Daily Archives: March 13, 2009

Resolution 4 Passed at the South Carolina Convention Today

This resolution just passed by majority vote–KSH.

Resolution R-4

Subject: A Resolution Requesting Withholding of Consent from the Episcopal Election in Northern Michigan

Offered by: the Very Rev. Craige Borrett, the Rev. Dr. Kendall Harmon, Christ Saint Paul’s, Yonges Island

That this Diocesan Convention believes significant questions have been raised regarding the Rev. Kevin Thew Forester’s faithfulness to the Doctrine of the Trinity as this Church has received it and as it is defined and articulated in the Nicene Creed; and

That on the basis of these questions Convention recommends that the Bishop and Standing Committee of the Diocese of South Carolina withhold its consent to the consecration of the Reverend Kevin Thew Forrester to the office of Bishop in the Episcopal Church; and

That this Convention strongly encourage the Bishops and Standing Committees of all other Episcopal Dioceses carefully and thoroughly to study especially those writings, statements, and sermons of the Reverend Kevin Thew Forester pertaining to the Doctrine of the Trinity and the nature of God.

Explanation:

The Rev. Kevin Thew Forester has been nominated and elected to serve in the office of bishop in the Episcopal Diocese of Northern Michigan.

We are well to be reminded that a bishop in the Church of God is “to be a guardian of the Church’s faith, to lead us in confessing that faith…”(BCP pp. 519 from “The Consecration of a Bishop”)

However, in a recorded sermon delivered on Trinity Sunday posted on the St. Paul’s Church, Marquette MI website, the Rev. Kevin Thew Forester preached the following:

…One of the amazing insights I have found in the interfaith dialogue is that, no matter what you name that source, from which all life comes””you can name that source God, Abba; you may name that source Yahweh; you may name that source Allah; you may name that source “the great emptiness;” you can name that source many things, but what all the faiths in their wisdom have acknowledged in the interfaith dialogue is that, you and I, we’re not the source. We receive from the source, and what we are asked to do is give back to the source. In other words, what the interfaith dialogue has recognized is that there is a Trinitarian structure to life. That’s what I’m driving at this morning. We make the Trinity much too complex. The Trinitarian structure of life is this: is that everything that is comes from the source. And you can name the source what you want to name the source. And our response to that is with hearts of gratitude and thanksgiving, to return everything back to that source, and there’s a spirit who enables that return. Everything comes from God. We give it back to God. And the spirit gives us the heart of gratitude. That is the Trinitarian nature of life. And you can be a Buddhist, you can be a Muslim, you can be a Jew, and that makes sense. And we all develop more elaborate theologies, but the truth is we live and have our being in a God who asks only one thing of us: to grow into people who give thanks that God is our center, God is our life, that we are one with God. And as we grow into realization, that we are one with this God who lives in us, and the only thing God asks us is to give back everything in thanksgiving, we live. It’s what the Syrians said, “we will know what redemption truly is, we will come alive, we will be made to live,” because we will know””not because someone told us””because we know that God gives us life. And all God asks of us is “give it back to Me in return.”

There are simply too many theological questions raised here to be confident that this is someone who will preach and uphold the apostolic Trinitarian Faith.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Christology, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Northern Michigan, TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils, Theology

Resolution 3 Proposed But Not Passed at the South Carolina Convention Today

This resolution failed on a roll call vote by orders–KSH.

Resolution R-3

Subject: A Resolution Requesting that General Convention 2009 be Suspended

Offered by: the Very Rev. Craige Borrett, the Rev. Dr. Kendall Harmon, Christ Saint Paul’s, Yonges Island

That this Diocesan Convention, while valuing and affirming the importance of meeting together in our common life for the upbuilding of the body, nevertheless asks that the Executive Council and the House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church voluntarily agree not to hold General Convention 2009 (and thus not meet in General Convention until 2012) and that all dioceses agree to abide by this request as an act of mutual submission to one another; and

That all the money which is saved by this event suspension be given to a ministry focused on meeting the needs of the poor and in accordance with the Millenium Development Goals

Explanation:

“Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ” (Ephesians 5:21).

There are three reasons the Episcopal Church needs to do this. First, the last two General Conventions have been deeply divisive not only for our common life in the Episcopal Church but for the life of the Anglican Communion. As Archbishop Rowan Williams once wisely said, when times of friction and misunderstanding are high, sometimes a temporary withdrawal can promote more perspective and the possibility for healing.

Second, we are in the midst of a serious massive global economic crisis. In such a time, many companies in America are canceling their conventions so as to show greater prudence and stewardship to their employees and shareholders, and as a witness to the importance of simpler living by all.

Thirdly, this is a time to undertake creative and unusual initiatives. The Episcopal Church is in many ways stuck. It has been rightly said “if you do what you have always done you get what you have always gotten.” It is time for a change.

Some may object that this is something we cannot do because of our polity as a church. But polity is made for the church, not the church for polity. If any community really wants to do something, they can make it happen, and this would be a powerful witness to our willingness to sacrifice for our own common life and that of the Anglican Communion going forward.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention, TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils

Portrait of German Gunman Emerges

A portrait of a troubled, depressed teenager with easy access to an unsecured pistol has begun to emerge in the days after the youth went on a rampage, killing 15 people before taking his own life.

The police have established that the teenager, Tim Kretschmer, 17, last year broke off a round of psychological counseling for depression.

Searching his bedroom, the police found violent computer games ”” in which, experts say, players digitally clothe and arm themselves for combat ”” plus brutal videos and play weapons that fire small yellow pellets, said Siegfried Mahler of the Stuttgart prosecutors’ office.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Europe, Germany, Teens / Youth, Violence

Resolution 2 Passed at the South Carolina Convention Today

This just passed by an overwhelming majority–KSH.

Resolution R-2

Subject: A Resolution on the Uniqueness of Christ

Offered by: the Very Rev. Craige Borrett, the Rev. Dr. Kendall Harmon, Christ Saint Paul’s, Yonges Island

That this Diocesan Convention, while valuing and affirming the importance of cultural and religious diversity, affirms that the good news of salvation in Jesus Christ is for all and must be shared with all including people from other faiths or of no faith and that to do anything else would be to fail to love them as our neighbor; and that to this end, this Convention:

(a) recommits itself to living out daily the Baptismal Covenant’s call to “proclaim by word and example the Good news of God in Christ;’’ and

(b) urges all Christians to encourage sensitive and positive sharing of faith with people of all faiths and none whilst being willing to learn from and be enriched by people of other faiths.

Explanation:

In the beginning of the 21st century we live in a global village in which the world is indeed flat and there are many spiritual and religious ideas competing together for people’s attention. It is more important than ever that we as Anglicans affirm, speaking the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15), the unique claim that Christ and his cross has on the whole world, a claim we have been given by the apostles and by those earlier Christians in history on whose shoulders we now stand.

In their most recent General Synod in February 2009, the Church of England passed a resolution which read:

That this Synod warmly welcome Dr Martin Davie’s background paper ”˜The witness of Scripture, the Fathers and the historic formularies to the uniqueness of Christ’ attached to GS Misc 905B and request the House of Bishops to report to the Synod on their understanding of the uniqueness of Christ in Britain’s multi-faith society, and offer examples and commendations of good practice in sharing the gospel of salvation through Christ alone with people of other faiths and of none.

This resolution also allows us to support our sisters and brothers in the Church of England who rightly see the importance of “the uniqueness of Christ” in a multi faith world.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Christology, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils, Theology, Theology: Evangelism & Mission

Resolution 1 Passed at the South Carolina Convention Today

(This just passed by majority vote–KSH).

Resolution: Proposed Anglican Covenant

Be it resolved, that the 218th Convention of the Diocese of South Carolina express its support for the development of an Anglican Covenant, as a means of encouraging dioceses and provinces of the Anglican Communion to practice a responsible autonomy and inter-provincial accountability, for the mutual enrichment of our common life in Jesus Christ through the abiding fellowship of the Holy Spirit and through the bonds of affection; and

Be it further resolved, that this, the Diocese of South Carolina, encourages The Episcopal Church (TEC) to embrace this Covenant process, even if the process necessitates restraint in the area of human sexuality, and urges that the various dioceses of TEC demonstrate responsible autonomy in their common life and practice towards the various dioceses and provinces of the Communion in this regard; and

Be it further resolved, that this convention respectfully requests the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Primates, and the Anglican Consultative Council to allow dioceses lying within provinces which may chose not to abide by such a Covenant to sign their support of such a covenant, and be recognized as full members of the Communion; and

Be it further resolved, that as the Diocese of South Carolina did choose at its Diocesan Convention in 1785, to organize as a diocese, (one of the first seven dioceses in these United States to so organize in that year), and to send delegates to the first General Conventions to organize the Protestant Episcopal Church of the United States of America, and thereby freely associate its clerical and lay members with the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society””presently known as TEC; so this same Diocese does also assert its authority to freely embrace such a Covenant in communion with the Archbishop of Canterbury, and to seek to remain a constituent member of the Anglican Communion, should the Instruments of Unity allow such diocesan association

Submitted by the Standing Committee and the Bishop of the Diocese of South Carolina

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Anglican Covenant, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils, TEC Polity & Canons

NPR: How Does the Economy Compare To Past Downturns?

The headlines these days trumpet the bad news of housing foreclosures, layoffs and business failures along with stories about homelessness, food pantries and lost retirement funds. Obviously, the current economy is challenging, but just how bad is it compared to previous downturns?

The head of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, Christina Romer, says that in the past few weeks she’s heard herself uttering these words far too often: “the worst 12-month job loss since the Great Depression, the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, the worst rise in home foreclosures since the Great Depression.”

Those phrases echo through the halls of Congress and tumble from the president’s lips. Even Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke sounds off, saying this week that “the world is suffering through the worst financial crisis since the 1930s.”

Read it all.

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

The T19 elves welcome suggestions

Given all of Greg’s hard work in switching the blog to a new server, it seems only fair that this lazy elf who helps with some of the tech and admin tasks here at T19 get busy and do some much much needed and long-neglected work on the T19 sidebar to update links and make finding things around the blog somewhat easier.

We plan to devote a few hours a day today – Sunday to being available to update broken links and make a few other needed changes. We welcome suggestions as to what needs fixing or improving, particularly if there’s still anything that needs to be updated following the server move. Leave a comment or send us an e-mail: {encode=”T19elves@yahoo.com” title=”T19elves@yahoo.com”}

Posted in * Admin, Blog Tips & Features

Christian Smith's Webpage

Check it out.

Posted in Uncategorized

Brad Wilcox: God Will Provide — Unless the Government Gets There First

Secularism seems to be on the march in America. This week, a new study from the Program on Public Values at Trinity College found that the number of Americans claiming no religion now stands at 15%, up from 8% in 1990 and 2% in 1962.

The secular tide appears to be running strongest among young Americans. Religious attendance among those 21 to 45 years old is at its lowest level in decades, according to Princeton sociologist Robert Wuthnow. Only 25% of young adults now attend services regularly, compared with about one-third in the early 1970s.

The most powerful force driving religious participation down is the nation’s recent retreat from marriage, Mr. Wuthnow notes. Nothing brings women and especially men into the pews like marriage and parenthood, as they seek out the religious, moral and social support provided by a congregation upon starting a family of their own. But because growing numbers of young adults are now postponing or avoiding marriage and childbearing, they are also much less likely to end up in church on any given Sunday. Mr. Wuthnow estimates that America’s houses of worship would have about six million more regularly attending young adults if today’s young men and women started families at the rate they did three decades ago.

Now, President Barack Obama seems poised to give secularism in America another boost, however inadvertently.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Economy, Office of the President, Parish Ministry, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Religion & Culture

American Envoys Try to Defuse a Political Crisis in Pakistan

In an effort to defuse the Pakistani political crisis, the American ambassador, Anne W. Patterson, traveled to see the opposition leader Nawaz Sharif to urge him to reconcile with Pakistan’s president, Mr. Sharif said.

Later on Thursday, the Obama administration’s special envoy to Pakistan, Richard C. Holbrooke, spoke by video conference call to Pakistan’s president, Asif Ali Zardari, Mr. Zardari’s office announced. Mr. Holbrooke also spoke to Mr. Sharif by telephone, Mr. Holbrooke’s office said.

The involvement of two senior American officials prompted speculation here that the United States was trying to broker a deal that would ease the standoff between the rivals and end the potential for violence as a coalition of opposition and citizens’ groups prepared for a march that the government had banned.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Asia, Foreign Relations, Pakistan

An Excerpt from Bishop Lawrence of South Carolina's Convention Address

(He just finished speaking–KSH).

So back to the question: What specifically is the Diocese of South Carolina called by God to do? I believe

Ӣ We are to proclaim the gospel in Word and Sacraments (Article XIX) and make disciples for Jesus Christ and God the Father in the power of the Spirit who become responsible members of local parishes or missions and witness to the transforming power of Jesus Christ in their personal lives and within our communities and world.

The heavy lifting involved in this is clearly carried out by the parishes and missions of the diocese. How the bishop, diocesan staff and structures, are called to carry this out is

Ӣ By assisting our existing congregations to grow in numerical and spiritual vitality and to plant new congregations within the diocese in places where the church is inadequately present.

Bishop Salmon, in his Diocesan Convention Address in 2000, put it thusly, “The fundamental responsibility of the administration of the diocese is to exist for, build up, strengthen and empower the congregations so that they can be effective instruments of the Gospel.” This concept is renewed at each staff meeting at the Diocesan House because the tendency for administration to become an end in itself is a perpetual problem.

But along with this a diocese, and again I speak inclusively, has another essential job to do””and I trace this back to the apostolic writings, particularly to the Letters of St. Paul, who seemed always to be striving to connect the churches he had founded in Galatia, Macedonia, Corinth, and Ephesus with the sending churches of Antioch and Jerusalem.

”¢ We are to unite our members and congregations to the universal church through our diocesan life, our province (TEC), and the Anglican Communion, and in dialogue with ecumenical partners to the mutual enrichment of each in fulfilling God’s reconciling work in the world.

Since we recognize, however, that our relationship with the church catholic is jeopardized by the recent theological innovations of TEC, and that this has forced a crisis in the Anglican Communion we must engage this matter proactively. We cannot sit on the sidelines and wait for things to unfold, allowing others to shape the future in which we shall live. We must be among those who shape the future. Thus I am increasingly convinced that God has called us, (in assuring the apostolic call for Christian unity),

Ӣ To help shape the future of Anglicanism in the 21st Century through mutually enriching missional relationships with dioceses and provinces of the Anglican Communion, (Romans 1:11-12; 2 Corinthians 9:1-15), and through modeling a responsible autonomy and inter-provincial accountability (Philippians 2:1-5; Ephesians 4:1-6) for the sake of Jesus Christ, his Kingdom and his Church.

While each of the words can be unpacked to address our present situation, I believe we can state the above sentence, more succinctly””“We are to make Biblical Anglicans for a global age.” If you prefer the T-shirt version, it is “Making Biblical Anglicans for a Global Age”.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Episcopal Church (TEC)

Republican Chairman Strays From the Party Line on Abortion

This was supposed to be the week that Michael Steele, the beleaguered new chairman of the national Republican Party, got his groove on, as he might put it: From filling vacancies left by the mass-firing he conducted upon taking office to issuing 100-day plans on how to make the Republican Party competitive on fund-raising and the Internet, among other things.

But no.

On Thursday Mr. Steele found himself yet again explaining what he had meant to say, this time after a lively interview with GQ in which he seemed to suggest, among other things, that women should have the right to decide whether to have an abortion. “I think that’s an individual choice,” he said.

A moment later, he appeared to clarify his remarks, saying that abortion policy should be decided by the states.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Life Ethics, Politics in General

BBC: Understanding the 'Scholar Pope'

Does the Pope live in a bubble?

Seated at his desk in his huge high-ceilinged penthouse study at the top of the Apostolic Palace, looking out over the bell towers, cupolas, monuments and rooftops of Rome, Pope Benedict may well reflect with satisfaction that nowadays the head of the Catholic Church is neither a “Prisoner in the Vatican” nor the “Pope-King,” as some of his predecessors were called.

But he had to admit during a closed meeting with Rome’s parish priests the other day that, cloistered in his frescoed palace, he does feel a bit remote, a bit distant from their lives and the daily challenges they face as they minister to a rapidly changing and an increasingly multicultural and multi-faith society in the Eternal City.

Read it all.

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

What Do Dreams Mean? Whatever Your Bias Says

Suppose last night you had two dreams. In one, God appears and commands you to take a year off and travel the world. In the other, God commands you to take a year off to go work in a leper colony.

Which of those dreams, if either, would you consider meaningful?

Or suppose you had one dream in which your friend defends you against enemies, and another dream in which that same friend goes behind your back and tries to seduce your significant other? Which dream would you take seriously?

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Psychology, Science & Technology

Pope Admits Online News Can Provide Infallible Aid

The letter released Thursday in which Pope Benedict XVI admitted that the Vatican had made “mistakes” in handling the case of a Holocaust-denying bishop was unprecedented in its directness, its humanity and its acknowledgment of papal fallibility.

But it also contained two sentences unique in the annals of church history.

“I have been told that consulting the information available on the Internet would have made it possible to perceive the problem early on,” Benedict wrote. “I have learned the lesson that in the future in the Holy See we will have to pay greater attention to that source of news.”

In other words: “Note to the Roman Curia: try Google.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Blogging & the Internet, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic