Daily Archives: September 26, 2011

Sunday worship service will be last in new church for St. Mark's Episcopal in Michigan

A victim of the struggling economy, the congregation at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Paw Paw, will gather Sunday, Sept. 25, for one last service from their church at 201 W. Michigan Ave.

The sermon, ‘”The Celebration of Promise,” will focus on all the good things that have happened in this building,”‘ said The Very Rev. Rebecca Crise, who has served as St Mark’s Church Rector for the past four years.

Just over six years ago, the congregation gathered to consecrate the site. Now, they prepare to leave the building.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Economics, Politics, Economy, Episcopal Church (TEC), Parish Ministry, TEC Parishes, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

What's in a name? A lot, for Southern Baptist Convention

What’s in a name? As Shakespeare has it, a rose by any other name smells the same. But in the case of America’s largest Protestant denomination, changing the name could change everything.

A week ago, Southern Baptist Convention President Bryant Wright told his organization’s executive committee in Nashville that he had appointed a task force to study a possible name change. Abandoning the 166-year-old identifier, he argued, would help the group thrive both in America and internationally.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Baptists, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

Charles Baldwin–“Beautifully Made, Dealer’s Pick, Unlimited Warranty”

One of the most important things a parent can do is BLESS the children. The Blessing is a powerful way to change a person’s life.

In the TV series “Coming Home”, the producers create exciting and very emotional homecoming scenarios when a soldier comes home from Iraq or Afghanistan. My favorite reunion happened when a senior in high school, a star football player, was about to announce his choice of which college he would attend; it is called “Signing Night.” His greatest fan was his father who is deployed to Afghanistan. His father appeared in the videos of his high school football career. You can hear his father yelling as his son scores a touchdown, “That’s my boy! That’s my boy!” On this evening, the son does not know his father Army Sgt Jerry Rutledge has returned home from Afghanisgtan a week early in order to be with his son on Signing Night. As the young man says, “I have decided to go to the US Naval Academy”, his father comes from behind the curtain and yells, “That’s my boy!” The father and son hug each other. That room full of big football players and families cheered, and some eyes begin to “sweat.” (There is no crying in football.)

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * South Carolina, Episcopal Church (TEC), Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Preaching / Homiletics, TEC Parishes, Theology

Archbishop Benjamin Kwashi's Sermon on World Mission Sunday at All Soul's Langham Place

Listen to it all (a little under 28 1/2 minutes).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Africa, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Church of Nigeria, Islam, Ministry of the Ordained, Muslim-Christian relations, Nigeria, Other Faiths, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Violence

Peter Mullen on the status of Christianity in the Modern World

Christianity is booming not just in China, but worldwide ”“ with a singular exception, that I will come to in due course. Christianity is doing especially well in Africa where, thanks be to God, it seems to have escaped the influence of the Archbishop of Canterbury. The faith is doing well particularly in places where it is under the most cruel persecution ”“ as Our Lord promised it would: Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, Coptic Christians in Egypt and indeed across the whole of North Africa.

My friend Professor David Martin has written a gigantic study of Christianity in Central and South America where he sees the rise of Pentecostal Christianity as a great force for good. Individual men and women’s direct experience of the Holy Spirit in their personal lives and public worship have turned many away from drugs, crime and prostitution and returned them to responsible lives of work and thrift, personal pride and family belonging ”“ the very virtues which, of course, are despised by our atheistic intelligentsia (headquarters, the BBC) as “Victorian” ”“ or, worst of all, “Thatcherite”

The only region, in fact, where Christianity is in decline is Europe, controlled as the continent is by an atheistic bureaucracy and the satanic creed of political correctness.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Europe, Globalization, History, Media, Religion & Culture

(CEN) Broken communion for the Church of Ireland

The outcry over the Bishop of Cashel & Ossory’s support for an Irish dean’s gay civil union has forced the bishop to skip the consecration of the Bishop of Tuam, Killala and Achonry.

Church leaders in Northern Ireland told The Church of England Newspaper that the Rt. Rev. Michael Burrows had been advised to stay away from the Sept 8 consecration of Bishop Patrick Rooke at St Patrick’s Cathedral in Armagh. The bishop had been told his support for clergy gay civil unions had broken the collegiality of the church and his presence would cause some participants in the ceremony to refrain from receiving the Eucharist with him.

Bishop Burrow’s office did not respond to questions from CEN, but the Church of Ireland’s press officer did confirm that the bishop “did not attend and that this was his own decision. I have no knowledge of any advice from anyone about staying away or concern with regard to receiving communion.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of Ireland, Ethics / Moral Theology, Eucharist, Sacramental Theology, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology

Local Paper front page– Politics from the Pulpit: A good idea or a bad mix?

Where to draw the line?

It probably wasn’t illegal, but some concerned churchgoers and pastors are questioning the wisdom of U.S. Rep. Tim Scott’s recent sermon at Seacoast Church during which he criticized national economic policy.

In the 40-minute sermon, devoted to faith, life and politics in roughly equal measure, the Charleston Republican took aim at the federal government’s deficit spending, comparing it to a personal household budget that relies on “a credit card drawer.”

The message contained no explicit reference to individual policy makers or political parties in Washington, but advanced a perspective often heard from Republicans and right-leaning pundits — that government spending is out of control.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, * South Carolina, Evangelicals, Office of the President, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Politics in General, Preaching / Homiletics, Religion & Culture

Episcopal House of Bishops Issues Pastoral Teaching

One of the most dangerous and daunting challenges we face is global climate change. This is, at least in part, a direct result of our burning of fossil fuels. Such human activities could raise worldwide average temperatures by three to eleven degrees Fahrenheit in this century. Rising average temperatures are already wreaking environmental havoc, and, if unchecked, portend devastating consequences for every aspect of life on earth.

The Church has always had as one of its priorities a concern for the poor and the suffering. Therefore, we need not agree on the fundamental causes of human devastation of the environment, or on what standard of living will allow sustainable development, or on the roots of poverty in any particular culture, in order to work to minimize the impact of climate change. It is the poor and the disadvantaged who suffer most from callous environmental irresponsibility. Poverty is both a local and a global reality. A healthy economy depends absolutely on a healthy environment.

The wealthier nations whose industries have exploited the environment, and who are now calling for developing nations to reduce their impact on the environment, seem to have forgotten that those who consume most of the world’s resources also have contributed the most pollution to the world’s rivers and oceans, have stripped the world’s forests of healing trees, have destroyed both numerous species and their habitats, and have added the most poison to the earth’s atmosphere. We cannot avoid the conclusion that our irresponsible industrial production and consumption-driven economy lie at the heart of the current environmental crisis.

Read it carefully and read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Ecuador, Energy, Natural Resources, Episcopal Church (TEC), South America, TEC Bishops, Theology

Local Paper–Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel holds hope for future

‘I love beginnings,’ Elie Wiesel told a panel of eight students on stage and about 700 in the audience during a Sunday appearance at the College of Charleston’s Sottile Theatre.

That’s because he thought Auschwitz signified the end of history, he said. And because much of human endeavor tends to end badly, with injustice, terror and death. Though the meaning of life can be elusive, it is the obligation of human beings to act in ways that make a better world.

‘When one person suffers, you have to do something,’ he said later, at an evening lecture that filled the Sottile for a second time. ‘The opposite of hate is not love, but indifference. Indifference is the opposite of everything that’s created, everything that’s noble in human experience. The opposite of indifference is commitment, education.’

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Books, Education, Europe, History, Judaism, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Young Adults

Learn the lingo says Bishop of Bradford on the 20th anniversary of Meissen Agreement

We should embrace other languages and cultures, particularly those of our European neighbours, says the Bishop of Bradford the Rt Revd Nick Baines in a Church of England podcast, published today, to celebrate 20 years of Anglo-German ecumenical links. Both in business and in the classroom we need to broaden our horizons, he adds, or we are in danger of missing out.

The Meissen Agreement was published in 1988, before Germany was re-united, between the Church of England and the Federation of Evangelical Churches in the German Democratic Republic (DDR) and the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD). A signing service followed in 1991 in Westminster Abbey.

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

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Ecumenical Relations, Europe, Germany, Other Churches

Pope Benedict XVI's Homily at Mass in Erfurt

Dear Brothers and Sisters, here in Thuringia and in the former German Democratic Republic, you have had to endure first a brown and then a red dictatorship, which acted on the Christian faith like acid rain. Many late consequences of that period are still having to be worked through, above all in the intellectual and religious fields. Most people in this country since that time have spent their lives far removed from faith in Christ and from the communion of the Church. Yet the last two decades have also brought good experiences: a broader horizon, an exchange that reaches beyond borders, a faithful confidence that God does not abandon us and that he leads us along new paths. “Where God is, there is a future.”

Read it all (emphasis mine).

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Europe, Germany, History, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Pope Benedict XVI, Preaching / Homiletics, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

The Church of England's Back to Church Sunday Website

See what you make of it.

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

Lancelot Andrewes on the Incarnation

This sure is matter of love; but came there any good to us by it? There did. For our conception being the root as it were, the very groundsill of our nature; that He might go to the root and repair of our nature from the very foundation, thither He went; that what had been there defiled and decayed by the first Adam, might by the Second be cleansed and set right again. That had our conception been stained, by Him therefore, primum ante omnia,to be restored again. He was not idle all the time He was an embyro all the nine months He was in the womb; but then and there He even ate out the core of corruption that cleft to our nature and us, and made both us and it an unpleasing object in the sight of God.

And what came of this? We who were abhorred by God, filii irae was our title, were by this means made beloved in Him. He cannot, we may be sure, account evil of that nature, that is now become the nature of His own SonNHis now no less than ours. Nay farther, given this privilege to the children of such as are in Him, though but of one parent believing, that they are not as the seed of two infidels, but are in a degree holy, eo ipso; and have a farther right to the laver of regeneration, to sanctify them throughout by the renewing of the Holy Ghost. This honour is to us by the dishonour of Him; this the good by Christ an embyro.

–From a sermon preached before King James, at Whitehall, on Sunday, the Twenty-fifth of December, 1614

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Provinces, Christology, Church History, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Theology

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Lancelot Andrewes

Almighty God, who gavest thy servant Lancelot Andrewes the gift of thy holy Spirit and made him a man of prayer and a faithful pastor of thy people: Perfect in us what is lacking of thy gifts, of faith, to increase it, of hope, to establish it, of love, to kindle it, that we may live in the life of thy grace and glory; through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the same Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Provinces, Church History, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O Lord Jesus Christ, who hast gone to the Father to prepare a place for us: Grant us so to live in communion with thee here on earth, that hereafter we may enjoy the fullness of thy presence; who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Spirit, ever one God, world without end.

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