Daily Archives: April 11, 2010

The Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem's Easter Homily

That Sunday morning the two apostles, Peter and John and before them the pious women with the Magdalene, reached this very tomb. Great was their amazement at seeing the stone rolled away form the mouth of the tomb. Even greater was their distress at not finding the Lord’s body there.

Who had dared to remove that huge stone?

Perhaps the Roman soldiers? Surely not! A stunt like that would have certainly cost them their lives. The chief priests? Impossible! It was just these men who had demanded Jesus’ crucifixion. The apostles? No, since they were cowering and hidden! The pious women, then? But how could a few women lacking in physical strength move a rock that only several robust men could have handled?

For a few instants, the two apostles stood facing and wondering at the empty tomb, with its funeral cloth and wrappings. Up to then they had not yet understood the Scriptures. But there they began to remember the words that Our Lord himself had spoken to them when he was still and alive and which the very angels had communicated to the pious women: “He is not here, for he has been raised just as he said” (Mt 28:06). These words were confirmed shortly after by the numerous apparitions of Christ, who desired to show himself alive to his disciples, strengthening them in their faith in Him, who died and rose again: “Look at my hands and my feet, that it is I myself” (Lk 24:39).

We, bishops, priests and faithful, men and women, young and old from all Churches and from all peoples, have the privilege of standing today before this same empty tomb with a different emotion, with great amazement, surrounded by a cloud of so many witnesses who at that time and throughout history have witnessed to the truth of the Resurrection, giving their very lives for Christ.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Easter, Israel, Middle East, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Roman Catholic

The Bishop of Gibraltar in Europe's Easter Message

How do we know all this? How can this dying be at the centre of our Christian faith? Only because the Cross is seen in the light of Easter. The Gospels do not end with the cry of dereliction, and the limp and tortured body taken from the Cross and laid hastily in a tomb. If the stone rolled across the entrance to that tomb had sealed the story of Jesus as well as his lifeless body, there would be no Christian gospel, no good news of salvation, no church.

On Easter morning, ”˜on the first day of the week, just as the sun was rising’ the tomb is found empty. Why? Because resurrection, the new creation, has happened. In a multitude of mysterious encounters that new life is found to be victorious and triumphant. ”˜He is not here, he is risen.’ The Risen Christ speaks to a grief-stricken Mary Magdalene, and calls her by name; he walks as a stranger with sorrowing disciples, and their hearts burn within them. He makes himself known in the breaking of bread. He bursts through the imprisoning walls of grief and fear to speak the word of peace ”“ the peace which is the harmony of the new creation, a peace which passes all understanding. New life ripples out from the empty tomb in a transforming tsunami of love.

Love’s redeeming work is done,
Fought the fight the battle won,
Lo our sun’s eclipse is o’er,
Lo he sets in blood no more.
”˜The Prince of Life who died, reigns immortal!’

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, CoE Bishops, Easter

Local Paper Profile of John's Island Presbyterian Church as it Prepares to turn 300

In the Charleston area, where history runs deep, a church has to be pretty old to register on the “Wow Meter.”

Johns Island Presbyterian Church is one of the oldest in the Lowcountry, established 57 years before the signing of the Declaration of Independence and 13 years before George Washington was born.

This year, the congregation marks its 300th anniversary. Amazingly, the original church building, a simple, white, wooden building in the Colonial meeting house style, still stands. It has no steeple or bell tower, no stained glass, no fancy organ, no ornate columns or interior art.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, * South Carolina, Church History, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Presbyterian

A Local Newspaper Editorial–America's red-ink flood

The danger now is red ink, not Redcoats.

In recent years, a modern-day Paul Revere has been found in David Walker, the former U.S. Comptroller General, who has been visiting every state to warn of the consequences of the nation’s fiscal course.

The majority of our representatives have, so far, closed their ears to the message.

But on Wednesday, Mr. Walker’s warnings were echoed by the chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, Ben Bernanke, who stepped out of character to alert Americans in plain language:

“To avoid large and ultimately unsustainable budget deficits, the nation will ultimately have to choose among higher taxes, modifications to entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare, less spending on everything else from education to defense, or some combination of the above….”

Read it carefully and read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Budget, Credit Markets, Economy, Federal Reserve, The National Deficit, The U.S. Government

(Sunday [London] Times) Letters: Maligned Catholics

Here is one:

The track marks of the Pope’s tanks are still visible on the Archbishop of Canterbury’s lawn after the former’s invitation to disaffected Anglican priests to convert to Rome. Now that Rome is in turmoil, it is time for the archbishop to invite Roman Catholics who despair of their church’s hubris over child abuse to move to Canterbury.

Then the archbishop should move to canonise that most saintly of Englishmen, John Henry Newman, and claim him once again for England.

Peter Inson
Colchester, Essex

Read them all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Archbishop of Canterbury, England / UK, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

Minette Marrin (Sunday [London] Times): Religious tolerance has put a fatwa on our moral nerve

We have put ourselves in a position in which we cannot discriminate between religions and between religious practices; even joking may be against the law now. Not taking religion very seriously ourselves, we failed until recently to understand that others do and do not consider it a private matter. At the same time, we seem to be in a state of cultural moral funk, in which even the Archbishop of Canterbury could recommend that aspects of sharia should be incorporated into English law and then wonder at the fury he aroused.

Beyond a certain point in a liberal society, religious tolerance is a loss of moral nerve.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, England / UK, Religion & Culture

Consumers in U.S. Face the End of an Era of Cheap Credit

Even as prospects for the American economy brighten, consumers are about to face a new financial burden: a sustained period of rising interest rates.

That, economists say, is the inevitable outcome of the nation’s ballooning debt and the renewed prospect of inflation as the economy recovers from the depths of the recent recession.

The shift is sure to come as a shock to consumers whose spending habits were shaped by a historic 30-year decline in the cost of borrowing.

“Americans have assumed the roller coaster goes one way,” said Bill Gross, whose investment firm, Pimco, has taken part in a broad sell-off of government debt, which has pushed up interest rates. “It’s been a great thrill as rates descended, but now we face an extended climb.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Consumer/consumer spending, Credit Markets, Economy, Housing/Real Estate Market, Personal Finance

An NPR piece on the new Roman Catholic Archbishop of Los Angeles

[ROCCO] PALMO: Well, this is easily the most significant appointment that the Vatican has made in the U.S. in the last 25 years. I mean, first off, L.A. is, by far, the largest diocese, five million Catholics. But Archbishop Gomez now essentially becomes someone who’s able to reach half of American Catholics, Hispanics, in a way that no leader of the American church has been able to do before.

[AUDIE] CORNISH: Right. Hispanics make up more than half of that diocese alone.

PALMO: Seventy percent, actually. It’s a staggering number. But Hispanics are also half of other major archdioceses like New York, Chicago, Atlanta, which is a rising diocese in the South. It’s been a staggering shift in the life of the American church.

CORNISH: So, what does this appointment tell us about the state of relations between the Vatican and the Latino community in the U.S.?

PALMO: Well, as I said to a family the other day, I think they just got a lot warmer.

Read or listen to it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

From the Morning Scripture Readings

Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me.”

–John 14:5,6

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

A Letter from the Bishop of Virginia Regarding the Suffragan Bishop Election in the Diocese of L.A.

The Rev. Canon Mary Douglas Glasspool, a priest of the Diocese of Maryland and a partnered gay woman, was elected to serve as a bishop suffragan in the Diocese of Los Angeles in December 2009. The consent process, a 120-day period, requires the receipt of consents from majorities of the Standing Committees throughout the Episcopal Church and from the Church’s bishops with jurisdiction. On March 17, just before the opening of the House of Bishops meeting at Camp Allen, Texas, the presiding bishop’s office announced that Canon Glasspool had received the number of consents required to proceed with her ordination and consecration as a bishop.

Along with several other bishops, I had been delaying my vote until the House of Bishops meeting so that we might confer with one another as to the implications of this episcopal election. As consent is a responsibility upon all diocesan bishops, I then sent in my ballot even though the process had already been decided. Understandably, the diocesan offices have received numerous inquiries as to how I voted. I write this to announce my decision for this particular process and to say something about what this means (and doesn’t mean) for my leadership in the Diocese of Virginia.

Bishop-elect Glasspool’s election has been both a source of celebration and of alarm for many in our diocese, just as in the Episcopal Church and our wider Anglican Communion. In my judgment, both “sides” make compelling arguments and have quite legitimate concerns. Personally, I am more torn by this decision than by any other decision I’ve yet faced, whether as priest or bishop. After deep prayer and thought, I voted to decline consent to the ordination of Bishop-elect Glasspool. This is not to reflect on Bishop-elect Glasspool herself (who, by all accounts, is indeed highly qualified and well suited for the ministry of bishop) but rather is about the circumstances of this case.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), Instruments of Unity, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Los Angeles, TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils

A Communique from the Primates Council of Gafcon

We acknowledged that the issues that divide our beloved Communion are far from settled and that the election of the Reverend Mary Glasspool, a partnered lesbian, as a Bishop in Los Angeles in The Episcopal Church (TEC), makes clear to all that the American Episcopal Church leadership has formally committed itself to a pattern of life which is contrary to Scripture.

This action also makes clear that any pretence that there has been a season of gracious restraint in the Communion has come to an end. Now is the time for all orthodox biblical Anglicans, both in the USA and around the world, to demonstrate a clear and unambiguous stand for the historic faith and their refusal to participate in the direction and unbiblical practice and agenda of TEC.

We recognise that the current strategy in the Anglican Communion to strengthen structures by committee and commission has proved ineffective. Indeed we believe that the current structures have lost integrity and relevance. We believe that it is only by a theologically grounded, biblically shaped reformation such as the one called for by the Jerusalem Declaration that God¹s Kingdom will advance. The Anglican Communion will only be able to fulfill its gospel mandate if it understands itself to be a community gathered around a confession of faith rather than an organisation that has its primary focus on institutional loyalty.

Read it all.

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

ENS–The House of Deputies president launches new web pages

Read it all and see what you make of the links.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Blogging & the Internet, Episcopal Church (TEC), House of Deputies President

Salt Lake Tribune: Utah's next bishop could be non-celibate gay priest

Elevating [Michael] Barlowe, currently head of congregational ministries for the Diocese of California, also might exacerbate tensions over homosexuality in the worldwide Anglican Communion, the Church of England’s umbrella organization that includes the Episcopal Church. Several African dioceses, opposed to gay clergy, have split with the Communion and formed a new denomination, which has attracted a handful of Episcopal churches in the United States.

Picking a gay bishop also would not likely endear the diocese to Utah’s dominant Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which was among Prop 8’s strongest supporters.

“There are a lot of theological issues that divide our churches and [homosexuality] is certainly one of them,” Ric Tanner said. “Perhaps the best way to work toward understanding is to be engaged in conversation with views different than ours. That’s true of both groups.”

But Barlowe’s sexuality may not matter to the 6,000 members of Utah’s Episcopal Church, which is on record supporting the ordination of gay and lesbian priests in committed relationships, Tanner said. At the denomination’s triennial meeting in Los Angeles last summer, the diocese sided with the majority in making the office of bishop open to all ordained persons, regardless of gender, race or sexual orientation.

Read the whole article.

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

Deseret News: 4 seek Episcopal bishop position in Utah

“We’ve only had 10 bishops in 143 years,” said Bishop Irish in a prepared statement. “I am delighted to see this slate of extremely gifted finalists and feel a sense of vision and strong leadership that any one of these priests will prayerfully serve the Episcopal Church in Utah.”

The finalists include the Rev. Canon Michael Barlowe, canon for Congregational Ministries in the Diocese of California; the Rev. Canon Scott B. Hayashi, canon to the Ordinary in the Diocese of Chicago; the Rev. Canon Juan Andrés Quevedo-Boscho, rector of the Church of the Redeemer in the Diocese of Long Island; and the Rev. Canon Mary C.M. Sulerud, canon for Deployment and Vocational Ministries in the Diocese of Washington, D.C.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Bishops, TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils

Mike Krzyzewski: Life Beyond the Rim

…Krzyzewski likes to think of himself as more than just a coach to his players. He takes pride in the high graduation rate of his players and keeps in contact with them even after they graduate.

And while Krzyzewski’s own personal faith plays a role in how he coaches, he is very careful not to impose his beliefs on his players.

“Not every kid I coach is Catholic. They use a different street to get there than the Catholic streets sometimes. But there is a core set of values and principles that you try to teach although you don’t teach it as religion like honesty and acceptance of responsibility, just being a good person. Faith is about living the good life and helping one another, which is teamwork,” he says.

Many of his former players, such as Grant Hill of the Orlando Magic, hold their former coach in very high regard. When interviewed about Krzyzewski by Time magazine, Hill said Coach K was a lot like a parent to the players. “There’s six inches between patting on the back and patting on the butt. And as a parent, he did both and did it well, “Hill said.

And Krzyzewski has experience at being a parent. He and Mickie have three daughters: Debbie Savarino, Lindy Frasher and Jamie Spatola. They also have four grandchildren:Joey, Michael, Carlyn and Emilia Savarino. In June 2004, Coach K and Mickie celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary by renewing their vows in Duke’s chapel.

This story from 2006 is well worth the time–read it all.

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