Daily Archives: July 9, 2009

Political turmoil cancels medical mission trip to Honduras

Because of political turmoil in Honduras following the arrest of President Manuel Zelaya, members of St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church in Killeen have canceled their annual medical mission trip to the Central American country.

Officials at the U.S. Embassy in Tegucigalpa, the capital of Honduras, issued a statement last week requesting that people avoid all nonessential travel to the region.

On June 28, soldiers ousted the democratically elected Zelaya before an unpopular constitution referendum went to a vote. The referendum could have allowed the president to run for a second term, which is forbidden by the Honduran constitution. Zelaya, forced into exile in Costa Rica, vowed to stay in power.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Central America, Episcopal Church (TEC), Health & Medicine, Honduras, Missions, TEC Parishes

The Latest Edition of Centre Aisle on General Convention 2009

It is a 2 page pdf with four pages of text if you print it out. See what you think.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention

Bonnie Anderson and others Discuss their Conversation with Rowan Williams

Watch it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Archbishop of Canterbury, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention, House of Deputies President

General Convention 2009 Committee on Evangelism Hearing on Resolution D038

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention

The Independent: Stockbroker wore a designer suit, ordered a glass of champagne ”“ and jumped

A promising young stockbroker worried about losing his job in the City jumped to his death from a rooftop restaurant wearing his best suit and holding a glass of champagne.

Oxford graduate Anjool Malde walked into the eighth-floor Coq d’Argent in the City of London at lunchtime on Sunday, just two days before his 25th birthday, clad in a Hugo Boss suit. He then ordered a glass of champagne and made his way on to the roof terrace, before jumping to his death.

Makes the heart sad–read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Economy, England / UK, Stock Market, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, Young Adults

Nouriel Roubini on the Jobs Report: Brown Manure, Not Green Shoots

The June employment report suggests that the alleged green shoots are mostly yellow weeds that may eventually turn into brown manure. The employment report shows that conditions in the labor market continue to be extremely weak, with job losses in June of over 460,000. With the current rate of job losses, it is very clear that the unemployment rate could reach 10% by later this summer–around August or September–and will be closer to 10.5%, if not 11%, by year-end. I expect the unemployment rate is going to peak at around 11% at some point in 2010, well above historical standards for even severe recessions.

It’s clear that even if the recession were to be over anytime soon–and it’s not going to be over before the end of the year–job losses are going to continue for at least another year and a half. Historically, during the last two recessions, job losses continued for at least a year and a half after the recession was over. During the 2001 recession, the recession was over in November 2001, and job losses continued through August 2003 for a cumulative loss of jobs of over 5 million; this time we are already seeing more than 6 million job losses and the recession is not over.

Read the whole thing.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market

Tony Clark (Central Florida) Reports from General Convention 2009

The ‘work’ of General Convention -resolution crafting (AKA sausage making) – began this morning in earnest with our opening session of the House of Deputies and more legislative committee hearings. Remember, proposed resolutions are assigned to one of several legislative committees for ‘perfecting’ and perhaps recommendation to either the House of Deputies (Hod) or House of Bishops (HoB).

Yesterday afternoon featured opening remarks by the Presiding Bishop and President of the HoD, an opening session on Public Narrative, and an orientation to the workings of the HoD. In her opening remarks, the Presiding Bishop emphasized the importance of Ubuntu -I am because we are – for the Church.

Unfortunately, I believe this emphasis on our corporate life together came at the expense of our personal relationship with the Lord. She described “the great Western heresy-that we can be saved as individuals, that any of us alone can be in right relationship with God.” This heresy is often expressed by “insisting that salvation depends on reciting a specific formula about Jesus.”

As an Evangelical, I am troubled when professions of faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, either through the Creeds or a prayer of commitment – are discounted or even considered heretical. The Evangelical expression in the Episcopal/ Anglican tradition emphasizes a ‘both/and’ approach in regard to salvation.

There is BOTH an emphasis on the personal or individual commitment to Jesus AND the importance of the Body of Christ – the Ubuntu dimension – to nurture that relationship in a community of Christian faith. John Stott’s book, Basic Christianity, for example, combines those two dimensions well.

I know my updates are not following a neat and tidy schedule. One reason for that is simply because General Convention has developed a predictable schedule or ‘battle rhythm’ yet. I expect that will develop over the next several days.

–The Very Rev. Tony Clark

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention

Chip Strickland (Albany) Reports from Early on in General Convention 2009

Dear Friends in Christ,

Another busy day in Anaheim. This is the first legislative day, which means that the House of Bishops and the House of Deputies met in their first sessions to get organized. The Albany deputation decorated their identification pole with a beaver and a cross, and started a competitive trend! The first legislative sessions were otherwise little more than announcements and technical information. They stood in recess at 9:00 am and we attended the Opening Eucharist, a joyful celebration which featured the announcement that the Episcopal Church of the Phillipines, begun by missionary efforts of The Episcopal Church, has reached a financially independent status. PB Schori preached the sermon, emphasizing the importance of mission for the life of the church. Her text was Ezekiel 36:24-26, wherein God promises us “a new heart and a new spirit.” The music was uplifting and the celebration gave the convention an exciting beginning.

Committees continued to meet after lunch, and the more meaty resolutions are coming up on the agenda. Very little of substance was reported out from committees today, but that will change soon.

Archbishop Rowan Williams arrived today, and is scheduled to address the convention on the subject of global poverty. Look for a report on that tomorrow.

The deputation is in good spirits, getting over the jet lag and excited to dig into the legislative details. Haven’t had a chance today to poll them for specific prayer concerns, but please hold us in your prayers generally. More tomorrow.

Yours in Christ,

Fr. Chip Strickland

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention

ENS: Resolution to allow 'generous discretion' for same-sex blessings draws passionate debate

“Marriage equality is a reality coming soon to a state near you,” Bishop Gene Robinson told an overflow crowd at a July 8 hearing. He was speaking to a proposed resolution that calls for wider-than-usual latitude for bishops to allow blessings of gay and lesbian couples in states in which same-sex marriage or civil unions are legal.

The text of Resolution B012, “Pastoral Generosity in Blessing Civil Marriage,” calls for “generous discretion [to be] extended to clergy in the exercise of their pastoral ministry in order to permit the adaptation of the Pastoral Offices” for marriage. It also provides for the affected dioceses to report annually to the House of Bishops and to the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Church Music for help in developing a service of blessing for same-sex marriage if such a rite should be approved by future meetings of General Convention.

Read it all.

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

Living Church–Presiding Bishop: ”˜Idolatry’ of Individualism Causing Church Crisis

Professor Christopher Seitz of the Anglican Communion Institute noted that the presiding bishop needed to define her terms. If by the “Western heresy” she meant the individualism of the Enlightenment, the priority of the individual conscience as articulated by Kant, or the need for individual certainty in science and history suggested by Lessing, “these are bedrock foundations of TEC liberalism.”

As a matter of history, there is no individualist heresy, the Rev. Ephraim Radner, professor of historical theology at Wycliffe College in Toronto told The Living Church. Jesus calls individuals “by name” and saves them “one by one,” he said, and a catholic theology cannot deny this.

“Her remarks would suggest simple ad hominem arguments against conservative evangelicals, masking as theological incoherence,” Fr. Radner said.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention, Presiding Bishop, Theology

Caroline Hall on Yesterday's Hearing on Resolution B012

At the other end of the age spectrum, Bishop Shaw of Massachusetts said that Episcopal high school students had told him they could not invite their friends to a church which did not welcome everyone. Sam Gough, who attended in 2006 as part of the official youth presence but is present this year as a deputy for Massachusetts, said “in some places the church of tomorrow has come today” and we should welcome it. Another young man who grappled with the Biblical witness concluded “I do not believe that God addressed this issue.”

Janie Donohue from Connecticut told us that most of her friends and family are not Christian but when marriage became a possibility of same-sex couples, they turned to her to celebrate their weddings. She found it difficult to explain the canons and had to emphasize that God is not the Church ”“ a rejection by the Church is not a rejection by God. Janie is a partnered lesbian about to become a mom and her friends cannot understand why she will not get civilly married in order to provide legal protection for her child, but as an Episcopal priest she wants her marriage blessed by the faith community. She reminded us that people who leave because they think we’re too liberal don’t leave the Church but people who leave because they are not accepted, leave the Church completely.

Read the whole thing.

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

Cherie Wetzel Reports from General Convention

Bishop [Edward] Little [Northern Indiana] replied that there were multiple resolutions on each of these two issues and he did not know if any would survive their legislative committees and actually make it to the floor of either House. Later, he said privately that he believed many bishops were affected by the Lambeth Conference last summer, surprised by the amount of anger and stories they heard from around the Communion. But, was that enough to stop these resolutions? It is not known.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention, TEC Bishops

Stephen Casey (Central Pennsylvania) reports on the Constitutions and Canons Committee

From here:

The Standing Committee on Constitution and Canons reviews proposed amendments to the Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Church and places them in proper form before passing them on to the General Convention for action. In addition they carry out a continual review of current Canons of the Church. At its first meeting of the Convention the Legislative Committee discussed at length the revision to Title IV, which is a major review of the Disciplinary Canons of the Church. The Disciplinary Canons as they now stand were originally set down in 1994. The prevailing attitude to clergy misconduct in those days was to consider it in the same terms as criminal law, in a punitive way. The current revision to go before the house approaches the Disciplinary Canons in a more pastoral and theological manner, moving them towards a reconciliation model for all appropriate circumstances. Later in the day the Committee discussed amendments to the Constitution and Canons that refer to the keeping of archival materials of the church, specifically how these are now garnered from dioceses and provinces of the church in an increasingly electronic age. They also considered amendments to the Canons which refer to the manner in which Diocesan Standing Committees transmit consents for Episcopal Elections.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention, TEC Polity & Canons

Brian Baker's Report from General Convention

I especially like the picture of Bonnie Anderson.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention, House of Deputies President, Presiding Bishop

ENS: Archbishop hears from cross section of Episcopal Church

[Bonnie] Anderson said that the group told the archbishop that, while most of the requests from the wider Anglican Communion for the Episcopal Church to do certain things to resolve the current tensions in the worldwide body have been addressed only to the church’s bishops, “we are a church of more than one order of voices.”

“Our great, deep hope is that we would be included in [future] quests, communications and directions” from Anglican Communion leaders, she said.

Williams expressed “frustration” with the Episcopal Church’s three-year legislative cycle, the Rev. James Simons (Pittsburgh) said. “It’s difficult in some cases for decisions to be held for three years for the General Convention to meet, so we discussed some possible scenarios that would allow for a more timely response, at least in the interim, until a permanent response could be made.”

“There was a lot of give and take in terms of trying to think through how we could work more collaboratively in a way that honors each other’s polity,” he added.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Archbishop of Canterbury, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention, House of Deputies President