Daily Archives: March 4, 2010

The Rector of St. Luke's Anglican Church, La Crescenta, on the recent Supreme Court Petition Denial

From here:

“In God the Lord whose word I praise,
In God I trust and will not be afraid.” (Ps. 56:10)

Dear Church family,

I received a call at 7am this morning from Eric Sohlgren, our attorney, notifying me that our petition to the US Supreme Court has been denied. The court does not give reasons for its denials.

This is well and truly the end of the legal road for us and I know some of you are disappointed that we will never recover our property and that this kind of injustice will continue in other legal battles across the country. We especially think of our sister churches, St. David’s, All Saints and St. James and the road before them. Do keep them and other sister churches further afield in your prayers.
I know others of you are relieved that the legal wrangling is over and we can be about the work of the Gospel unhindered. Or you may be feeling a mixture of both disappointment and relief, as am I. Where ever you are, know that we will continue to walk forward together and that our Lord is with us.

The other question that rises is what was that all about? I am not sure that is a helpful question. Rather, we need to remember why we did what we did as we continue to trust God with the outcome. So let me remind everyone the main reason we felt compelled to appeal. It was for the sake of our sister churches so that they wouldn’t have to experience the pain and loss of being evicted from dear and memory filled houses of worship. So that they would not suffer the same injustice that we have suffered at the hands of false shepherds in the leadership of the Episcopal Church. By the way, I say that without bitterness or anger. It is simply a fact. May the Lord have mercy upon them.

So remembering why we did what we did, and remembering that the vast majority of our legal costs have been funded as though manna from heaven, we are to rest in God’s good purposes for us. He will continue to prove himself to be utterly faithful.

Finally, I want to leave you with the psalm verse that spoke peace to me in my evening devotions last night:

“In God the Lord whose word I praise,
In God I trust and will not be afraid.” (Ps. 56:10)

You may find it helpful to continue to pray this until is settles deeply in your heart.

So ”˜forgetting what lies behind”¦ [let us] press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called [us] heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Phil. 3:13-14

–(The Rev.) Rob Holman is rector, St. Luke’s Anglican Church La Crescenta, California

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Los Angeles, TEC Departing Parishes, TEC Parishes

USA Today–Jesuit priest James Martin moves in Mass, mass media

James Martin is loath to let a big headline go by without spinning the story toward The Big Story ”” God. He is, after all, a Catholic priest and a Jesuit, a religious order with a fundamental mission of “helping souls.”

In ancient days the church told Gospel stories with pictures in stained-glass windows. Now it’s the Web and TV. Says Martin, 49: “Everyone needs a medium. Mine is popular culture.”

So he’ll take on Lindsay Lohan, who dressed as Jesus for the cover of fashion magazine Purple, with a 10-point comparison between the actress and Christ. Martin’s blog post for the century-old Jesuit weekly magazine America, where he is culture editor, kindly concludes that perhaps she’ll take a lesson from the Savior.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Media, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

From the Do Not Take Yourself Too Seriously Department

Pictures guaranteed to bring a smile to your face.

Posted in * General Interest, Animals, Humor / Trivia

Bishop David Bena–And So We Descend Into Lent

In a world where events and dates are flying by us, it’s often hard for Western Christians to seriously contemplate the Lenten Season. We like to reason that when Lent was invented, we lived in an agricultural society where life was much slower and more geared toward the changing of the seasons. Today, we say, life is fast; we simply don’t have time for all that spiritual breathing and stuff like that. Maybe for you and me, it will be different this year. Is there a chance that, we might slow down spiritually and find time to observe a holy Lent?

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Lent

Abuse Case Rouses India’s Middle Class to Take on the Powerful

The above headline is from the print edition–KSH.

She was a gifted 14-year-old tennis player who idolized Steffi Graf and hoped to turn pro. He was a senior police official and president of the state lawn tennis club. He lured her to his office with a promise of special coaching that could make her tennis dreams come true, then groped her.

This encounter set in motion a saga that has taken almost 20 years to unfold. The family of the girl, Ruchika Girotra, threatened to press charges. Shambhu Pratap Singh Rathore, a senior officer in the Haryana State Police, then waged a campaign of harassment and intimidation against Ruchika so severe that she eventually committed suicide. Her brother, Ashu, was falsely accused of stealing cars, and said he had been beaten and tortured in custody.

All the while Mr. Rathore, a flamboyant, mustachioed presence with deep ties to many of the state’s top politicians, rose through the ranks, retiring in 2002 as a state police chief.

Ruchika Girotra’s ordeal is hardly unique. Girls are molested all the time in India; powerful officials often abuse their office to avoid criminal prosecution; sclerotic courts are painfully slow and often corrupt.

But the case is emblematic of the way India’s growing middle class, egged on by a lively news media hungry for sensational stories, is increasingly unwilling to accept these seemingly immutable truths and willing to fight back.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Asia, Children, India, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, Sexuality

Bishop: Aid helping to rebuild Sudan

…[Episcopal] Bishop Anthony Poggo of Sudan says the Third World country in northeastern Africa has made progress since the civil war ended a few years ago.

Poggo, who visited St. Stephen’s Episcopal Pro-Cathedral, spoke Tuesday evening about the peace accord and the progress being made by the Diocese of Bethlehem to build new schools in his country.

The Episcopal Diocese of Bethlehem has raised $3 million to build a college and five primary schools in Sudan.

“We’re starting from zero,” Poggo said. “This is a region where we have been fighting for over 30 years. The entire infrastructure has collapsed.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Episcopal Church (TEC), Episcopal Church of the Sudan

The State (Columbia, South Carolina): Church members leave Great Gathering energized

The 5-million strong black Methodist denominations pledged Wednesday to raise $10 million and recruit 1 million volunteers to stem an epidemic of failure and imprisonment among young black males.

Bishops and members of the African Methodist Episcopal, African Methodist Episcopal Zion and the Christian Methodist Episcopal denominations wrapped up their historic “Great Gathering” meeting by adopting the 28-page Male Investment Plan.

The proposal, worked out over three days of meetings among leaders of the three Christian denominations, calls for implementing a series of Saturday Academies at AME, AMEZ and CME congregations around the country, establishing collaboratives with historically black colleges and universities, and developing deep mentoring bonds with youths between the ages of 5 and 25.

Read it all.

Posted in * Religion News & Commentary, * South Carolina, Other Churches

Greek Workers Occupy Ministry; New Walkout Called

Greek demonstrators took over the Finance Ministry building in central Athens and blocked streets in the city center as union groups stepped up protests against government wage cuts and tax increases to curb the deficit.

Ugh–read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Economy, Europe, Greece, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Politics in General, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

Ruth Gledhill's blog: Bishop of Winchester slams gay marriage in church 'fudge'

Vicars will end up being sued and the difference between marriage and gay partnerships will be ‘fudged’ after last night’s vote in the House of Lords, the Bishop of Winchester warned. Speaking to me by telephone a few minutes ago, the Right Rev Michael Scott Joynt, who was unable to be in the House for the vote because of unbreakable prior commitments, said he believed the next step would be vicars being sued for discrimation if they obeyed Church of England law and refused to do gay weddings.

‘Having thought about it a great deal since the committee stage, I regret enormously the vote last night….I think it will make for a great many difficulties. There are two I am particularly concerned about.’

He continued: ‘Notwithstanding the bland words of a number of individuals, some of whom surprise me, I believe it does further fudge the line between civil partnerships and marriage. That is shown by some newspapers which simply speak of gay marriages in church. The second thing is, I believe that it will open, not the Church of England but individual clergy, to charges of discrimination if they solemnise marriages as they all do but refuse to host civil partnership signings in their churches. Unless the Government does something explicit about this, I believe that is the next step.’

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Church/State Matters, CoE Bishops, England / UK, Law & Legal Issues, Religion & Culture, Sexuality

Independent–Gay weddings to be allowed in church

Gay men and women will finally be allowed to marry in churches after the House of Lords dramatically voted in favour of lifting the ban on religious premises holding same-sex partnerships.

The amendment to the Equality Bill, which was tabled as a free vote by gay Muslim peer Waheed Alli, received overwhelming backing in the Lords, including from a number of prominent Anglican bishops.

Read the whole article.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Church/State Matters, CoE Bishops, England / UK, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Religion & Culture, Sexuality

Archbishop Piacenza's Letter to Presbyters

he Spirit of holiness, which one begs might be poured forth anew, is the guarantee to be able to live the vocation one has received in “holiness” and, at the same time, the condition of the very possibility to be “faithful to the ministry”. Faithfulness is the wonderful meeting of the faithful freedom of God and the created but wounded freedom of man, which, however, through the power of the Spirit, becomes sacramentally capable “to be to others a model of right conduct”. Far from reducing the ministerial priesthood to a moralistic category, such an exhortation shows the “fullness” of life: a life which is really thus is a life that is integrally Christian.

The Priest, clothed with the Spirit of the Almighty Father, is called to “guide” the journey of sanctification of the people entrusted to him by teaching and the celebration of the sacraments and, above all, with his own life, with the certainty that this is the only end for which the priest himself exists: Paradise!

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Roman Catholic, Theology

A Louisiana Lawmaker Wants to Change State Law

A state lawmaker is proposing to allow people who are legally qualified to carry concealed weapons to bring them to houses of worship as long as the pastor or church board approves.

The proposal, filed ahead of the legislative session that opens March 29, is one of 74 House bills that have been filed so far.

State Rep. Henry Burns, a Republican, filed a bill to let a church, temple, mosque or other religious institution authorize “any person issued a valid concealed handgun permit” to carry it into a place of worship.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Law & Legal Issues, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Religion & Culture

West Texas Bishop: Covenant Should Transcend Politics

The Rt. Rev. Gary R. Lillibridge, Bishop of West Texas, concentrated on the Anglican Covenant during his address to the diocese’s annual council. The council met Feb. 18-21 in Corpus Christi.

The bishop cited the 76th General Convention’s Resolution D020, which encouraged dioceses to the consider the Covenant “as a document to inform their understanding of and commitment to our common life in the Anglican Communion.”

“The Covenant will not, and indeed cannot, solve all of our problems. Nor was it designed to do so. We should not look at the Covenant in terms of a political victory or a political defeat,” the bishop said. “Many times in the world, particularly in political systems, if you can win the debate and get the votes, you claim victory. Of course in politics this may be true, but it’s usually only true until the next election. But this approach certainly does not serve the church well. Just think for a moment where all the lobbying, posturing, scheming, planning, debating and voting in the church has taken us up to now. I said a few years ago in my address that I’m not interested in winning. I’m interested in healing. I think this is what Jesus is interested in, and it continues to be my focus.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Covenant, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops, TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils

Rasmussen–Confidence In Economy's Future Is At Lowest Point of Obama's Presidency

Views of the country’s short- and long-term economic future are gloomier these days than they have been at any time since President Obama took office in January of last year.

Forty-two percent (42%) of American adults now expect the U.S. economy to be weaker in one year’s time, up three points from January and the highest level found in 14 months of regular tracking on the question, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey.

Thirty-six percent (36%) believe the economy will be stronger in a year, down two points from last month. That’s the lowest level of confidence measured since tracking began in January 2009. Another 13% expect the state of the economy to be about the same in one year’s time.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Consumer/consumer spending, Economy, Psychology, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

ENI–Washington Cathedral hosts Christian-Muslim summit

Washington National Cathedral is currently hosting a summit of Christian and Muslim faith leaders, which seeks to promote understanding and reconciliation between the two traditions, and is due to culminate in a public dialogue on 3 March.

The summit began on 1 March, and organizers told Ecumenical News International it is the first of four interfaith dialogues on reconciliation planned with representatives of the Shi’a and Sunni Muslim traditions along with members of the Roman Catholic and (Anglican) Episcopal churches.

The author and associate editor of The Washington Post newspaper, David Ignatius, is moderating the summit at the Cathedral Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul as it is officially known.

On its Web site, Washington Cathedral says, “As the global community continues to divide along the lines of faith and culture, Washington National Cathedral feels increasingly called to play an important role in relations between Christians and Muslims around the world, and is uniquely positioned as a convening authority to facilitate such a dialogue.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, Episcopal Church (TEC), Inter-Faith Relations, Islam, Muslim-Christian relations, Other Faiths, TEC Parishes