Daily Archives: February 26, 2011

(Colorado Springs Gazette) Don Armstrong sentenced to probation, $99,247 restitution

A judge Friday sentenced the Rev. Donald Armstrong to four years probation for his no-contest plea to one count of misdemeanor theft of funds from the Colorado Springs church where he once served as rector.

Fourth Judicial District Judge Gregory R. Werner also ordered Armstrong to pay restitution in the amount of $99,247 that was diverted to pay for his son’s and daughter’s college education. The money came from a trust fund originally set up to pay for the education of seminary students.
Werner refused to order an apology, citing his practice of not wanting to get involved in how such a letter would be worded. He also agreed with [Armstrong lawyer Dennis] Hartley that jail time would serve no purpose.

“There is a huge divide between these two churches,” he added.

Read it all.

I will take comments on this submitted by email only to at KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Colorado, TEC Departing Parishes, TEC Parishes, Theology

Rector of St. Peter’s in Rome, Georgia, retiring after 30 years in ministry

After 30 years of commitment to the ministry, Roger Ard, the rector at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Rome, will conduct his last service March 6.

“I am going to begin my retirement by doing absolutely nothing,” he chuckled. “After that, I hope to start writing and maybe do a little teaching.”

Ard has been at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church for 10 years. The church plans to throw a celebration service for Ard on March 6 after his final service.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, TEC Parishes

Mississippi Bishops oppose immigration bill

Leaders from four Christian denominations are calling on Mississippi lawmakers to reject an Arizona-style immigration bill that would let officers check during traffic stops to see if a person is in the country illegally.

Bishops from the Catholic, Episcopal, Evangelical Lutheran and United Methodist churches in Mississippi said Friday residents must be willing to forgive immigrants who enter the United States without permission.

In an open letter to legislators and Gov. Haley Barbour, the bishops said the U.S. immigration system is “broken and outdated,” but should be reformed by the federal government, not by states.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Episcopal Church (TEC), Immigration, Law & Legal Issues, Other Churches, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, State Government, TEC Bishops

Church Yearbook registers large declines in memberships of some faiths

Three church organizations from widely different parts of the religious landscape reached the same conclusion ”” that they aren’t nearly as large as they had said previously.

In fact, each of them reduced their estimated number of adherents by about 1 million….

Read it all.

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

New Episcopal Church Rector finds "manna" in Chestnut Hill in Pennsylvania

This Sunday afternoon in Chestnut Hill, loss will be officially transformed into opportunity, resignation into delight.

The Rev. Jarrett Kerbel will be installed as the new rector of the Episcopal Church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, the venerable parish that sits next to the green fields of the Philadelphia Cricket Club.

St. Martin’s vestry, the governing board of the church, invited Kerbel to be the church’s new minister, replacing the Rev. Robert Tate, who retired last year after 14 years at the church.

“With Jarrett we get the whole package,” said Barbara Dundon, who headed St. Martin’s search committee. “He’s good in every one of the key areas we were looking for: preaching, liturgy, outreach, stewardship.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, TEC Parishes

A Local Article on the South Carolina Diocesan Convention

Officials of the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina affirmed this month their sovereignty and discussed the need to encourage growth by starting new congregations.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * South Carolina, Episcopal Church (TEC), Evangelism and Church Growth, Parish Ministry, TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils, TEC Polity & Canons

TV Recommendation–Thurgood on HBO

For those of you with access to HBO, Laurence Fishburne’s one man show (it is based on a play) entitled Thurgood [for Thurgood Marshall whom Fishburne portrays] is simply splendid–KSH.

You may find information on this here.

Posted in * By Kendall, * Culture-Watch, Law & Legal Issues, Movies & Television, Race/Race Relations

(NY Times On Religion) Seeking Lynching Stories as Accounts of Faith

For close to two years, Ms. [Angela] Sims has traversed the country in search of such memories, the recollections of African-American elders about lynching. From New Jersey to California, through Alabama and Oklahoma, she has recorded nearly 85 men and women speaking on a subject most had been determined to avoid, a degradation never to be reawakened.

Ms. Sims has sought to elicit and so defang the sense of shame. As an ordained Baptist minister and a professor of ethics and black church studies at the St. Paul School of Theology in Kansas City, Mo., she is gathering the accounts to preserve the historical record and to grasp the faith that allowed lynching’s witnesses and survivors to persevere.

“I’m listening for what salvation and redemption might look like,” said Ms. Sims, 54, during a break between interviews. “I’m listening for how grace might play out and for notions of forgiveness.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., History, Race/Race Relations, Religion & Culture, Violence

Bishop Mark Lawrence's Address to the 220th South Carolina Diocesan Convention

Watch it all.

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

(The State) Life & faith: New book explores pastoral truth-telling

The Rev. Frank G. Honeycutt, senior pastor of Ebenezer Lutheran Church in downtown Columbia, took a three-month sabbatical to write his latest book “The Truth Shall Make You Odd: Speaking with Pastoral Integrity in Awkward Situations.”
The title is drawn from a line by writer Flannery O’Connor, a Southerner who pondered faith and spirituality in her novels and short stories. Honeycutt employs his favorite authors and theologians and his own pastoral story to explore ways pastors and lay people can speak honestly and effectively about living out the Christian faith.

This week, Honeycutt answered questions from The State about his new book…:

Question:You suggest that too many pastors practice avoidance, failing to speak the biblical truth to parishioners about the nature of belief in Jesus Christ and what that means about living a Christian life. How does a pastor learn to speak with pastoral integrity?

Honeycutt: There is a huge siren call among clergy ”” myself included ”” to try and make everyone happy. Stanley Hauerwas (Duke Divinity School) has famously referred to the pastor as a “quivering mass of availability.”
Many of us arrived at seminary as “pleasers” and do not like to rock the boat. The challenge is sometimes trying to please people who really do not want what Jesus wants. That’s a rather toxic mix. “Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth?” asks Saint Paul of the church in Galatia. There can be a lot of relational fallout to pastoral truth-telling that may require an immense amount of time to sort through. It’s easier to lie low on so many issues and count the years to retirement. Jesus is our pastoral guide here. He spoke the truth in love in his ministry. Both words are important. Truth and love. It is easy to speak the truth in any number of damaging ways that have little to do with love.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Books, Lutheran, Other Churches, Pastoral Theology, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Theology, Theology: Scripture

Local Newspaper Editorial–Long-term pump pain

Libyan unrest is fueling a sharp boost in U.S. pump prices. But beyond that immediate cause for concern lies a far more extended — and ominous — trend: Oil costs appear likely to keep rising over the coming decades as demand outpaces supply across the planet.

Consider this recent alarming statistic from Exxon’s annual report: For every 100 barrels of oil it pumps above ground, it can now only find 95 to replenish the supply below ground.

Exxon’s not the only “Big Oil” enterprise sounding the alarm about this big problem. As The Wall Street Journal reported last week: “It’s a conundrum shared by most of the other large Western oil-producing companies, which are finding most accessible oil fields were tapped long ago, while promising new regions are proving technologically and politically challenging.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, America/U.S.A., Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Energy, Natural Resources, Libya, Middle East, The U.S. Government, Young Adults

Lowcountry South Carolina Pastor leads effort to help troubled rural students

Now that [the Rev. Lee] Bines is stationed in Moncks Corner, he’s turned his energies toward the troubled youth in the rural schools of Berkeley County. Those are the schools with the highest dropout rates, poorest population and most black students, a special area of concern to a black pastor.

Bines was trying to motivate about 50 young people at a luncheon Thursday afternoon. It was part of what he called the fourth annual Young Brothers to Men Summit, which continues through Sunday at Wesley United Methodist Church at Highways 6 and 315.

The summit, which also was sponsored by the Delta Alpha chapter of the Phi Alpha Fraternity, brings together educators, counselors, lawmakers and representatives of the juvenile justice system to encourage each other to keep trying to reach troubled youth. For instance, one of today’s topics is “Breaking Strongholds: Confronting and Resolving Violence in the Youth Culture,” with Moncks Corner Police Chief Chad Caldwell and staff from Lieber Correctional Institution in Ridgeville.

Read it all from the front page of yesterday’s local paper.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, * South Carolina, Education, Methodist, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Teens / Youth

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O God, our Father, we are exceedingly frail, and indisposed to every virtuous and gallant undertaking: Strengthen our weakness, we beseech thee, that we may do valiantly in this spiritual war; help us against our own negligence and cowardice, and defend us from the treachery of our unfaithful hearts; for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord.

–Saint Augustine (354-430)

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

Since we have the same spirit of faith as he had who wrote, “I believed, and so I spoke,” we too believe, and so we speak, knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God. So we do not lose heart. Though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed every day. For this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, because we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen; for the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

–2 Corinthians 4:13-18

Posted in Uncategorized

Libya's UN ambassador denounces Gaddafi

The Libyan ambassador to the UN, who is one of Colonel Gaddafi’s oldest friends, denounced the embattled leader on Friday night and urged the world to punish him.

Abdurrahman Shalgam, an ally of Gaddafi since the pair were teenage radicals in the late 1950s, compared the leader’s actions to those of Pol Pot and Hitler and backed the protesters in Tripoli.

In an emotional speech to the UN Security Council in New York, Mr Shalgam, who had previously remained loyal, said: “Muammar Gaddafi is telling the Libyans ‘either I rule you or I kill you’.” He told the 15 members of the council, who are considering an Anglo-French plan for sanctions against the Gaddafi regime: “We need a courageous resolution from you”.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Foreign Relations, Libya