Daily Archives: July 29, 2009

Anglican leader's concern for unity reflects Vatican concerns

In a statement July 29, the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity noted Archbishop Williams’ concern for maintaining the unity of the Anglican Communion through common faith and practice based on Scripture and tradition.

The Vatican office “supports the archbishop in his desire to strengthen these bonds of communion, and to articulate more fully the relationship between the local and the universal within the church,” the statement said.

“It is our prayer that the Anglican Communion, even in this difficult situation, may find a way to maintain its unity and its witness to Christ as a worldwide communion,” it added.

The Episcopal Church’s general convention adopted two resolutions that may further strain relations within the Anglican Communion and with the Catholic Church: One affirmed that all ordained ministries, including the office of bishop, are open to all the baptized, including gays and lesbians; the other called for the collection and development of theological resources for the blessing of same-sex unions.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, Archbishop of Canterbury, Ecumenical Relations, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention, Other Churches, Roman Catholic, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)

Sam Candler Responds to Archbishop Rowan Williams' Reflections

In Archbishop Rowan’s quick essay of 27 July 2009, “Communion, Covenant, and our Anglican Future,” he rightly perceives our tension; and he writes, at best, descriptively of our present Anglican situation. He is certainly correct in acknowledging that the Episcopal Church yearns to remain in Anglican communion. But he is also correct that ongoing decisions in The Episcopal Church have been the occasion for anxiety in some other parts of the communion.

Though descriptive, Archbishop Rowan’s essay also dips into diagnosis and prescription. In some of these matters, he will be open to theological critique. A primary critique will certainly be directed toward his repetition of the common perception that homosexuality is a “chosen lifestyle.” Within two paragraphs, he uses “chosen lifestyle” and “choice” three different times.

The Episcopal Church’s General Convention resolutions concerning homosexuality have never claimed that homosexuality was simply a choice, or, much more, a “chosen lifestyle.” Rather, Episcopal leaders have realized, over time, that being gay or lesbian was definitely not a choice for those members of our Church. Indeed, for many heterosexual persons, the realization that homosexuality is not chosen at all ”“ no more than heterosexual persons choose their heterosexuality””has been the turning point in their ability to recognize God’s grace in homosexual relationships.

Obviously, the most prescriptive of Archbishop Rowan’s remarks is his suggestion, again, that the Anglican Communion of churches might develop a “two-tier”, or, less provocatively, a “two-way” structure of formal Anglicanism. One way of being Anglican would stress the values of local faith and theology, and local autonomy; the other way would stress the values of more global, and probably more ordered, forms of the church.

I find it curious that Archbishop Rowan repeats the language of “choice” not only in relation to homosexuality, but also in relation to Anglican Communion matters. He suggests that there may be those who will, in good faith, decline a covenanted structure. He implies that those who “elect this model” will also “not take official roles in the ecumenical interchanges and processes in which the ‘covenanted’ body participates.”

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Posted in Uncategorized

Al Zadig: The Recall Virus

Read it all, the sermon from last Sunday at Saint Michael’s Charleston.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Theology

Religious Intelligence: Anglicans oppose Sharia law in Kenya

Public hearings over Kenyan constitutional reforms lead to a shouting match and police intervention last week in Mombasa. The role of Sharia law within Kenya’s civil code prompted sharp disagreements between the Anglican Bishop of Mombasa, the Rt. Rev. Julius Kalu and Sheikh Khalifa Mohammad, chairman of the Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya (CIPK).

The push for constitutional reform in Kenya began in the early 90’s, but took on added intensity following the 2007 elections, that sparked communal violence in what had been one of Africa’s “model democracies”.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Africa, Anglican Church of Kenya, Anglican Provinces, Islam, Kenya, Law & Legal Issues, Muslim-Christian relations, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture

The Terrible Danger of Texting and Driving

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

Watch it all and here is a challenge for blog readers. I think every youth ministry in whatever parish where you worship should be challenged to discuss this issue whether through this report or another. Contact your youth minister or youth leaders and see if it has happened and if it hasn’t ask why not–KSH.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Parish Ministry, Science & Technology, Travel, Youth Ministry

The Bishop of Tasmania: Same sex moratoria (Lambeth) dashed

Sad to say, just one year after the affirmations of Anglican Church unity made at the Lambeth Conference of 2008, the USA Anglicans have decided that one year was enough of a wait. Their recent decision to affirm same sex relationships will deepen the split in the world-wide communion. All the Lambeth conversation groups (”˜indabering’) bought only one year’s reprieve.

The efforts of the Archbishop of Canterbury have proved fruitless as he admits in his 27 July reflections to the world-wide Anglican Communion, Communion, Covenant and our Anglican Future which concerns the decision of the Anglican Church of the USA (TEC) at their 2009 General Convention to affirm same sex relationships.

The reflections contain his strong statement of the unacceptability of same sex relationships…

I remain convinced that a more open and robust conversation between bishops at the Lambeth Conference 2008 would have shortened the pain of separation.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention

Lydia Evans Abridges Archbishop Rowan Williams' Reflections

See what you make of her distillation.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Archbishop of Canterbury

Archbishop's Reflections impossible for Changing Attitude supporters to accept

The Archbishop of Canterbury says: “ ”¦ no Anglican has any business reinforcing prejudice against LGBT people, questioning their human dignity and civil liberties or their place within the Body of Christ.” We in CA agree with that. The “particularly bitter and unpleasant atmosphere of the debate over sexuality, in which unexamined prejudice is still so much in evidence and accusations of bad faith and bigotry are so readily thrown around” which the Archbishop describes is bitter and prejudiced exactly because of the church’s traditional teaching about homosexuality.

He then recommends a course of action which does just that ”“ reinforces prejudice and questions human dignity and our place in the Body of Christ. The Archbishop writes that it is hard to see how a partnered lesbian or gay person “can act in the necessarily representative role that the ordained ministry, especially the episcopate” requires because “a person living in such a union cannot without serious incongruity have a representative function in a Church whose public teaching is at odds with their lifestyle.”

That puts the Archbishop of Canterbury at odds not just with the supporters of Changing Attitude but with the majority of the bishops, priests and lay people of the Church of England. Members of our congregations no longer believe that the church can draw lines where it used to. The CofE I know has always ordained partnered lesbian and gay people. Bishops have turned a blind eye to the partners of lesbian and gay clergy. With the advent of Civil Partnerships the majority and priests and laity can see no reason why the church should not bless those unions and that is true even of FoCA and HTB churches. Couples are welcome by most congregations who see no reason why faithfully partnered people should not be ordained and minister to them.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention

Charleston, South Carolina, Post and Courier: Anglicans may form 2 tracks

But Jefferts Schori’s sentiments were largely dismissed by diocese officials.

At a July 19 meeting hosted at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, the South Carolina Diocese’s chancellor, Wade Logan, summarized his experience in Anaheim. “It really is a political convention, that’s what it turned into,” he told a gathering of about 250.

South Carolina was one of seven conservative dioceses attempting to affirm orthodoxy that were consistently marginalized and ignored, he said.

The Rev. Al Zadig, rector of St. Michael’s Church in downtown Charleston, summed up the prevailing attitude of diocese leaders. “The world is coming into the church, and the church says, ‘Have your way,’ and there’s nothing left of theology.”

But, Zadig said, he is thankful for the clarity of the moment, equating The Episcopal Church to Unitarianism. “We are not two denominations but two religions,” he said.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Archbishop of Canterbury, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention

CNA: Responding to Episcopalians, Archbishop of Canterbury proposes ”˜two-track’ church

Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, head cleric in the Church of England, has responded to the Episcopal Church’s decision to allow the ordination of homosexual bishops. Saying that a change in Anglican teaching, if necessary, would require broader agreement, he proposed a “two-track” church structure which recognizes “two ways of being Anglican.”

On July 14, the Episcopal Church’s General Convention voted to approve homosexual bishops. It was seen as a rejection of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s and the Anglican Communion’s call for a moratorium on the practice.

Writing in a July 27 document titled “Communion, Covenant and our Anglican Future,” Archbishop Williams said the wording of the resolution showed that it did not want to “cut its moorings from other parts of the Anglican family.” The two most controversial resolutions, he said, do not have the “automatic effect” of overturning the moratoria on homosexual clergy.

However, he said the resolutions do not suggest the General Convention will “repair the broken bridges into the life of other Anglican provinces” and have led to the expression of “very serious anxieties.”

Read it all.

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

Democrats Say House May Miss Deadline on Health Care

U.S. House Democratic leaders, struggling to reach an accord with party dissidents on health care, said they’re likely to miss President Barack Obama’s August deadline for legislation overhauling the medical system.

“It doesn’t look like it to me,” House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel said in an interview. “I really hoped that we could have gotten a bill out of here by now,” he said, adding that he has a “heavy political heart.”

Obama, who has made revamping health care the centerpiece of his domestic agenda, had urged the House and Senate to each pass versions of the bill before their monthlong August recess so negotiations on a compromise could begin when they return. He’s seeking to provide health coverage to tens of millions of Americans who lack it and curb the soaring cost of care.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Health & Medicine, House of Representatives, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Senate

Don Surber: Al-Qaeda North Carolina

Police arrested 7 men in North Carolina and charged them with terrorist activities that have their roots in Afghanistan and Pakistan and date back to the 1980s, before a few of them were born.

From left are four of those arrested: Ziyad Yaghi, Mohammad Omar Aly Hassan, Hysen Sherifi and Daniel Patrick Boyd, who looks like Opie.

Boyd and his two sons hail from rural North Carolina and lo these many years, Father Boyd has been plotting against his country, if the charges are true. For 20 years or more, this has been simmering.

Read the whole thing.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Terrorism

Update on Yesterday's South Carolina Standing Committee Meeting with the Bishop and Deans

From here:

On Tuesday, July 28, the Standing Committee, the Deans and the Bishop of the Diocese of South Carolina met at the Church of the Good Shepherd. The atmosphere was prayerful, focused, intense, deeply trusting of one another and the Bishop, and with a sense that the stakes are very, very high. There was broad general agreement about the basic direction the Diocese needs to take. The Bishop will give the arguments for this direction and specific suggested steps at the clergy gathering on August 13.

For the record, the meeting went from 10:30 to about 9 p.m.–KSH.

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

Kendall Harmon on GC2009 (VI): Listen to the Deafening Silence (E)–Ecumenical Considerations

Because the blog went caput this series was not able to be finished. But did you notice how almost no aspect of the ecumenical dimensions of our decisions came into play, esepcially in the two highly publicized decisions?

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * By Kendall, * Religion News & Commentary, Ecumenical Relations, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)

Northern Michigan Committee 'saddened' at lack of support for bishop-elect

On July 27, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori notified the standing committee that the necessary consents to the ordination and consecration of the Rev. Kevin Thew Forrester as bishop of the diocese were not received within the prescribed time period and therefore his election was “null and void.”

The committee’s statement said, “We invite the wider church to reflect with us on what this experience can teach us about the episcopal search and consent process. Among the issues ripe for discussion are how bishops and standing committees can best be made aware of the particular needs of individual dioceses, and how new communications technologies affect the consent process. We hope that out of our disappointment can come a deeper understanding of the ways in which we can all be accountable to one another as members of the body of Christ.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Northern Michigan