Daily Archives: May 10, 2012

(America) Adam Hincks–Wonders of the Universe

If modern cosmology does not provide new theological insight into questions of origins or bigness, one can discover anew the lessons of old.

New cosmological discoveries remind us of the wonder we ought to have before creation. Unlike our ancestors, who saw the stars above them every night, many city-dwellers, surrounded by artificial lights 24 hours a day, have been cut off from the heavens. Half the world’s population is now urbanized, and the fraction is growing. Ironically, despite our great scientific knowledge, we may be regressing in our aesthetic experience of the night sky, for we rarely see it. A connection with the heavens was important to the psalmist and to other biblical authors. We could also look to St. Ignatius Loyola, who during one period derived his greatest spiritual consolation from contemplating the stars.

We can today reclaim an aesthetic appreciation for the cosmos, but we have to be more intentional than our forebears, who needed only to wander outside after dark. The beautiful images and fascinating discoveries that come from modern observatories are an excellent aid. As Christians, we ought to welcome astronomical research.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology

The Archbishop Of Armagh’s Presidential Address At General Synod 2012

Arising out of the atmosphere created and the desire expressed at the Conference on Human Sexuality in the Context of Christian Belief that we should continue the journey of respectful and charitable listening in pursuit of deeper and clearer understanding of the will and purpose of God in these matters, the archbishops and bishops of the Church of Ireland, with the encouragement of the Standing Committee, will seek to present three motions offering a possible way forward.

The motions that the Archbishop of Dublin and the Bishop of Down and Dromore will seek to introduce belong together. The first sets out the doctrinal understanding of marriage and the appropriate context for sexual intercourse, as currently set forth in the formularies of the Church of Ireland. To set out the current position is not to pre”“determine any future adjudication the General Synod may reach on such matters. Indeed, Canon 31, which is quoted in the first motion, actually takes the form that it does as a direct result of decisions taken by the General Synod permitting the re”“marriage in church of divorced persons is itself witnesses to the fact that Canons may be added, altered, refined, replaced or abolished by the General Synod at its absolute discretion.
The second motion acknowledges openly the hurt and injury experienced at times by Lesbian and Gay people as a result of the words and actions of Church members. It articulates the commitment of the Church of Ireland to being sensitive to the pastoral needs of Gay and Lesbian people and a safe and welcoming place for everyone.

The third motion, if approved, directs the Standing Committee to bring to next year’s synod recommendations for the formation of a Select Committee to study the issue of Human Sexuality in the Context of Christian Belief and to report progress to the General Synod on the basis of a specific timetable.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of Ireland, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)

A Belfast Telegraph Article on the Church of Ireland General Synod

A controversial motion to be put to the Church of Ireland’s General Synod stating that only sex within marriage is “normative” could lead to a “witch-hunt” against gay clergy, campaigners have said.

More than 20 gay, lesbian and bisexual Anglicans have signed a letter published in today’s Belfast Telegraph objecting to Resolution 8A, which states that marriage can only occur between one man and one woman for the “procreation and nurture of children”. It adds that monogamous marriage is the “only normative context for sexual relationships”.

Signatories argue that, if passed, Church members in same-sex relationships will be stigmatised.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of Ireland, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)

Motions to be Considered by Church of Ireland General Synod which Begins Today

You can read the general motions here and the motions on sexuality there.

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

New York's Cardinal Timothy Dolan Speaks on US Social Issues

Last week, the cardinal also sat down for an interview with MSNBC, and spoke candidly on the Church’s stance on several U.S. policy issues.

He spoke first about the need for immigration reform in the United States. “The Catholic Church is — we call her Mother Church — and she’s traditionally welcomed the immigrant. We are a Church of immigrants, so we’re particularly sensitive to the rights of immigrants,” he said.

The cardinal went on to say that a policy that divides families, that drives people underground, and that requests soup kitchens to ask for documentation before providing food, shelter, and medical care is an unjust policy. “That’s not right, that’s not Catholic, that’s not Christian, that’s not religious, and it’s not American. The bishops are adamant on that,” the cardinal said.

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

In British Columbia, St. Michael's Anglican Church seeks support to stay standing

After nearly 100 years in service, St. Michael’s Anglican Church needs literal and figurative support to stay standing for another century.

Audrey Campbell, a member of the church’s small congregation, explains that the parish needs the community’s help to raise $5,544 for labour, steel rods, and turnbuckles to secure the bowing exterior walls of St. Michael’s.

“I never noticed, but people who knew about buildings have noticed for a few years. It has to be pointed out to me,” she says.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Parish Ministry

A Washington Post Profile of Johnny Kurcina and the Anglican parish he serves in Northern Virginia

[Johnny] Kurcina began Christ Church Vienna late last year and continues to be amazed with its success. Services are in the Louise Archer Elementary School cafeteria, where parishioners sit in plastic chairs and the walls are adorned with lunch menus.

“Holding services in a school cafeteria does hold some challenges,” Kurcina said. “We are not allowed to use wine for communion so we use grape juice, and our candles look real but the flame is really a small flickering light bulb because we are not allowed to use real flame candles on school grounds.”

Despite the obstacles, the church continues to draw new parishioners.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Episcopal Church (TEC), Evangelism and Church Growth, Parish Ministry, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Virginia, Theology

Archbishop of Wales Dr Barry Morgan elected to the Crown Nominations Commission

The Most Revd Dr Barry Morgan, Primate of The Church in Wales, has been elected to serve on the Crown Nominations Commission for Canterbury, the body that will nominate the next Archbishop of Canterbury.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of Wales

In Pennsylvania, Scranton priest and parish join new Catholic jurisdiction for former Anglicans

A Scranton Roman Catholic priest who was previously an ordained Episcopalian has been named the first priest in a new national Catholic jurisdiction that incorporates elements of the Anglican faith.

The Rev. Eric Bergman was incardinated on Tuesday into the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, a jurisdiction of U.S. Catholics established by the Pope at the start of the year that welcomes Anglicans and some of their traditions into the Catholic Church.

The U.S. ordinariate is just the second such group established by the pope. The first, for England and Wales, was created in 2011.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Roman Catholic, TEC Conflicts, TEC Departing Parishes, TEC Parishes

A Revealing Look Back to North American Anglican Affairs in 2007

From here:

“There’s lots of work for all of us,”… [Martyn Minns] said. “This is not just one province sticking its nose in. It’s the Global South collectively saying ‘We’ve got to do something’ because of the crisis in the U.S. church.”

But a spokesman for the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, James Naughton, said the proliferation of “offshore” churches “makes it clear how difficult it is going to be for the conservatives to unite, because each of these primates wants a piece of the action, and none is willing to subjugate himself to another.”

Rwanda’s Archbishop Emmanuel Kolini and the archbishop of Southeast Asia, Moses Tay, were the first to establish a missionary branch in the United States. In 2000, they jointly consecrated two former Episcopal priests as bishops and formed the Anglican Mission in the Americas, or AMIA. It has grown at the rate of one church every three weeks and now numbers about 120 congregations, with five bishops.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anglican Continuum, Church History, Ecclesiology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Global South Churches & Primates, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, TEC Conflicts, TEC Departing Parishes, Theology

Roman Catholic Michael Burbidge's Statement on the Marriage Amendment to the N.C. Constitution

I express my sincere gratitude to the people of North Carolina who voted FOR Marriage in the referendum completed today. Passage of the Amendment to the Constitution of our State has now ensured that the definition of marriage, as the faithful and exclusive union of one man and one woman, and one which is open to the gift of children, is in accord with God’s design and in keeping with the very nature of this sacred vocation.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Other Churches, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Sexuality, State Government, Theology

North Carolina Episcopal Bishop Michael Curry speaks Following the Passage of Amendment One

North Carolina voters have spoken, passing an amendment to the state constitution – called Amendment One – which allows that “marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be recognized by the state.” I, and many other bishops, clergy and laity from within the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina, and faith leaders from many traditions, opposed Amendment One. I opposed it because I believe, as the scripture says, all people are created in the image and likeness of God and that all are therefore to be accorded the rights and dignity that befit a child of God. In like manner, those who hold a very different position are also created in that image – and deserve the same respect that befits a child of God.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, State Government, TEC Bishops, Theology

A Prayer for the (Provisional) Feast Day of Nicolaus von Zinzendorf

God of life made new in Christ, who dost call thy Church to keep on rising from the dead: We remember before thee the bold witness of thy servant Nicolaus von Zinzendorf, through whom thy Spirit moved to draw many in Europe and the American colonies to faith and conversion of life; and we pray that we, like him, may rejoice to sing thy praise, live thy love and rest secure in the safekeeping of the Lord; who livest and reignest with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * International News & Commentary, Church History, Europe, Germany, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O Blessed Lord, who didst promise thy disciples that through thy Easter victory their sorrow should be turned to joy, and their joy no man should take from them: Grant us, we pray thee, so to know thee in the power of thy resurrection, that we may be partakers of that joy which is unspeakable and full of glory; for thy holy name’s sake.

–Frank Colquhoun (1909-1997)

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

For thou, O Lord, art my hope, my trust, O LORD, from my youth. Upon thee I have leaned from my birth; thou art he who took me from my mother’s womb. My praise is continually of thee.

–Psalm 71:5,6

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture