vacation photos he's posted (here and here). As August winds down, we invite our readers to share comments about some memorable vacations and vacation destinations - and perhaps also hoped-for vacation destinations. Where would you choose to visit if time and money permitted?

Previous Open Threads:
Books
Guest Blogger
Memorable Sermons
Laughter the Best Medicine


Filed under: * General Interest

8 Comments Posted August 25, 2014 at 9:03 am

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[Lent and Beyond] Prayer for South Carolina Monday August 25th

Posted by The_Elves

The trial between the Episcopal Church in South Carolina and the Diocese of South Carolina is complete, and the case is under the consideration of Her Honor Judge Diane Goodstein.

Ephesians 3:20-21 (ESV)
Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

Dear Father in heaven,

We acknowledge that all of these ecclesiastical legal disputes within the Episcopal Church are a poor witness and a sorry mess. However, with You nothing is impossible. So, even in the mess, we say, To You be the glory. Amen.

Please pray it all if you wish and there are more prayers from Lent and Beyond for South Carolina here

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

0 Comments Posted August 25, 2014 at 7:09 am

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Father Terry Tee: Homily on Matthew 16.13-20

Posted by The_Elves

Jesus and the disciples are in the region of Caesarea Philippi. In Caesarea Philippi there was a huge temple of white marble built by King Herod and dedicated to Caesar Augustus, hailing him as a god. You could see the glistening white temple for miles around. Now, imagine the scene. Jesus, a humble man from among the people, giving them hope and encouragement. Around him his followers, very ordinary men, fishermen, tax-collectors, the like. You wonder, was it deliberately here that Jesus asked his followers who they believed in, who they trusted, where they pinned their allegiance. Was it to him or to the glittering powers of the day symbolised by the pagan temple?

It must have seemed that power would be found in the pagan temple, linked to the Roman Empire and the king. But they are no more than a footnote in history. Jesus turned to his weary, footsore band of fellow-pilgrims and said, in effect: choose. It was a huge leap of faith. The ministry of Jesus must have seemed a fragile thing, that could be swept away at any moment. In fact, a year or so later, Herod and Pilate thought that they had managed to do just that.

But Peter sees that Jesus is the Christ. The long-awaited promises of the coming of the Messiah are being fulfilled. Peter and the other disciples, despite their weaknesses, will be rock-like foundations for the Church, on which God can build. Their faith and love must seem so little against the powerful forces of the world. It must feel the same today for the beleaguered Christians of Iraq. When I see the masked faces of gunmen or evil executioners like those who killed James Foley this week, I see people who think that they have power. But then you have to ask yourself, why do they keep their faces covered? If they are so powerful, why hide their identity? It is because, deep down, they are afraid. Indeed, I would go further and say that despite the swashbuckling with guns, they are cowards.

The men with masked faces and Kalashnikovs will learn the hard way that earthly power comes and goes, like that pagan temple. But the City of God goes on eternally. I would also remind them of the words of the one who had so little power that he hung upon a cross:

Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.


These words come from true strength. These words come from a faith that endures. The men with the masked faces will create nothing. They can only destroy. True strength comes from the faith that creates justice, love and integrity. Only if we have these then we can build under God that which endures

From here with thanks to our long-standing member

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeBiblical Commentary & Reflection

2 Comments Posted August 24, 2014 at 6:24 pm

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Archbishop Sentamu’s Vigil of Hope and Trust for Peace

Posted by The_Elves

The Archbishop will be praying on the hour, every hour, from 6am to 6pm, from Sunday 24th August to Sunday 31st August, in the St John’s Chapel at York Minster.

In advance of his vigil of ‘Hope and Trust for the Peace of the World’ Dr Sentamu issued the following statement:

“Dearly beloved Disciples of Jesus Christ, wherever you are in the world, I beseech you, in the Name of our Lord, to join me in heart and mind for seven days of prayer and fasting for peace and justice in God's World.

Please join me in praying especially for those places in our global village devastated by militarism, idolatry (the worship of God wrongly conceived), dictatorships and abject poverty.

One way of making our solidarity and commitment together to be instruments and makers of peace is to place white linen in our windows. All people of good will may do this! Be the change you want to see”.

Read it all and note the prayers: Kyrie Eleison and The Lord's Prayer

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of York John Sentamu

0 Comments Posted August 24, 2014 at 6:01 pm

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Norman Cocker’s Tuba Tune played by James Vivian on the Temple Church Organ

Posted by The_Elves



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

0 Comments Posted August 24, 2014 at 4:38 pm

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Call to Prayer and Prayer Resource for those Suffering in the Middle East - Sunday August 24

Posted by The_Elves

ACNA Archbishop Foley Beach has called for special prayer this Sunday, August 24, for those suffering in Iraq and Syria, and the ACNA has put together a special prayer resource.

The short prayer service includes: A responsive reading from Psalm 83; An Opening Prayer; Time for personal or corporate prayer (with optional prayers provided) and a Closing Prayer.

The optional suggested prayers include prayers: For Our Enemies, For Muslims, Against Evil, Against Jihad, For Those Martyred, For the Church Catholic

You can find Archbishop Foley's exhortation here
The prayer resource is available as a PDF file or as Word Doc. Please pray and please share this widely! The elves


Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican Church in North America (ACNA)* Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipSpirituality/Prayer* International News & CommentaryMiddle EastIraqSyria* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsIslamMuslim-Christian relationsReligious Freedom / Persecution* Resources & Links

0 Comments Posted August 24, 2014 at 8:18 am

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Huge 99 cent ebook sale this weekend (ends Aug 24)

Posted by The_Elves

Several Christian book publishers including Thomas Nelson, Zondervan, (both divisions of HarperCollins) are having a major ebook sale this weekend. At least 200 titles are on sale for $0.99 cents. While a hefty proportion of the books on sale are fiction, there are also some exciting non-fiction books on sale as well. You can see a list of most of the non-fiction titles here. Another site has a sortable list, including fiction, (there are also various bibles & devotionals, etc.)

Here are a few titles by well-known authors that caught this elf's eye. (Haven't read many of these so posting this list is not an endorsement of any kind.)

The links we've included are for Amazon (Kindle format), however, these books are also on sale at Barnes & Noble (Nook format), and perhaps available at other vendors as well. Presumably these titles are only available through the U.S. websites of Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Billy Graham: The Reason for My Hope: Salvation
John MacArthur: Strange Fire
John Ortberg: Soul Keeping
Ken & Joni Eareckson Tada: Joni and Ken: An Untold Love Story
N.D. Wilson: Death By Living
Tim Stafford: The Adam Quest: Eleven Scientists Who Held on to a Strong Faith While Wrestling with the Mystery of Human Origins
David Murray: Jesus on Every Page: 10 Simple Ways to Seek and Find Christ in the Old Testament
Philip Yancey: The Question that Never Goes Away
Max Lucado: You'll Get Through This: Hope and Help for Your Turbulent Times

Thomas Nelson also has a series of biographies called the Christian Encounters series available. Each title is 0.99 to 1.99. The series includes Winston Churchill, JRR Tolkien, Isaac Newton, Jane Austen, Sargeant York, JS Bach


Several Books on Sale from Other Publishers : 99 cents - $1.99

Available for $0.99
The Promises of God: Discovering the One Who Keeps His Word, by R. C. Sproul
Gospel-Centered Ministry (The Gospel Coalition Booklets) by Timothy Keller and D. A. Carson
Andreas J. Köstenberger: Excellence: The Character of God and the Pursuit of Scholarly Virtue

Available for $1.99
Taking God At His Word: Why the Bible Is Knowable, Necessary, and Enough, and What That Means for You and Me by Kevin DeYoung
When I Don't Desire God: How to Fight For Joy by John Piper
Disciplines of a Godly Man by R. Kent Hughes
The Heresy of Orthodoxy by Andreas J. Kostenberger, Michael J. Kruger and I. Howard Marshall
Bloodlines: Race, Cross, and the Christian by John Piper and Timothy Keller
Why Cities Matter: To God, the Culture, and the Church by Stephen T. Um, Justin Buzzard and Timothy J. Keller
Rethinking Retirement: Finishing Life for the Glory of Christ by John Piper
Hope...the Best of Things by Joni Eareckson Tada

One blog which featured news of this book sale suggested that this sale makes a good opportunity to do some early Christmas shopping, since at least Amazon makes it possible to buy a book now and send it to someone by email later. [In Amazon you can click on the give as a gift link and then specify the recipient's email and delivery date.]

Happy browsing.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBooks

0 Comments Posted August 24, 2014 at 6:51 am

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A Fun Quiz: Who’s Who in Church History

Posted by The_Elves

See if you can match these 20 famous names from church history with their pictures. Let us know in the comments how you did!

The quiz is here.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch History* General InterestHumor / Trivia

4 Comments Posted August 23, 2014 at 3:04 pm

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Request from the Elves—Good links re: Ferguson, MO and Michael Brown shooting?

Posted by The_Elves

In Kendall's absence, none of us elves have felt comfortable posting on the shooting of Michael Brown and the Ferguson MO situation, not having found any single article or commentary that really seemed worth recommending and up to T19 standards. But it seems a glaring absence on the blog this week NOT to have posted about Ferguson. So, we'd like to ask T19 readers: what links might you recommend? Especially welcome would be articles / commentaries that get beyond the headlines and give some context or offer a Christian perspective on the events. Thanks in advance. - the elves.


Filed under: * Culture-WatchRace/Race RelationsReligion & CultureUrban/City Life and IssuesViolence* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

6 Comments Posted August 23, 2014 at 7:17 am

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Temple of Mammon Plans for National Cathedral

Posted by The_Elves

Washington’s National Cathedral is for rent. The Cathedral Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul in the City and Diocese of Washington announced this week that it was soliciting proposals for corporations and non-profit groups to lease its premises.

Read it all

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)

10 Comments Posted August 22, 2014 at 7:14 pm

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[Christianity Today] Ebola and the Glory of God - an interview with Nancy Writebol’s family

Posted by The_Elves

Excellent reading. Ed Stetzer interviewed Nancy & David Writebol's adult children about how the family has coped with Nancy's illness with the Ebola virus.
Here's an excerpt.


What do you want to come from this?

Jeremy: I think the perspective that we hope others will gain from this is that in suffering there is hope, namely Jesus himself. Often we are tempted to think “why me” when suffering comes about and unless we see it in the larger picture of God’s glory and the unfolding and revealing of his character and nature to the world we will miss the joy that it is to be part of God’s great story.
In suffering there is hope, namely Jesus himself.

Brian: I think I would like those who look into our lives through this time to see Christ and see He alone in our refuge in trying times. This “strong tower” comes in the form of prayer, Scripture, and the Holy Sprint providing comfort and peace in our hearts in the darkest moments. Through this peace we are able to worship and glorify him no matter the outcome.

Esther: I want people to see Christ lifted high and to see that God’s plans for each of our lives is always for our good and His glory. God is Sovereign, he is Holy and he is good- all the time, no matter what the circumstances in our lives are- we can trust him to lovingly walk us through the dark and scary times as well as the joyful times of our lives.

How has this affected her faith?

Brian: In conversations with Mom I’ve picked up a sense that she has a deeper understanding on Christ sufficiency in all circumstances. He really is able to give peace and comfort when we have no where else to turn.

[...]

Stephanie: I had a wonderful conversation with my mother-in-law one day while she was laying in the bed at Emory University—looking at her through glass. She said:

"Steph, I have asked myself many, many times in my life, Is Jesus enough? I wasn't always sure how I could really answer that. When I was being put on that plane to come to the US, I knew I was leaving my home where all my things would be destroyed. I was saying goodbye to David, not knowing if I would see him again. I was getting on that plane unsure if I would be alive when I got to the US to see all of you. It was that moment when I cried out and knew, 'Jesus, you have to be enough. Jesus, you are all I have - you are enough.'"

Oh how perspective changes—He really is enough!

It's worth reading the whole article.

Filed under: * General Interest* TheologyTheodicy

0 Comments Posted August 22, 2014 at 12:17 pm

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Vacation Picture (II)—Sunset this Evening, Camp Saint Christopher, South Carolina

Posted by Kendall Harmon



Filed under: * By KendallHarmon Family* General InterestPhotos/Photography* South Carolina

1 Comments Posted August 21, 2014 at 5:00 pm

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Links to the Previous Summer Open Threads and Other Recently Featured Entries

Posted by The_Elves

Here are links to all of the recent Summer Open Threads we've posted while Kendall is on vacation. We'd still love to hear from readers on these topics!

1) Summer Open Thread: What Book or Books are You Reading right Now?
2) Summer Open Thread #2: Your Chance to be a Guest Blogger
3) Summer Open Thread #3: Recollecting Favorite Sermons


Links to some of the other entries that have been recently featured / stickied at the top of the blog:

**Index of All Recent Entries about Diocese of SC Litigation**

The Sunday on T19 thread with links to great sermons, prayers, etc.

Churches in West Africa call for prayer as Ebola virus spreads
The Gafcon Chairman’s August Pastoral Letter

You can use the "featured (sticky)" category link to find more posts that have been featured in recent weeks. Additional featured entries continue below - click on the read more link..


A Message from Bishop Mark Lawrence at the Close of the recent Diocese of SC Trial
Breaking: Appeal Court denies TEC Quincy Appeal
Recent Important Entries about the Church of England (Assisted Dying, Women Bishops and more)
Russian Orthodox Church Statement on Unilateral CofE Women Bishops Decision

Filed under: * AdminFeatured (Sticky)

0 Comments Posted August 21, 2014 at 1:05 pm

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Part 2 of Anglican Unscripted’s Interview with ACNA Archbishop Foley Beach

Posted by The_Elves

Archbishop Beach shares some of his vision and priorities for ACNA. Worth watching. (About 20 minutes).




The YouTube link is here.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican Church in North America (ACNA)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryEvangelism and Church GrowthMinistry of the LaityMinistry of the Ordained

0 Comments Posted August 21, 2014 at 12:05 pm

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Press Conference by Dr. Kent Brantly - Ebola patient released from Emory Univ, Hospital today

Posted by The_Elves

Wonderful news that Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol have both been cured of Ebola and released from Emory University hospital today.

Dr. Brantly's press conference is excellent - It's wonderful to hear his testimony to God's faithfulness.
A video of his press conference and an accompanying short article are here.


Update: NBC News has a written transcript of Dr. Brantly's statement.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeMissions* Culture-WatchHealth & Medicine* General Interest

1 Comments Posted August 21, 2014 at 11:18 am

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Marquette Magazine: Phone call home: A letter from James Foley

Posted by The_Elves

“They’re having a prayer vigil for you at Marquette. Don’t you feel our prayers?” she asked.

“I do, Mom, I feel them,” and I thought about this for a second. Maybe it was others’ prayers strengthening me, keeping me afloat.

The official made a motion. I started to say goodbye. Mom started to cry. “Mom, I’m strong. I’m OK. I should be home by Katie’s graduation,” which was a month away.

“We love you, Jim!” she said. Then I hung up.

I replayed that call hundreds of times in my head — my mother’s voice, the names of my friends, her knowledge of our situation, her absolute belief in the power of prayer. She told me my friends had gathered to do anything they could to help. I knew I wasn’t alone.

My last night in Tripoli, I had my first Internet connection in 44 days and was able to listen to a speech Tom Durkin gave for me at the Marquette vigil. To a church full of friends, alums, priests, students and faculty, I watched the best speech a brother could give for another. It felt like a best man speech and a eulogy in one. It showed tremendous heart and was just a glimpse of the efforts and prayers people were pouring forth. If nothing else, prayer was the glue that enabled my freedom, an inner freedom first and later the miracle of being released during a war in which the regime had no real incentive to free us. It didn’t make sense, but faith did.

Read it all

Filed under: * International News & CommentaryMiddle EastIraq

4 Comments Posted August 21, 2014 at 7:44 am

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[Reuters] U.S. military failed in rescue attempt for journalist Foley

Posted by The_Elves

The unsuccessful rescue operation "involved air and ground components and was focused on a particular captor network within ISIL," the Pentagon said in a statement, using a different name for the militant group. "Unfortunately, the mission was not successful because the hostages were not present at the targeted location."

Officials would not say exactly when the operation took place but said it was not in the last couple of weeks.

Obama authorized the mission "earlier this summer," Lisa Monaco, Obama's top counterterrorism aide, said in a separate statement. "The President authorized action at this time because it was the national security team’s assessment that these hostages were in danger with each passing day in ISIL custody," she said.
.......
British anti-terrorist police began an investigation of the video, in which Foley's killer spoke with a London accent.

Possibly a British national, the killer is just one of hundreds of European Muslims drawn to join Islamic State, who authorities say pose a security threat to U.S. and European interests if they return home from the Middle East.
........
Syria has been the most dangerous country for journalists for more than two years. At least 69 other journalists have been killed covering the conflict there and more than 80 journalists have been kidnapped in Syria.

The U.S.-based Committee to Protect Journalists estimates that about 20 journalists are currently missing in Syria. Many of them are believed to be held by Islamic State.

Read it all

Filed under: * International News & CommentaryMiddle EastIraq

0 Comments Posted August 21, 2014 at 7:27 am

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[Telegraph] UK Faith Leaders’ Letter Calling for Action on Iraq Atrocities

Posted by The_Elves

SIR – What we are witnessing in northern Iraq today is a tragedy of historic proportions in which thousands of innocent people are at immediate risk of death for no other reason than their religious beliefs. Freedom of religion and belief, a right set out in Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, is being denied in the most gross and systemic way possible through the attempted extermination of religious minorities. There is no justification for the violation of this inalienable human right.

Such violations as are currently taking place are crimes against humanity that must be both stopped and punished. The culture of impunity within which these dehumanising atrocities have been committed needs to be challenged most vigorously. Given that Iraq is not a state party to the International Criminal Court (ICC), the Government must now work towards a United Nations Security Council resolution that refers this matter to the ICC for investigation and, where necessary, prosecution. The international community must send a clear signal to those who are committing such atrocities that they will be held accountable for their actions.

These violations are, however, sadly part of a global pattern of increased hostility in society towards freedom of religion or belief, together with government restrictions of them. Governments, international institutions and non-governmental organisations need to recognise this wider crisis and commit the necessary time, energy and resources to ensure greater respect for this fundamental freedom and forestall further tragedies.

Read it all and note the signatories

Filed under: * International News & CommentaryMiddle EastIraq

0 Comments Posted August 21, 2014 at 7:05 am

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Vacation Picture (I)—Prothonotary Warbler, Camp Saint Christopher, South Carolina

Posted by Kendall Harmon



The photo is courtesy of Selimah Harmon; you can out more about Camp Saint Christopher there.

Filed under: * By KendallHarmon Family* General InterestAnimals* South Carolina

1 Comments Posted August 20, 2014 at 4:00 pm

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[CNN] E-readers Bring Hope to African Schools

Posted by The_Elves

Kibera, Kenya (CNN) -- Heaps of trash pile up for miles in Kibera, a district of Nairobi that houses nearly 1 million people and is one of the poorest slums in the world. Aluminum shanties fill the horizon, and an odor of urine cuts through the air. A man trots through the narrow, unpaved streets on a camel. If you make your way through this crowded maze, however, you will find the Kibera Girls Soccer Academy, a free public school for girls and, recently, a few boys. Peek in through the windows, and you'll see a sight that seems incongruous next to the grimy chaos outside.

In this school, where there is no electricity and temperatures often top 90 degrees, dozens of students in neat wool uniforms are sliding their fingers across touch screens, reading a lesson on their Amazon Kindle e-reader. The students, who range in age from 14 to 20, are cheerful, welcoming and quick to share the genres of books they like to read in both Swahili and English. Their school is one of 28 participating in a program with Worldreader, a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco that provides modern technology -- usually Kindles -- to improve literacy in the most impoverished parts of the world.

By expanding access to education in areas where books are a scarce resource, the Worldreader team is trying to break the cycle of poverty, one electronic page at a time.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationScience & Technology* International News & CommentaryAfricaKenya

0 Comments Posted August 20, 2014 at 3:06 pm

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Canon Andrew White: Protection, Provision and Perseverance in Iraq

Posted by The_Elves

Speaking at Holy Trinity Clapham on Sunday


From here with thanks and the audio may be listened to here

Filed under: * International News & CommentaryMiddle EastIraq

0 Comments Posted August 20, 2014 at 12:49 pm

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Anglican Unscripted Episode 115 - an interview with ACNA Abp. Foley Beach (new staff appointments)

Posted by The_Elves

In this interview, Archbishop Beach announces several important new staff appointments and gives some information about how the ministry of both the Anglican Diocese of the South, and ACNA will function under his leadership. The section with Archbishop Beach starts at about 8 minutes and lasts for about 7 minutes in total.




Here is the YouTube link should you need it.

UPDATE: There is an excerpt of a letter from Archbishop Beach at the ACNA website which explains a bit more about these appointments.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican Church in North America (ACNA)Anglican Provinces

4 Comments Posted August 19, 2014 at 5:50 pm

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Summer Open Thread #4—“Laughter the Best Medicine”

Posted by The_Elves

As my pointy-eared elven colleague reminded us last week "While Kendall's away, the elves may play." It's time to lighten up around here before summer flits away!

Yes, the world news is grim, but Proverbs 17:22 reminds us "A cheerful heart is good medicine", so please take a few minutes to share something that's made you laugh in recent days:
- a good (clean) joke you've heard;
- a limerick;
- a funny video or picture;
- an amusing story


Filed under: * AdminFeatured (Sticky)* General InterestHumor / Trivia

20 Comments Posted August 19, 2014 at 3:05 pm

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[BBC] Canon Andrew White interviewed on Iraq’s Christian Emergency

Posted by The_Elves



From here

Filed under: * International News & CommentaryMiddle EastIraq

0 Comments Posted August 19, 2014 at 2:38 pm

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Ralph Wood—The Place of the Demonic in the Fiction of Flannery O’Connor

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The fiction of Flannery O'Connor, especially her novel The Violent Bear It Away, resists the relegation of Satan to an abstract principle and thus to his ultimate irrelevance. She envisions Luciferian evil in traditional terms as a personal power determined to achieve his own supremacy. When Satan appears in her fiction, she candidly observed, he is not to be understood as "this or that psychological tendency." She cites Baudelaire's celebrated dictum that the Devil's greatest wile is to convince us he does not exist, and she declares his considerable success in our own time.

Yet for all that is traditional in her conception of Satan, O'Connor is concerned not to make him obvious, lest he be easily dismissed as a bogeyman. In fact, her demons disguise themselves in thoroughly Freudian and Jungian terms. Freud regarded Satan as nothing other than a symbol, albeit a powerful one, of repressed erotic desires or else of neuroses lying deep within the unconscious, often negatively projected "onto individuals or groups that we identify as enemies or potential enemies." In the work of Jung, Freud's student, Lucifer represents the massive destructive energy resident in the universe as it stands over against the equally enormous constructive powers that Jung links to the divine. Yet for Jung, Lucifer's name still applies: He is the light-bearer whose demonic negativity dwells in a mandala-like complementarity with divine positivity. Only as good incorporates evil into itself, Jung teaches, can higher wisdom and wholeness be attained.

It is noteworthy that, when I ask students to identify the voice that speaks inwardly to young Francis Marion Tarwater from the very beginning of the novel, they respond in Jungian and Freudian ways. They almost always answer that this "stranger" who gradually becomes Tarwater's "friend" is the boy's sub-conscious mind, his inward self, his alter ego. Such obtuseness is as predictable as it is inexcusable. Yet it plays perfectly into O'Connor's fictional purposes. Far from being an artistic failure, her ploy enables her readers, at least potentially, to experience Francis Marion Tarwater's own terrible awakening to the true identity of his inner voice.

Read it all.


Filed under: * Culture-WatchBooksHistoryReligion & Culture* TheologyTheodicy

0 Comments Posted August 19, 2014 at 6:00 am

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[Tim Challies] The Spasmodic Hercules

Posted by The_Elves

I have been thinking about this one a lot, lately. I was thinking about it long before I read Manage Your Day-to-Day, but that book helpfully distilled it to a single sentence: “We tend to overestimate what we can do in a short period, and underestimate what we can do over a long period, provided we work slowly and consistently.”

This is our temptation in all areas of life: to look for the quick fix, to look for the one or the few great moments that will accomplish more than the hundreds or thousands of smaller moments. “Anthony Trollope, the nineteenth-century writer who managed to be a prolific novelist while also revolutionizing the British postal system, observed, ‘A small daily task, if it be daily, will beat the labors of a spasmodic Hercules’. Over the long run, the unglamorous habit of frequency fosters both productivity and creativity.”

The spasmodic Hercules: this is how many of us behave. We behave as if one moment of great activity can overcome a thousand moments of inactivity, as if one moment of taking hold of opportunity will overcome all those moments wasted. The unglamorous habit of frequency is what makes up so much of life’s progress. Yet we are constantly tempted to put our hope in the brief and the glamorous.

Read the full blog entry at Challies.com

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life* General Interest

1 Comments Posted August 19, 2014 at 6:00 am

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A Prayer to Begin the Day

Posted by Kendall Harmon

O Lord, who hast given us thy Word for a light to shine upon our path: Grant us so to meditate upon that Word and to follow its teaching, that we may find in it the light that shineth more and more unto the perfect day; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

--Attributed to the Thought of Saint Jerome

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer

0 Comments Posted August 19, 2014 at 5:28 am

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Bishop Nick Baines writes a letter to the Prime Minister

Posted by The_Elves

Dear Prime Minister,

Iraq and IS

I am conscious of the speed at which events are moving in Iraq and Syria, and write recognising the complexity and interconnectedness of the challenges faced by the international community in responding to the crises in Syria and Iraq.

However, in common with many bishops and other correspondents here in the UK, I remain very concerned about the Government’s response to several issues. I write with the support of the Archbishop of Canterbury to put these questions to you.

1. It appears that, in common with the United States and other partners, the UK is responding to events in a reactive way, and it is difficult to discern the strategic intentions behind this approach. Please can you tell me what is the overall strategy that holds together the UK Government’s response to both the humanitarian situation and what IS is actually doing in Syria and Iraq? Behind this question is the serious concern that we do not seem to have a coherent or comprehensive approach to Islamist extremism as it is developing across the globe. Islamic State, Boko Haram and other groups represent particular manifestations of a global phenomenon, and it is not clear what our broader global strategy is – particularly insofar as the military, political, economic and humanitarian demands interconnect. The Church internationally must be a primary partner in addressing this complexity.

2. The focus by both politicians and media on the plight of the Yezidis has been notable and admirable. However, there has been increasing silence about the plight of tens of thousands of Christians who have been displaced, driven from cities and homelands, and who face a bleak future. Despite appalling persecution, they seem to have fallen from consciousness, and I wonder why. Does your Government have a coherent response to the plight of these huge numbers of Christians whose plight appears to be less regarded than that of others? Or are we simply reacting to the loudest media voice at any particular time?

Read it all

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

2 Comments Posted August 18, 2014 at 9:36 pm

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Damian Thompson: Islamic extremism and the hypocrisy of the Church of England

Posted by The_Elves

The Church of England has written to David Cameron accusing him of lacking ‘a coherent or comprehensive approach to Islamic extremism as it is developing across the globe’. The letter, signed by the Bishop of Leeds, Nick Baines, and approved by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, also reportedly accuses the PM of turning his back on Christians slaughtered or made homeless in northern Iraq – and wonders why Cameron has chosen to concentrate on the plight of the Yazidis instead.

These criticisms are spot on. But I’m surprised that the C of E has had the brass neck to make them.

Read it all

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

2 Comments Posted August 18, 2014 at 9:32 pm

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Eric Metaxas: A Deafening Silence as Iraqi Christians Vanish

Posted by The_Elves

As you probably know, an Islamist terror group that goes by the acronym ISIS has been gobbling up huge swathes of territory, executing Christians and other religious minorities, and even destroying priceless artifacts. Tens of thousands have been forced to flee with little more than the shirts on their backs. My friend, Canon Andrew White, vicar of the only Anglican church in Iraq, says, "The Islamic State simply said 'we can do anything now that the world is just looking at Gaza' . . . in reality that is true. Iraq seems like old news, yet things just get worse and worse here."

Tragically, until last Thursday's announcement of humanitarian aid, the President's silence on this issue has been deafening, too...

Read it all

Filed under: * International News & CommentaryMiddle EastIraq

0 Comments Posted August 18, 2014 at 9:12 pm

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[BBC] Diocese of Truro facing £1m shortfall

Posted by The_Elves

The Diocese of Truro is facing a shortfall of more than £1m in the next financial year, a bishop has said.

It comes as new figures revealed Anglican churchgoers in Cornwall currently donate 20% less than those in any other diocese in England.

People in the county give about £5.80 per week, compared with a national average of £8.40.

The Bishop of St Germans said unless urgent action was taken, such a level of debt was unsustainable.

Read it all

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

0 Comments Posted August 18, 2014 at 9:08 pm

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The Press (NZ): Cathedral advocates ‘appalled’ at comparisons

Posted by The_Elves

A call by the world's most senior Anglican bishop for Christchurch to stop clinging to the past has been criticised by those fighting to save the city's earthquake-damaged cathedral.

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby made the comments during a visit to Auckland last week, saying the city should not "be boring" and should look to England's Coventry Cathedral as something to aspire to.

Coventry Cathedral had incorporated the ruins of the city's old cathedrals when they were destroyed by time and war.

Great Christchurch Buildings Trust member and retired reverend Graeme Brady said he was always moved by the old ruins, but the rest of the cathedral had dated very quickly.

It was a shame Coventry's authorities had "completely wiped out" all of the city's old buildings and replaced them with a "concrete mess".

Read it all

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia

6 Comments Posted August 18, 2014 at 8:36 pm

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[Lent and Beyond] Prayer for South Carolina Monday August 18th

Posted by The_Elves

Psalm 35:24a Expanded Bible
Lord my God, ·defend [vindicate] me with your justice.

Our Father in heaven,
We are fallen creatures and see through a glass darkly. We lack understanding and are much to be pitied. Have mercy on us all.
Both the Episcopal Church in South Carolina and the Diocese of South Carolina believe their cause to be just.
Your justice is perfect in all its ways. Your justice is informed by knowledge that is too great for us. Your justice is true.
As Her Honor Judge Diane Goodstein considers the outcome of this trial, we humbly ask that You clothe her with a mantle of manifold understanding and wisdom, justice and mercy. May Your name be glorified. Amen.

Please pray it all if you wish and there are more prayers from Lent and Beyond for South Carolina here

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

0 Comments Posted August 18, 2014 at 3:15 pm

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A Prayer to Begin the Day

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Stir up our hearts, O Lord, we beseech thee, to prepare the way of thine only begotten Son; so that when he cometh we may be found watching, and serve thee with a pure and ready will; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer

0 Comments Posted August 18, 2014 at 7:53 am

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(First Things) George Weigel—Is History Really Over?

Posted by Kendall Harmon

From the perspective of Catholic social doctrine, democratic self-governance is not inevitable, it’s only possible; and its possibility can never be taken for granted. Even established democracies can decay, to the point where what Benedict XVI called the “dictatorship of relativism”—the use of coercive state power to impose regimes of lifestyle libertinism in the name of tolerance, while marginalizing those who object in the name of classic moral truths—becomes a real and disturbing possibility. That possibility is well advanced in parts of Europe. It cannot be ruled out in the United States.

It takes a certain critical mass of citizens, living certain habits of mind and heart, to make democracy and the free economy work properly. The formation of those habits is an essential task of the free associations of civil society, and the Church plays a critical role in shaping the moral understandings that animate those free associations. “History” continues because the task of forming the virtuous citizens that make freedom work never ends.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistory* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

2 Comments Posted August 17, 2014 at 5:00 am

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(LA Times) Curfew, state of emergency declared in Ferguson, Missouri governor says

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon ordered a curfew Saturday in the city of Ferguson and declared a state of emergency after fresh violence erupted overnight amid public anger over the shooting death of an unarmed young black man by a white police officer.

The curfew will run from midnight to 5 a.m., starting Saturday night.

“This is a test,” Nixon said at a news conference, saying “the eyes of the world” are watching to see how the city handles the aftermath of the Aug. 9 death of Michael Brown, 18.

The announcement comes after community activists had taken to the streets and social media Saturday in hopes of preventing another night of looting and violence in Ferguson after at least three businesses fell victim to a predawn rampage by young men who targeted local stores as others tried desperately to stop them.

Read it all and join us in praying for all invovled.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer* Culture-WatchChildrenLaw & Legal IssuesPolice/FireMarriage & FamilyRace/Race RelationsViolence* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in GeneralCity GovernmentState Government* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments Posted August 16, 2014 at 5:00 pm

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Summer Open Thread #3:  Recollecting Favorite Sermons

Posted by The_Elves

We'd love to hear from T19 readers on the following topics:

1) Share memories of a sermon that greatly influenced your life - what was the text, who was the preacher, what year was it?
2) Who are the best preachers you've ever heard give sermons? What made their sermons or teachings memorable and excellent?
3) Are there links to good sermons available online that you would recommend?


Filed under: * AdminFeatured (Sticky)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryPreaching / Homiletics* General Interest

5 Comments Posted August 16, 2014 at 3:22 pm

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Condemned but Undeterred, Boko Haram Is Still Abducting Nigerian Youths

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The pattern is becoming all too familiar to residents of Nigeria’s embattled northeast: Gunmen believed to be members of the militant Islamist sect Boko Haram descend on a village, burn houses, round up scores of young people, load them onto trucks and then drive away.

Four months after Boko Haram shocked the world by abducting nearly 300 girls from a rural school, fighters shouting “God is great” snatched dozens more young people from another village in recent days, according to officials, local journalists and Nigerian news media.

This time, the target was boys and young men, who were waved into trucks at gunpoint, prompting fears that they would be hauled off and forced to fight for the militants in their war against the Nigerian state.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesPolice/FireReligion & CultureTeens / YouthViolence* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryForeign RelationsPolitics in GeneralTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAfricaNigeria* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsIslamMuslim-Christian relations* Theology

0 Comments Posted August 16, 2014 at 11:32 am

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A Prayer of Thomas Merton to Begin the Day

Posted by Kendall Harmon

My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. Therefore I will trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.

--Thomas Merton (1915-1968)

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer

0 Comments Posted August 16, 2014 at 8:00 am

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[Economist] Ebola: Fever Rising

Posted by The_Elves

Given the discussion about Ebola in the current open thread, this article from the Economist may be of interest. The graphs comparing Ebola with other diseases in West Africa, and per capita health spending in various countries are worth looking at. - the elves.


Ebola is now exposing how hard it is to contain an outbreak, particularly in poor countries. Stopping Ebola should, in theory, be straightforward. There is no cure, but there are ways to treat victims that will maximise their chance of survival and help prevent transmission. Patients should be isolated and kept hydrated, their blood pressure monitored and secondary infections treated. Those who have come into contact with the infected should be watched to see if symptoms develop. If none emerge within 21 days, the person can be deemed virus-free.

But all this is labour-intensive. “You still have to have a cadre of people who at the end of the day are able to go out there,” explains Ian Lipkin of Columbia University. That depends on strong health systems or substantial international help. In this case, there was neither.

The outbreak began in three of the world’s poorest countries. Guinea spends $62 per person on health each year, compared with $3,364 in Britain. Sierra Leone has two doctors per 100,000 people, compared with 245 in America (see chart). Such health workers as are available in the countries affected by Ebola are under severe strain. About 150 have been infected and 80 have died, the WHO said on August 8th. Médecins Sans Frontières, a non-profit organisation that has 680 health workers in the region, now says that its staff “simply cannot do more”.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHealth & Medicine* International News & CommentaryAfricaGuineaLiberiaNigeriaSierra Leone

12 Comments Posted August 15, 2014 at 6:00 am

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(CT) Brian Howell on Tim Keesee’s new book—The Broken Beauty of the Global Church

Posted by Kendall Harmon

...the book provides an encouraging reminder that God's people continue to stand in his power around the world. We meet Dennis, a poor yet influential pastor in Liberia, who works with his North American partner to drill wells, preach the gospel, and lead Christians in villages throughout his country. Grace, a Filipina missionary working with her husband, Noe, leads a church and cares for sex trafficking survivors and HIV/AIDS patients in Cambodia. Allan Yuan, a 90-year-old pastor in China, baptizes dozens of believers on the banks of the Ye Xi River after spending decades in prison for his faith.

But these are not always stories of triumph. Keesee remembers the life of Gayle Williams, a nurse ministering to children in Kabul, Afghanistan, who was killed by a sniper's bullet. He tells of Ika, a Muslim-background believer from Indonesia, who was rejected by her family, kept from her children, and cut off from her community. These stories reveal that God does not always take away our pain even as he comforts us within it.

Dispatches from the Front assures us that God has raised people around the globe to bring his Word into difficult circumstances.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life* Culture-WatchBooksGlobalization* TheologyChristologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments Posted August 15, 2014 at 5:56 am

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A Prayer for Christ to be with us at the Beginning of the Day

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Jesus, our Master, do thou meet us while we walk in the way and long to reach the heavenly country; so that, following thy light, we may keep the way of righteousness, and never wander away into the darkness of this world’s night, while thou, who art the Way, the Truth, and the Light art shining within us; for thy mercy’s sake.

--The Pastor's Prayerbook

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer

0 Comments Posted August 15, 2014 at 5:29 am

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(CT) Chuck DeGroat on the qtn: Why is personal spiritual health so important for leaders?

Posted by Kendall Harmon

I was fortunate, in my own life, to have a bold counseling professor tell me what he saw—immaturity, arrogance, insecurity. We live in a culture of affirmation, and I believe in affirming young men and women entering ministry or leadership positions. But not without some honest feedback—about their relational patterns, hidden insecurities, and messianic dreams.

Spiritual health is not about climbing some moral ladder, but about what Jesus calls "purity of heart." This means that our inner life matches our outer. Remember, this was the problem of the religious leaders in Jesus' day. They were hypocrites, play-actors, doing life on stage but hollow within.

It takes time and suffering for growth to happen. This is why the poor, broken, and unclean seem to be privileged in the New Testament—they've already hit bottom. Our humiliations breed depth, grace, forgiveness, strength, courage, curiosity, and hope—all the attributes that make healthy leaders. Otherwise we'll quickly experience what happens to anyone living a lie: We'll get caught, fall, or alienate everyone we love.

Read it all (my emphasis).

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the LaityMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchPsychologyReligion & Culture* TheologyAnthropologyChristologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologyTheology: Holy Spirit (Pneumatology)

0 Comments Posted August 14, 2014 at 5:01 pm

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[Ann Voskamp] How to Really Send the Kids Back to School & Out into the World

Posted by The_Elves

From Ann Voskamp's blog, A Holy Experience. A beautiful reflection on sending her son off to college, partly written as a letter to her son, partly a reflection on parenting. You may need the kleenex for this! - the elves


[...] Remember how we read a million library books together? I’ll never regret every page we chose over screens.

We ate three meals a day together at a table (and don’t think that doesn’t change the shape of a soul and the world). And we never pushed back our chairs until we’d had our dessert of Scripture. Life is about one thing: Coming to His table and inviting as many as you can to come with you and feast on the only Living Food. We gave you this.

And for better or worse, your Dad and I taught you how to work hard. Make it for the world’s better, son. [...]

And never forget that happiness is when His Word and your walk are in harmony. Never stop keeping company with Christ– and all the sinners, tax-collectors and cast-offs. Be an evangelist and use your words with your hands because your part of a Body and never stop loving God with all your heart, mind and soul, and loving others as yourself. Make that your creed.

It’s true, son: Be different and know everything you do matters. It’s what the Christ followers know: One man with God can change a culture. God didn’t put people in your path mostly for your convenience; He put you there for theirs. Loving the poor will make you rich, I promise.

The only life worth living is the one lost.

And no matter how loud and crazy and broken the world is, child? Let joy live loud in your soul.

Believe that you are His beloved – it’s only when you trust that He loves you that you really begin to live. Really, count a thousand blessings more – why wouldn’t you want joy? Sing to no one and everyone on the front porch in the rain and laugh so much they question your sanity. Pet the dog long.

Because really, none of us knows how long we have. Remember that a pail with a pinhole loses as much as the pail pushed right over. A whole life can be lost in minutes wasted… in the small moments missed. None of this here is forever grace. That’s why it’s amazing grace.

Do it often: grab a lifeline by stepping offline. You’ll see your true self when you look for your reflection in the eyes of souls not the glare of screens.

This is what you always need to know: You have nothing to prove to anyone – if you’re in Him, you are already approved.

Read the full entry here.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenMarriage & FamilyTeens / Youth* General Interest

0 Comments Posted August 14, 2014 at 9:49 am

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Today in 1935

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Social Security Act is signed into law, assuring retirement income for all working Americans. Payroll taxes...are set at 1% (Courtesy of Barry Ritholtz)

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistory* Economics, PoliticsEconomyLabor/Labor Unions/Labor MarketTaxesThe U.S. GovernmentSocial Security

7 Comments Posted August 14, 2014 at 7:02 am

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(New Yorker) Rebecca Mead—The Scourge of “Relatability”

Posted by Kendall Harmon

...to demand that a work be “relatable” expresses a different expectation: that the work itself be somehow accommodating to, or reflective of, the experience of the reader or viewer. The reader or viewer remains passive in the face of the book or movie or play: she expects the work to be done for her. If the concept of identification suggested that an individual experiences a work as a mirror in which he might recognize himself, the notion of relatability implies that the work in question serves like a selfie: a flattering confirmation of an individual’s solipsism.

To appreciate “King Lear”—or even “The Catcher in the Rye” or “The Fault in Our Stars”—only to the extent that the work functions as one’s mirror would make for a hopelessly reductive experience. But to reject any work because we feel that it does not reflect us in a shape that we can easily recognize—because it does not exempt us from the active exercise of imagination or the effortful summoning of empathy—is our own failure. It’s a failure that has been dispiritingly sanctioned by the rise of “relatable.” In creating a new word and embracing its self-involved implications, we have circumscribed our own critical capacities. That’s what sucks, not Shakespeare.

Read it all.

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

0 Comments Posted August 14, 2014 at 6:19 am

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A Prayer attributed to Thomas Aquinas to Begin the Day

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Give us, O Lord, a steadfast heart, which no unworthy thought can drag downwards; an unconquered heart, which no tribulation can wear out; an upright heart, which no unworthy purpose may tempt aside. Bestow upon us also, O Lord our God, understanding to know thee, diligence to seek thee, wisdom to find thee, and a faithfulness that may finally embrace thee; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer

2 Comments Posted August 14, 2014 at 5:38 am

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[CBN] ISIS Swallowing Iraq: ‘They’re Beheading Children’

Posted by The_Elves

ERBIL, Kurdistan -- Islamic terrorists in Iraq are beheading children and burying people alive, and it won't stop there...

Read it all and watch the video where there is a report from Dr Sarah Ahmed of Canon Andrew White's FRRME

Filed under: * International News & CommentaryMiddle EastIraq

0 Comments Posted August 13, 2014 at 7:26 pm

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More middle-aged U.S. women having babies outside marriage: CDC

Posted by The_Elves

Hmmmm. Having children is now categorized as women successfully "meeting their fertility goals." Doesn't matter how you do it, it's all about choice and personal satisfaction. SAD. -the elves
More single U.S. women over the age of 35 are having children, even as the overall birth rates for unmarried women in the United States have dropped, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Wednesday. There were 1.6 million births to unmarried women in 2013, the lowest since 2005, when there were 1.5 million, the data showed.

Running counter to the trend were middle-aged and older women having children outside of marriage. The birth rate for unmarried women between the ages of 40 to 44 increased 29 percent from 2007 to 2012 and 7 percent during that time for those aged 35 to 39, the CDC said.

"Many women are postponing births until their 30s, and the stigma of having a child outside of marriage has faded," said Andrew Cherlin, a sociology professor at Johns Hopkins University who has studied the issue but was not involved with the CDC report.

Women who choose to give birth at an older age now have greater medical options for increasing fertility, said Sally Curtin, a CDC statistician and an author of the study. "There's more out there for women to meet their fertility goals," she said.

Here's the full article

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenMarriage & FamilyWomen

2 Comments Posted August 13, 2014 at 2:00 pm

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[Anglican Mainstream] Christian spirituality, British values, and contemporary teachers

Posted by The_Elves

The Rev. Andrew Symes at Anglican Mainstream offers a reflection on the challenge of balancing "the inward and the outward life," critiques former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams' recent interview "How Buddhism Helps me Pray," and examines British values and Christians' response in the face of the challenges presented by multi-culturalism. -the elves


So the life of discipleship is oscillating between rest in God, and fruitful action in the world; both undergirded by active, unhurried, worshipful, compassionate, sometimes agonized prayer. It constantly moves between the two poles of wonder at the sacrifice of Christ dealing with my sin and winning my forgiveness, and engaging sacrificially with others, enabled by the indwelling divine living presence. There is an enormous richness in teaching over the centuries, in different church traditions, on Christ-centred prayer, and on maintaining these two poles, sometimes paradoxical, of inward and outward life, rest and yoke, of abiding and being productive, of atonement and empowerment. Yes there might be imbalance in the teaching of different groups, just as each of us because of our personalities tend to prefer contemplation or activism. But that doesn’t mean we are at liberty to reject clear teachings of Scripture or go searching outside the Christian tradition when Jesus commands us to come to him.

But sadly this is exactly what Rowan Williams advocates in a recent interview:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/10942056/Rowan-Williams-how-Buddhism-helps-me-pray.html

The whole article is about Williams’ morning spiritual disciplines – what evangelicals might call his “quiet time”. He begins encouragingly by talking about the ‘Jesus Prayer’ (“Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner”) – one would think that this could be a great opportunity to explain its meaning to the secular readers who clearly are interested in this detail of the personal life of a celebrity. But the phrase does not prompt reflection, in order to worship or pray to the living Christ – it is simply repeated as a mantra, as part of a Buddhist-inspired technique of focusing on one’s body living and breathing in the moment. The former Archbishop does not give any indication at the end of the interview that God might really exist out there, a divine person separate from us, calling on us to repent and come to him in Christ. Rather “God ‘happens’: a life lived in you”, and the uncomfortable meditative technique is apparently a way in which anyone who puts in the work can become aware of this “inner light”.

Is Rowan Williams embarrassed about embracing and articulating fully the Christian story and the wonderful resources that Christ offers his followers by grace? Does he feel that Jesus is not enough, and the insights and practices of others faiths are needed to get closer to God, to feel loved, to have strength to face the day and help others? Or perhaps he believes that in synthesizing aspects of different religions, he is modelling inclusivity and helping to promote community cohesion between the different faith groups in Britain? This is suggested by his recent appearance as a speaker at the Living Islam Festival at the Lincolnshire showground. But again, is modern Britishness best achieved by a synthesis of Christian, secular, Islamic and Buddhist – and if so how, given the radically different worldviews of these four faiths?

Christianity is in retreat, yet secularism and Islam are becoming more confident in demanding the hegemony of their values. Many orthodox Christian leaders are responding by self-ghettoisation: increasingly arguing that faith is a private matter and that Gospel values, the ethics which flow out of taking on the yoke of Christ and being fruitful in him and on which the best “British values” are based, are only applicable to the converted. We continue to thank God for groups like Christian Institute and Christian Concern who have resisted this route. Liberal thinkers such as Rowan Williams want to engage in the public square, but seem to do so with embarrassment about the apparent former dominance of Christianity: the result is the articulation of a more “generous and inclusive” faith which synthesizes, merges with and ultimately submits to other worldviews rather than confronting, challenging and transforming them.

Read the full entry at Anglican Mainstream

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: CommentaryArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan WilliamsAnglican IdentityAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer* Culture-WatchMulticulturalism, pluralism

1 Comments Posted August 13, 2014 at 9:55 am

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[BBC] Robin Williams and the link between comedy and depression

Posted by The_Elves

...Professor Gordon Claridge, of the University of Oxford's Department of Experimental Psychology, studied personality questionnaires filled in by 523 comedians (404 men and 119 women) from the UK, US and Australia.

"We found that comedians had a rather unusual personality profile, which was rather contradictory," Prof Claridge says.

"On the one hand, they were rather introverted, depressive, rather schizoid, you might say. And on the other hand, they were rather extroverted and manic.

"That was a rather unusual profile. The actors we compared them with didn't show that, and this was highly significantly different from the norms on the test.

"Possibly the comedy - the extroverted side - is a way of dealing with the depressive side. Of course, this is not true of all comedians."

Laughing to cope

It is not. Not every comedian has difficulties, and depression is far from particular to creative personalities.

Depression is the single biggest killer of men aged 20-49 in the UK, according to the Campaign Against Living Miserably (Calm). It touches all corners of society...

Read it all

Filed under: * General InterestIn Memoriam

0 Comments Posted August 13, 2014 at 7:41 am

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Resources to Nourish the Soul—Bruce Hindmarsh on Praying with Thomas Cranmer

Posted by Kendall Harmon

From Saint John's, Vancouver, Bruce Hindmarsh, the James M. Houston Professor of Spiritual Theology, speaks on the Book of Common Prayer which he first encountered as a teenager at a bookstall in a mall in Winnipeg. Listen to it all--wonderfully nurturing and encouraging stuff.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryLiturgy, Music, Worship--Book of Common PrayerSpirituality/Prayer* International News & CommentaryCanada* TheologyChristologyEcclesiologySeminary / Theological EducationTheology: Scripture

0 Comments Posted August 13, 2014 at 5:49 am

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A Prayer for Growth in Grace to Begin the Day

Posted by Kendall Harmon

We beseech thee, O Lord, to give us more love to thee, more joy in our worship, more peace at all times, more longsuffering, more kindness of heart and manner. Grant us the grace of meekness and the power of self-control. May we know something of what it is to be filled with the Holy Ghost; for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer

0 Comments Posted August 13, 2014 at 5:45 am

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Summer Open Thread #2:  Your Chance to be a Guest Blogger

Posted by The_Elves

With Kendall away, and we elves also having limited blogging time, now's your chance! If you were Kendall (or an elf) for a day, what entry or entries would you post at T19? In the comments, please provide links to any good articles, videos, sermons, etc. that you think T19 readers would enjoy and find edifying. Please provide more than just the link itself, but a sentence or two as to what the article, etc., is about, and why you recommend it. Thanks. -the elves

Filed under: * AdminFeatured (Sticky)* General Interest

9 Comments Posted August 13, 2014 at 2:02 am

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The IRD interviews ACNA Archbishop Foley Beach

Posted by The_Elves

[H/T to Pat Dague at Transfigurations]

Here's an excerpt:

Jacob: “How would you define the “Anglican identity”? What does ACNA distinctively have to offer both Christians and non-Christians in America? Should Anglicans have more of a “confessional” identity? Is the new catechism an attempt to develop a more confessional identity, especially given Dr. Packer’s recommendation to teach it in ACNA parishes at the Provincial Assembly?”

o Abp. Beach: “Let me answer that last question first. I think a lot of us get in trouble when we think we have the Anglican identity, because we’re a diverse lot. From our formation days back in the Reformation, we’ve been a diverse group. Currently – and this is something I think that’s very distinctive about who we are – we are a group that is Anglo-Catholic, Evangelical, and Charismatic. Some call that the ‘Three Streams,’ and that’s a simple way of explaining it. But, even some of our most Anglo-Catholic folks would be more charismatic than I am. All of us tend to have those three streams somewhere in our mix. I think that’s very unique for American Christianity today. All of us have our core; my core would be evangelical. Although I have the other two pieces, my core or default is evangelical. But, these streams enable us to bring the richness of the breadth of Christianity, and it’s truly powerful when these streams are together.

Jacob: “Should Anglicans have more of a “confessional” identity? Is the new catechism an attempt to develop a more confessional identity, especially given Dr. Packer’s recommendation to teach it in ACNA parishes at the Provincial Assembly?”

o Abp. Beach: “Anglicans are pretty confessional already. If you say Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer, we confess the Apostles’ Creed. On Sundays, we confess the Nicene Creed. The Anglican Church in North America is a product of the Jerusalem Declaration, which is a very confessional statement. I would say we’re already very confessional. The purpose of the catechism is to introduce Christianity to a culture that is no longer a Christian culture, and the intent is to bring the basic teaching of the faith this culture.”

Jacob: “Does this catechism represent a more ‘missional outlook,’ would you say?”

o Abp. Beach: “More than any other catechism we’ve had in history, our catechism very missional. All of the other catechisms were written for cultures that were already Christian. Ours begins by describing how you even become a Christian. And then, all throughout it, there are references to the faith and prayers to pray. With the online version, there will be links to deeper articles. Again, the intent is to be missional. But at the same time, we want Anglicans to be disciples. We want Anglicans who understand not only what we believe, but why we believe it.”

Read the full interview at Juicy Ecumenicism

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican Church in North America (ACNA)Anglican Identity

0 Comments Posted August 12, 2014 at 11:09 am

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Wonderful and not to be Missed—Robin Williams as troops “Retreat” at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait

Posted by Kendall Harmon



Filed under: * Culture-WatchMilitary / Armed Forces* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, Military* General InterestHumor / Trivia

1 Comments Posted August 12, 2014 at 11:01 am

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(Quartz) An obituary for Robin Williams in the form of some of his best scenes

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Take a look at them all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchMovies & Television

0 Comments Posted August 12, 2014 at 6:14 am

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A Prayer For Proper Stewardship to Begin the Day

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Almighty God, the source of all that we can have, and all that we can hope for,

Grant that we may be worthy custodians of the earth in which we dwell.

Make us creative so that we will not burden others;

Make us conservative so that we will not squander what comes our way;

Make us perceptive so that we may properly weigh our necessities against the needs of others;

Make us generous so that we may give freely of what we have that others can enjoy a portion of our fortune.

Remove from us all trust in anything but thee;

Strengthen us in the knowledge that thou wilt always provide all that we really need;

And finally, by thy Grace, instill in us that perfect desire to be thy servants and ultimately to be with thee in thy Heavenly Kingdom,

Who reignest forever and ever, Jesus Christ, our Lord.

--The Pastor's Prayerbook

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryStewardshipSpirituality/Prayer

0 Comments Posted August 12, 2014 at 5:30 am

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Robin Williams RIP

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Robin Williams died this morning, his publicist confirms. You can read a statement from his wife Susan Schneider there.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchMovies & Television* General InterestHumor / Trivia

1 Comments Posted August 11, 2014 at 6:08 pm

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[9 Marks] Book Review: Taking God at His Word, by Kevin DeYoung

Posted by The_Elves

Note: The Kindle version of Kevin DeYoung's book is currently on sale at Amazon for $1.99


Since Kendall posted his open thread on books earlier today, this elf thought some readers might be interested in the 9 Marks' review of the book Taking God at His Word, by Kevin DeYoung.

And confidence in Scripture is crucial for our confidence in the gospel Scripture preaches and the God Scripture reveals. So I’m grateful for a growing list of books on Scripture that have stirred and strengthened my faith.

For instance, Warfield’s The Inspiration and Authority of Scripture laid a bedrock foundation I return to constantly. Packer’s “Fundamentalism” and the Word of God crystallizes and condenses some of the same essential arguments. Bavinck’s Prolegomena is lucid, rock-solid, and pastorally perceptive. Timothy Ward’s Words of Life helpfully unpacks Scripture’s role in God’s plan of salvation, as does Scott Swain’s outstanding Trinity, Revelation, and Reading.

Kevin DeYoung’s new book Taking God at His Word now occupies a special place on this list. It’s the best book I’m aware of on the doctrine of Scripture that virtually any church member can read.

In eight short chapters, DeYoung traces the basic contours of what the Bible teaches about the Bible. He begins in chapter 1 with a brief exposition of Psalm 119, because “The goal of this book is to get us believing what we should believe about the Bible, feeling what we should about the Bible, and to get us doing what we ought to do with the Bible”

Read the full review at 9Marks Journal

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBooks* TheologyTheology: Scripture

0 Comments Posted August 11, 2014 at 6:00 pm

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From Ebola crisis to children at the border, does charity have limits?

Posted by The_Elves

From today's Washington Post, by a writer based in Charlotte, following the news that several SIM missionaries are returning to Charlotte and will be quarantined there.

“But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?” or so says the lesson in the Gospel of John in the New Testament. It is a simple message that is now being tested by several modern-day crises, with complications that range from compassion overload to an instinct to protect loved ones close to home.

Charlotte, where I live, waits with support, careful interest and some apprehension after news that missionaries, some of whom have worked with and around patients with the Ebola virus, will be returning to the city. [...]

There has been backlash to the loud voices of criticism – that would be Donald Trump protesting the U.S. treatment of the sick, and Ann Coulter, questioning missionaries working in “disease-ridden cesspools” of Africa. But others are more calmly uncomfortable. Retired neurosurgeon and conservative activist Ben Carson said doctors should have flown overseas to treat Ebola patients there.

Admonitions to be our brother’s keeper are tempered with concern over things that are easy to fear and difficult to understand. It’s what happens when the generosity many Americans take pride in is complicated by practical concerns and worries. You can hear it in the low tones of good people who nonetheless have doubts.

You can hear it as Americans debate the fate of children fleeing violence in Central America. Many want to help and would never stand in the road angrily jeering busloads of women and children, but they also want to know laws are being followed. While the plight of resilient Yazidis escaping with the aid of American airstrikes is a survival story to cheer, for many that support would stop at the point it meant American soldiers on the ground.

In Charlotte, a city welcoming those returning from a mission of mercy, well-wishers also wonder about the limits of compassion. There is caution underlying the support in an overwhelming world that can seem full of danger and unfilled need. But were the Writebols and Brantly on to something? Would the fight against Ebola be further along if the international community had paid more attention when the victims were limited to countries many know little about?

The full article is here.



Filed under: * Culture-WatchHealth & MedicineReligion & Culture

2 Comments Posted August 11, 2014 at 5:05 pm

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Professor Richard Bauckham Lectures Livestreamed from University of Otago

Posted by The_Elves

Six Thomas Burns Memorial Lectures given by Professor Richard Bauckham on “The Sons of Zebedee: the Lives of Two Galilean Fishers” may be watched live at 5:15 pm Dunedin Time [1:15 am Eastern Time 6:15 am London Time] live here or podcasted later here courtesy of the Department of Theology and Religion:

1. Tuesday August 12: The World of the Lake of Galilee
2. Wednesday August 13: The Fishing Industry
3. Thursday August 14: Zebedee and Sons
4. Tuesday August 19: Called to Fish for People
5. Wednesday August 20: Sons of Thunder
6. Thursday August 21: Jerusalem

More details thanks to Dr Peter Carrell at Anglican Down Under here

Filed under: * Theology

1 Comments Posted August 11, 2014 at 3:50 pm

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Great Super Moon photos

Posted by The_Elves

[hat tip to Pat Dague at Transfigurations, who has a nice photo of the super moon from her neck of the woods.]

Check out these two galleries of wonderful super moon photographs:
USA Today
The Independent

Filed under: * General InterestPhotos/Photography

0 Comments Posted August 11, 2014 at 10:38 am

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Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali: The West must face the evil that has revealed itself in the Iraq genocide

Posted by The_Elves

...So will the world just stand by and watch this unprecedented onslaught on freedom or will we do something beyond airdropping food and medicines and protecting our own personnel who may be caught up in the conflict?

Along with many others, I have been saying for sometime now that Iraqi minorities need internationally protected "safe havens". Until recently, the obvious place for Christian safe havens were the plains of Nineveh. For years, the West operated no-fly zones over Saddam’s Iraq to protect Kurds in the North and the Marsh Arabs in the South. What can be done to protect those under threat now?

Read it all

Filed under: * International News & CommentaryMiddle EastIraq

17 Comments Posted August 11, 2014 at 9:04 am

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[Lent and Beyond] Prayer for South Carolina Monday August 11th

Posted by The_Elves

The trial between the Episcopal Church in South Carolina and the Diocese of South Carolina has concluded. It is now under the consideration of the judge.

Amos 5:24

But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.

O Lord,
Let justice roll down in this South Carolina litigation like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream. Amen.

Please pray it all if you wish and there are more prayers from Lent and Beyond for South Carolina here

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

0 Comments Posted August 11, 2014 at 8:33 am

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Summer Open Thread: What Book or Books are You Reading right Now?

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The more specific you can be (why did you choose this particular book, what especially do you like about it, etc. etc.), the more others can enjoy your contributions--KSH.

Filed under: * AdminFeatured (Sticky)* Culture-WatchBlogging & the InternetBooks

25 Comments Posted August 11, 2014 at 6:46 am

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Kendall Harmon—Throttling the Blog Way Back for Vacation in August 2014

Posted by Kendall Harmon

I know you understand. Posts will be catch as catch can. I am seriously considering an occasional open thread on an edifying subject so if you have suggestions for such threads please post in the comments below. Many thanks--KSH.

Filed under: * By Kendall* Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet

2 Comments Posted August 11, 2014 at 6:00 am

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Monday Music—Trisagion from Fernando Ortega

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Listen to it all.

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

1 Comments Posted August 11, 2014 at 5:23 am

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A Prayer for the Feast Day of Clare of Assisi

Posted by Kendall Harmon

O God, whose blessed Son became poor that we through his poverty might be rich: Deliver us, we pray thee, from an inordinate love of this world, that, inspired by the devotion of thy servant Clare, we may serve thee with singleness of heart, and attain to the riches of the age to come; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and ever.

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

1 Comments Posted August 11, 2014 at 4:40 am

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A Prayer to Begin the Day

Posted by Kendall Harmon

O Almighty and merciful Lord, who givest unto thy faithful people the Holy Spirit as a sure pledge of thy heavenly kingdom: Grant unto us this same Spirit, that he may bear witness with our spirit that we be thy children and heirs of thy kingdom; through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer

0 Comments Posted August 11, 2014 at 4:19 am

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From the Morning Scripture Readings

Posted by Kendall Harmon

O LORD God of hosts, who is mighty as thou art, O LORD, with thy faithfulness round about thee?

--Psalm 89:9

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

0 Comments Posted August 11, 2014 at 4:01 am

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(Reuters) West Africans fill churches to pray for deliverance from Ebola

Posted by Kendall Harmon

People in Sierra Leone and Liberia filled churches on Sunday to seek deliverance from an outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus, defying official warnings to avoid public gatherings to contain an epidemic that has killed nearly 1,000 people in West Africa.

With their creaking healthcare systems completely overrun, Sierra Leone and Liberia have both declared states of emergency to tackle the highly contagious and incurable disease, which has also stricken neighbouring Guinea.

Read it all.


Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish MinistrySpirituality/Prayer* Culture-WatchHealth & MedicineReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAfricaLiberiaSierra Leone

0 Comments Posted August 10, 2014 at 5:30 pm

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(NYT) Nigeria Struggles to Cope With Ebola Outbreak

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Ebola, one of the world’s most fatal diseases, has surfaced in Africa’s most populous country.

Nigerian health officials have announced 10 confirmed cases and two deaths in the country from the Ebola outbreak that is sweeping West Africa, including a nurse and a man from Liberia whom the nurse had been caring for.

The man, Patrick Sawyer, a naturalized American citizen, had flown to Nigeria in late July and died soon after. He had infected at least eight other people, including the nurse, who died on Tuesday, officials said.

Read it all.


Filed under: * Culture-WatchHealth & Medicine* International News & CommentaryAfricaNigeria

0 Comments Posted August 10, 2014 at 4:01 pm

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(FT) Evgeny Morozov—Facebook invades your personality, not your privacy

Posted by Kendall Harmon

As usual with Facebook, this is not the whole story. For one, it has begun tracking users’ browsing history to identify their interests better. Its latest mobile app can identify songs and films playing nearby, nudging users to write about them. It has acquired the Moves app, which does something similar with physical activity, using sensors to recognise whether users are walking, driving or cycling.

Still, if Facebook is so quick to embrace – and profit from – the language of privacy, should privacy advocates not fear they are the latest group to be “disrupted”? Yes, they should: as Facebook’s modus operandi mutates, their vocabulary ceases to match the magnitude of the task at hand. Fortunately, the “happiness” experiment also shows us where the true dangers lie.

For example, many commentators have attacked Facebook’s experiment for making some users feel sadder; yet the company’s happiness fetish is just as troubling. Facebook’s “obligation to be happy” is the converse of the “right to be forgotten” that Google was accused of trampling over. Both rely on filters. But, while Google has begun to hide negative results because it has been told to do so by European authorities, Facebook hides negative results because it is good for business. Yet since unhappy people make the best dissidents in most dystopian novels, should we not also be concerned with all those happy, all too happy, users?

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingLaw & Legal IssuesPsychologyScience & Technology* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate LifeStock Market* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments Posted August 10, 2014 at 3:04 pm

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(Sun L Times) Daisy Goodwin on Generation Z—The screenagers who don’t need us or our old world

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Like J, with his effortless mastery of big data, these children do not need adult approval before they do things; they are already masters of their world and it is the older generations who must catch up. The millennials grew up with the magical manichean world of Harry Potter and its avuncular headmaster Dumbledore; Generation Z has Katniss Everdeen, the bow-wielding heroine of The Hunger Games, who defies the totalitarian oppressors and starts a revolution.

It will be interesting to see where this generation lands politically — not Ukip, because most have social media friendships that span continents, but will they morph from single-issue activism into democratic party politics or will they, like Everdeen, overturn the existing order? If I were running a political party I would be quite worried about a generation of tech-literate, global-thinking teens raised on a diet of dystopian fiction and the Kardashians. They don’t have much reason to trust adults. And even more alarming, thanks to 3D printers — which they will have mastered long before their parents — they will be able to bypass the arms manufacturers and print their own guns.

Universities and colleges should also be quite apprehensive about Generation Z — there is a growing number of gifted teens who are beginning to wonder whether they will get anything out of university other than a mountain of debt. For the millennials the partying was worth the pain of student loans that they probably won’t pay off before they draw their pension; but for the value- conscious younger generation the idea of education for its own sake is less appealing.

After all, they have online universities and TED talks; any curious teen can probably find a decent liberal arts education online without having to spend a penny on tuition.

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryPsychologyScience & TechnologySociologyTeens / YouthYoung Adults* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments Posted August 10, 2014 at 3:00 pm

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(CS Monitor) Redefining age in aging societies

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Britain may be the first country to appoint an “older workers’ champion.” Last month, pensions expert Ros Altmann was given the task to challenge outdated perceptions of the elderly and rewrite the rules on early retirement.

Her key message to employers and even workers themselves: A person’s talents and experience don’t stop at age 65.

Dr. Altmann’s appointment reflects two trends in wealthier nations. More people are retiring later. And many governments are reversing policies that encourage early retirement.

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchAging / the ElderlyHealth & MedicinePsychology* Economics, PoliticsEconomyLabor/Labor Unions/Labor MarketPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK

0 Comments Posted August 10, 2014 at 2:38 pm

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(Time Magazine) Atheist “Churches” Gain Popularity—Even in the Bible Belt

Posted by Kendall Harmon

On a clear, Sunny July morning, as churchgoers all around Houston take to their pews, dozens of nonbelievers are finding seats inside a meeting room in a corporate conference center on the city’s west side to listen to a sermon about losing faith. But first there’s the weekly “community moment”–remarks on a chosen topic delivered by the group’s executive director, this time focused on how we’re hardwired to read sensationalized news–as well as announcements about an upcoming secular summer camp. In between, a musician sings softly of Albert Einstein.

The men speaking before the assembled gathering–executive director Mike Aus, who regularly leads the group, and Jerry DeWitt, a visitor who heads a similar gathering in Louisiana–are both deeply familiar with the idea of Sunday ritual. Just a few years ago, they were Christian ministers active in the pulpit. Today they’re both nonbelievers leading secular Sunday services.

This is Houston Oasis, a church that’s not a church. It was started in September 2012...

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Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsAtheism

2 Comments Posted August 10, 2014 at 12:31 pm

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(WRAL) Man charged in slaying of Durham, NC,  Anglican priest

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A man has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of Kent Torrey Hinkson, a missing Anglican priest from Durham whose body was found late Saturday in a state park in Orange County.

Authorities said Sunday that Matthew Reed, 36, was being held at the Orange County jail. Reed has a first court appearance Monday. They did not say whether the suspect knew the victim.

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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues

0 Comments Posted August 10, 2014 at 12:15 pm

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(AP) In Greek crisis, Orthodox priest buys inmates their freedom

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Germany made headlines this week by letting Bernie Ecclestone, the Formula One chief, pay $100 million to end his bribery trial. In Greek justice, money talks in a different way: Some inmates jailed for minor offenses are allowed to buy their freedom, at an average rate of five euros per day.

With the rich at a clear advantage, Greek Orthodox priest Gervasios Raptopoulos has devoted his life to paying off the prison terms of penniless inmates.

The soft-spoken 83-year-old has helped more than 15,000 convicts secure their freedom over nearly four decades, according to records kept by his charity. The Greek rules apply only to people convicted of offenses that carry a maximum five-year sentence, such as petty fraud, bodily harm, weapons possession, illegal logging, resisting arrest and minor drugs offenses.

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Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchPrison/Prison Ministry* International News & CommentaryEuropeGreece* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesOrthodox Church* TheologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

0 Comments Posted August 10, 2014 at 12:00 pm

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(The Australian) At last, Anglican Church sorry for decades of abuse

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Australian and British child sex victims have finally been vindicated after years of cover-up by the Anglican Church, with an ­official admission that one of its most senior clergymen was a pedophile who had been ­“allowed’’ to abuse children.

Archbishop of York John Sentamu has written to victims of the late Robert Waddington — a ­former Queensland headmaster who later ran hundreds of Anglican schools in Britain — saying he was “deeply ashamed’’ the church had not listened and acted on complaints of child sex abuse.

The extraordinary admission follows a year-long inquiry into Waddington, the former dean of Manchester who died in 2007, and the mishandling of abuse allegations in 1999, 2003 and 2005 against him from former choirboys and students in England and Australia.

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of Australia

0 Comments Posted August 10, 2014 at 11:30 am

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For original material from Titusonenine (such as articles and commentary by Dr. Harmon) permission to copy and distribute free of charge is granted, provided this notice, the logo, and the web site address are visible on all copies. For permission for use in for-profit publications, please email KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com