Daily Archives: November 29, 2007

Graham Kings Responds to Chris Sugden

This ”˜no longer trusting in the Archbishop of Canterbury’ matches Chris Sugden’s earlier article, ”˜Not Schism but Revolution’, in Evangelicals Now (September 2007), where he stated, after a quotation from Bishop Bob Duncan:

In other words, since the Archbishop of Canterbury has not provided for the safe oversight of the orthodox in the United States, he has forfeited his role as the one who gathers the Communion.

The irony of this, is that the Presiding Bishop of the Southern Cone, Greg Venables, has been at pains to point out that he consulted with the Archbishop of Canterbury in September concerning the current events. At least he continues, it seems, to treat the Archbishop of Canterbury as one ”˜who gathers the Communion’.

The consequential question resulting from Chris Sugden’s view concerning the Archbishop of Canterbury is: ”˜Then who does gather the Communion?’ His view leaves a vacuum. It also means that the Primates’ Meeting can’t be gathered, since Canterbury presides at those meetings. It also means the Lambeth Conference can’t meet. Of the Four Instruments of Communion, that leaves only the Anglican Consultative Council and that is not seen as respresentative by him.

Read it all (the comment has a time stamp of 11:49 on November 28th).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Cono Sur [formerly Southern Cone], Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts

Recommended DVD Movie for the Holidays

Genius Products, Inc. is proud to present “Wordplay,” the critically acclaimed documentary, on DVD for the first time on November 7, 2006. “Wordplay” is an artfully constructed film that provides an in-depth behind the scenes view of the New York Times crossword puzzle and the current and historical creative forces that drive its production. Director Patrick Creadon treats this ordinary form of self-amusement as a spectator sport filled with rugged down-and-acrossers in hot pursuit of attaching words to terse definitions.

Elizabeth and Selimah caught this in the hotel room during thanksgiving vacation and I am now watching the DVD which we ordered through Netflix. Well worth the time–KSH.

Posted in * By Kendall, * Culture-Watch, Movies & Television

Scientists Replicate Substance That Extends Life

The scientists who discovered resveratrol, a substance in red wine that let mice live longer, say they’ve developed three drugs that do much the same thing. The most potent of the three controls blood sugar and is believed to fight other diseases of aging. They need regulatory approval.

Listen to it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Life Ethics, Science & Technology

Chris Sugden: Bishops without borders launched in Canada

Revolutionary movements in Eastern Europe in the 1980s and 1990s headed for the TV stations. In the revolution in the Anglican Communion last week, the Anglican Network in Canada launched its parallel Anglican entity in a TV Station in Burlington, Ontario.

260 leaders of congregations across Canada gathered at short notice. Nothing could be finalised until the Province of Southern Cone synod on 5-7 November had re-elected Gregory Venables as Presiding Bishop and permitted North American churches to affiliate with the Province.

Bishop Don Harvey, retired Bishop of Eastern Newfoundland and Labrador who takes his retreats at Mirfield, led from the front. He resigned his orders in the Anglican Church of Canada (ACC) on November 15, and one minute later was licensed as a Bishop in the Province of the Southern Cone. He spoke of sorrow, not regret: “The most hurtful thing was to hear the letter (from the Primate of Canada) read in church last Sunday (November 18) which declared that my basic right to celebrate the Holy Communion has been stripped from me. There was no “ I regret to have to do this” in the letter. Will all the Southern Cone bishops will be ostracised in Canada as well? ”

Bishop Harvey declared the revolution in his Pastoral Charge to the newly launched Church: “There is no reference in the Bible to a diocese, border, or boundary. I have heard ”˜Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel’. We have lawyers and doctors and engineers without borders. We are launching bishops without borders.”

Bishop Venables addressed the gathering by video and letter. “The division which has led to these moves is a severance resulting from a determined abandoning of the one true historic faith delivered to the saints.”
“Schism is a sinful parting over secondary issues. This separation is basic and fundamental and means that we are divided at the most essential point of the Christian faith. The sin here is not one of schism but of false teaching which is not at its root about human sexuality but about the very nature of truth itself.”
Dr James Packer, now 82, underlined that this was not schism, despite the protestations of his own (former) Bishop Ingham of New Westminster in the press.
Dr Packer said “Schism means unjustifiable dividing of organized church bodies, by the separating of one group within the structure from the rest of the membership. Schism is sin, for it is a needless and indefensible breach of visible unity. But withdrawal from a unitary set-up that has become unorthodox and distorts the gospel in a major way and will not put its house in order as for instance when the English church withdrew from the Church of Rome in the sixteenth century, should be called not schism but realignment, doubly so when the withdrawal leads to links with a set-up that is faithful to the truth, as in the sixteenth century the Church of England entered into fellowship with the Lutheran and Reformed churches of Europe, and as now we propose gratefully to accept the offer of full fellowship with the Province of the Southern Cone. Any who call such a move schism should be told that they do not know what schism is.”
“The present project is precisely not to abandon Anglicanism but to realign within it, so as to be able to maintain it in its fullness and authenticity”
Dr Packer set out the identity of Anglican Network in Canada:
“We are a community of conscience, – committed to the Anglican convictions – those defined in our foundation documents and expressed in our Prayer Book.
The historic Anglican conviction about homosexual behaviour contains three points:
It violates the order of creation. God made the two sexes to mate and procreate, with pleasure and bonding; but homosexual intercourse, apart from being, at least among men, awkward and unhealthy, is barren.
It defies the gospel call to repent and abstain from it, as from sin. This call is most clearly perhaps expressed in 1Cor. 6: 9-11, where the power of the Holy Spirit to keep believers clear of this and other lapses is celebrated.
The heart of true pastoral care for homosexual persons is helping them in friendship not to yield to their besetting temptation. We are to love the sinner, though we do not love the sin.
Second, we are a community of church people, committed to the Anglican Communion.
More than 90% of worshipping Anglicans worldwide outside the Old West are solidly loyal to the Christian heritage as Anglicanism has received it, and we see our realignment as enhancing our solidarity with them. We are not leaving Anglicanism behind.
Third, we are a community of consecration, committed to the Anglican calling of worship and mission, doxology and discipling. Church planting will be central to our vision of what we are being called to do.
Fourth, we are a community of courage, heading out into unknown waters but committed to the Anglican confidence that God is faithful to those who are faithful to him.”
By contrast “Liberal theology as such knows nothing about a God who uses written language to tell us things, or about the reality of sin in the human system, which makes redemption necessary and new birth urgent. Liberal theology posits, rather, a natural religiosity in man (reverance, that is, for a higher power) and a natural capacity for goodwill towards others, and sees Christianity as a force for cherishing and developing these qualities. They are to be fanned into flame and kept burning in the church, which in each generation must articulate itself by concessive dialogue with the cultural pressures, processes and prejudices that surround it. The church must ever play catch-up to the culture, taking on board whatever is the “in thing” at the moment; otherwise, so it is thought, Christianity will lose all relevance to life.
In an interview with 100 Huntley Street, a TV station, Dr Packer elaborated:
“The basic liberal attitude to human wisdom and liberal theology is poison. Poison is a vivid word. It shocks people awake. Poison takes the strength and life out of a system and if not contained is terminal. Liberal theology takes people away from the real knowledge of the real God to imaginary knowledge of an imaginary God. Their imaginary God is dumb. He does not speak. This is a different God. Liberal theology leads people astray and undermines their health. The real God is not taken seriously and is kept out of the picture.”
Bishop Malcolm Harding, who after retirement led Anglican Renewal Ministries in Canada, was appointed a second Bishop of the Southern Cone for Canada. Rev Canon Charlie Masters, the Director of Anglican Essentials Canada was appointed Archdeacon and Mrs Cheryl Chang from Vancouver as Chancellor. Bishop Harvey’s pastoral charge affirmed that “Women have the same status as men in all ministries in ANiC. We have adopted the same rule and policy as Common Cause. There is no second class citizen. We are all one in Christ Jesus.”
Two congregations not currently part of the Anglican Church of Canada, St John’s Richmond and the Church of the Resurrection, Hope, both in British Columbia, were received into the ANiC. Congregations which belong to ACC have to vote as congregations to transfer. Ownership of the properties has yet to be tested in law. But 8 clergy have already been summoned to appear before their bishops, and the Rev Charlie Masters, the Director of Essentials, expects to be deposed this week.
On Saturday December 2 ordinations have been arranged in Vancouver. Dr. Ingham has sent threatening letters to Bishop Donald Harvey, not to ordain priests for conservative parishes in New Westminster, to the potential ordinands (asserting that only his ordinations are recognized in the Anglican Church of Canada and, speaking imperially, the world-wide Anglican Communion), and to conservative priests in his Diocese (not to support any irregular ordinations). The official launch of the Church will be April 25-27 in Vancouver and the first Synod will be held in November 2008.

Revolutions are legitimized through recognition by others. Supportive greetings and recognition were sent to Bishop Harvey and the new entity by the Primates of Uganda, West Africa, Kenya, Central Africa, the Indian Ocean, South East Asia, and by Bishop Mouneer Anis (Egypt), Archbishop Peter Jensen (Sydney), Bishop Robinson Cavalcanti (Recife) and from Bishop Bob Duncan (Pittsburgh), Bishop John Guernsey (Uganda) and Bishop Martyn Minns (CANA) from the USA.

From England greetings were sent from Bishop Michael Nazir Ali (Rochester) and by Bishop Wallace Benn, Bishop of Lewes & President of Church of England Evangelical Council (CEEC) and leaders from CEEC, Reform, New Wine, Church Society, Anglican Mainstream, Forward in Faith, the Covenant Group for the Church of England, Crosslinks and the 1990 Group of General Synod. (See letters page).

The Conference Presentations on Church Planting, Governance, Structure, and Media Relationships can be found at http://www.anglicannetwork.ca/events.htm

–This article sppears in the Church of England Newspaper, November 30, 2007, on page 12

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces

In Canada Anglicans set for fight

Canada’s breakaway conservative Anglicans have a million-dollar war chest to fight pending legal battles over church property and have hired a Bay Street law firm, documents from the groups’ recent meeting in Burlington reveal.

“It is possible that we could lose church properties at the end of the day,” reads one of the documents, released this week by Anglican Essentials Canada. “However, that day could be very long coming.”

The document is from a session on the legal implications of separating from the Anglican Church of Canada that was closed to the media. In it, lawyer Cheryl Chang says the group is confident it has sufficient resources to fight any legal battle.

“We feel we have a very good legal case to make and have a substantial commitment for a legal fund in the amount of $1 million,” the document reads.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Law & Legal Issues

Schools told to explain relationships with lenders

Dozens of colleges, universities and trade schools have been ordered to turn over documents to government officials explaining why a single lender at each school handles the majority of federally backed student loans.

The request, sent to 55 schools, comes amid concerns that some colleges might be steering students improperly to lenders who reward schools for the extra business. The schools have until Friday to give federal education officials documents dating to July 1, 2005, that include correspondence with lenders, loan policies and written descriptions of how preferred lenders were chosen.

The targeted schools include large public universities, private liberal arts colleges and career schools where students received at least $10 million in federal loans for tuition and fees during the 2006-07 school year, according to data obtained from the U.S. Department of Education by Gannett News Service under the Freedom of Information Act.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Economy, Education

Challenging Tradition, Young Jews Worship on Their Terms

There are no pews at Tikkun Leil Shabbat, no rabbis, no one with children or gray hair.

Instead, one rainy Friday night, the young worshipers sat in concentric circles in the basement of an office building, damp stragglers four deep against the walls. In the middle, Megan Brudney and Rob Levy played guitar, drums and sang, leading about 120 people through the full Shabbat liturgy in Hebrew.

Without a building and budget, Tikkun Leil Shabbat is one of the independent prayer groups, or minyanim, that Jews in their 20s and 30s have organized in the last five years in at least 27 cities around the country. They are challenging traditional Jewish notions of prayer, community and identity.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Judaism, Other Faiths, Young Adults

Foreclosure activity increases 2% in Oct according to RealtyTrac

The national foreclosure rate for the month was one foreclosure filing for every 555 households.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, Housing/Real Estate Market

The funeral industry increasingly goes digital

When 92-year-old Ruben Edmond passed away this past summer, not everyone could make it to Norfolk, Virginia, to say goodbye to the man whose family includes five children, 28 grandchildren, 29 great-grandchildren, and five great-great grandchildren.

So while some mourners streamed into the funeral home to pay their last respects, others from North Carolina to Hawaii watched a streaming video of the ceremony online and visited a tribute page produced by the funeral home that helped organize Edmond’s last rites.

“We used technology to pay our last tribute – it was just awesome,” said Edmond’s daughter, Estelle Edmond-Bussey, 64, of Chesapeake, Virginia. Family members regathered later to watch a replay of the ceremony, giving her a chance to remember “the things I was numb to the day of the service.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Blogging & the Internet, Death / Burial / Funerals, Parish Ministry, Science & Technology

Online Courses Catch On in U.S. Colleges

When today’s college graduates get together for a reunion someday, they may decide to do it by computer. That’s because right now, nearly one in five college students takes at least one class online, according to a new survey.

For professors, the growth of e-learning has meant a big shift in the way they deal with students.

Take professor Sara Cordell of the University of Illinois-Springfield: Her day doesn’t end at 6 p.m., as it does for some college professors.

Cordell sits at her computer in her campus office to chat with a half-dozen students gathered in front of their screens: One is in Tennessee, another in California’s central valley, another in Ohio. They’re all here to talk about Thomas Hardy’s 19th-century novel Tess of the D’Urbervilles.

Cordell has a microphone hooked up to her PC, and her students listen from home. All but one of them type their responses, which appear in chat-format on Cordell’s screen.

Read and/or listen to it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Blogging & the Internet, Education

(London Times): Code of practice for mosques aims to stamp out extremism

Muslim leaders are to carry out spot checks and will introduce programmes to fight extremism in the first set of national guidelines for mosques.

The draft guidelines, to be published tomorrow, represent the most radical attempt so far by leaders of the country’s two million Muslims to tackle extremism and introduce an effective system of self-regulation.

The hope is that the new measures will help to prevent young people from being drawn to extremism through extremist teaching in and around unregulated mosques.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, England / UK, Islam, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture

The Church of Ireland proposes its own draft covenant

The Church of Ireland has responded to the Anglican Draft Covenant by producing its own draft covenant. The document was prepared by a small group former and present Irish members of ACC and other church members experienced in ecumenical affairs, who hold “a wide variety of views in relation to both churchmanship and issues of human sexuality.” It has been presented to both the House of Bishops and the Standing Committee of the Church of Ireland, with suggestions from both bodies incorporated into the document.

In redrafting a proposed Anglican Covenant the working group wanted to express very clearly the themes of Mutual Responsibility and Interdependence within the Body of Christ, to be inclusive, insofar as possible and produce an agreement which might prevent similar crises in the future. To achieve this, the working group sought to remove elements of legislative structure from any proposed Anglican covenant and emphasised provincial autonomy within the Communion.

IrishAngle reproduces the text of the draft covenant below:

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Covenant, Anglican Provinces, Church of Ireland

British teacher charged with insulting Islam

The British school teacher arrested in Sudan has been charged today with blasphemy, insulting Islam and inciting hatred after her pupils named a teddy bear Muhammad.

Gillian Gibbons, 54, now faces 40 lashes, a six month prison sentence or a fine if convicted of the crime.

The decision to press charges has triggered diplomatic tensions between Sudan and Britain. David Miliband, the Foreign Secretary, immediately summoned the Sudanese diplomat in London to the Foreign Office.

“We are surprised and disappointed by this development, and the Foreign Secretary will summon as a matter of urgency the Sudanese ambassador to discuss the matter further,” a spokesman for Gordon Brown said.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Education, England / UK, Religion & Culture

St. Andrew's church leaving its Vestal home

Almost six months after withdrawing from the Episcopal Diocese of Central New York, members of St. Andrew’s Anglican Church in Vestal will leave their buildings on Mirador Road this week and share facilities with a Baptist congregation on Front Street.

After the congregation’s vestry voted in June to leave the Episcopal Church, leaders faced the prospect of a long and costly legal battle with the diocese over the local parish’s buildings, which include a church, community center and rectory.

“We said all along that we would not go to court for our buildings,” said the Rev. Anthony Seel, pastor of St. Andrew’s Anglican Church. “We do not believe that Christians ought to be suing Christians. The diocese had already sued St. Andrew’s in Syracuse (which also withdrew), and we decided we weren’t going to get involved in a court battle.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Departing Parishes

Charles Marsh: What it means to be a Christian after George W. Bush

Like Bonhoeffer, I fear that the gospel has been humiliated in our time. But if this has happened, it is not because the message — the good news that God loves us unconditionally in Jesus Christ, that we are freed and forgiven in God’s amazing grace — has changed. Nor is it due to the machinations of secularists, or because the post-Enlightenment world has dispensed with the hypothesis of God. The Christian faith has not only endured modernity and post-modernity, but flourished in its new settings.

The gospel has been humiliated because too many American Christians have decided that there are more important things to talk about. We would rather talk about our country, our values, our troops, and our way of life; and although we might think we are paying tribute to God when we speak of these other things, we are only flattering ourselves.

If only holiness were measured by the volume of our incessant chatter, we would be universally praised as the most holy nation on earth. But in our fretful, theatrical piety, we have come to mistake noisiness for holiness, and we have presumed to know, with a clarity and certitude that not even the angels dared claim, the divine will for the world. We have organized our needs with the confidence that God is on our side, now and always, whether we feed the poor or corral them into ghettos.

To a nation filled with intense religious fervor, the Hebrew prophet Amos said: You are not the holy people you imagine yourselves to be. Though the land is filled with festivals and assemblies, with songs and melodies, and with so much pious talk, these are not sounds and sights that are pleasing to the Lord. “Take away from me the noise of your congregations,” Amos says, “you who have turned justice into poison.”

Psalm 46 tells us, “Be still and know that I am God.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer, in his classic work on Christian community, “Life Together,” spoke of a silence “before the Word.” He affirmed the wisdom of the Psalmist, and spoke of a listening silence that brings “clarification, purification, and concentration upon the essential thing.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Religion & Culture