GAFCON Chairman’s Advent 2016 Letter

Posted by The_Elves

..I thank God that Archbishop Greg Venables will be re-joining the GAFCON Primates Council now that he has been elected to serve again as the Primate of the Anglican Province of South America in succession to our greatly esteemed colleague Presiding Bishop Tito Zavala. His ministry demonstrates that courage which is so central to the GAFCON story. In his previous term as Primate, despite much opposition, Archbishop Venables bravely supported orthodox Anglicans in North America and stood with the Diocese of Recife in Brazil after it had to withdraw from the Anglican Episcopal Church of Brazil.

We are now seeing similar courage in England as GAFCON UK, led by Canon Andy Lines, endures hostility simply for speaking the truth about the increasing breakdown of church discipline in the Church of England. There are now clergy and bishops who openly take pride in their rejection of biblical preaching and have even launched a website to encourage the violation of the 1998 Lambeth Conference Resolution I.10 on human sexuality.

But more disturbing is the response of the Church of England at its highest level. The Secretary of the Archbishops’ Council has written an open letter to Canon Lines in which he describes the Lambeth resolution as merely ‘an important document in the history of the Anglican Communion’. But this is no ordinary resolution. It has been the standard appealed to again and again in Communion affairs and most recently in the Communiqué from the Sixth Global South Conference in Cairo which describes it as representing the ‘clear teaching of Scripture’.

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalGlobal South Churches & PrimatesGAFCON II 2013

0 Comments Posted December 6, 2016 at 2:43 pm

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[GAFCON UK] An open letter to the Secretary General of the Archbishops’ Council

Posted by The_Elves

the doctrinal primacy of the Bishops’ 1987 motion was subsequently announced by the Archbishop of Canterbury who had signed off the 1991 document; and that was the legal advice. Of course, the 1991 Issues in Human Sexuality, while being uneven as many such statements are, contains most helpful material. For example, Section 2.29 is a brilliant summary of the biblical teaching on sexual relationships:
“There is … in Scripture an evolving convergence on the ideal of lifelong, monogamous, heterosexual union as the setting intended by God for the proper development of men and women as sexual beings. Sexual activity of any kind outside marriage comes to be seen as sinful, and homosexual practice as especially dishonourable.”
It is a fact that every bishop and priest/presbyter in the Church of England is bound “with all faithful diligence, to banish and drive away all erroneous and strange doctrines contrary to God’s Word” (BCP Ordinal). Surely, therefore, Canon Andy Lines and the GAFCON UK Task Force should be thanked, rather than opposed, in all their efforts to help the Church at large be true to its apostolic faith, and its clergy true to their canonical duty.

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

0 Comments Posted December 1, 2016 at 6:01 pm

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CROSSING THE RUBICON: Lambeth Resolution I.10, the Church of England, and the Anglican Communion

Posted by Kendall Harmon

This precise risk of divergence arose after Lambeth 1998 when the Episcopal Church consecrated Gene Robinson in 2003 as Bishop of New Hampshire. The churches did meet in a series of Primates’ meetings and made clear the incompatibility of Robinson’s consecration with Lambeth Resolution I.10; however, the failure of the Archbishop of Canterbury to carry out the disciplinary measures of the Primates led ultimately to the formation of the GAFCON movement, which has made Lambeth I.10 a touchstone of identity.

Mr. Nye’s position about the absence of formal discipline is legally correct but spiritually dangerous in that it appears to be clearing the way for the Church of England to work around Lambeth Resolution I.10. Mr. Nye goes on to cite a number of other actions and documents of the Church of England, which I leave to my English colleagues to handle. It certainly seems as if the end-point of these actions and the so-called “Listening Process” is the approval and blessing of same-sex civil partnerships. If this indeed is where the Church of England is heading, it is, in my opinion, crossing the Rubicon, or if I may adapt a North American metaphor, barreling over Niagara Falls.

I say this for three reasons. First, blessing homosexual practice in any form is contrary to Scripture and the Christian church’s continuous moral tradition, as expressed in Lambeth Resolution I.10. Secondly, the Church of England will be unable to hold the line at same-sex civil partnerships. The Episcopal Church USA and Anglican Church of Canada are bellwethers in this regard; both having begun with same-sex partnerships have moved on to mandate same-sex marriage. The UK Government will push this process along, as is seen in the number of legal same-sex marriages of clergy in the Church of England, as pointed out in the GAFCON briefing paper.

Thirdly, approval of same-sex civil partnerships will render irreparable what the Windsor Report called the tear in the fabric of the Communion.

Read it all from Stephen Noll.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)Global South Churches & PrimatesSexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* TheologyAnthropologyEcclesiologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral TheologyTheology: Scripture

3 Comments Posted November 28, 2016 at 9:59 am

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Recent Key Entries 2016

Posted by The_Elves

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

+ Scottish Anglican Network statement on amendment of Scottish Episcopal Church’s marriage canon (June 12, 2016 at 3:58 pm)
+ Diocese of Akure, Nigeria dissociates from the Diocese of Liverpool over TEC SSB Bishop appointment (June 6, 2016 at 12:47 pm)
+ Archbishop Okoh’s GAFCON Chairman’s June 2016 Pastoral Letter to the Anglican faithful (June 4, 2016 at 8:00 am)

Primates Gathering 2016 / ACC-16 in Lusaka
Key Posts
+ GAFCON Primates Nairobi Communiqué 2016 (April 22, 2016 at 3:54 am)
+ What did the Lusaka ACC-16 Meeting Decide? Some views (April 21, 2016 at 1:04 pm)
+ ACC-16 Resolutions (April 20, 2016 at 2:51 pm)
+ Kenya 6: [Anglican Ink] Interview: Kenya’s archbishop responds to forgery reports (April 12, 2016 at 3:17 pm )
+ CofE Synod: David Porter Plans July Facilitated Conversations on Sexual Immorality (February 16, 2016 at 8:19 pm


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

Responses and Comment
+ [Anglican Ink] Interview: Kenya’s archbishop responds to forgery reports (April 12, 2016 at 3:17 pm)
+ [AI] Primate of Kenya refutes claims from ACC 16 (April 12, 2016 at 12:53 pm)
+ Bishop Idowu-Fearon comments on TEC Standing Committee membership and Kenya (April 12, 2016 at 12:47 pm)
+ Anglican Church of Rwanda declines to send representatives to ACC-16 (April 8, 2016 at 5:12 pm)
+ [Canon Phil Ashey] Update: Forgery and False Pretenses on the eve of the ACC-16 meeting (April 8, 2016 at 2:38 pm)
+ Fraud and Forgery Allegations Raised at ACC 16 (April 7, 2016 at 10:51 am)
+ [ACK] Statement on Anglican Consultative Council 16, Lusaka (April 6, 2016 at 7:48 pm)
+ [Martin Davie] A Review of ‘Intentional Discipleship and Disciple Making..’ for use at ACC-16 (April 6, 2016 at 5:08 pm)
+ Breaking—Bishop Mouneer Anis decides not to attend the 2016 ACC Meeting in Lusaka (April 4, 2016 at 2:04 pm)
+ (CEN) Chris Sugden and Vinay Samuel—What is the Anglican Consultative Council meeting for? (March 31, 2016 at 7:21 am)
+ Archbishop Wabukala responds to the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Letter to Primates (March 23, 2016 at 10:50 am)
+ The Archbishop of Canterbury writes to the Primates about the upcoming ACC Meeting in Lusaka (March 23, 2016 at 9:21 am)
+ The Church of Nigeria will not attend the upcoming ACC Meeting (March 16, 2016 at 5:13 am)
+ The Anglican Church of Kenya will not participate in the upcoming ACC meeting (March 9, 2016 at 9:51 am)
+ Anglican Church of Canada Bishops’ Statement (February 29, 2016 at 7:18 pm)
+ TEC Executive Council: opening remarks from House of Deputies president (February 28, 2016 at 9:05 pm)
+ TEC Executive Council: opening remarks from the Presiding Bishop (February 28, 2016 at 8:15 pm)
+ Church of Uganda: Archbishop’s Lenten Appeal to Pray for Uganda and the Anglican Communion (February 24, 2016 at 3:44 am)
+ GAFCON Chairman’s February 2016 Pastoral Letter (February 18, 2016 at 9:12 am)
+ TEC will go to the ACC meeting in Lusaka and they will vote, ACC chairman says (February 17, 2016 at 8:00 am)
+ [Canon Phil Ashey] Anglicanism in spite of Canterbury? (February 16, 2016 at 8:56 pm)

+ (AI) Communique from the Church of Nigeria Standing Committee’s February 2016 Meeting (February 16, 2016 at 4:00 pm)
+ Archbishop reflects on Primates’ Gathering in Synod address (February 15, 2016 at 11:58 am)
+ Statement of the Archbishop of Nigeria on the Canterbury primates gathering (February 10, 2016 at 1:37 pm)
+ [Jeff Walton] Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop: Anglicans Didn’t “Vote us off island” (February 10, 2016 at 1:09 pm)
+ (RNS) Episcopal church leader Michael Curry calls Anglican censure ‘fair’ (February 9, 2016 at 7:00 am)
+ [ACI - Canada] Response to the Meeting of Primates in Canterbury, January 2016 (January 26, 2016 at 11:26 am)
+ A Statement on ACNA Leader Foley Beach’s Participation at the 2016 Primates Gathering (January 25, 2016 at 10:29 am)
+ Reform Statement on the Primates Gathering (January 24, 2016 at 10:17 pm)
+ Anne Kennedy: Three Thoughts About the Anglican Primates Meeting (January 23, 2016 at 1:40 pm)
+ Church of Ireland begins facilitated conversations on sexual immorality (January 22, 2016 at 7:49 am)
+ Bp Mouneer Anis: A Personal Reflection on the 2016 Primates’ Meeting (January 22, 2016 at 7:38 am)
+ FIFNA’s Statement on the Primate’s Communique (January 22, 2016 at 7:36 am)
+ Archbishop Eliud Wabukala on the Canterbury primates communique (January 19, 2016 at 5:19 pm)

All posts for category Primates Gathering in Canterbury 2016

+ Installation of the new Archbishop of the province of SE Asia (February 22, 2016 at 8:12 am)

Harmon Family
Farewell to Stuart Harmon (1932-2016) whose memorial service was on Saturday (April 9, 2016 at 11:02 am)
Dad’s Obituary—Francis Stuart Harmon Jr. RIP (1932-2016) (April 9, 2016 at 3:40 am)


Lent 2016
+ Open Thread: Lent Resources (February 13, 2016 at 11:38 am)
+ The Fire, Lord, Not the Junk Heap; An Ash Wednesday Reflection from Bishop Mark Lawrence (February 10, 2016 at 7:13 pm )

CofE General Synod
+ CofE Synod: David Porter Plans July Facilitated Conversations on Sexual Immorality (February 16, 2016 at 8:19 pm)
+ Diocese of Manchester: Row about play which portrays Jesus as a transgender woman (February 16, 2016 at 8:57 pm)
+ Archbishop reflects on Primates’ Gathering in Synod address (February 15, 2016 at 11:58 am)
+ CofE General Synod 15th to 17th February 2016 Links (February 15, 2016 at 10:54 am)

+ Statement from the Anglican Leadership Institute Fellows (March 2, 2016 at 10:35 am)

Prior key posts may be found here

Filed under: * AdminFeatured (Sticky)

0 Comments Posted February 24, 2016 at 4:33 pm

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(Spectator) The muddy, bloody origins of a treasured Christmas Eve ritual

Posted by Kendall Harmon

...the reality is quite different. The Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols was celebrated at King’s for the first time in 1918, not a historic service at all but an invented tradition — modern and man-made. And tempting though it is to imagine that this delicate fusion of words and music was created in the exquisite interior of King’s Chapel, the product of contemplation and beauty, its origins were in fact far less exalted: born in a wooden hut in Truro and conceived in the muddy, bloody trenches of the first world war, a child of horror and suffering, not peace and goodwill.

The story of Nine Lessons and Carols begins with an Anglican clergyman. Eric Milner-White was the ‘very shy, but tremendously kind’ young man appointed chaplain of King’s in 1912. Quick to volunteer when war broke out in 1914, he traded the quiet life of Cambridge for the squalor and violence of the French front line. Most of his letters home are gone, destroyed by Milner-White himself. But the few that remain paint a vivid picture of his experience, caught between banality (‘On days when too many tragedies aren’t happening there are many elements of the picnic about it’) and horror (‘Most of life is at night, and the nights are filled with prolonged terror — a horrid, weird, furtive existence’).

Returning to Cambridge in 1918 after ‘a battle of special horror’, Milner-White was appointed dean of King’s and immediately set about reforming a liturgy his experience convinced him was not just inadequate but irrelevant to the needs of a community so damaged and disillusioned. ‘Colour, warmth and delight’ were to be the focus, offering aesthetic as well as spiritual consolation in only the simplest and most direct language. Wanting to create a special service for Christmas, Milner-White took inspiration from Edward White Benson — the first bishop of the new diocese of Truro.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsAdventChristmasLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish Ministry* Culture-WatchHistoryReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* Theology

0 Comments Posted December 10, 2016 at 11:05 am

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A Middle English carol for Advent: ‘Behold and see how that nature / Changeth her law’

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Perhaps the carol's simple language only enhances its beauty, conveying complex theological ideas without obscuring them; it becomes transparent, you might say. The image in the last verse, of Christ entering the world through Mary like the sunbeam passing through the glass, is a very common simile in medieval literature, and one that I'm fond of (compare this carol, and this poem). The attribution to St Anselm is not strictly accurate, in that the image doesn't appear in his works, but it was 'a simile much used in the school of Anselm', according to R. W. Southern.

Read it all from Eleanor Parker.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsAdventLiturgy, Music, Worship* TheologyChristologyTheology: Scripture

0 Comments Posted December 10, 2016 at 9:00 am

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PBS ’ Religion and Ethics Newsweekly—Thomas Merton on his Feast Day

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Brother QUENON: He loved being in the midst of nature, you know. The birds were his friends.

VALENTE: What do you think he did out here?

Brother QUENON: Well, read a lot and wrote. For him, praying was just to abide in the presence—the presence of the Lord.

(touring cottage): There’s the kitchen and then a bedroom. And then, a chapel was added later on.

VALENTE: Merton wrote this in his journal:

Mr. ATKINSON (reading from Merton’s journal): For myself I have only one desire and that is the desire for solitude: to disappear into God; to be submerged in His peace; to be lost in the secret of His space. I have gone to the hermitage not because I hate the world. I go to the hermitage to deepen my consciousness, to be more in communion with the world.

Read or watch it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch History

0 Comments Posted December 10, 2016 at 8:20 am

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A Prayer for the Feast Day of Thomas Merton

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Gracious God, who didst call thy monk Thomas Merton to proclaim thy justice out of silence, and moved him in his contemplative writings to perceive and value Christ at work in the faiths of others: Keep us, like him, steadfast in the knowledge and love of Jesus Christ; who with thee and the Holy Spirit livest and reignest, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


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

0 Comments Posted December 10, 2016 at 8:00 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 December 10, 2016 at 7:30 am

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From the Morning Scripture Readings

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is living in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us. For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us; we were not idle when we were with you, we did not eat any one’s bread without paying, but with toil and labor we worked night and day, that we might not burden any of you. It was not because we have not that right, but to give you in our conduct an example to imitate. For even when we were with you, we gave you this command: If any one will not work, let him not eat. For we hear that some of you are living in idleness, mere busybodies, not doing any work. Now such persons we command and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work in quietness and to earn their own living. Brethren, do not be weary in well-doing.

--2 Thessalonians 3:6-13

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

0 Comments Posted December 10, 2016 at 7:00 am

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A Nice Succinct Creed for Use in Daily Morning Prayer

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Found here:
To whom shall we go?
You have the words of eternal life,
and we have believed and have come to know
that You are the Holy One of God.

Praise to You, Lord Jesus Christ,
King of endless glory.


Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryLiturgy, Music, Worship* Theology

1 Comments Posted December 9, 2016 at 6:35 pm

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(Spectator) Answered prayers, by Justin Welby, Amber Rudd, James Dyson and 12 others

Posted by Kendall Harmon




Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury * Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* Theology

0 Comments Posted December 9, 2016 at 5:06 pm

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(NHPR) New Hampshire Supreme Court Ruling: Church’s Parking Profits Are Taxable

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Churches are generally tax-exempt, but New Hampshire’s highest court ruled the parking spaces are taxable because they were rented to students for “their own private and secular purpose.”

Todd Selig, Town Administrator of Durham, said “this was not in any way an effort on the part of the town to bring in more revenue. It was simply an issue of equity and fairness.”

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsEconomyTaxesPolitics in GeneralCity Government* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments Posted December 9, 2016 at 3:30 pm

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(C of E) New Director of Churches and Cathedrals announced

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Becky Clark has been appointed to be the new Director of Churches and Cathedrals for the Archbishops' Council. Becky has been Senior Cathedrals Officer and Deputy Secretary of the Cathedrals Fabric Commission since 2013. Prior to starting this role she worked at English Heritage, Surrey County Council and the National Trust.

In her new role Becky will be Secretary to both the Cathedrals Fabric Commission for England (CFCE) and Church Buildings Council (CBC) as well as a member of the Archbishops' Council senior management team and the NCI Senior Leadership Group (SLG).

Secretary General, William Nye, said: 'I know that Becky's wealth of experience working in the heritage sector, leadership qualities, personal faith and her commitment to church buildings, equip her admirably to support the Church as it is transformed through Renewal and Reform.'

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryStewardship* Culture-WatchArchitectureReligion & Culture

0 Comments Posted December 9, 2016 at 1:00 pm

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(WSJ) About Those ‘Imperialistic’ Christian Missionaries+Williams College today

Posted by Kendall Harmon

How might Williams go about “contextualizing” the Haystack Monument?

The monument’s bicentennial celebration in 2006 provides clues. The weekend events included twilight vespers, panel discussions on the meaning of mission work today, and Sunday worship services. But the event also featured a critical reflection in which Prof. Denise Buell argued that Christian missionary work is “a justification” for violent forms of cultural imperialism.

All of this reflects what Glenn Shuck, a scholar who taught courses on the history of Christianity at Williams for over a decade, calls the college’s “ironic relationship” with the monument: It is a memorial to something important that happened on campus—but not something of which the college’s faculty is necessarily proud. According to Mr. Shuck, many Williams faculty members regard efforts to translate the Bible into other languages to spread Christianity as inherently racist and imperialist, a view he does not share.

Despite the recent media tempest about the Haystack Monument, the statue seems relatively uncontroversial among students. I spoke with about 15 students walking by the monument this week, and none knew what it represented. Once told, not one took offense.

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Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryMissions* Culture-WatchEducationHistoryReligion & CultureYoung Adults* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments Posted December 9, 2016 at 11:25 am

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([London] Times) Children’s charities sound alarm over self-harm epidemic

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Self-harm among children has reached “epidemic levels” with almost 19,000 under-18s ending up in hospital for their injuries last year, a report says.

Figures obtained using Freedom of Information requests found a growing number are being treated after cutting or burning themselves to try to cope with mental health problems.

In all, 18,778 children aged 11 to 18 were admitted to hospital for self-harm in the year to March 2016, compared with 16,416, two years previously, a 14 per cent rise.

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenHealth & MedicineMarriage & FamilyPsychology* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

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(Church Times) Integration is failing many, Casey review says

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Bishops and clergy have given a cautious welcome to a strongly worded government review of the integration of minority communities into British society.

Dame Louise Casey, an experienced civil servant, published The Casey review: A review into opportunity and integration, on Monday. She concludes that work needs to be done to “repair the sometimes fraying fabric of our nation”.

The unprecedented scale of immigration and demographic change in recent decades has led to segregation and division in some deprived communities in the UK, the review states.

“Problems of social exclusion have persisted for some ethnic-minority groups, and poorer white British communities in some areas are falling further behind,” Dame Louise writes in her introduction.

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsImmigrationPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

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South Carolina Clergyman Pete Cooper (December 6, 1944 - December 7, 2016) RIP

Posted by Kendall Harmon



The Rev. Charles D. Cooper (Pete) died on December 7, 2016. A memorial service will be held at St. John’s Church (252 South Dargan Street) at 11:00 am on Monday, December 12, 2016, with burial immediately following the service, in the St. John’s Memorial Garden. A reception will follow in the St. John’s Fellowship Hall.

Mr. Cooper was born in Lancaster, SC and was raised in Great Falls and Clinton, SC. A 1963 graduate of Clinton High School, Pete was a member of the Class of 1967 at the Citadel. He also received postgraduate degrees from Furman University and the University of the South (Sewanee) and was ordained in the Episcopal Church, 1981.

Pete served in the United States Marine Corps and was most proud of his fellow Marines. He spent many years as priest, teacher, coach, chaplain, assistant headmaster of several schools beginning his career with Christ Church Episcopal School in Greenville, SC and ending with Trinity Byrnes Collegiate School near Florence. He loved all of his school families. He also served in the Church as Assistant and Rector of several Parishes beginning at St. John’s Church in Columbia, retiring as Rector of St. John’s Church in Florence after 20 years, and continuing as Interim at The Church of the Ascension in Hagood, SC until the time of his death. His other service included St. David’s in Cheraw, SC and St. Cyprian’s in Lufkin, TX. Again, he loved all of his parish families.

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Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / FuneralsMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchChildrenMarriage & Family* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, Military* South Carolina* Theology

2 Comments Posted December 9, 2016 at 6:01 am

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(WSJ) Michael Lewis’s ‘Brilliant’ New Book About Cognitive Bias

Posted by Kendall Harmon



Michael Lewis’s brilliant book celebrates Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky, Israeli-American psychologists who are our age’s apostles of doubt about human reason. The timing is fortunate, given that overconfident experts may have caused and then failed to predict such momentous events as Brexit and the election of Donald Trump.

Mr. Kahneman and Tversky (who died in 1996) first started working together in 1969. They were well-matched. The Holocaust survivor Mr. Kahneman chronically doubted even himself. The brash Tversky targeted his doubts toward others, especially (as one acquaintance noted) “people who don’t know the difference between knowing and not knowing.” Testing people with quizzes in their laboratory, they found a host of “cognitive biases” afflicting rational thinking.

One bias they found is that we underestimate uncertainty. In hindsight bias, for example, test subjects misremembered their own predictions as being correct. As Tversky explained, “we find ourselves unable to predict what will happen; yet, after the fact we explain what did happen with a great deal of confidence. . . . It leads us to believe that there is a less uncertain world than there actually is.”

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchBooksHistoryPsychologyScience & TechnologySports* Economics, PoliticsEconomy* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.Middle EastIsrael* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

1 Comments Posted December 9, 2016 at 5:41 am

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Prayers for Others to Begin the Day

Posted by Kendall Harmon




Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer

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From the Morning Scripture Readings

Posted by Kendall Harmon

But I trust in thee, O LORD, I say, "Thou art my God." My times are in thy hand; deliver me from the hand of my enemies and persecutors! Let thy face shine on thy servant; save me in thy steadfast love!

--Psalm 31:15-16

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Methodist Theologian Thomas Oden 1931-2016, RIP, Champion of Christian Orthodoxy

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Theologian Thomas C. Oden, one of Methodism’s and American Christianity’s most esteemed theologians, passed away at his home in Oklahoma last night.

An emeritus board member who chaired the board of the Institute on Religion & Democracy in Washington, D.C. for six years, Oden was also professor emeritus at Drew University in Madison, New Jersey.

Oden remained a prolific writer in his final years. A scholar of the Early Church Fathers, he edited the nearly two dozen volume Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture. His most recent books are on early African Christianity and on the social ethics of John Wesley, including Systematic Theology and most recently Turning Around the Mainline and How Africa Shaped the Christian Mind.

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Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchBooksReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesMethodist* TheologySeminary / Theological Education

1 Comments Posted December 8, 2016 at 4:25 pm

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John Glenn, American Hero of the Space Age, Dies at 95

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In just five hours on Feb. 20, 1962, Mr. Glenn joined a select roster of Americans whose feats have seized the country’s imagination and come to embody a moment in its history, figures like Lewis and Clark, the Wright brothers and Charles Lindbergh.

To the America of the 1960s, Mr. Glenn was a clean-cut, good-natured, well-grounded Midwesterner, raised in Presbyterian rectitude, nurtured in patriotism and tested in war, who stepped forward to risk the unknown and succeeded spectacularly, lifting his country’s morale and restoring its self-confidence.

It was an anxious nation that watched and listened that February morning, as Mr. Glenn, 40 years old, a Marine Corps test pilot and one of the seven original American astronauts, climbed into Friendship 7, the tiny Mercury capsule atop an Atlas rocket rising from the concrete flats of Cape Canaveral in Florida.

Read it all from the NYT.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchHistoryScience & Technology* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

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(Wash Post) ‘Evil, evil, evil as can be’: Emotional testimony as Dylann Roof trial begins

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The dead appeared in court today, staring out from video monitors at their families and friends, their congregation’s pastor, a federal judge, a jury and Dylann Storm Roof, the man charged with firing more than 60 bullets into the nine of them in an effort to start a race war in America.

U.S. attorney Jay Richardson, prosecuting Roof on 33 counts of federal hate crimes, used his opening statement to introduce jurors to the men and women he said Roof killed during a church basement Bible study on June 17, 2015.

As their pictures appeared, Richardson sketched them in words: the Rev. Clementa Pinckney: pastor, husband, father; the Rev. Daniel Simmons: spiritual guide; the Rev. Sharonda Singleton: ray of sunshine, loving mother, track coach; the Rev. DePayne Middleton-Doctor: singer, whose four young daughters always carried milkshakes to church; Cynthia Hurd: wife, sister, librarian; Ethel Lance: grandmother, church usher; Susie Jackson: called Aunt Susie by everyone, proud matriarch of the sprawling Jackson family; Tywanza Sanders, 26, a man just beginning to see the promise of an extraordinarily bright future; and Myra Thompson, leading her first Bible study.

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

0 Comments Posted December 8, 2016 at 11:14 am

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(PA) Top lawyer calls on Scottish Government to tackle homophobic bullying in schools

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A leading human rights lawyer is backing a campaign for inclusive education in a bid to stamp out discrimination in Scotland's schools. Aamer Anwar is urging the Scottish Government to take steps to tackle homophobic bullying in schools, in order to "save the lives" of young people.

It comes as part of the Time for Inclusive Education (TIE) campaign for a government commitment for mandatory teaching of LGBTI issues to tackle homophobia, biphobia and transphobia in Scottish schools.

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenEducationHealth & MedicinePsychologyReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Scotland* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

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([London] Times) We need proper rules for those who wish to be frozen after death

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Judges will seek, if possible, to respect the wishes of people like JS who wish to be cryonically preserved after their death. Even though Hell is likely to freeze over before any cryonic unfreezing successfully occurs. And even though most of us would echo the words of the song in the Disney film Frozen: “Let it go, let it go.” The proper role of the law is to regulate the practice to protect vulnerable people.

Those who wish to offer a cryonic service should require a licence. A regulator needs to be satisfied that they are a fit and proper person to operate in this field, in particular that they have adequately trained staff and effective procedures at least to ensure preservation — though no degree of regulation can guarantee future resuscitation. The Human Tissue Authority would be an appropriate regulator. It is the statutory body which controls the use of organs and body parts, but it presently has no responsibility for cryonic preservation.

In the graveyard, Hamlet picks up what he contemplates may be “the skull of a lawyer”. Where, he asks, are now “his cases, his tenures, and his tricks?” It is exceptionally unlikely that in some Supreme Courtroom in hundreds of years time, cryonically preserved and resuscitated lawyers from the early 21st century could again argue and decide cases, even if they would wish to do so. But if any lawyer, or judge, is, like JS, contemplating a freezing process on their death, they are entitled to expect the law to provide regulation. The government should start consulting.

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(Tel.) When JRR Tolkien bet CS Lewis: the wager that gave birth to The Lord of the Rings

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Once upon a time two friends made a wager. "Tollers," one said to the other, "there is too little of what we really like in stories. I am afraid we shall have to try and write some ourselves." At this time CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien were "like two young bear cubs... just happily quipping with one another", in the words of an Oxford contemporary.

Their historic wager to write about space- and time-travel was a vital step on the road to their most famous fantasy works – yet it has never been pinpointed more precisely than 1936–37. Now, however, we can reveal that the germ of the idea emerged during a few days precisely eighty years ago.

The year 1936 had seen the two Oxford English dons hit their academic zenith with works that still shape medieval literary studies today: Lewis’s The Allegory of Love and Tolkien’s Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics. Yet they were also wannabe authors – Lewis, 38, was an unsuccessful poet, and Tolkien, almost 45, an unpublished mythmaker.

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

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(Economist Erasmus Blog) A new Orthodox church next to the Eiffel Tower boosts Russian soft power

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The skyline of Paris has just acquired yet another arresting feature. Only a stone’s throw from the Eiffel Tower, a spanking new Russian Orthodox cathedral, complete with five onion domes and a cultural centre, was inaugurated on December 4th by Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, amid sonorous rhetoric about the long and chequered history of the Russian diaspora in France.

To secular observers, this was the latest success for Russian soft power, showing that even in times when intergovernmental relations are frosty, ecclesiastical relations can still forge ahead. In October, Patriarch Kirill reconsecrated the Russian cathedral in London and had a brief meeting with the supreme governor of the Church of England, Queen Elizabeth; this was a more cordial chat than any conversation the political leaders of Britain and Russia have had recently.

The new temple in Paris was, in a sense, both a product and a hostage of secular politics. Nicolas Sarkozy, France’s then-president, agreed to its construction, with Russian funds, back in 2007 as a good-will gesture to Russia. Plans to turn the cathedral’s opening into a moment of diplomatic togetherness, attended by the French and Russian presidents, foundered after the countries’ row over Syria sharpened. But nothing prevented Patriarch Kirill from inaugurating the new house of prayer, with French cultural figures like the singer Mireille Matthieu in attendance.

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchArchitectureReligion & CultureUrban/City Life and Issues* International News & CommentaryEuropeFranceRussia* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesOrthodox Church

0 Comments Posted December 8, 2016 at 6:29 am

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(Psephizo) Ian Paul—Jeremy Pemberton loses hia employment appeal

Posted by Kendall Harmon

One question which hovered over the initial ET judgment was in relation to the doctrine of the Church in relation to marriage. I was startled when, under cross-examination, Richard Inwood had agreed that the doctrine of the Church ‘was a busted flush’. But both the ET and the EAT have ruled that, in the context of employment law, the Church’s doctrine of marriage is both clear and enforceable, and that clergy can reasonably be expected to conform to it.

As for the doctrines of the Church, this referred to the teachings and beliefs of the religion and the ET had been entitled to find these were as stated by Canon B30 (“marriage is … a union … of one man with one woman …”), evidenced, in particular, by the House of Bishops’ Pastoral Guidance on Same Sex Marriage. The Respondent had applied a requirement that the Claimant not be in a same sex marriage so as to comply with the doctrines of the Church; it was not fatal to the ET’s conclusion in that regard that a different Bishop might not have done the same.

That final comment seems to me to be highly significant. Even if the Church’s doctrine has been applied inconsistently in the past, and elsewhere in the Church, then that does not undermine the action of a bishop who acts on it. In other words, if the collegial support for this doctrine in the House of Bishops collapses, and some bishops decide to declare UDI [Unilateral Declaration of Independence] and ignore the doctrine, then other bishops are still secure in law in enacting discipline based on this doctrine.

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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: CommentaryAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* Economics, PoliticsEconomyLabor/Labor Unions/Labor Market* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

0 Comments Posted December 8, 2016 at 6:15 am

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Richard Baxter on his Feast Day: the Nature of the Saints Everlasting Rest in Heaven

Posted by Kendall Harmon

What this rest presupposes.... 5. It contains, (1.) A ceasing from means of grace ; 6. (2.) A perfect freedom from all evils ; 7. (3.) The highest degree of the saints' personal perfection, both in body and soul ; 8. (4.) The nearest enjoyment of God the Chief Good; 9 — 14. (5.) A sweet and constant action of all the powers of soul and body in this enjoyment of God ; as, for instance, bodily senses, knowledge, memory, love, joy, together with a mutual love and joy.

--The Saints Everlasting Rest (1652)

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch History* TheologyEschatology

0 Comments Posted December 8, 2016 at 6:00 am

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A Prayer for the Feast Day of Richard Baxter

Posted by Kendall Harmon

We offer thanks, most gracious God, for the devoted witness of Richard Baxter, who out of love for thee followed his conscience at cost to himself, and at all times rejoiced to sing thy praises in word and deed; and we pray that our lives, like his, may be well-tuned to sing the songs of love, and all our days be filled with praise of Jesus Christ our Lord; who with thee and the Holy Spirit livest and reignest, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

(National Portrait Gallery)

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

0 Comments Posted December 8, 2016 at 5:40 am

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A Prayer to Begin the Day from Richard Baxter

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Keep us, O Lord, while we tarry on this earth, in a serious seeking after thee, and in an affectionate walking with thee, every day of our lives; that when thou comest, we may be found not hiding our talent, nor serving the flesh, nor yet asleep with our lamp unfurnished, but waiting and longing for our Lord, our glorious God for ever and ever.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer

0 Comments Posted December 8, 2016 at 5:20 am

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From the Morning Scripture Readings

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Now the feast of Unleavened Bread drew near, which is called the Passover. And the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how to put him to death; for they feared the people.

Then Satan entered into Judas called Iscariot, who was of the number of the twelve; he went away and conferred with the chief priests and officers how he might betray him to them. And they were glad, and engaged to give him money. So he agreed, and sought an opportunity to betray him to them in the absence of the multitude.

Then came the day of Unleavened Bread, on which the passover lamb had to be sacrificed. So Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and prepare the passover for us, that we may eat it.” They said to him, “Where will you have us prepare it?” He said to them, “Behold, when you have entered the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you; follow him into the house which he enters, and tell the householder, ‘The Teacher says to you, Where is the guest room, where I am to eat the passover with my disciples?’ And he will show you a large upper room furnished; there make ready.” And they went, and found it as he had told them; and they prepared the passover.

--Luke 22:1-13

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

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(BBC) Canon Jeremy Pemberton loses tribunal appeal

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Mr Pemberton, a hospital chaplain in Lincolnshire, was barred in 2014 by the then acting Bishop of Southwell from taking up a job for the NHS in Nottinghamshire, just weeks after marrying.
The Church had warned him marriage other than between heterosexual couples was against its teaching.
In a statement today, Mr Pemberton said his appeal had been dismissed on every ground but judge Jennifer Eady QC had granted leave to refer the case to the Court of Appeal.
Mr Pemberton said: "The result is, obviously, not the one my husband and I had hoped for...."

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

0 Comments Posted December 7, 2016 at 7:00 pm

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(C of E) Role of communications recognised in new Lay Canon appointment

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Rachel Harden, Deputy Director of Communications for the Church of England, is to have her contribution to the church recognised as she is made a Lay Canon of Liverpool Cathedral during the Evensong Service on Friday (December 9).

Rachel has longstanding connections to the Diocese of Liverpool and the city. Rachel worked on a range of Liverpool media outlets having trained as a journalist on the South London News Group. She was a reporter for the Liverpool Post and Echo and also contributed to BBC Radio Merseyside and edited the diocesan magazine Livewire.

During that time her husband John Kiddle, now Archdeacon of Wandsworth, served as a curate in Ormskirk and a vicar in Huyton.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Laity* Culture-WatchMediaReligion & Culture* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

0 Comments Posted December 7, 2016 at 4:01 pm

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I can do no more. Such things have been revealed to me that all that I have written seems as..straw

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Brief and fragmentary as are the phrases that record it, we can gather that he came back with a sort of horror of that outer world, in which there blew such wild winds of doctrine, and a longing for the inner world which any Catholic can share, and in which the saint is not cut off from the simple men. He resumed the strict routine of religion, and for some time said nothing to anybody.

And then something happened (it is said while he was celebrating Mass), the nature of which will never be known among mortal men.

His friend Reginald asked him to return also to his equally regular habits of reading and writing, and following the controversies of the hour. He said with a singular emphasis, "I can write no more." There seems to have been a silence; after which Reginald again ventured to approach the subject; and Thomas answered him with even greater vigor, "I can write no more. I have seen things which make all my writings like straw."

Read all of what happened on this day in 1273 to Saint Thomas Aquinas.

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

0 Comments Posted December 7, 2016 at 2:24 pm

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Eleanor Roosevelt’s Remarks on Pearl Harbor Evening 75 years ago

Posted by Kendall Harmon




Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, I am speaking to you tonight at a very serious moment in our history. The Cabinet is convening and the leaders in Congress are meeting with the President. The State Department and Army and Navy officials have been with the President all afternoon. In fact, the Japanese ambassador was talking to the president at the very time that Japan's airships were bombing our citizens in Hawaii and the Phillippines and sinking one of our transports loaded with lumber on its way to Hawaii.

By tomorrow morning the members of Congress will have a full report and be ready for action.

In the meantime, we the people are already prepared for action. For months now the knowledge that something of this kind might happen has been hanging over our heads and yet it seemed impossible to believe, impossible to drop the everyday things of life and feel that there was only one thing which was important - preparation to meet an enemy no matter where he struck. That is all over now and there is no more uncertainty.

We know what we have to face and we know that we are ready to face it.

Read it all.

Update: Through the onders of the internet you hear it live there.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenHistoryMarriage & FamilyWomen* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, Military* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.AsiaJapan* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments Posted December 7, 2016 at 1:10 pm

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Time Picks Donald Trump as its Person of the Year 2016

Posted by Kendall Harmon




Even for Donald Trump, the distance is still fun to think about, up here in his penthouse 600 ft. in the sky, where it’s hard to make out the regular people below. The ice skaters swarming Central Park’s Wollman Rink look like old-television static, and the Fifth Avenue holiday shoppers could be mites in a gutter. To even see this view, elevator operators, who spend their days standing in place, must push a button marked 66–68, announcing all three floors of Trump’s princely pad. Inside, staff members wear cloth slipcovers on their shoes, so as not to scuff the shiny marble or stain the plush cream carpets.

This is, in short, not a natural place to refine the common touch. It’s gilded and gaudy, a dreamscape of faded tapestry, antique clocks and fresco-style ceiling murals of gym-rat Greek gods. The throw pillows carry the Trump shield, and the paper napkins are monogrammed with the family name. His closest neighbors, at least at this altitude, are an international set of billionaire moguls who have decided to stash their money at One57 and 432 Park, the two newest skyscrapers to remake midtown Manhattan. There is no tight-knit community in the sky, no paperboy or postman, no bowling over brews after work.

And yet here Trump resides, under dripping crystal, with diamond cuff links, as the President-elect of the United States of America. The Secret Service agents milling about prove that it really happened, this election result few saw coming. Hulking and serious, they gingerly try to stay on the marble, avoiding the carpets with their uncovered shoes. On his wife Melania’s desk, next to books of Gianni Versace’s fashions and Elizabeth Taylor’s jewelry, a new volume sits front and center: The White House: Its Historic Furnishings and First Families.

Read it all.

I will take comments on this submitted by email only to KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com.

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Posted December 7, 2016 at 11:56 am

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(NYT) A Bigger Economic Pie, but a Smaller Slice for Half of the U.S.

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Even with all the setbacks from recessions, burst bubbles and vanishing industries, the United States has still pumped out breathtaking riches over the last three and half decades.

The real economy more than doubled in size; the government now uses a substantial share of that bounty to hand over as much as $5 trillion to help working families, older people, disabled and unemployed people pay for a home, visit a doctor and put their children through school.

Yet for half of all Americans, their share of the total economic pie has shrunk significantly, new research has found.

This group — the approximately 117 million adults stuck on the lower half of the income ladder — “has been completely shut off from economic growth since the 1970s,” the team of economists found.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenHealth & MedicineHistoryMarriage & FamilyPsychology* Economics, PoliticsEconomyHousing/Real Estate MarketLabor/Labor Unions/Labor MarketPersonal FinanceThe Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments Posted December 7, 2016 at 11:12 am

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(NBC) Oldest Known Pearl Harbor Survivor, 104, Returns to Honor the Fallen

Posted by Kendall Harmon




The word "survivor" seems especially fitting when describing Ray Chavez — a 104-year-old gym rat who defies his age. Chavez first became a survivor on Dec. 7, 1941, at Pearl Harbor.

"I can't forget it. I never will," he says of the attack.

Chavez was stationed at the U.S. naval base when the bombing started.

"I got very emotional that day. There were so many, many innocent people that were lost," he said.

Read it all (and the video is highly recommended).

Filed under: * Culture-WatchAging / the ElderlyHistory* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, Military* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.AsiaJapan

0 Comments Posted December 7, 2016 at 10:00 am

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Unforgettable Photos From The Pearl Harbor Attack, 75 Years Ago Today

Posted by Kendall Harmon




It is worth the time to look at them all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistory* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, Military* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.AsiaJapan

0 Comments Posted December 7, 2016 at 8:00 am

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Remembering Pearl Harbor 75 years later today

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Watch it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistory* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, Military* General InterestPhotos/Photography* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.AsiaJapan

2 Comments Posted December 7, 2016 at 6:15 am

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‘This world wonders’: St Ambrose and a medieval Advent carol inspired by ‘Veni Redemptor Gentium’

Posted by Kendall Harmon




This is a rather clever little carol. Like 'As I lay upon a night', which I posted the other day, it keeps to one rhyme throughout for the English lines, and it's properly macaronic; as I read it, the Latin refrain completes the meaning of each verse, so that for instance verse 1 presents a puzzle - 'how could a maiden conceive a king?' - and then asks for the solution: 'To show all us how this could be, come, Redeemer of the nations'. Such a strategy implies a certain comfort with the Latin and with this particular hymn, the ability to use the hymn as a starting point for a more general meditation. It begins by picking up on a line from the first verse of the hymn, miretur omne saeculum, which becomes (with a grammatical shift) this carol's first line: 'this world wonders above all things...' This carol is full of 'wonder', in both senses of the word: the wonder at which the world wonders is specifically the Virgin Birth, 'how a maid conceived a king', and where the hymn goes on to consider various other aspects and images of the Incarnation, this carol dwells, still wondering, on that one idea.

Read it all from Eleanor Parker.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsAdventLiturgy, Music, Worship* TheologyChristology

0 Comments Posted December 7, 2016 at 6:00 am

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A Prayer for the Feast Day of Saint Ambrose

Posted by Kendall Harmon

O God, who didst give to thy servant Ambrose grace eloquently to declare thy righteousness in the great congregation, and fearlessly to bear reproach for the honor of thy Name: Mercifully grant to all bishops and pastors such excellency in preaching, and fidelity in ministering thy Word, that thy people may be partakers with them of the glory that shall be revealed; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.


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

0 Comments Posted December 7, 2016 at 5:40 am

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A Prayer to Begin the Day from the Geneva Bible

Posted by Kendall Harmon

O Gracious God and most merciful Father, who has vouchsafed us the rich and precious jewel of thy holy Word: Assist us with thy Spirit that it may be written in our hearts to our everlasting comfort, to reform us, to renew us according to thine own image, to build us up into the perfect building of thy Christ, and to increase us in all heavenly virtues. Grant this, O heavenly Father, for the same Jesus Christ’s sake.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeSpirituality/Prayer

0 Comments Posted December 7, 2016 at 5:22 am

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From the Morning Scripture Readings

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Do not forsake me, O LORD! O my God, be not far from me! Make haste to help me, O Lord, my salvation!

--Psalm 38:21-22

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

0 Comments Posted December 7, 2016 at 5:00 am

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(WSJ) The American Economy’s Hidden Problem: We’re Out of Big Ideas

Posted by Kendall Harmon

By all appearances, we’re in a golden age of innovation. Every month sees new advances in artificial intelligence, gene therapy, robotics and software apps. Research and development as a share of gross domestic product is near an all-time high. There are more scientists and engineers in the U.S. than ever before.

None of this has translated into meaningful advances in Americans’ standard of living.

Economies grow by equipping an expanding workforce with more capital such as equipment, software and buildings, then combining capital and labor more creatively. This last element, called “total factor productivity,” captures the contribution of innovation. Its growth peaked in the 1950s at 3.4% a year as prior breakthroughs such as electricity, aviation and antibiotics reached their maximum impact. It has steadily slowed since and averaged a pathetic 0.5% for the current decade.

Outside of personal technology, improvements in everyday life have been incremental, not revolutionary.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationHealth & MedicineScience & Technology* Economics, PoliticsEconomyCorporations/Corporate Life* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments Posted December 6, 2016 at 4:05 pm

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[Fr Dale Matson] Repentance And The Man In The Mirror

Posted by The_Elves

..To be a holy people we must realize that Christ who is our righteousness imparts our holiness. We fall short of being his holy priesthood every day and must confess that we cannot of ourselves even keep the basic two commandments of our Lord. We must confess that we have broken the two great commandments that sum all of the commandments. In Rite One we say, “Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against thee by thought word and deed, by what we have done, and what we have left undone. We have not loved thee with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We are truly sorry and we humbly repent.” (BCP p. 331)

This is both repentance and confession. Let us not look at the sin of our neighbor and look self-righteously to our self. May we repent of our sins, simply seek personal holiness and run the good race that our Lord and Savior has called us to run. May we not be a stumbling block in the lives of those who do not know Christ and may we never discredit the gospel message through scandalous lives ourselves. Take a look at yourself and then make a change Amen

Read it all

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryPreaching / Homiletics

0 Comments Posted December 6, 2016 at 1:50 pm

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[AU 260] A Lambeth Resolution 1:10 Eye Witness Report

Posted by The_Elves


[With thanks to Kevin Kallsen and George Conger at Anglican TV]

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

0 Comments Posted December 6, 2016 at 11:02 am

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[Church of Nigeria] Condolence visit to St Francis College of Theology, Wusasa

Posted by The_Elves

A ghastly motor accident that claimed three lives with others still lying critically ill in the hospital has thrown the entire St Francis College of Theology Community in Wusasa Kaduna State into mourning. As a result of this development, the Primate of all Nigeria Anglican Communion the Most Rev Nicholas D Okoh quickly arranged and dispatched a Primatial condolence visit to St Francis College of Theology Wusasa.
.....
On hand to receive them was the Dean of the college the Rt Rev Praises Omole-Ekun, the members of the faculty and the entire college community. Bishop Praises appreciated Primate Okoh for sending the delegation and highlight their immediate need most importantly looking after the widows and the children the deceased has left behind, the loss of the college bus to the accident among other challenges of the college.

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of Nigeria

0 Comments Posted December 6, 2016 at 10:51 am

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[Economist] No, grazie: Italian voters have rejected Matteo Renzi’s constitutional reforms

Posted by The_Elves

It was, said a hoarse, red-eyed Matteo Renzi, an “extraordinarily clear” result. His plan to reform Italy’s constitution was not rejected on December 4th by a margin of five or even ten percentage points, as the polls had suggested: the gap between No and Yes was a mortifying 20 points in Italy proper.

Official figures showed the rejectionist front winning by 60% to 40% in metropolitan Italy (and by 59% to 41% counting ballots cast by Italians abroad). And that was with a high turnout, which Mr Renzi’s advisers had believed would favour his cause. The humiliation came at the end of a 66-day campaign into which Mr Renzi threw himself with frenetic energy. He had little choice but to resign in the face of such an unexpectedly decisive outcome.

Mr Renzi had argued that that the reform was essential to make Italy more governable, and so more amenable to structural reforms. Anti-EU populists spearheaded the No campaign, though they were joined by establishment figures such as Mario Monti, a former prime minister, worried about the accretion of executive power sought by Mr Renzi through the combination of the constitutional reform (which would have emasculated the powerful Senate) with a lop-sided electoral law (which engineers a guaranteed majority for the largest party, even one with a small plurality, in the Chamber of Deputies, the lower house).

Read it all

Filed under: * International News & CommentaryEuropeItaly

0 Comments Posted December 6, 2016 at 10:44 am

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[Abp Mouneer Anis] Appointment of a New Area Bishop at North Africa

Posted by The_Elves


(Diocese of Egypt)

Dear Friends

I am happy to let you know that I have appointed The Very Reverend Dr Samy Fawzy Shehata, the Dean of St Mark Pro-Cathedral Alexandria, as the new Area Bishop of North Africa. We have received the approval of the majority of the Provincial Synod of Jerusalem and The Middle East for this appointment. Dean Samy will be the second Area Bishop of North Africa, after Bishop Bill Musk.

Read it all

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

0 Comments Posted December 6, 2016 at 10:41 am

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Nepal: A Historic and Memorable Episcopal Visit by Bp Rennis Ponniah and Abp Foley Beach

Posted by The_Elves

by Revd Lewis Lew, Dean of Nepal
..It was heartwarming to see how the two Bishops, even though separated by hundreds of miles, were of one mind and were so ready to serve one another.

The Confirmation Service was held in Maranatha Church, which is situated in a slump area in Pokhara City (Western Nepal). A total of 317 confirmands packed the worship hall. This was a historic moment for the Anglican Church in Nepal as these confirmands were its first batch of Anglican members from the Western part of Nepal to be confirmed. As we obey the Lord's call for us to focus our work in the western part of the country, this group of newly confirmed members were reminded that they will be the ones sent to reach the lost, just as the Lord has commissioned us to go and make disciples of all nations (Matt 28:19-20).

Read it all

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

1 Comments Posted December 6, 2016 at 10:30 am

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Tues. Morning Mental Health Break—WONDERFUL Christmas Ad May starring Grandpa (+his dog)

Posted by Kendall Harmon



(Hat tip: Greg Kandra)

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsChristmas* Culture-WatchAging / the ElderlyChildrenMarriage & FamilyMedia* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments Posted December 6, 2016 at 8:45 am

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(Commonweal) Understanding Henri Nouwen: Priest, Writer, Mentor, Misfit

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Nouwen's legacy as a writer includes scores of books and translations, and thousands of letters. He could be sentimental, cloying, and crushingly needy, as in his “letter” to journalist Fred Bratman, Life of the Beloved, where his penchant for labored expressions of affection is in abundant evidence (“Deep friendship is a calling forth of each other’s chosenness...our lives are unique stones in the mosaic of human existence”). But he could also be measured, penetratingly observant, and on occasion luminous, as in the epilogue to The Road to Daybreak: A Spiritual Journey, reflecting on the seeming capriciousness of God’s grace: “It is dark agony. It is following Jesus to a completely unknown place. It is being emptied out on the cross and having to wait for new life in naked faith.”

One struggles to place Nouwen. Theologians have difficulty situating him within one of the organic spiritual traditions. Catholic intellectuals see him as a cult figure, the darling of suburban matrons. Psychologists have reservations about his methodology and academic pedigree. And pedagogues find his inspirational teaching style problematic. But his readers—and there are legions of them, including Hillary Clinton, who cites him as a chief spiritual influence—love him unconditionally. Some of his books, The Return of the Prodigal Son principal among them, will have lasting power; and for those who met him, listened to him preach, or became his disciples, the effect of his life and ministry has proved ineradicable.

In this twentieth anniversary of his death, it is instructive to see him in a new light, as postconciliar prophet of a reformed presbyteral model. Nouwen was a universal pastor, uninterested in the squabbles of ambitious clerical careerists, detached from the more toxic of ecclesiastical controversies, and committed to prayer as the only antidote to priestly irrelevance. His frankness around issues of sexuality and his willingness to disclose emotional fragility make him important at a time when many bishops promote a discredited neo-Tridentine model of formation. Nouwen was a loyal, integrated, and doctrinally conservative priest. With his openness and undisguised vulnerability, the model of formation he exemplifies will set a mature standard for contemporary ministry.

Read it all.

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

0 Comments Posted December 6, 2016 at 8:00 am

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Oliver O’Donovan—Communicating the Good: The Politics and Ethics of ‘The Common Good’

Posted by Kendall Harmon

....there are two misunderstandings we have to be especially on guard against in deploying the elusive and self-transcending language of the common good. One is what we may perhaps be permitted to call "the Prussian doctrine of the state": the idea of a political organisation comprehensive of all actual and possible communications, which is in itself therefore the concrete universal, the achievement and interpretation of the purposes of God. The universal good may be represented in a form we can conceive synthetically, for practical purposes, by the state or some other established order. But this conceivable form does not anticipate all possible moral demands. Concrete moral demand can always outrun synthetic moral vision; it may call us to do what we do not wholly see. That is the truth of the experience of obligation, the experience of something as required of us which is not wholly, or not yet, self-explanatory and perspicuous.

One of the most memorable features of Gaston Fessard's contribution is his recognition of the "problem" of imagining the universal common good, and his insistence that it cannot be grasped simply as an extension of scale, whether in existing community, on the one hand, or in the activity of communication, on the other.

The Prussian doctrine of the state can migrate into larger-scale bureaucratic organisations of a multinational or international character. One false universal the Scriptures can acquaint us with is that of empire. In the common good, as Gaudium et Spes sought to remind us, there is a thrust towards the universal, but the true universal is not quantitative, realised by extension of organisational scale, scope or rigour, but qualitative, too, requiring a depth of personal "communion," as Fessard names it.

The other misunderstanding we must beware of concerns the relation of the universal common good to history. The truth of history is that time is not, as Richard Wagner conceived it in Parsifal, "turned to space." Language about action in history cannot be assimilated to language about making things. The universal is not an artefact, to be constructed, replicated, copied and so on, with time as a kind of material element out of which it is wrought.

The question of the universal is inevitably a question about eschatology, the "fulfilment of the times." As this is not at the disposal of human imagination, so it is not at the disposal of human construction. What is realised historically can only be watched and hoped for, refracted indirectly through the prism of anticipation.

Read it all from ABC Australia.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistory* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments Posted December 6, 2016 at 7:00 am

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Michael Schuermann—Luther’s Morning Prayer – A Model for the Christian’s Daily Life

Posted by Kendall Harmon

St. Paul’s exhortation to pray “without ceasing” highlights the importance of regular prayer in the life of the Christian. Luther’s years of monastic life modeled a regulated daily life of prayer. The various monastic daily prayer offices seem to have influenced Luther’s teaching of prayer in the Small Catechism. Not only is a prayer for morning provided, but Luther places that prayer within a simple liturgy: first, the name of the Triune God is spoken and the sign of the holy cross is made, then the Creed and Lord’s Prayer (two of the Chief Parts!) are spoken. Finally, Luther suggests his little prayer may be said “if you choose.” Humbly, Luther considers his own contribution optional and the handed-down texts of the Faith essential.

Luther’s modeling of prayer seems deliberately designed to avoid the type of praying that Jesus warns against: “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words.” (Matthew 6:7) With many words comes much work; Luther aims at a simple liturgy of prayer that can be adopted in the daily lives of Christians both in his time and in our present day.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistorySpirituality/Prayer* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesLutheran* TheologyTheology: Scripture

0 Comments Posted December 6, 2016 at 6:30 am

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(Diocese of South Carolina) Dave Wright—Presence before presents: Can we have a Christmas revival?

Posted by Kendall Harmon

It was exactly 20 years ago that I experienced something as a believer and as a young father that changed the way I view and experience Christmas. It was our first Christmas in England and in the Anglican Church. Growing up in a different denomination and in America, I’d never experienced going to church on Christmas morning. We always attended Christmas Eve services. Once I became a believer, they were particularly powerful experiences. The only time after I was married that we attended church on Christmas day was the rarity of it falling on a Sunday. And to be honest, we only did so because I worked for the church and it was expected of me.

What we experienced in 1996 was nothing less than amazing. As a family we went to church together on Christmas morning, and it forever changed the way we want to experience Christmas. We got up that morning, had breakfast and allowed our three small children the luxury of opening their stockings before getting dressed for church. We headed to church that morning, opened the doors and were amazed at what we saw. The entire church family packed the place! By that I mean all the active members of the church were there and some had brought extended family or friends. There was hardly a spare seat in the place. The service was lively and full of a spirit of true celebration. We sang “Joy To The World” as if we had never sung it before. The service was all-ages-oriented, and the sermon proclaimed the good news in a way that every generation could appreciate. There was no question as to why Jesus came to the earth by the time we left the church. And leaving was no hasty matter either. People lingered after the service exchanging cards, gifts, and hugs. The joyful spirit in the air was nothing less than stunning. We probably stayed longer than we did most Sundays. I then took my wife and three small children back to our house to continue the celebration. We opened gifts and shared phone calls with grandparents and ate entirely too much food.

The focus of our day was simply Jesus. It was possibly the first truly Christ-centered Christmas we as a Christian family had experienced. Having taken the time to worship our Lord first set the stage for the entire day.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsAdventChristmas* Culture-WatchChildrenMarriage & Family* South Carolina* TheologyChristology

0 Comments Posted December 6, 2016 at 6:00 am

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A Prayer for the Feast Day of Saint Nicholas

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Almighty God, who in thy love didst give to thy servant Nicholas of Myra a perpetual name for deeds of kindness on land and sea: Grant, we pray thee, that thy Church may never cease to work for the happiness of children, the safety of sailors, the relief of the poor, and the help of those tossed by tempests of doubt or grief; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.


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

0 Comments Posted December 6, 2016 at 5:40 am

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A Prayer to Begin the Day from Gregory of Nazianzus

Posted by Kendall Harmon

O God, by whose command the order of time runs its course: Forgive, we pray thee, the impatience of our hearts; make perfect that which is lacking in our faith; and, while we tarry the fulfillment of thy promises, grant us to have a good hope because of thy word; through Jesus Christ our Lord.


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

0 Comments Posted December 6, 2016 at 5:20 am

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From the Morning Bible Readings

Posted by Kendall Harmon

O LORD, I love the habitation of thy house, and the place where thy glory dwells.

--Psalm 26:8

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

0 Comments Posted December 6, 2016 at 5:00 am

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Doctors of the World Christmas cards combine nativity scenes with images from war zones

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A UK charity is selling a series of Christmas cards featuring images that combine traditional Biblical imagery with contemporary pictures from conflict zones across the Middle East.

Doctors of the World UK is selling the cards, with names including ‘Not So Silent Night’ and ‘The Star of Bedlam’, to raise funds for its mission to provide medical aid to people who’ve been forced from their homes by war.

The cards were designed by ad agency McCann London, incorporating Press Association photographs taken over the last year.

Read it all from the Telegraph.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsChristmas* Culture-WatchCharities/Non-Profit OrganizationsReligion & CultureViolence* Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, Military* International News & CommentaryEngland / UKMiddle East

1 Comments Posted December 5, 2016 at 6:34 pm

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(Globe and Mail) David Haskell—How to grow a church: some church leaders might not like the answer

Posted by Kendall Harmon

If you went to Sunday school, you heard the story of Jonah and chances are you remember that he was swallowed by a whale. But what often gets forgotten is the story’s larger theme. Jonah is given a divine message and is instructed to deliver it to a people on the verge of calamity but, for some specific reasons, he’s reluctant.

Minus hearing the voice of God, for the last couple of weeks, I’ve felt a little like Jonah.

The information I’m delivering relates to a study some colleagues and I conducted that explored mainline Protestant churches. Since the 1960s, churches in the Anglican, Lutheran, Presbyterian, and United denominations have been steadily losing members and we wanted to determine why.

Through statistical analysis of survey data from a near-even mix of growing and declining church attendees and their clergy, we found that conservative religious doctrine, known for emphasizing a more literal interpretation of scripture, is a key driver for church growth in mainline Protestant congregations. Liberal doctrine, which emphasizes a metaphorical interpretation, leads to decline.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryEvangelism and Church GrowthMinistry of the LaityMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchReligion & CultureSociology* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.Canada* Theology

2 Comments Posted December 5, 2016 at 5:00 pm

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The Advertiser profiles New Australian Anglican Bishop Geoffrey Smith

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The first challenge he faces is the move to Adelaide, getting to know the city’s people and culture, which he expects will be quite different from the diocese of Brisbane.

Bishop Smith has worked with the Sudanese community in Brisbane and is pleased that Adelaide is becoming more multicultural.

Church attendances have risen and declined in cycles over the centuries but Bishop Smith says God has not given up on the church.

He says research indicates healthy churches tend to grow the number of people who are part of them, in terms of service to the community, and in faith and generosity.

“I’ve seen churches grow; I’ve been a part of growing churches,” Bishop Smith says. “I’m going to be very focused on helping our parishes to be healthy, as well as encouraging the Anglican schools.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of Australia

0 Comments Posted December 5, 2016 at 4:00 pm

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Mistrial declared in Michael Slager murder case; policeman still faces federal charges

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A mistrial was declared Monday after jurors could not agree on a verdict in the murder case against Michael Slager, the white North Charleston police officer who shot Walter Scott, a black man. The jury had been deliberating for about 22 hours.

It was not immediately clear whether state prosecutors would retry Slager. The 35-year-old former policeman still faces charges in federal court that carry a lifetime of imprisonment.

The jury had two options for a conviction: murder or voluntary manslaughter. To reach any verdict — guilty or not — all 12 jurors must have unanimously agreed on the decision.

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesPolice/FireViolence* South Carolina* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments Posted December 5, 2016 at 3:00 pm

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TEC’s Bishop Bruno blocks Newport Beach congregation from attending convention

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC BishopsTEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: Los AngelesTEC Parishes* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

0 Comments Posted December 5, 2016 at 11:29 am

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(Archbishop Cranmer Blog) Persecuted Middle East bishops banned from visiting UK

Posted by Kendall Harmon




Why are suffering Syrian and Iraqi bishops banned from visiting the UK? They only wanted to attend the consecration of the country’s first Syriac Orthodox cathedral, dedicated to St Thomas. They might even have met the Prince of Wales for a cup of tea, but after that they’d have surely returned to serve their rapidly-diminishing flocks and lead them through their daily crucifixions, beheadings, enslavement, murder, rape… Surely the Sunday Express has got this story completely wrong. Bishops banned? Why on earth?

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & CultureViolence* Economics, PoliticsForeign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UKMiddle East* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesOrthodox Church* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments Posted December 5, 2016 at 8:00 am

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(CT Gleanings) British Government Affirms Christmas at Work

Posted by Kendall Harmon

British officials are encouraging the country to put Christ back in Christmas—even in their workplaces.
“There are a lot of myths out there when it comes to dealing with religion at work. I want to put the record straight: It is OK to hold a party and send Christmas cards,” said David Isaac, chairman of the national Equality and Human Rights Commission.
This week, Christians and politicians alike welcomed Isaac’s assurance following the growing prevalence of more generic terminology in public and office celebrations, such as “season’s greetings” and “Winterval.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsChristmas* Culture-WatchMulticulturalism, pluralismReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsEconomyLabor/Labor Unions/Labor MarketPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments Posted December 5, 2016 at 7:00 am

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Magnificent Advent Music—Come, Thou Redeemer of the Earth (King’s College Choir, Cambridge)

Posted by Kendall Harmon



Enjoy it all and I especially encourage prayerful pondering of the lyrics....
Come thou Redeemer of the earth,
Come, testify thy wondrous birth:
All lands admire, all times applaud:
Such is the birth that fits our God.

Forth from His chamber goeth He,
That royal home of purity,
A giant in twofold substance one,
Rejoicing now His course to run.

From God the Father He proceeds,
To God the Father back He speeds;
Runs out his course to death and hell
Returning on God's high throne to dwell.

O equal to Thy Father, Thou!
Gird on Thy fleshly mantle now;
The weakness of our mortal state
With deathless might invigorate.

Thy cradle here shall glitter bright,
And darkness breathe a newer light,
Where endless faith shall shine serene,
And twilight never intervene.

All laud eternal Son, to Thee;
Whose advent sets thy people free
Whom with the Father we adore,
And Holy Ghost, for evermore.

Amen.



Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsAdventLiturgy, Music, Worship

0 Comments Posted December 5, 2016 at 6:00 am

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A Prayer for the Feast Day of Clement of Alexandria

Posted by Kendall Harmon

O Lord, who didst call thy servant Clement of Alexandria from the errors of ancient philosophy that he might learn and teach the saving Gospel of Christ: Turn thy Church from the conceits of worldly wisdom and, by the Spirit of truth, guide it into all truth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.


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

0 Comments Posted December 5, 2016 at 5:40 am

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A Prayer to Begin the Day from Henry Stobat

Posted by Kendall Harmon

O God, Father of mercies, who didst so love the world that thou didst give thine only begotten Son to take our nature upon him for us men and for our salvation: Grant to us who by his first coming have been called into thy kingdom of grace, that we may always abide in him, and be found watching and ready when he shall come again to call us to thy kingdom of glory; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.

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

0 Comments Posted December 5, 2016 at 5:20 am

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From the Morning Scripture Readings

Posted by Kendall Harmon

To thee, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
O my God, in thee I trust,
let me not be put to shame;
let not my enemies exult over me.
Yea, let none that wait for thee be put to shame;
let them be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous.

Make me to know thy ways, O Lord;
teach me thy paths.
Lead me in thy truth, and teach me,
for thou art the God of my salvation;
for thee I wait all the day long.

--Psalm 25:1-4

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

0 Comments Posted December 5, 2016 at 5:00 am

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Renzi goes down to Defeat in Italian Referendum

Posted by Kendall Harmon




Italy plunged into political and economic uncertainty early Monday after voters rejected a constitutional reform upon which Prime Minister Matteo Renzi had staked his government. The result is certain to reverberate across a European Union already buffeted by political upheaval and anti-establishment anger.

Ostensibly the vote was about arcane changes to Italy’s Constitution that would have streamlined government. But opposition to the reforms came from the same anti-establishment sentiment — spiked with skepticism of globalization, open borders and the feasibility of an ever-closer European Union — that has transformed the politics of a growing list of European countries.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsEconomyForeign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEuropeItaly* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

7 Comments Posted December 4, 2016 at 6:24 pm

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Kazuo Ishiguro: We’re coming close to the pt where we can create people who are superior to others

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Imagine a two-tiered society with elite citizens, genetically engineered to be smarter, healthier and to live longer, and an underclass of biologically run-of-the-mill humans. It sounds like the plot of a dystopian novel, but the world could be sleepwalking towards this scenario, according to one of Britain’s most celebrated writers.

Kazuo Ishiguro argues that the social changes unleashed by gene editing technologies, such as Crispr, could undermine core human values.

“We’re going into a territory where a lot of the ways in which we have organised our societies will suddenly look a bit redundant,” he said. “In liberal democracies, we have this idea that human beings are basically equal in some very fundamental way. We’re coming close to the point where we can, objectively in some sense, create people who are superior to others.”

Read it all from the Guardian.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenHealth & MedicineHistoryLaw & Legal IssuesLife EthicsMarriage & FamilyPsychologyScience & Technology* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments Posted December 4, 2016 at 5:00 pm

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Advent Worship on T19

Posted by The_Elves



AVAILABLE NOW
+ Reach: Evangelism through the local church - Glen Scrivener [1 Thessalonians 1-3]
+ The bells of Exeter Cathedral
+ Choral Evensong from Portsmouth Cathedral

On next week: Sunday Service live from St Helena's Beaufort, SC
Listen live here at 10:15 am Eastern time [3:15 pm London time]

From November 27th, 2016
+ A Service for Advent with Carols from St John's College, Cambridge [Live from 10 am EST 3pm London Time]
+ Sermon series: The Saviour of the World - Vaughan Roberts and others [Luke 15-17]
+ Choral Evensong from Wakefield Cathedral

From November 20th, 2016
+ The Bells of All Saints, Worcester
+ What about war in the Bible? - Dr Vince Vitale [link now included]
+ Doing Missions Anglicanly - Archbishop Foley Beach at St Andrews Cathedral, Singapore
+ Choral Evensong from Bristol Cathedral

From November 13th, 2016
+ The Bells of Westminster Abbey
+ Remembrance Sunday Service from the Cathedral of Notre Dame, Paris for the Royal British Legion
+ Ceremony of Remembrance from the Cenotaph, London
+ Choral Evensong from Ely Cathedral

From November 6th, 2016
+ Defeat, Shame, and Remembrance – Dr William Witt
+ Holy Communion from St Columba's Church [CofI], Knock in Belfast
+ Archived Choral Service with Mozart's Requiem from New College, Oxford
+ Called to Witness - Dr Kendall Harmon

From October 23rd, 2016
+ Formed for God’s Purpose - Bishop Rennis Ponniah [Jeremiah 1:4-10]
+ We are Called to be Worshippers of God in Spirit+Truth - Dr Kendall Harmon [Psalm 148]
+ JC Ryle: A Faithful Anglican - Rev Lee Gatiss
+ More talks from the Church Society 2016 Conference
+ Choral Evensong from Birmingham Cathedral

From October 16th, 2016
+ Suffering: Loving the Lord in your circumstances - Venerable Godwin Makabi of Jos at St Andrew's Cathedral, Singapore [Job 1]
+ Choral Evensong from St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle

From October 2nd, 2016
+ All Things Working For Good - Revd Canon Rinji Kwashi at St Andrews Cathedral Singapore
+ We are Called to be Devoted Students of his Word - Dr Kendall Harmon (Acts 2:42-47)
+ Renewal in Exile - Rev Samuel Kennedy [Nehemiah 10] - next available part of the series on Nehemiah from the Cathedral Church of St Luke and St Paul, SC
+ Jesus' Prayer for His Disciples - Rev Vaughan Roberts [John 17:6-19]
+ Choral Evensong from Westminster Abbey on the 90th anniversary of the first broadcast of Choral Evensong

From September 18th, 2016
+ Repentance in Exile - Dean Peet Dickinson [Nehemiah 9] - next available part of the series on Nehemiah from the Cathedral Church of St Luke and St Paul, SC
+ Jesus' Prayer for Himself - Rev Vaughan Roberts [John17:1-5]
+ Choral Evensong from St Clement Danes Church, London sung by Genesis Sixteen
+ The End: Preaching Matters - Rev William Taylor



From September 11th, 2016
+ Sunday Sermon - Learning from the Potter and the Clay - Dr Kendall Harmon (Jeremiah 18:1-11)
+ Choral Evensong from the Charles Wood Summer School at St Patrick's Church of Ireland Cathedral, Armagh

From August 28th, 2016
+ Rejoicing in Exile - Dean Peet Dickinson [Nehemiah 6] - next available part of the series on Nehemiah from the Cathedral Church of St Luke and St Paul, SC
+ Death and the Life Heareafter - Dr Paul Williamson - Moore College lecture
+ Choral Evensong from Edington Priory, during the Edington Festival of Music within the Liturgy

From August 14th, 2016
+ Acts of Spiritual Power - Vaughan Roberts [Acts 19:1-22]
+ Rebuilding & Resistance in Exile - Jacob Graudin [Nehemiah 2:9-20, 3, 4] - part 2 of the new series from the Cathedral Church of St Luke and St Paul, SC
+ Choral Evening Prayer [RC] at Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral with the Royal School of Church Music Millennium Youth Choir

From August 7th, 2016
+ How do you think to Yourself? The Rich Fool - Dr Kendall Harmon [Luke 12:13-21]
+ 'Stormy Weather' - Rev Jeffrey Miller [Matthew 14:22-33]
+ Introducing a new sermon series on Nehemiah - Dean Peet Dickinson
+ Looking for Leaders: God's Voice is Heard - Vaughan Roberts [1 Samuel 3]
+ Sunday Worship from the Keswick Convention with Emma Scrivener
+ Choral Evensong from Chichester Cathedral during the Southern Cathedrals Festival

From July 31st, 2016
+ Looking for a Leader: Those who honor me - Vaughan Roberts [1 Samuel 2:12-36]
+ The Holy Spirit - Archbishop Foley Beach
+ Choral Evensong from the Three Choirs Festival of Gloucester, Hereford and Worcester Cathedrals
+ Preaching Matters: Preaching 2 Timothy - Andy Gemmill



From July 24th, 2016
+ The Power of Priorities & the Danger of Distraction - Dr Kendall Harmon (Luke 10:38-42)
+ Looking for Leaders: A son is born - Vaughan Roberts [1 Samuel 1:1-2:11]
+ Choral Evensong from Derby Cathedral
+ The Church and the State: The Christian's Responsibility in the Public Square - Anglican Way Institute Summer Conference 2016 with Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali
[More on the AWI 2016 Summer Conference]



From July 17th, 2016
+ The Shape of the Christian Life - Dr Kendall Harmon (Luke 10:25-37)
+ Called to Freedom - Dr Peter Moore [Galatians, John]
+ More than Conquerors - Vaughan Roberts [Romans 8:31-38]
+ Choral Evensong from the Chapel of Eton College with the first 2016 Eton Choral Course

From July 10th, 2016
+ Sermon given at the Memorial Service for Bishop Salmon - Dr Kendall Harmon [See more here]
+ The Magna Carta of Christian Freedom - Dr Kendall Harmon (Galatians 5:1;13-25)
+ Choral Evensong from Durham Cathedral
+ Preaching 2 Peter - Rev William Taylor



From June 26th, 2016
+ Now that Faith has come - Dr Peter Moore [Luke 8:19-21, 2 Samuel],
+ The Spirit Helps Us In Our Weakness - James Fletcher [Romans 8:18-27]
+ Choral Evensong from from the Chapel of St John's School, Leatherhead, with the Guildford Cathedral Choir

From June 19th, 2016
+ Anointment and Forgiveness - Bishop Mark Lawrence [Luke 7:39-50]
+ God's New Creation 1 - Vaughan Roberts [Revelation 21]
+ Choral Evensong from Lichfield Cathedral

From June 12th, 2016
+ It's Not Man's Gospel - Dr Peter Moore at St Philip's Charleston SC [Galatians 1:11]
+ Matins [Morning Prayer] from St Mary Magdalene, Sandringham
+ Friday's Thanksgiving Service from St Paul's Cathedral for the 90th Birthday of the Queen [starts 15 mins in]
Order of Service



From June 5th, 2016
+ A Man’s Faith that Amazed Jesus - Dr Kendall Harmon (Luke 7:1-10)
+ The Fall of Babylon - Vaughan Roberts [Revelation 17:1-19:10 ]
+ Choral Evensong from the St Davids Cathedral Festival

From May 29th, 2016
+ Building the Church - Dr Russ Parker at the Cathedral Church of St Luke and St Paul, Charleston
+ Town Hall Service - Vaughan Roberts
+ The Loud Absence: Where is God Amidst Suffering and Evil? - Professor John Lennox

From May 22nd, 2016
+ Pentecost: Power, Surprises and Understanding - Dr Kendall Harmon (Acts 2:1-11)
+ Talks from JI Packer on 1 Timothy at Laity Lodge, Texas [h/t Prydain]
+ Praying - Vaughan Roberts [Matthew 6:5-13]
+ Choral Evensong from Tewkesbury Abbey with Schola Cantorum

From May 15th, 2016
+ The Church is on Fire - Dr Russ Parker at St Michael's Charleston
+ Jesus the Ascended King (Acts 1:1-11) - Dr Kendall Harmon
+ Choral Evensong from St John's College, Cambridge
+ Choral Evensong from St Pancras Church during the London Festival of Contemporary Church Music


or there is an updated version from Rend Collective here

From May 8th, 2016
+ The Ascension of Jesus - Bishop Mark Lawrence
+ Choral Evensong from Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford

From May 1st, 2016
+ God's Building - Vaughan Roberts [1 Peter 2:4-8]
+ Choral Evensong from St John's College, Cambridge

From April 24th, 2016
+ The Good News - Rev Paul Wasswa Ssembiro at Christ St Pauls [Romans 1]
+ The Gospel in those Seasons when we have no fish - Bishop Mark Lawrence (John 21)
+ Choral Evensong from Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-upon-Avon, with the Choir and Orchestra of the Swan

From April 17th, 2016
Talks from New Wineskins
God at Work in South-East Asia - Bishop Rennis Ponniah [Luke 9:51 - 10:2 and Luke 24]

See: Mission Consultation South East Asia

From April 10th, 2016
+ A New Day for All Humanity - Bishop Rennis Ponniah

+The Bishop of London's Easter Day Address

From March 27th, 2016
+ Priestly Prayer: The Prayer of Jesus and Portrait of Prayer: Agony in the Garden - Dr Kendall Harmon [Parts 6 and 7 of a Lent series on Prayer from Christ St Pauls]
+ Easter Day Evensong live from Worcester Cathedral now
+ Good Friday Meditations from St Andrew's Cathedral Singapore

From March 20th, 2016
+ Palm Sunday Sermon - Rev Peter Cook at St Andrew's Singapore on Sunday [Philippians 2]
+ The Bridge Keeper - Rev C. Bradley Wilson at St Philip's Charleston on Sunday
+ The Slain Lamb - Rev Vaughan Roberts [Revelation 5] [MP3]
+ Strengthened by the Holy Spirit: The Prayer of St Paul - Rev Craige Borrett last week [Part 5 of a Lent series on Prayer from Christ St Pauls - Ephesians 3:14-21]
+ Sermon at SC Convention Eucharist - Bishop Thad Barnum
+ The Seven Last Plagues - Rev Vaughan Roberts [Revelation 15 & 16]
+ The Loud Absence: Where is God Amidst Suffering and Evil? - Professor John Lennox
+ Choral Evensong from Wells Cathedral
+ Open Thread: Lent Resources

Elgar: The Spirit of the Lord is upon me from the Choirs of the Cathedral Church of St Luke & St Paul, Charleston, SC [words from Isaiah 61:1-3,11]

"Recorded live at Choral Evensong on the Feast of St. Luke the Evangelist, October 18, 2015. The Cathedral Church of St. Luke & St. Paul, Charleston, SC. The Cathedral Choir (with members of the Compline Choir.) Paul Thomas, Organist and Choral Ministry Director"

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because He hath anointed me to preach the Gospel to the poor:
He hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted,
to preach deliv’rance to the captives
and recovering of sight to the blind,—
to preach the acceptable year of the Lord;

To give unto them that mourn a garland for ashes,
the oil of joy for mourning,
the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they might be called trees of righteousness,
the planting of the Lord, that He might be glorified.

For as the earth bringeth forth her bud,
and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth;
So the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because He hath anointed me to preach the Gospel

From March 13th, 2016
+ The Freedom of Forgiveness - Bishop Rennis Ponniah [Genesis 45:3-15 and Mark 18:21-35]
+ Talking Jesus - Rev Rico Tice [more]
+ The Harvest - Rev Vaughan Roberts [Revelation 14]
+ The Bible: Quaint Relic or Bright Light - Dr Ken Bailey at Trinity School for Ministry
+ The Prayer of the Apostles - Let us speak boldly - Dr Kendall Harmon last week [Part 4 of a Lent series on Prayer from Christ St Pauls - Acts 4:1-31]
+ Choral Evensong from Westminster Abbey


[More from 'What is the Gospel?' - Rev William Taylor at St Helen's Training]

From March 6th, 2016
+ Feeding of the Five Thousand - Archbishop Stanley Ntagali at St Andrew's Cathedral, Singapore [John 6:1-15 and Mark 6:30-44]
+ What is Evangelicalism? - John Stott [from here where there is a summary]
+ I saw Heaven Open: the Two Beasts - Rev Vaughan Roberts [Revelation 13]
+ Choral Evensong from the Chapel of Magdalen College, Oxford
+ Hannah - Remember Me - Rev Craige Borrett last Sunday [Part 3 of a Lent series on Prayer from Christ St Pauls - 1 Samuel 1 to 2:10]

From February 28th, 2016
+ The Primacy of Religious Freedom - Bishop Mark Lawrence
+ Parting Thoughts - Rev. Jeffrey S. Miller [2 Timothy 3 & 4]
+ The Woman and the Dragon - Rev Vaughan Roberts [Revelation 12]
+ Solomon - Give me wisdom - Dr Kendall Harmon last week [Part 2 of a Lent series on Prayer from Christ St Pauls - 2 Chronicles 1:7-13 and 1 Kings 3]
+ Zechariah: When God Returns in Power - Bishop Rennis Ponniah Session 1, Session 2 and Session 3
+ Choral Evensong from King's College, Cambridge

From February 21st, 2016
+ God Knows - Kevin de Young at St Ebbes, Oxford [Exodus 2:11-25]
+ Preaching Christ in the Old Testament - Kevin de Young in Preaching Matters from St Helens, Bishopsgate, London [see below]
+ Following Jesus Wholeheartedly - Bishop John Tan at St Andrews Cathedral, Singapore [Philippians 3:17-4:1]



From February 14th, 2016
+ David: I have sinned - Rev Craige Borrett [Part 1 of a Lent series on Prayer from Christ St Pauls]
+ Renewed and Empowered by the Holy Spirit - Bishop Rennis Ponniah today [Ephesians 4:17-28]
+ The Transfiguration - Dr Kendall Harmon last week [Luke 9] - well recommended by The Elves
+ Big Issues: Transgender - Rev Vaughan Roberts
+ Choral Evensong for Ash Wednesday from the Temple Church in London

From February 7th, 2016
+ Who is 'God's Servant'? - Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali at St Helena's, Beaufort SC [John 12]
+ Rector's Forum with Bishop Nazir-Ali
+ Facing up to the Truth - Rev Justin Terry at St John's, John's Island SC [Luke 4:14-28]
+ What do you see? - Rev Chris Royer at St Michael's, Charleston SC [Ministry in the Middle East, John/Joel]
+ Pornography - Rev Vaughan Roberts [Matthew 5:27-30]
+ Sunday Worship from Down Cathedral in the Diocese of Down and Dromore [CofI]
+ Choral Evensong from Truro Cathedral

From January 31st, 2016
+ Do You Have Faith in Jesus? - Archbishop Mouneer Anis at Christ St Paul's Today [Luke 4]
+ Sunday Worship from Long Lartin Prison, Worcestershire
+ Assisted Suicide - Vaughan Roberts

From January 24th, 2016
+ Fix Your Eyes on Jesus - Bishop Jacob W. Kwashi at Christ St Paul's[Luke 4:14-21]
+ Finding Hope in the Baptism of Jesus - Dr Kendall Harmon
+ When the Evil Day Comes - Bishop Jacob W. Kwashi at St Philip's Charleston [Ephesians 6:10-20]
+ Something to Aim for - The Beauty of Total Commitment - Bishop Rennis Ponniah [Luke 2:21-40; Philippians 1:1-6]

Sunday Worship live from St Helena's Beaufort, SC
Listen here at 10:15 am Eastern time [3:15 pm London time]
Worship Bulletin [awaited]


The Cross at Camp St Christopher, SC

Previous posts are here

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

0 Comments Posted December 4, 2016 at 4:32 pm

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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


Bishop of Winchester invites people across Hampshire and Dorset to establish a Rule of Life

Posted by Kendall Harmon


(Bp Tim Dakin: Diocese of Winchester photo)

The Right Reverend Tim Dakin, the Bishop of Winchester, has invited people across the Diocese of Winchester to write and follow a Rule of Life. He is asking all Christians in the Diocese to join the community of people who have embraced the principles of a Rule of Life and are using it to shape their daily lives.

To help individuals discern how a Rule of Life can be put into action in their own lives, the Diocese is announcing a series of workshops during Advent at Wolvesey and around the Diocese during Lent.

A Rule of Life is a series of personal commitments we choose to make that direct the way we live our daily lives. It is a flexible framework which individuals can use to shape the guiding principles by which they intend to live, helping them to grow more like Christ. It offers a practical way of responding to the love of God by committing ourselves to a number of specific actions that will help us grow in our love of God, love of one another and of God’s world.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Christian Life / Church Life* Theology

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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


Non-denominational Evangelical minister, Episcopal priest: One man leads two congregations

Posted by Kendall Harmon

It's 8 a.m. Sunday at St. Hilda's in Catonsville, and the priest in the pulpit wears a white robe and green chasuble to celebrate the Episcopal Mass — a formal liturgy with roots that date to the 16th century.

Two hours later, he has exchanged the alb and chasuble for a black Joe Flacco jersey to lead an evangelical service — his language now part Billy Graham, part Rodney Dangerfield.

Read it all from the Baltimore Sun.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchChildrenMarriage & Family* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesEvangelicals

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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


(OC Reg) Rancho Santa Margarita Episcopalian elected bishop of Los Angeles diocese

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Bishops

0 Comments Posted December 4, 2016 at 2:51 pm

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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


[Bishop Rennis Ponniah] Formed for Robust Mission

Posted by The_Elves

We need to recover our confidence in the persuasive power of the Gospel. We are to present truth to the mind, “speaking true and rational words” (Acts 19:25 ESV), and trust the Holy Spirit to bring about conviction, faith and a change of heart in the hearer (Acts 19:28-29; Rom 1:16-17).

We are also to convey the Gospel message in its entirety. In particular, we cannot trim the Gospel message of its ethical component. Forgiveness of sin and a new, endless life with God is for all who repent and commit themselves to Jesus as Saviour and Lord (Acts 2:38). Hence, in proclaiming the good news of what God has done in Christ Jesus, Peter exhorts his hearers to “save (themselves) from this crooked generation” (Acts 2:40). In the same vein, Paul not only spoke to the Roman governor Felix about faith in Christ Jesus but also “reasoned about righteousness and self-control and the coming judgment” (Acts 24:24-25).

The Gospel of God’s grace towards humankind in Jesus Christ is an invitation to a changed heart and a changed lifestyle in conformity with God’s design. This power of transformation is made real to the person who turns to God in repentance and faith by the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit makes real the power of the Cross in our lives so that we can live in conformity with God’s patterns for man – which is to live truly and freely (John 10:10). This is the basis of sound teaching and is reflected for instance in the Joint Statement by Global South and GAFCON Primates on Same Sex Unions (Cairo, 2016). We must robustly contend for the truth out of true love for God and our fellow human being; and at the same time reach out to all who grapple with the brokenness of sin in their lives with the compassionate and life-transforming love of Jesus Christ.

It takes courage to proclaim the victory of the Cross in the face of the resilience of evil and its parasitic spread in the world. If Christ is already on the throne and the Kingdom of God has already come through Him, why are dark forces allowed to dominate in the world and cause so much pain and destruction?

Read it all

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

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A Terrifying WSJ profile of American Diplomat Robin Raphel, wrongly suspected for being a US Spy

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Over the past two years, diplomats in Pakistan and the U.S. have scaled back contacts, according to officials in both countries. U.S. diplomats say they are afraid of what the NSA and the FBI might hear about them.

“What happened to Raphel could happen to any of us,” said Ryan Crocker, one of the State Department’s most highly decorated career ambassadors. Given the empowerment of law enforcement after 9/11 and the U.S.’s growing reliance on signals intelligence in place of diplomatic reporting, he said, “we will know less and we will be less secure.”

“Look what happened to the one person who was out talking to people,” said Dan Feldman, Raphel’s former boss at State. “Does that not become a cautionary tale?”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryEconomyThe U.S. GovernmentForeign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAsiaPakistan* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments Posted December 4, 2016 at 6:30 am

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A Prayer to Begin the Day from the Gelasian Sacramentary

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Make us, we beseech thee, O Lord our God, watchful and heedful in awaiting the coming of thy Son Christ our Lord; that when he shall come and knock, he shall find us not sleeping in sin, but awake and rejoicing in his praises; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.

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

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From the Morning Scripture Readings

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Let me sing for my beloved a love song concerning his vineyard: My beloved had a vineyard on a very fertile hill. He digged it and cleared it of stones, and planted it with choice vines; he built a watchtower in the midst of it, and hewed out a wine vat in it; and he looked for it to yield grapes, but it yielded wild grapes. And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem and men of Judah, judge, I pray you, between me and my vineyard. 4 What more was there to do for my vineyard, that I have not done in it? When I looked for it to yield grapes, why did it yield wild grapes? And now I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard. I will remove its hedge, and it shall be devoured; I will break down its wall, and it shall be trampled down. I will make it a waste; it shall not be pruned or hoed, and briers and thorns shall grow up; I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it. For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah are his pleasant planting; and he looked for justice, but behold, bloodshed; for righteousness, but behold, a cry!

--Isaiah 5:1-7

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Eleanor Parker—The Miracles of Saint Birinus

Posted by Kendall Harmon




[Birinus] made his way to the sea in order to cross to Britain. While he was packing his bits and pieces, the sailors were urging him to hurry as the wind was favourable, and so he forgot those cloths which are called ‘corporal cloths’. He was already out to sea, with the ship happily ploughing its furrow through the calm waters, when he remembered he had left them behind. He was at a loss what to do. If he asked the sailors to go back, they would certainly laugh at him as the voyage was going so well. But if he kept quiet, he would have to put up with his apostolic worship being imperfect. And so, brandishing the weapons of his faith, he summoned all his courage, climbed down the side into the sea and with all speed made for the shore he had just left. There he found the corporal cloths, picked them up, and for the second time his daring had a blessed and happy outcome, for he returned to his companions, brushing aside by the power of his faith the crests of the waves and the thousand ways to death he encountered. They for their part had been won over by this great miracle, had cast anchor and were holding the ship stationary. They took him back on board, all competing to do him honour, and he soon reached the coast in the region of the West Saxons.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch History

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CEN Profiles Philip Baldwin—The campaigner who can’t stop talking about his faith

Posted by Kendall Harmon

“My Christianity is a never ending source of nourishment and I feel so enriched by faith,” he says. “I would like more gay men to experience the beauty of faith.”

Philip Baldwin is certainly unusual, and a larger-than-life character. Young, Christian and gay. He knew his orientation when he was in his teens, but his encounter with Christianity came much later. Now, the 30-year-old says that it is not only the key to his being, it is the driving force in all he does.

After graduating from Oxford (Modern History) and Cambridge (History of Art and Architecture), he then undertook a law conversion course and began working with one of the leading law firms in London. Indeed, his role at this Magic Circle firm seemed to have set him up for life.

However, at the age of 24 he was diagnosed as HIV positive, and while at the time it was a hammer blow, it was to take his life in a completely different direction.

Read it allby Colin Blakely.

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

0 Comments Posted December 3, 2016 at 1:00 pm

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A Yorkshire Post Editorial—The Church of England must counter extremists

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Contrary to popular perception, tolerance of all remains one of Britain’s most redeeming features. This is a proud Christian country which is also respectful, and appreciative, of people who hold other faiths in a multi-cultural society. The regret is this is being overshadowed by those who hold extreme positions, whether it be intolerant liberals who don’t want Christians to demonstrate their faith, or the violence meted out against Muslims, and with the most tragic of consequences on occasion. This is a proud Christian country which is also respectful, and appreciative, of people who hold other faiths in a multi-cultural society. The regret is this is being overshadowed by those who hold extreme positions, whether it be intolerant liberals who don’t want Christians to demonstrate their faith, or the violence meted out against Muslims, and with the most tragic of consequences on occasion.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* Religion News & CommentaryOther Faiths* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments Posted December 3, 2016 at 12:09 pm

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What Bishop Nick Baines says he said to the Press association about Christians in the UK

Posted by Kendall Harmon

There are Christians who worry about whether they can or cannot speak about their faith at work. This is a fact. There are Christians who worry about it. However, that is not to say that their concern is justified. Furthermore, we cannot – and should not – extrapolate from (for example) one media report of a Christian being disciplined for doing so to a judgement that all Christians are concerned. This is patent nonsense. Theresa May was following a report that said we should grow up and use common sense.

I did not use the word “scared”. I did not “slam” (as I am being reported to be doing) anyone. I also said clearly that this is not a concern for me and that we should get on with it with confidence.

The bit about secularists was simply that there is too often an assumption that there is a potential tension between the faiths and that others might be offended by Christians talking about their faith or the content of Christmas. This also is nonsense. However, there can be an illiberal element to some liberals who are tolerant only of those who consent to their understanding of liberalism or tolerance. That is true. However, it is not to say that all liberals are illiberal.

Read it all and you can find a Yorkshire post article on this there.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* Religion News & CommentaryOther Faiths* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments Posted December 3, 2016 at 11:32 am

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On brink of mistrial, SC jurors opt to try again to reach verdict in Michael Slager case

Posted by Kendall Harmon

On the brink of hopelessness that their deliberations would end without a verdict, jurors stepped back from their impasse Friday, resolving to discuss further whether a white North Charleston policeman committed a crime when he fatally shot Walter Scott, a black man.

They sent notes to the judge throughout the afternoon, at a time saying they were deadlocked. Their messages pointed to a lone holdout, a juror who refused to convict the former patrolman, Michael Slager, of either murder or manslaughter. There are 11 other jurors. The jury's other option is acquittal.

Whatever their decision, it must be unanimous. But through nearly 18 hours of deliberations, they still had not found one. The judge was prepared to declare a hung jury and order a mistrial.

Read it all from the local paper.

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesPolice/Fire* South Carolina

0 Comments Posted December 3, 2016 at 11:10 am

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Bp of Burnley—C of E must dismount its middle-class bandwagon+reconnect w/ the working class

Posted by Kendall Harmon

...before we shout, we need to pay proper attention to the voices of those whose votes have caused this revolution, whether or not we like what we hear.

On both sides of the Atlantic, there has been an almighty cry of anger from a dispossessed and mar­­­­­­­­ginalised working class — the s­o-called “victims of globalisation”. Such people feel frozen out of the post-crash economy, their wages shrinking in real terms while the rich get ever richer. They are routinely accused of xenophobia, or worse, when they express concerns about changes imposed on their com­munities by those who live far away. In the UK, they feel abandoned by the institutions that were formed to represent them: austerity-stricken local government, the Labour Party, and the demutualised building soc­i­eties.

If the C of E was still adequately present in areas of deprivation, it would not have been surprised at the revolution in popular politics that this anger caused (Comment, 1 July). But it has become so discon­nected from many of these communities that it no longer hears what they are saying, let alone amplifies their voices to the nation. And, until the Church re-invests in urban ministry, places the best leaders in the most deprived parishes, and returns to the estates it has abandoned, these voices will continue to go un­­heard.

The Church’s agenda is being set not by the poor, but by academia, the moneyed elites, and certain sections of the secular media.

Read it all from the Church Times.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Culture-WatchPovertyReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate LifeLabor/Labor Unions/Labor Market* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.England / UK* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments Posted December 3, 2016 at 9:15 am

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(WSJ) Orrin Hatch—How Trump Can Help Religious Charities

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The House is scheduled to vote Friday on the National Defense Authorization Act. This legislation is passed annually to set the military’s budget and settle other policy issues. A significant hangup had been Democratic opposition to a provision known as the “Russell amendment,” which would have clarified conscience protections for religious groups that receive federal contracts. The amendment is named after Rep. Steve Russell (R., Okla.), who offered the amendment at the House Armed Services Committee.

Forty-two Democratic senators signed an Oct. 25 letter opposing the Russell amendment. They claim it would have authorized bigotry by allowing religiously affiliated contractors to “engage in discriminatory hiring practices” or even to fire employees for using birth control or in vitro fertilization. These accusations are grossly inaccurate, but they led to the amendment’s removal from the final bill. The U.S. now risks losing the crucial work religious service providers do for communities with the support of federal contracts.

Every day, stories of grace and mercy are being written as people of faith help those in need. Catholic Charities has helped single moms fill their basic needs. The Mormon Church, through LDS Charities, has donated wheelchairs to hundreds of thousands of people. The University Muslim Medical Association Community Clinic in Los Angeles provides care for thousands of people in a desperate part of town. The Jewish Social Service Agency supports families of children with autism. Samaritans Purse provides disaster relief across the world.

These groups are being marginalized by the federal government. What happened?

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchCharities/Non-Profit OrganizationsHistoryLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsEconomyPolitics in GeneralHouse of RepresentativesOffice of the PresidentSenate* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.

Posted December 3, 2016 at 8:00 am

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A Prayer for the Feast Day of Francis Xavier

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Loving God, who didst call Francis Xavier to lead many in India and Japan to know Jesus Christ as their Redeemer: Bring us to the new life of glory promised to all who follow in the Way; through the same Jesus Christ, who with thee and the Holy Spirit livest and reignest, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


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

0 Comments Posted December 3, 2016 at 7:40 am

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A Prayer to begin the Day from Richard Baxter

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Keep us, O Lord, while we tarry on this earth, in a serious seeking after thee, and in an affectionate walking with thee, every day of our lives; that when thou comest, we may be found not hiding our talent, nor serving the flesh, nor yet asleep with our lamp unfurnished, but waiting and longing for our Lord, our glorious God for ever and ever.

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

0 Comments Posted December 3, 2016 at 7:22 am

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From the Morning Scripture Readings

Posted by Kendall Harmon

But we would not have you ignorant, brethren, concerning those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. For this we declare to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the archangel’s call, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first; then we who are alive, who are left, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.

--1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

Filed under: * TheologyTheology: Scripture

0 Comments Posted December 3, 2016 at 7:00 am

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Voces 8: Shenandoah

Posted by The_Elves



Filed under: * Culture-WatchMusic

0 Comments Posted December 2, 2016 at 6:13 pm

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[Canon Phil Ashey] Growth Occurs When Vision and Values Match

Posted by The_Elves

..As I look at the Anglican Communion, and particularly those largely “Global north” and western churches that align with the values of The Episcopal Church (TEC), and increasingly the leadership of the Church of England, I can’t help but face the conviction of Isaiah 1. The Biblical, apostolic catholic and conciliar values that birthed Anglicanism are given lip service while leaders of the Anglican status quo drift increasingly into heterodoxy and the outright denial of the very essentials of our faith. They justify this with technical and legalistic appeals to the fact that the original values have not been formally or officially repealed. “No one has abandoned the Creeds or the Thirty-Nine Articles,” they will say. But they are said with fingers crossed, and presented as meaninglessly as the offerings of Israel in Isaiah 1.

What if the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishops of the Church of England are preparing for an “about face” on their teaching of marriage, as some inside leaders of the Church are suggesting. There seems to be a growing inevitability that the leadership of the Church of England will sooner than later provide liturgical blessings for same-sex partnerships, perhaps even marriages. They may say that they are remaining faithful because they have not officially repealed the Church’s teaching that marriage is a lifetime covenant between one man and one woman. But in blessing same sex unions they will be repudiating the Biblical doctrine of creation, including marriage (see Gen.2:24; Matt. 19:4-6; Eph. 5:31).

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

3 Comments Posted December 2, 2016 at 3:55 pm

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Whos on Which Side of the Lunch Counter? Civil Rights, Religious Accommodation+Diversity Challenges

Posted by Kendall Harmon




Perhaps progressives hope and expect that, under the heavy weight of the law, traditionalists will abandon their religious conviction that sexual relations should be confined to marriage between a man and a woman. If that is the expectation, then the project would appear to be one in suppression or elimination: disagreements about marriage and sexuality should be eliminated by using law to make one side disappear.

More commonly, though, what we hear from the progressive side is that the Christian florist and photographer and marriage counselor are still free to retain their private religious convictions about marriage. They simply cannot act on those convictions while carrying on the business of florist or photographer or counselor. Such religious commitments should be left behind when the believer enters the public square. If a believer is unwilling or unable to make that sacrifice, then she should stay at home or find some other line of work.

This position is overtly segregationist in its strategy for dealing with religious diversity. Those who take this view are analogous to the 1960s segregationist who said, “Of course there’s a place for you: it just isn’t here (in this school, or this section of the bus, or this end of the lunch counter).” In that respect, it is the contemporary progressive, not the Christian florist or photographer, who is the faithful heir of Jim Crow.

Read it all from Professor Steven Smith at PD.


Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryLaw & Legal IssuesMarriage & FamilyMulticulturalism, pluralismRace/Race RelationsReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

4 Comments Posted December 2, 2016 at 8:00 am

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([London] Times) Most Muslims want full integration with British way of life

Posted by Kendall Harmon

More than half of British Muslims want to “fully integrate” with society, according to the most extensive survey of its kind.

Research involving more than 3,000 Muslims shows that they broadly share the views and priorities of the wider population, rather than being shaped by supposedly “Islamic” concerns. Ninety-three per cent feel a fairly or very strong attachment to Britain and are likely to identify the NHS, unemployment and immigration as the biggest issues facing the country.

British Muslims were more likely than the general population to condemn terrorism, the survey by ICM and Policy Exchange, the right-of-centre think tank, found. They were also more likely to give credence to conspiracy theories that the United States government or Jewish influences were behind the September 11 attacks.

Read it all (requires subscription).

Filed under: * Culture-WatchMulticulturalism, pluralismReligion & CultureSociology* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsIslam* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments Posted December 2, 2016 at 7:00 am

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Remembering the San Bernardino Terror Attack one year later—ABC’s Nightline

Posted by Kendall Harmon

New video, obtained by ABC News, shows Farook two days before the attack practicing at a local firing range with a pistol and an assault rifle that a friend bought for him

The video shows Farook adjusting the sights on his rifle and then firing at paper torso silhouette targets, one of which was later recovered in the shooters’ vehicle and led authorities to the range.

“They had high-powered weaponry. They had lots of ammunition. They had bombs at their disposal,” said Burguan.

Read it all.


Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryLaw & Legal IssuesPolice/FireReligion & CultureViolence* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsIslam* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

0 Comments Posted December 2, 2016 at 6:45 am

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(NC Reporter) Irish RC priest warns of depression among overworked clerics

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Irish priests' ever-increasing workload is threatening to turn this aging, demoralized and declining group into "sacrament-dispensing machines" who find pastoral work less and less satisfying, a co-founder of Ireland's Association of Catholic Priests has warned.
In his address to the association's annual general meeting in Athlone Nov. 16, Fr. Brendan Hoban highlighted how suicide is on the rise among Irish priests, a group he said was also increasingly prone to depression.

With the vast majority of Irish priests now age 70 or over, elderly diocesan priests are living increasingly isolated and lonely lives and are constantly "reminded that we no longer really matter, that at best we're now little more than a ceremonial presence on the sidelines of life," he said.

Read it all.


Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchHealth & MedicinePsychologyStressReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Ireland* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic

0 Comments Posted December 2, 2016 at 6:30 am

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The Archbishop of Canterbury opens House of Lords debate on shared UK values this morning

Posted by Kendall Harmon

There is no better example of the expression of good values than in Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan; a story deeply embedded in our collective understanding of what it means to be a good citizen, and which reminds us that our values have not emerged from a vacuum — but from the resilient and eternal structure of our religious, theological, philosophical and ethical heritage.

It reinforces a Christian hope of our values: those of a generous and hospitable society rooted in history; committed to the common good and solidarity in the present; creative, entrepreneurial, courageous, sustainable in our internal and external relations; and values that are a resilient steward of the hopes and joys of future generations in our country and around the world — hopes that are not exclusive, but for all. That is what our values have been when they are at their best.

Burke famously wrote that society is a “partnership not only between those who are living, but between those who are living, those who are dead, and those who are to be born.”[1] He articulates an idea of loyalty:[2] loyalty to those who have sacrificed much in the past for us to be where we are; to our fellow citizens and to those whose lives will stem from our lives. Speaking of loyalty transforms the abstract idea of values — shared or otherwise — into relationships and practices.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments Posted December 2, 2016 at 6:30 am

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(BBC) ISIS group to step up attacks on Europe - Europol

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Europol has warned that militants from so-called Islamic State (IS) will aim to step up attacks on European targets, as they face defeat in the Middle East.
The European police force says more foreign fighters will try to come back to Europe, and "several dozen" capable of attacks could already be there.
Their tactics could include car bombs, kidnappings and extortion, it said.
But the report plays down the likelihood of attacks on critical infrastructure, such as nuclear sites.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & CultureViolence* Economics, PoliticsTerrorism* International News & CommentaryEurope* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsIslam* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments Posted December 2, 2016 at 6:00 am

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