Monthly Archives: October 2010

Lord Carey and others–Letter to the editor in Today's Sunday Telegraph: Christians and adoption

(The hat tip on this goes to the BBC Radio Four Sunday Programme who mentioned this letter on this morning’s show–KSH).

In January 2007, the Johnses applied to Derby City Council to be respite carers for a single child aged five to 10 years old. However, in August 2007, their orthodox Christian views on the practice of homosexuality and their commitment to attending church with their children came to the notice of a social worker.

As a result, they were withdrawn from the process and deemed “unsuitable” to foster through the council.

The Johnses believe that the desperate shortage of foster carers, and the need for people like them to offer short-term respite care for parents in need of a rest, mean that denying Christians the opportunity to be carers will deeply affect children’s welfare.

Read it all and there is further material on this to be found there.

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

Pope Benedict XVI's Homily at the Mass at the Closing of the Synod of Middle East Bishops

Common prayer helped us to face the challenges of the Catholic Church in the Middle East as well. One of these is communion within each sui iuris Church, as well as in the relationships between the various Catholic Churches of different traditions. As today’s Gospel reminded us (cf. Lk 18:9-14), we need humility, in order to recognize our limitations, our errors and omissions, in order to be able to truly be “united, heart and soul”. A fuller communion within the Catholic Church favours ecumenical dialogue with other Churches and ecclesial communities as well. The Catholic Church reiterated in this Synodal meeting its deep conviction to pursuing such dialogue as well, so that the prayer of the Lord Jesus might be completely fulfilled: “May they all be one” (Jn 17:21).

The words of the Lord Jesus may be applied to Christians in the Middle East: “There is no need to be afraid, little flock, for it has pleased your Father to give you the kingdom” (Lk 12:32). Indeed, even if they are few, they are bearers of the Good News of the love of God for man, love which revealed itself in the Holy Land in the person of Jesus Christ. This Word of salvation, strengthened with the grace of the Sacraments, resounds with particular potency in the places in which, by Divine Providence, it was written, and it is the only Word which is able to break that vicious circle of vengeance, hate, and violence. From a purified heart, in peace with God and neighbour, may intentions and initiatives for peace at local, national, and international levels be born. In these actions, to whose accomplishment the whole international community is called, Christians as full-fledged citizens can and must do their part with the spirit of the Beatitudes, becoming builders of peace and apostles of reconciliation to the benefit of all society.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Middle East, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

Toby Cohen (CEN)–In the beginning were the blogs

The Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham, the Rt Rev Paul Butler, has just started blogging, and is the only diocesan bishop to do it: “The great opportunity is that actually we’re connecting with people that we would never connect with in other ways, so there are huge opportunities with people who would never go near a church service.

“Even though it’s very early, it’s very interesting to see that comments come from around the world, straight off. They come not necessarily from people who follow me on Facebook or Twitter. So the speed with which something goes round is something that, well, we’re not up to speed with!”

The Bishop of Buckingham, Dr Alan Wilson, and the Bishop of Croydon, the Rt Rev Nick Baines, are both popular blogging bishops, but they are exceptional. Bishop Butler reflects on whether bishops need to be encouraged to get more involved: “I think it would be good if more of us did, but there I think we need to co-ordinate a bit. Mine will particularly focus on issues around children and childhood, because of my brief as advocate for children. The reason I did something on the papal visit was I thought hang on, Alan and Nick weren’t there, and I thought one of us needs to do this. So what I think would be worth us exploring is bishops blogging around different areas, so we’re not repeating each other.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Blogging & the Internet, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Media, Parish Ministry

Sunday Telegraph: One of the bombs travelled on two passenger jets

One of the two bombs mailed from Yemen and found on cargo jets in Dubai and Britain travelled on two passenger jets in the Middle East, according to a spokesman for Qatar Airways.

The airline spokesman said a package containing explosives hidden in a printer cartridge arrived in Qatar Airways’ hub in Doha, on one of the carrier’s flights from the Yemeni capital Sana’a.

It was then shipped on a separate Qatar Airways plane to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, where it was discovered by authorities late early on Friday. A second, similar package turned up in England’s East Midlands Airport.

Barack Obama’s counter-terrorism adviser said the parcel bombs had been made by the same person as the device worn by the so-called “underpants bomber” who botched an attack over Detroit on Christmas Day 2009.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Asia, Terrorism, Yemen

Saint John's in Stockport, California, Faces into some Recent History with former rector Dan Martins

The latest twist involves the man who was pastor of St. John’s in the run-up to the schism.

[The] Rev. Daniel H. Martins, St. John’s pastor for 13 years, has become a bishop-elect in the Diocese of Springfield, Ill. – but in the original denomination.

The denomination St. John’s decided to leave while Martins led it.

Some Episcopalians feel betrayed.

“I’m very surprised that he’s turned around and has decided to go back to the Episcopal Church,” said Al Lingo, “because he was a very, very avid opponent, and he led St. John’s parishioners away from the Episcopal Church. And I’m sure it’s a great, great surprise to the people of St. John’s.”

The original Diocese of San Joaquin has taken the unusual step of informing Springfield that Martins is a schismatic in sheep’s clothing and should not be bishop….

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Anglican Provinces, Cono Sur [formerly Southern Cone], Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: San Joaquin, TEC Parishes

Dallas Area Anglican church celebrates anniversary of being 'planted'

For the Rev. Jed Roseberry, leading a church is more than a calling; it’s a family tradition.

Roseberry “planted” Restoration Anglican Church last year in Addison, a town where he said he felt called to develop friendships and minister. It’s the same call that his father, the Rev. David Roseberry, answered 25 years ago when he, too, planted a church, Christ Church Plano.

Restoration Anglican Church recently celebrated its one-year anniversary.

“For me, it’s a perfect scenario. It’s something that was dear to my heart,” David Roseberry said. “I’m absolutely delighted with the father-son duo. Since I was a church planter 25 years ago, it gives me a lot of joy to see him follow in that.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Parish Ministry

CNS–Pope says bishops must educate faithful to vote against abortion

Bishops must guide their faithful to use their vote to oppose efforts to legalize abortion and euthanasia, Pope Benedict XVI told bishops from Brazil.

“Dear brother bishops, to defend life we must not fear hostility or unpopularity, and we must refuse any compromise or ambiguity which might conform us to the world’s way of thinking,” the pope said Oct. 28 during a meeting with bishops from northeast Brazil.

The bishops were making their “ad limina” visits to report on the status of their dioceses.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Brazil, Law & Legal Issues, Life Ethics, Other Churches, Politics in General, Pope Benedict XVI, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, South America

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O God, the Father of lights, who by the entrance of thy Word giveth light unto the soul: Grant to us the spirit of wisdom and understanding; that, being taught of thee in holy Scripture, we may receive with faith the words of eternal life, and be made wise unto salvation; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

–Book of Common Order

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer for Reformation Sunday

God of grace and glory, we give You thanks for the comfort of the Gospel restored to Your Church on earth through the work of Martin Luther and other faithful pastors and leaders during the Reformation era. We praise You that by Your rich grace we have come to the sure knowledge that we stand justified before You, not by what we have done, but rather by faith in what Your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord has done on our behalf. We ask that You would defend Your Church from all enemies of Your saving Word. Cause the good news of the Gospel to be proclaimed in this time to every nation and tribe and language and people on earth, and graciously preserve the fruits of the Gospel for generations to come. This we pray in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Church History, Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Scripture Readings

The earth is the LORD’s and the fulness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein; for he has founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the rivers.

–Psalm 24:1

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

A Times Leader–The quatercentennial of the Authorised Version should encourage its renewed use

Extraordinarily, the King James Bible was written by committee. Its 54 translators were inspired to their task. Using the Bishops’ Bible of 1568 and consulting too William Tyndale’s New Testament of 1525, they fashioned cadences that have saturated English literature from John Bunyan to D. H. Lawrence. The anniversary of their work provides opportunity for historical reflection, but also for restoring it to the nation’s public life.

Read it all (subscription required).

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Church History, Theology, Theology: Scripture

PBS' Religion and Ethics Newsweekly: Minnesota Roman Catholic Bishops on Same Sex Marriage

FRED DE SAM LAZARO, correspondent: Just weeks before upcoming statewide elections, Minnesota’s Catholic bishops, spearheaded by John Nienstedt of Minneapolis-St Paul, sent this DVD to every Catholic household in the state””400,000 in all at a cost of one million dollars, funded by an anonymous donation.

DVD: “At best, so-called ”˜same-sex marriage’ is an untested social experiment, and at worst, it poses a dangerous risk with potentially far-reaching consequences.”

DE SAM LAZARO: Critics of Archbishop Nienstedt take issue with many of his assertions in the DVD, but they also question the timing of the DVD campaign, coming as it does just prior to the elections.

Read or watch it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, America/U.S.A., Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Other Churches, Politics in General, Pope Benedict XVI, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Sexuality

Pope Benedict XVI's Address to the Science Academy

The progress made in scientific knowledge in the twentieth century, in all its various disciplines, has led to a greatly improved awareness of the place that man and this planet occupy in the universe. In all sciences, the common denominator continues to be the notion of experimentation as an organized method for observing nature. In the last century, man certainly made more progress ”“ if not always in his knowledge of himself and of God, then certainly in his knowledge of the macro- and microcosms ”“ than in the entire previous history of humanity. Our meeting here today, dear friends, is a proof of the Church’s esteem for ongoing scientific research and of her gratitude for scientific endeavour, which she both encourages and benefits from. In our own day, scientists themselves appreciate more and more the need to be open to philosophy if they are to discover the logical and epistemological foundation for their methodology and their conclusions. For her part, the Church is convinced that scientific activity ultimately benefits from the recognition of man’s spiritual dimension and his quest for ultimate answers that allow for the acknowledgement of a world existing independently from us, which we do not fully understand and which we can only comprehend in so far as we grasp its inherent logic. Scientists do not create the world; they learn about it and attempt to imitate it, following the laws and intelligibility that nature manifests to us. The scientist’s experience as a human being is therefore that of perceiving a constant, a law, a logos that he has not created but that he has instead observed: in fact, it leads us to admit the existence of an all-powerful Reason, which is other than that of man, and which sustains the world. This is the meeting point between the natural sciences and religion. As a result, science becomes a place of dialogue, a meeting between man and nature and, potentially, even between man and his Creator.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Science & Technology

Diocesan Statistics for the Episcopal Diocese of Utah

According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s figures, Utah has grown in population from 2,233,169 in 2000 to 2,784,572 in 2009. This represents a population growth of approximately 24.69%.

According to Episcopal Church statistics, the Diocese of Utah went from Average Sunday Attendance (or ASA) of 1924 in 1998 to 1612 in 2008. This represents an ASA decline of about 16% over this ten year period. Please note that if you go to the link toward the end of this sentence and enter “Utah” as the name of the diocese and then “View Diocese Chart” underneath on the left you can see in pictorial form some of the data from 2009 which shows a slight increase in ASA from 2008-2009. The hard numbers for these new 2009 numbers are not yet available so far as I am aware.

The Diocese of Utah’s website may be found here.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Episcopal Church (TEC), Parish Ministry, TEC Bishops, TEC Data, TEC Parishes

Time to Gear up for Tuesday's Elections

A number of you know I (a) like politics and (b) follow it quite closely. From time to time it crops up as an element of focus on the blog, and the midterm elections 2010 is one of those times. There is no flawless indicator, but my favorite as some of you may remember is Intrade, since it involves real people and real money (and it has a very fine track record). By far the most revealing graph I have found is this one:

The chances the Republicans will take back the House of Representatives over time–check it out.

What does this mean? Think anti-incumbency and a disgust with business as usual in Washington at a minimum–KSH.

Posted in * By Kendall, * Economics, Politics, House of Representatives, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Senate, State Government