Daily Archives: July 2, 2008

World Bank pressures G-8 on oil and food

Warning that rising food and oil prices pose a crisis for the world’s poor, Robert Zoellick, the president of the World Bank, is calling on President George W. Bush and other leaders convening in Japan next week in an economic summit meeting to make new aid commitments to avert starvation and instability in dozens of countries.

“What we are witnessing is not a natural disaster — a silent tsunami or a perfect storm,” Zoellick said in a letter sent Tuesday evening to the major leaders of the West. “It is a man-made catastrophe, and as such must be fixed by people.”

Zoellick’s letter, obtained by The New York Times, came with a lengthy study of the impact of rising prices for food, fuel and commodities on the world’s poor. He sent the letter as Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda prepares to host Bush and six other world leaders in the Group of 8 economic summit meeting on the northern island of Hokkaido.

In recent weeks, the United States and some other countries have stepped up their pledges to get food to the poor in the 50 hardest-hit countries. But Zoellick said in his letter that the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the World Food Program had short-term needs of $10 billion.

Bank officials said that the world faced a shortfall in aid, but that pledges of financing had not been channeled into a central place and the size of the shortfall was not clear. “This is a test of the global system to help the most vulnerable, and it cannot afford to fail,” Zoellick said.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Energy, Natural Resources, Globalization, Poverty

Southwark Bishop lashes Fellow Anglicans

Dr Butler, head of the Anglican community in the boroughs of Bromley, Bexley and Greenwich, said: “Those attending the GAFCon make claims concerning the Anglican Communion which are frankly not supportable.

“It would seem that some of the authors of the statement from the conference and the founders of the new organisation are coming to Britain to recruit from amongst our parishes and clergy.

“I will be very surprised if many from Southwark Diocese rush to join them as it was only a couple of years ago that some of our good, hardworking, thoughtful evangelical clergy asked me to take action against other, more militant, evangelicals who were planting congregations in their parishes.

“What is proposed goes against the spirit of Anglicanism and Archbishop Dr Williams is right to challenge them to think carefully before going on down this path.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, GAFCON I 2008, Global South Churches & Primates

More from Bishop Chane: An evolving attitude has led us to the Same Sex marriage Question

Archbishop Rowan Williams has tried to take the issue of gay marriage off the table at the Lambeth Conference, which begins in three weeks. But the celebration of a gay relationship at one of London’s oldest churches last month, and the well-publicised gathering of anti-gay Anglicans in Jerusalem this week, suggest the controversy must eventually be faced squarely.

Conservative Christians say opening marriage to gay couples would undermine an immutable institution founded on divine revelation. Archbishop Henry Orombi, the primate of the Church of Uganda, calls it blasphemy. But, theologically, support for same-sex marriage is not a dramatic break with tradition, but a recognition that the church’s understanding of marriage has changed dramatically over 2,000 years.

Christians have always argued about marriage. Jesus criticised the Mosaic law on divorce, saying “What God has joined together let no man separate”, but even that dictum appears in different versions in the Gospels, and was modified in the letters of Peter and Paul. Christians had to square the ecstatic sensuality of the Song of Songs with Paul’s teaching that marriage was a fallen estate, useful primarily in saving those who could not be celibate from fornication.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Bishops, Theology

The Bishop of Washington D.C. responds to GAFCON

From here:

The archbishop’s thoughtful letter is helpful, and his defense of the Communion’s structures is persuasive. I am particularly grateful to hear him say that “the conviction of the uniqueness of Jesus Christ as Lord and God and the absolute imperative of evangelism are not in dispute in the common life of the Communion.” This slanderous bit of boilerplate has been repeated frequently by the opponents of the Episcopal Church, and it is heartening to know that the archbishop realizes that it false.

‘I am quite concerned however that Archbishop Williams seems not to understand that there are primates, bishops, and others in the Communion who are actively seeking to undermine his office. He says that we should not “input selfish or malicious motives to those who have offered pastoral oversight to congregations in other provinces.” But there is no doubt that extending such oversight is an effort to foment discord, and punish those who argue on behalf of the full inclusion of gays and lesbians in the life of our Communion. Peter Akinola is unwilling to articulate a simple condemnation of violence against homosexuals. What more does he have to do to persuade the archbishop that his views are dangerous, malicious and un-Christian?’

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), GAFCON I 2008, Global South Churches & Primates, TEC Bishops

Pierre Whalon: Peering Past Lambeth

While the Anglican Communion watches and wonders what its bishops will be doing this summer, most at the Lambeth Conference, some at the GAFCON conference, and one in New Hampshire, it is interesting to try to peer past these events and see what the future might look like.

This writer claims no prophetic charism””none of these events will decide anything. The outline of the questions facing Anglicans around the world will probably look the same. What will have changed””and this is a prediction””is that the bishops at Lambeth will begin seriously to examine together what it will take to move the Communion forward, so that these questions can be faced.

While the presenting issues seem to be sexuality and territorial invasions creating new non-geographical jurisdictions like the Convocation of Anglicans in North America, the real issue is ecclesiology. The broader challenge facing Anglicans around the world is to re-commit to and live out in new ways the distinctive Anglican ecclesiology””what makes us Church.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Commentary, Anglican Identity, Ecclesiology, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops, Theology

Confessional Fellowship Will ”˜Reassert Bible’s Authority

During the press conference at All Souls’ Church, Langham Place, London, Archbishop [Peter] Jensen expressed surprise that Archbishop Williams was not more supportive of the group’s efforts.

“I was hoping he would be very joyfully receptive to what he saw as a development of quite legitimate authority to help bring order to the chaos of the Anglican Communion within the last five years,” he said.

Archbishop Jensen dismissed as mythological the idea that the Archbishop of Canterbury exercised legal or juridical power over the Communion. The Archbishop of Canterbury’s power is largely moral, he said, adding “that the last five years have seen a diminution of the moral authority that he is able to bring to this role.” The loss of moral authority was not Archbishop Williams’ fault, Archbishop Jensen said, and probably would have happened to “whoever had been the archbishop.”

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

A BBC Northern Ireland Sunday Sequence Audio Interview with Bishop Wallace Benn

Topics covered included both the GAFCON gathering and the Lambeth Conference–listen to it all (about 8 and 1/2 minutes).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, GAFCON I 2008, Global South Churches & Primates, Lambeth 2008

Episcopal Church where President Ford worshipped struggles to get back in black

Several things led to troubles. For about 10 years, the church subsidized St. Margaret’s School, on the grounds of the church, while enrollment was low, Douglas said.

Through the years, the church staff got bigger, slowly becoming more expensive, Douglas said.

Then, about 2½ years ago, the church took a financial hit relocating its thrift shop, Maggie’s Cellar Door.

“They had a place they decided to move to and were told they could sublet the first place,” Douglas said. “After they signed all the leases, they learned they could not sublet it. So they found themselves running two stores.”

The cost of running both added about $100,000 to their expenses, Douglas said.

The church is reaching out to the parish.

“We need to increase our pledges (by) $200,000 a year,” Rice said

Like many churches and organizations in the desert, St. Margaret’s deals with a very seasonal group, Rice said.

Roughly 40 percent of the more than 800 households that are members of the church do not donate regularly, probably because they do not attend church here year round, he said.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Episcopal Church (TEC), Parish Ministry, Stewardship, TEC Parishes

Jim Simons: The Case For Staying in the Episcopal Church

The purpose of the paper is to reflect on the current plan for realignment from the perspective of those who wish to remain in the Episcopal Church. This is authored by one person but has been reviewed by many who will not realign who have offered helpful suggestions.

While there are many varied reasons for staying we are all in agreement about one thing: We love Jesus and do not want to leave The Episcopal Church without a faithful witness to the Savior of the world. We believe that, like the prophets sent to Israel and Judea, we have an obligation to exhort The Episcopal Church, where necessary, to return to its first love. That is what a prophetic witness always does: calls God’s people back. Prophets are not always successful in this, but they are not called to be successful, they are called to be faithful.

This paper will explore some of the practical implications of the realignment vote passing….

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

Sacramento Bee: Some clergy want out of wedding duty

Some clergy think churches should divorce themselves from the wedding business.

The controversy over same-sex marriage ”“ along with a growing sense that many couples who marry in churches never return ”“ has prompted faith leaders to say it’s time to reconsider how California couples tie the knot.

After the California Supreme Court ruled gay marriage legal, the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of California began encouraging all couples to marry outside the church.

“I urge you to encourage all couples, regardless of orientation, to follow the pattern of first being married in a secular service, and then being blessed in the Episcopal Church,” Bishop Marc Handley Andrus wrote his clergy June 9.

This model is used by many European countries, according to John Witte, director of the Center for the Study of Law and Religion at Emory University. He said that approach has been practiced in France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Scandinavia and other countries for many years.

“In those countries, the civil ceremony is sufficient,” he said.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Marriage & Family, Parish Ministry

Church Times: Women bishops issue may dominate Synod

HE General Synod’s secretary general, William Fittall, has told reporters to expect “quite a lot of tension and anxiety” at the Synod’s next meeting (4 to 8 July).

The outcome of the debates on women bishops was “genuinely hard to call”, Mr Fittall said during a media briefing on the agenda in Church House, Westminster.

Mr Fittall said that, while simple majorities on motions and amendments were all that was necessary at this “pre-legislative” stage, two-thirds majorities in all Houses would be required later for any legislation. So voting figures on motions and amendments would be watched carefully, and were likely to “prompt people to consider their estimates about their own futures”.

In response to complaints in the church press from a Winchester lay representative, Paul Eddy, after his private member’s motion on the evangelisation of Muslims did not, as he and others had expected, appear on next month’s agenda, Mr Fittall said: “There has been no malarkey.”

Mr Eddy wanted to know who set the agenda for the Synod, and, Mr Fittall said, it was the Synod’s business committee, but “not in a vacuum”: it had to respond to many demands for the Synod’s time.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE)

Evangelical Christians sign up to a 'Church within a Church'

Nearly 800 clergy and lay leaders from the Church of England took the first steps yesterday towards forming a “Church within a Church” to be an evangelical stronghold against the ordination of [noncelibate] gay people.

The clergy met at All Souls Langham Place, in Central London, a prominent evangelical church, where they were invited to sign up to the “Jerusalem declaration” rejecting liberal doctrines. Most are expected to endorse the statement, forming the British arm of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans, a rival Anglican Communion that was started in Israel last week at a conference of conservative Anglicans from around the world.

In the declaration conservative bishops, mainly from Africa and Asia, stated: “We reject the authority of those Churches and leaders who have denied the orthodox faith in word or deed. We pray for them and call on them to repent and return to the Lord.”

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, hit back at the evangelical rebels yesterday, warning them that their new structures lacked legitimacy and urging them to “think very carefully about the risks entailed”.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), GAFCON I 2008, Global South Churches & Primates

Telegraph: Church 'in chaos' say some Anglican leaders

The Anglican church is in “chaos” with the “moral authority” of the Archbishop of Canterbury lying in tatters amid growing splits over homosexuality and women bishops, rebel leaders claim.

In a direct challenge to the leadership of Dr Rowan Williams, three leading Archbishops said they had decided to “take things in hand”.

Leaders of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (Foca), a newly formed network for millions of Anglicans angered by the rise of liberal theology, denied that they planned to “seize power” within the church.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), GAFCON I 2008, Global South Churches & Primates