Daily Archives: June 21, 2008


The Cubs rally from 4-1 down to go up 9-4 against the White Sox. They have a seriously good offense this year.

Update: the Cubs went on to win 11-7.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Sports

NY Times–With a Word, Egyptians Leave It All to Fate

The starting point for inshallah is faith, but just like the increasing popularity of the head scarf and the prayer bump, its new off-the-rack status reflects the rising tide of religion around the region. Observance, if not necessarily piety, is on the rise, as Islam becomes for many the cornerstone of identity. That has put the symbols of Islam at the center of culture, and routine.

“Over the past three decades, the role of religion has been expanded in everything in our lives,”’ said Ghada Shahbendar, a political activist who studied linguistics at American University in Cairo.

Deference to the divine has become a communal reflex, a compulsive habit, like the incessant honking of Egyptian cabdrivers ”” even when there are no other cars on the street.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Egypt, Middle East, Religion & Culture

Living Church: Anglican Leaders Gather for Mideast Conference

“I’m not hearing anything about breaking up the Anglican Communion, or anything of the sort,” Bishop Martyn Minns told The Living Church. Bishop Minns, formerly rector of Truro Episcopal Church in Fairfax, Va., is the founding Missionary Bishop of the Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA), an outreach of the Anglican Church of Nigeria.

“We are not focusing all of our attention on human sexuality,” he added. “The workshops are designed to get us moving forward with emphasis on evangelism, church planting, the Bible, family and marriage, and also on developing a better understanding of our Anglican identity.”

Bishop Minns said a booklet titled “The Way, The Truth and the Life: Theological Resources for a Pilgrimage to a Global Anglican Future,” released by GAFCON organizers at a press conference June 19, has been mischaracterized in some reports as conference planners’ declaration of independence from the Anglican Communion. He noted that the booklet is a historical summary of the recent past, and does not contain specific recommendations for the future.

“The purpose of the conference is not to call people away from either the Lambeth Conference or the Anglican Communion,” he said. “Certain things of monumental importance have changed about Anglicanism within the past 10 years. Those things have irreversibly reshaped the landscape. We must get together and work out what to do about our future in light of the facts that have occurred.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, GAFCON I 2008, Global South Churches & Primates

Global Anglican Future Press conference: Remarks by Archbishop Peter Jensen

We’re looked forward to this immensely. Already the gathering of the initial team has been an extraordinary, bracing occasion and one which we have enjoyed thoroughly. I am looking forward to an extraordinarily interesting and rather exciting conference I have to say and you may be interested to know that I personally, speaking for myself now, personally wrote to the Archbishop of Canterbury just a couple of weeks ago to assure him of my prayers for Lambeth and for the successful outcome of the Lambeth conference and he has now written to me and assured me of his prayers for us and his prayers for a successful outcome of this conference as well. So I think that’s worth knowing when we talk a great deal about things like schism and so forth.

Read or listen to it it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican Provinces, GAFCON I 2008, Global South Churches & Primates

Week of Teaching, Pilgrimages Planned for GAFCON Attendees

More than one thousand Anglicans from 25 nations, including 300 bishops are on their way to Jerusalem to attend the Global Anglican Future Conference. The meeting, which will be held June 22 ”“ 29, includes daily addresses from key Anglican pastors, teachers and leaders.

The Most Rev. Peter Akinola, primate Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) will formally welcome pilgrims to GAFCON on June 22. There are over 22 million Anglicans in church every Sunday, making the Church of Nigeria the largest church of the Anglican Communion.

After a pilgrimage to the Mount of Olives and Gethsemane on Monday morning, the Most Rev. Henry Orombi, primate of the Anglican Church of the Province of Uganda, will deliver the keynote address, “Jesus Christ as Lord” on Monday afternoon.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, GAFCON I 2008, Global South Churches & Primates

Episcopal Diocese of San Diego ordains First Deacon with Same Sex Partner

The Episcopal Diocese of San Diego took another step toward the full acceptance of gays with the ordination of its first openly gay deacon.

During a month in which thousands of same-sex couples were able to marry in California, Thomas Wilson was ordained to the transitional diaconate by San Diego Bishop James Mathes at St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral. Wilson, who moved to San Diego eight years ago with his partner of 20 years, is expected to serve as a deacon for six months to a year before becoming a priest, Mathes said.

Yet the bishop downplayed the significance of Wilson’s sexual orientation.Mathes said he was not aware that a press release had been sent by the diocese with the headline: “Openly Gay, Partnered Deacon Ordained! First One in This Diocese Ever!”

“The Episcopal Diocese of San Diego calls and ordains gifted people,” Mathes said. “That’s all this is.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts

Geoffrey Rowell: The Bible needs interpreters but reflects the common faith of the whole Church

Holy books ”” sacred scripture ”” always need interpreters. This is true of the Jewish commentaries and expositions. It is true of Christian commentaries, sermons and reflections. To say that the Bible is the Church’s book is to say that it reflects the common faith of the Church. It is that common faith and tradition which are embodied in the teaching of the Church; just as the scriptures are normative for testing new teaching both doctrinal and ethical.

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Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Time Magazine: Are the Anglicans About to Split?

The schism long forecast for the Anglican Communion over the church’s liberal stand on homosexuality may be getting closer. A document released by a group of conservative churchmen called the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFcon) made it clear that the more than 250 bishops who belong to the group intend to transform the 77-million-member global Communion, the world’s third-largest affiliation of churches, because of their differences over the church’s stance on gay priests and other issues.

Just days before the group’s conference is set to begin in Jerusalem, GAFcon’s leader, Anglican Archbishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria, declared in a 94-page theological statement: “There is no longer any hope, therefore, for a unified Communion … Now we confront a moment of decision … We want unity, but not at the cost of relegating Christ to the position of another wise teacher, who can be obeyed or disobeyed. We earnestly desire the healing of our beloved Communion, but not at the cost of rewriting the Bible to accommodate the latest cultural trend. We have arrived at a crossroads; it is, for us, the moment of truth.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Latest News, GAFCON I 2008, Global South Churches & Primates

NPR: Angst Bubbles in the Anglican Communion

[Archbishop Henry] Orombi wonders how the archbishop can rein in the other churches when things like [the recent “marriage” ceremony in London of two men] happen under his own nose.

“I think the truth has come out,” he says. “The mother church has been ”” is already in the same problem. Now, which way is the communion going? We are asking ourselves that, and saying, that [same-sex ceremony] is a reflection of how far from biblical teaching and understanding even the Church of England is going.”

Orombi says it’s just one more reason he is boycotting the Lambeth Conference. And it’s not just he and his bishops who are doing so; bishops of Nigeria, Kenya and Rwanda are also staying away. Together they represent some two-thirds of the practicing Anglicans in the world.

Leaders from this group of the Anglican Communion see meeting with their Western colleagues as a waste of time.

“We’ve talked and talked and talked over the past decade,” says Archbishop Greg Venables, who oversees most of South America. “We’ve made it clear what the majority of Anglicans believe and how they feel about this, and nothing has happened.”

Read or listen to it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, - Anglican: Latest News, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Marriage & Family, Sexuality

Paul Hartt: Albany resolutions mesh with Episcopal Church

…the resolutions passed at our Episcopal Diocesan Convention concern appropriate clergy behavior. The Episcopal Diocese of Albany does not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation in allowing men or women into the ordination process. But that does not mean, for example, that a man of heterosexual orientation would be a suitable candidate for ordination if his behavior included adultery. He is to be an example to the flock.

If he or she is single, he or she is called to be celibate by the church as an example to the faithful and to the youth. The diocese does not discriminate on the basis of orientation but only on the basis of actual behavior.

This accords with both the teaching and canon law of the whole Episcopal Church, not simply the Diocese of Albany.

Read the whole letter.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)

CBN: Episcopal Church Hopes in Pittsburgh Turn to Third World

“What I and others on the conserving side of the Episcopal church represent is this clear vision that the church can never be anything other than under God’s Word and can never be anything other than submitted to the Lordship of Jesus Christ,” [Bishop Robert Duncan] says.

The last straw for many came with the ordination of openly gay bishop Gene Robinson in 2003. Since then, the splinter churches have sought refuge in the worldwide Anglican church. They’re now under the authority of churches in Africa and South America. These Third World congregations are also theologically orthodox. And they’re growing. Today more than 43 million Anglicans attend church in Africa alone — that’s more than half of all Anglicans worldwide.

“Isn’t it staggering” says Duncan, “that God would lift up the church in Southeast Asia instead of the church in Britain — or the church in Uganda instead of the church in America?”

The phenomenal growth and the split are rocking the Anglican church worldwide. This summer, the church’s “Lambeth” conference, held only once every 10 years, will be boycotted by many Third World Anglicans. They’ll attend a rival event, The Global Anglican Futures Conference or GAFCON in Jerusalem. Duncan says this represents the shift between two eras.

“Some thing is about a world that once was and one thing is about a world that is emerging,” he said.

[Theologian Edith] Humphrey predicts, “I think the real business of the church is going to go on at GAFCON because there we have an opportunity to move on without impediments.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), Global South Churches & Primates, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Pittsburgh

US News and World Report: Dissident Anglicans to Set Their Own Agenda

Divisive as it all may sound, conference organizers are quick to reject the charge that they are trying to upstage the upcoming Lambeth Conference, the official meeting of Communion bishops held in England every 10 years under the auspices of the archbishop of Canterbury, now the Most Rev. and Right Hon. Rowan Williams.

But many attending the Jerusalem meeting, including the Most Rev. Peter Akinola of Nigeria, have said that they will not attend the Lambeth gathering in mid-July. And GAFCON attendees admit they have lost patience with Anglican and Episcopal church leaders, who conservatives say have refused to take clear or decisive stands on such issues as gay marriage and openly gay clergy.

“The traditional power brokers of the Communion are being challenged,” says the Rt. Rev. Martyn Minns, missionary bishop of the Convocation of Anglicans in North America, a group of about 60 American congregations that have cut ties with the U. S. Episcopal Church and are now incorporated under Archbishop Akinola’s Nigerian province. Minns charges that the Communion’s leadership in the global north continues to ignore demographic and theological reality: that the church in the global south is not only the largest part of the Communion (with more than 40 million of the 70 million Anglicans and Episcopalians) but also the most committed to orthodox Christian teaching.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, Global South Churches & Primates, Middle East, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)

Providence Journal: Episcopal Church fighting to survive

In an attempt to try to lower the rhetoric, Archbishop Williams has left a few names off the list of invitees, notably Bishop Robinson (who plans to go anyway to speak to the media) and three or four conservative bishops who had been visiting other dioceses without local permission. Also, the bishops of Uganda and Rwanda disclosed that they will boycott the sessions to protest what they see as the Anglican Church’s liberal “drift.”

Here in Rhode Island, Bishop [Geralyn] Wolf notes that she has long maintained a policy of not allowing the blessing of any same-sex relationships to take place on any Episcopal Church property. She also supports continuing the moratorium on ordaining any new homosexual bishops, arguing that the measures are important to the unity of the Anglican Communion.

Frankly, she says, she doesn’t know what will emerge from next month’s meeting. She says she is very keen on holding the Anglican Communion together.

She said she suspects that, even though no votes are to be officially taken, some sort of decision will come “through the back door.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Archbishop of Canterbury, Episcopal Church (TEC), Lambeth 2008, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts