Daily Archives: October 2, 2011
About 200 Christians from Worcestershire and beyond gathered in Worcester Cathedral to study the Bible under the guidance of both the Anglican Bishop of Worcester and the Roman Catholic Archbishop for Birmingham.
The event was held to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible and drew people from a Baptist and Pentecostal background, as well as Roman Catholics and those from the Church of England.
The day started with a dialogue between the bishop and archbishop on the impact of scripture on our culture and the life of our churches. Those attending were split into groups of about 15 people to look at a passage using a prayerful approach known as Lectio Divina.
The Dean of Liverpool has conducted his final service at Liverpool’s Anglican cathedral before taking up his new role as Bishop of Durham.
The Very Reverend Justin Welby, who has been at the cathedral for four years, will now become the fourth most senior cleric in the Church of England.
The future of Christchurch’s earthquake-wrecked Anglican and Catholic cathedrals is even more uncertain after the decision by the largest insurer of New Zealand churches and heritage buildings to stop offering earthquake cover.
British-owned Ansvar Insurance took a $700m hit in the earthquakes, including losses on both cathedrals and the Christchurch Arts Centre.
Its decision is a new complication for local church authorities.
Modern investigators of miraculous history have solemnly admitted that a characteristic of the great saints is their power of “levitation.” They might go further; a characteristic of the great saints is their power of levity. Angels can fly because they can take themselves lightly. This has been always the instinct of Christendom, and especially the instinct of Christian art. Remember how Fra Angelico represented all his angels, not only as birds, but almost as butterflies. Remember how the most earnest mediaeval art was full of light and fluttering draperies, of quick and capering feet. It was the one thing that the modern Pre-raphaelites could not imitate in the real Pre-raphaelites. Burne-Jones could never recover the deep levity of the Middle Ages. In the old Christian pictures the sky over every figure is like a blue or gold parachute. Every figure seems ready to fly up and float about in the heavens. The tattered cloak of the beggar will bear him up like the rayed plumes of the angels. But the kings in their heavy gold and the proud in their robes of purple will all of their nature sink downwards, for pride cannot rise to levity or levitation. Pride is the downward drag of all things into an easy solemnity. One “settles down” into a sort of selfish seriousness; but one has to rise to a gay self-forgetfulness. A man “falls” into a brown study; he reaches up at a blue sky. Seriousness is not a virtue. It would be a heresy, but a much more sensible heresy, to say that seriousness is a vice. It is really a natural trend or lapse into taking one’s self gravely, because it is the easiest thing to do. It is much easier to write a good ,i>Times leading article than a good joke in Punch. For solemnity flows out of men naturally; but laughter is a leap. It is easy to be heavy: hard to be light. Satan fell by the force of gravity.
—Orthodoxy (Rockville: Serenity, 2009), p.103
Segregation remains on the tip of the tongue for many residents of Albany, where old attitudes persist””sometimes openly and certainly behind closed doors. Blacks and whites attend the same schools, visit the same movie theaters, and drink from the same fountains, but prejudices are palpable.
“There are a lot of tensions around here that just won’t die,” says a member of the local news media who asked to remain anonymous. “There’s a black-white divide, a lot of good-old-boy cronyism. The whites won’t let it go, but the blacks won’t either.”
One local pastor who has lived in several southern cities””including Montgomery, Alabama, where Rosa Parks refused to give up her bus seat to a white man””says Albany is “easily the most racially divided city I’ve ever been in….”
There are currently 300,000 to 350,000 congregations in the U.S., according to Michael Emerson, a sociology professor and co-director of Rice University’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research in Houston, Texas. Ninety-two percent are homogeneous, meaning at least 80 percent of the congregation comprises a single racial group.
When [Michael] Catt became pastor of Sherwood Baptist in 1989, he noticed his predominantly white congregation was a stark contrast to the small city of Albany, whose population is about 65 percent black and where few concessions were achieved from the city government after King visited there during the civil rights movement.
“You can’t pastor a church in a community that’s predominantly African-American and look out on a lily white crowd, because you’re not being honest,” Catt recently told The Associated Press.
We’re just stuck?
If we don’t deal with it ”“ if we don’t proactively say we’re going to get our deficit under control ”“let me put it this way: My personal belief is that if we do proactively get our long-term budget issues under control, the bond market will say, “Okay, you’re credible and we will buy your bonds, because you have put yourself on a credible path ”“ whether it’s through cuts, whether it’s through tax increases, however you want to do it ”“ but you have to do it. But you have shown us a credible way to get to the place where the growth rate of your deficit is below the growth rate of nominal GDP.”
But if we don’t do that, my wine bottle of pain becomes a jeroboam and we end up downing it all at once.
That sounds ugly.
It is. It will force budget cuts; it will force tax increases of the magnitude that no one is ready to contemplate. We’re talking cuts in Medicare, cuts in education, in defense, in spending of all kinds. That would create a depression, a true depression that would last 4-5 years, push unemployment to 20%-25%….
O Gracious God, whose blessed Son set forth thy love towards mankind, in his miracles of healing and mercy, making both the deaf to hear and the dumb to speak: Grant that our ears may be opened to thy Word, and our tongues loosed to proclaim it to others, and to further the spreading of thy gospel among all nations; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.
Soon afterward he went to a city called Na’in, and his disciples and a great crowd went with him. As he drew near to the gate of the city, behold, a man who had died was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow; and a large crowd from the city was with her. And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.” And he came and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still. And he said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.” And the dead man sat up, and began to speak. And he gave him to his mother. Fear seized them all; and they glorified God, saying, “A great prophet has arisen among us!” and “God has visited his people!” And this report concerning him spread through the whole of Judea and all the surrounding country.
Two parish councils are ignoring official guidance by continuing to hold prayers at meetings.
For decades Crowborough Town Council has begun its full monthly meetings with a Christian prayer, and now Mayfield Parish Council is following suit in spite of fears this could be “offensive” and “inappropriate”.
But the body responsible for local government, the Sussex Association of Local Councils, has intervened.
“Prayers are not part of the parish council’s duties and cannot be included in the agenda,” said Jacqui Simes from the association.
Check it out–heh.
Figures for the success or otherwise of what happened at the weekend are not yet available but last year it is estimated that between 5,000 and 6,000 churches from participating denominations welcomed back 51,000 people. The Anglican church claimed an average of some 18 persons returned in each of their churches that took part.
Back To Church Sunday began in 2004 and since that time it is claimed that more than 150,000 people have returned to church. Another impressive estimated figure is that some one million persons are invited to attend church on the given Sunday.