Daily Archives: July 23, 2007

Marcus J. Borg: Me & Jesus–The Journey Home

A few years ago I received an invitation from an Episcopal group in the San Francisco Bay area. “We want you to talk to us about Jesus,” they said, “and we want you to make it personal.”

Nobody had ever asked me to “make it personal” before. Trying to figure out what to say, I wrote the words “Me and Jesus” on a page. I reflected on those words. What emerged was the story of “me and Jesus”””of what I could remember about Jesus from my childhood, adolescence, early adulthood all the way to the present. I see now that my “personal and academic pilgrimage” has been tied to the figure of Jesus from the very beginning.

I was born into a Lutheran family of Swedish and Norwegian descent, the youngest of four children. I grew up in the 1940s, in a town of 1,600 people in northeastern North Dakota, near the Canadian border. It’s a world that now seems very far away….

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), Theology

Dean Admits Canonical Violations in Communing the Unbaptized at Seabury Western

Fr. Montgomery also objects to the non-canonical open invitation to communion printed in our service leaflet. As ordinary of the chapel, I have articulated this policy in full awareness that it does not comply with the canonical provision about communion and baptism. One reason seminary chapels are traditionally “ecclesiastical peculiars” is so that they will have the freedom to push the edges of liturgical practice in the direction of the church’s emerging theology. There is a serious theological argument abroad these days about the relationship of baptism and Eucharist. To characterize the open invitation as “liturgical universalism” misconstrues the state of the argument. Those of us who favor open communion do so knowing that the church has historically seen one sacrament as a precondition for the other. We simply question, in the present pastoral situation, the propriety of following that practice.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), Eucharist, Sacramental Theology, Seminary / Theological Education, TEC Conflicts, Theology

All Saints Pastor Stays with Congregation

From the Manassas Journal Messenger:

The Rev. John Guernsey, rector of All Saints’ Church in Dale City, will not leave his 850-member congregation when he assumes his new position as a bishop for the Anglican Church of Uganda this fall.

“I’m still serving here and still have the responsibility to care for this congregation,” said Guernsey, 54, who has led the church since 1981. “My heart is here. It’s my primary calling.”

The consecration, which was announced last month, is set for Sept. 2 in Mbarara, Uganda.

As bishop, Guernsey will oversee 26 churches and 70 clergy in the United States. The churches are located throughout the country: New York, North Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Kentucky, Texas, Kansas, Montana and California.

There are four in Virginia: Eternity Anglican Church in Richmond; South Riding Church and Church of the Holy Spirit, both in eastern Loudoun County; as well as Christ Our Lord Church in Lake Ridge. All Saints’ started the Christ Our Lord Church.

“It’s a bit overwhelming right now,” said Guernsey.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of Uganda, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts

Serious Security Questions at Phoenix's Sky Harbor Airport

Night after night, our hidden cameras captured what security experts tell us is a disaster waiting to happen.

The X-ray machines were off, the metal detectors were closed, and bags with unknown contents were carried to the secure side of the airport where the planes are.

We watched as a security guard let people with purses, coolers and suitcases
walk right through – bags unchecked.

Even more surprising, some of the people you trust to keep you safe planned it this way.

Larry Wansley is widely regarded as one of the nation’s top airline security experts. “It’s a frightening situation, I’ve just simply never seen anything like it,” he said. “I really honestly have not.”

He’s the former head of security for American Airlines, and currently consults the U.S. Government and airports around the world. We brought him in to take a look at what we found.

“It is not security,” he said. “It truly is not security. Anything can be going through there. I don’t get it.”

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, Defense, National Security, Military

Archbishop of Armagh expresses Doubt over Anglican Covenant

From Christian Today:

The Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland, the Most Rev Alan Harper, has spoken out on the “sin” of division plaguing what he calls the “tortured” Anglican Communion.

Speaking in his address on the Feast Day of St Mary Magdalene, he said he had come to believe that “division is a greater sin even than heresy”.

He appealed to fellow Anglicans to remember Paul’s call for patient forbearance in his letter to the Ephesians, warning that disunity and “open rupture” were a “sign that the full stature of Christ remains absent from the Body”.

Archbishop Drexel Gomez warned the General Synod of the Church of England earlier in the month that, “Unless we can make a fresh statement clearly and basically of what holds us together we are destined to grow apart”.

Archbishop Harper referred to his comments by adding that “a spirit of arrogance on both sides is causing people of genuine faith and undoubted love for the Lord Jesus to bypass the requirement for patience and for making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace”.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Covenant

Richard Kew: Communion Matters

As I have been working with Communion Matters in preparation for a gathering in our congregation, I find myself disheartened. Not only is it confused and confusing, but it seems politically-driven, desiring rank-and-file Episcopalians to concur with special pleading being made by this Anglican province which has run foul the rest of the Anglican Communion. It is designed like a questionnaire whose outcome is already predetermined, and the predetermination is that the Episcopal Church at the very best wants to sit loose to the wider Communion.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Identity, Ecclesiology, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, Theology

In the Rochester, New York, Area, Prayers to fill church again

Trinity Communion Church is moving into the former All Saints Church building at 759 Winona Blvd.

The congregation of more than 100 people, which currently holds services at St. John Fisher College, purchased the building from the Episcopal Diocese of Rochester for $475,000.

Fr. Robert Dalgleish of Trinity Communion Church says groups of parishioners have been working hard on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays to prepare the church for use in September.

The church plans to go paperless, so additions will include large plasma screen monitors that can be used to display hymn lyrics, readings and information.

“So people can look up and worship rather than looking down at a bulletin,” said Dalgleish.

Trinity Communion Church is part of the International Communion of the Charismatic Episcopal Church, which uses the word “Episcopal” as a description of its church governance and is not a break-off group of any Episcopal denomination.

“As sad as it is when a church closes, it’s a wonderful thing for us to see a strong community to worship in the space,” said Rev. Canon Carolyn Lumbard, the canon for congregational development and communication for the Episcopal Diocese of Rochester. “We wish them well.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, Episcopal Church (TEC), Other Churches, TEC Conflicts

Peter Irons: Does the religious majority rule?

Every town and city has “insiders” and “outsiders.” Insiders tend to have deep family roots in the community, belong to its dominant religious group and political party, and play active roles in civic affairs. Particularly in small towns, insiders get upset when outsiders challenge the symbols that reflect the majority’s beliefs and values.

On the surface, Jimmie Greene and Louanne Walker both qualify as insiders in rural McCreary County, Ky., a stronghold of hard-shell Baptists and rock-ribbed Republicans. They are, in fact, cousins whose ancestors settled in the Cumberland Mountains back in Daniel Boone’s days. Jimmie and Louanne grew up together, attended the same elementary school and worshipped in the same Baptist church. Jimmie served four terms as the county’s “judge executive,” and Louanne has worked for 20 years in the welfare office.

But Louanne quickly became an outsider when she challenged her cousin’s decision to hang a copy of the Ten Commandments in the lobby of the McCreary County courthouse in Whitley City, a town of just over 1,000 residents. Talking with me recently over coffee in her kitchen, Louanne traced her decision to her mother, Nellie, an “outsider” from neighboring Pulaski County who married into the huge Walker clan.

“She was a Democrat, a liberal, a strong-minded person,” Louanne said. “She was a big supporter of the church, but she was also a supporter of separation of church and state, and she brought me up that way.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Church-State Issues, Religion & Culture

The Archbishop of York warns Anglican conservatives

From the Telegraph:

The Archbishop of York has warned conservative Anglican leaders that they will effectively expel themselves from the worldwide Church if they boycott next year’s Lambeth Conference.

In an exclusive interview with The Daily Telegraph, Dr John Sentamu pleaded with them to attend the conference despite their war with liberals over homosexuality.

But he told them that if they “voted with their feet” they risked severing their links with the Archbishop of Canterbury and with historic Anglicanism, a breach that could take centuries to heal.

“Anglicanism has its roots through Canterbury,” he said. “If you sever that link you are severing yourself from the Communion. There is no doubt about it.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Global South Churches & Primates

Iran, U.S. to Discuss Iraq This Week

The United States and Iran have set a date for ambassador-level talks in Baghdad on the deteriorating security situation in Iraq””the first such meeting since late May, U.S. and Iraqi officials said Sunday.

The two sides will sit down together on Tuesday, according to Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari and U.S. Embassy spokesman Philip Reeker, amid U.S. allegations that Tehran is supporting violent Shiite militias in the country.

Zebari told The Associated Press by telephone that the discussions would be at the ambassadorial level and would focus on the situation in Iraq, not U.S.-Iran tensions.

Iraq’s fragile government has been pressing for another meeting between the two nations with the greatest influence over its future, and Iran has repeatedly signaled its willingness to sit down. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said last week that Washington was also ready to hold new talks with Iran on the security situation in Iraq.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, Iraq War

A Meet the Press Discussion on the Iraq War

MR. BROOKS: Well, if we leave, we could see 250,000 Iraqis die. You had the John Burns’ quotation earlier in the program. So are we willing to prevent 10,000 Iraqi deaths a month at the cost of 125 Americans? That’s a tough moral issue, but it’s also a tough national interest issue because we don’t know what the consequences of getting out are. And the frustration of watching the debate in Washington, very few people are willing to, to grapple with those two facts, that there’s””that the surge will not work in the short-term, but getting out will be cataclysmic. And you see politicians on both sides evading one of those two facts. But you’ve got to grapple with them both.

MR. HAYES: And, and one of the things that the president said at this discussion that David was at, and I was at as well, was that he intends to make the case that, “Look, this is going to be a disaster if we get out.” He didn’t say it in exactly those terms, but he’s going to start making, in many cases, the negative case. “Look at what Iraq will look like if we leave. We have a moral obligation to the Iraqis to stay.”

MR. WOODWARD: And the problem, though, is, we don’t know. People can say, “Oh, it’s going to be a disaster.”

MR. BROOKS: Uh-huh.

MR. WOODWARD: I mean, you cite numbers which you have pulled out of the air of 10,000 dying. I mean, that’s””that””where does that come from?

MR. BROOKS: Well, A, it comes from John Burns. Second, it comes from the national intelligence…

MR. WOODWARD: Well, no, he doesn’t say 10,000.

MR. BROOKS: Well, no, no, but it talks about genocide.

MR. WOODWARD: Yeah.

MR. BROOKS: So I just picked that 10,000 out of the air.

MR. WOODWARD: OK, but that””we’ve got…

MR. BROOKS: The National Intelligence Estimate says that””well, most people, as Burns reports, say it will get much, much worse. So that’s the, that’s the dilemma.

MR. RUSSERT: But, David Brooks, you, you will hear a lot of people will say, you know, “The administration has made misjudgments before about WMD, about the level of troops needed, about being greeted as liberators. They could be wrong about what would flow from a redeployment of American troops.”

MR. BROOKS: Absolutely they could be wrong. And, and so we’ve””and, and it could be that peace will break out. But I think, if you look at Iraq, you see four or five civil wars going on at once. You see Shia fighting each other. You see the Sunni-Shia thing. It could be that there’s””this is just a process they need to go through, and there’s no way we can stop it in any case. Joe Biden was very honest this week. He said it’s a moral failure if we leave, but we’re going to have to do it. That at least is grappling with the issue.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, Iraq War

Nicholas Lash: Churches, proper and otherwise

On 10 July, L’Osservatore Romano published a statement from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), entitled “Responses to some questions regarding certain aspects of the doctrine on the Church”. I have no idea why the document has been produced, nor where these “questions” come from. It is, in fact, dated 29 June. Perhaps publication was delayed so that it could come out under the smokescreen created by the long-awaited appearance of the motu proprio by which the Pope, overriding the authority of the episcopate (although he denies that he is doing this) has given widespread permission for the use of the unreformed Missal of 1962.

The fifth and last of the questions addressed in the document runs as follows: “Why do the texts of the Council and those of the Magisterium since the Council not use the title of ”˜Church’ with regard to those Christian communities born out of the Reformation of the sixteenth century?”

The answer given is that, “according to Catholic doctrine, these communities do not enjoy apostolic succession in the sacrament of orders, and are, therefore, deprived of a constitutive element of the Church”. Accordingly, these ecclesial communities “cannot, according to Catholic doctrine, be called ”˜Churches’ in the proper sense”. The authority for that final clause is given, correctly, as the highly contentious declaration Dominus Iesus, which the CDF issued, over the signature of Cardinal Ratzinger, in June 2000.

The expression does not, however, occur in the documents of the Second Vatican Council.

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Posted in * Religion News & Commentary, Ecclesiology, Other Churches, Roman Catholic, Theology

Did Virginia get the Proper Consents for their Episcopal Election in the Proper Form?

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Update: Sarah Hey has comments on this here.

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Update #2:
Referenced in the comments below are the following:

A blog entry by the Rev. Jan Nunley at TEC’s EpiScope blog

An article by Steve Waring in the Living Church.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Polity & Canons

Geoffrey Rowell: Science and politics can mean nothing without faith

As Bishop for the Church of England in Europe I am privileged to visit many significant places. Last month I found myself in what were at first sight two very contrasting contexts. Early in June I was in Geneva and was taken to visit CERN, the European Particle Physics Laboratory, where a huge accelerator is under construction that will enable experiments to be conducted into fundamental particles, the sub-atomic world of energy at the heart of seemingly solid matter, and which can also provide us with understanding of the origins of the Universe. The great accelerator is being assembled from parts made across the world with a precision that enables them to fit perfectly and completely together ”“ an image of human communion and cooperation that is startling in a world which is so often divided. When lowered, again with wonderful precision, into the circular tunnel, several kilometres in diameter, this extraordinary machine will enable physicists to search for the Higgs particle ”“ a particle believed to exist but which has not yet definitively been shown to exist. So from beginning to end this experiment, and the huge cost of the equipment needed for it, is a work of faith.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Europe, Religion & Culture

Chris Sugden: An end to Nationalistic Anglicanism

The Archbishop of Canterbury will be meeting with the House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church on 20 and 21 September. Later, the Common Cause of Bishops in the Americas, including Canada and Recife, Brazil will meet as the September 30 deadline for the response of The Episcopal Church to draw back from its apostate stance draws near.

While the captain and officers on the bridge of the good ship The Anglican Communion work out how to avoid the rocks for which it is heading, and others recommend improvements to improve its superstructure, below decks some American passengers are being persecuted for holding, promoting and sharing the faith which the Communion has held dear. This outrage, in defiance of the clear requests of the Primates in Tanzania in February, should be continually before us as we read the news of proposals, covenants and new bishops being consecrated for America.

Meanwhile orthodox parishes in the United States are being sued by the central bureaucracy of The Episcopal Church for property which the local church has invested in for generations but which the central bureaucracy now claims as it own. People may leave The Episcopal Church, but buildings or property may not. In some cases churches are being sued for the crayons from the Sunday School. In other cases a pastor moving to a parish cannot get a mortgage to buy a house because he is named in a lawsuit and the mortgage company fear that all his assets might be seized including “their” house. One Diocese is spending £20,000 to £25,000 a month just to defend itself from lawsuits emanating from the central bureaucracy of The Episcopal Church.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal