Daily Archives: July 19, 2012

(The State) Talks continue as potential split in SC Episcopal diocese looms

The leader of Midlands and Upstate Episcopalians said this week he remains in prayer and open talks with his fellow bishop in the Lowcountry in hopes of staving off a fracture within the state and the national church over gender issues.

The national church earlier this month approved a same-sex blessing rite and expanded ordination to include transgendered persons.

Bishop W. Andrew Waldo has tried to keep his diverse Episcopal Diocese of Upper South Carolina unified despite theological differences over the controversial issues. He said this week he hopes that his friend, Bishop Mark J. Lawrence, leader of the more conservative and traditional Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina, in the Lowcountry, will remain on that same path.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, --Gen. Con. 2012, Anthropology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, General Convention, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology, Theology: Scripture

Anglican Church of New Zealand still to decide on cathedral report

The Anglican diocese of Christchurch says it could be a couple of weeks before it decides whether to act on a report outlining how ChristChurch Cathedral can be saved.

The engineers’ report, released last week by the Great Christchurch Buildings Trust, concludes the church is safe for workers to restore, which contradicts the basis for its current demolition order.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * General Interest, Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, Anglican Provinces, Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc.

Bishop Stanton's Pastoral Letter to the Diocese of Dallas

…I want to single out two considerations in my own words that lead me to a conclusion I will draw momentarily.

My first consideration is theological: Is this rite true? When I or any member of the clergy bless anyone, we use the form, “I bless you in the Name of God.” This is what may be called performative language: it performs the action that the words imply. We do not say, “I pray for,” or “I wish,” or “I think that” … God will do so and so. We are only authorized, however, to bless what God, in fact, blesses. And when we use these words, we had better have a clear warrant from Scripture or the theological tradition of the Church to back us up. No individual is competent to decide what God blesses, and no congregation or denomination is competent to do so either. Otherwise, we are merely guessing at best, and misleading people at worst.

My second consideration is closely related to the first: is it really pastoral? How may we give to people the assurance, the comfort and the strength of God’s blessing without the warrant of Scripture or the great Tradition, or even the agreement of our closest brothers and sisters in the Communion to which we maintain we belong? Indeed, how can we do so given the “theological diversity of this church” itself in “matters of human sexuality”? This seems to me to be an incoherent act. A pastoral blessing must rest on a more solid foundation than this. Furthermore, I must point to the “provisional” character of this blessing rite: I must ask our brothers and sisters in Christ who seek this rite if they are really satisfied with a “provisional” blessing? What happens if, or when, this rite is modified, or perhaps even rescinded? What General Convention gives, it can also take away! What kind of blessing is it that is subject merely to majority human vote?

Given these two considerations, my conclusion is predictable: I cannot give direction or permission for the use of the rite in this Diocese. I trust that this conclusion will not be understood to be either capricious or stubborn. The theological and pastoral stakes here are very great indeed. A bishop is ordained to “guard the faith, unity and discipline” of the Church. Given the teaching of Scripture, the Tradition as set forth in our own Book of Common Prayer, the witness of our Communion, and my own theological and pastoral concerns, I find no other alternative.
Where do we stand now after July 12? I answer that we stand where we did on July 3. Our God-given mission remains the same. Our churches welcome all people into our fellowship, proclaim God’s Word, form disciples, strengthen our people for service and ministry, nurture one another in trust and commitment, and pray for one another and our world. We honor one God: the Father who created us, the risen Jesus who calls and transforms us, and the Spirit who strengthens us for mission and enables us to bear fruit that will last.

When people come to us, they rarely ever ask what our General Convention did. Instead they will ask, “Is God real to these people?” And then they will ask, “Is there a place for me here?” By our worship, our study, and our action together we answer that first question. By our openness and welcome we answer the second. “Welcome one another,” St. Paul wrote, “as Christ has welcomed you.” That is our mission. Now, and always.

Read it all and pdf is here

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Gen. Con. 2012, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention

Anglican Unscripted Episode 45

A personal view from Kevin Kallsen, George Conger and guests embedded with thanks from Anglican TV here

“Post General Convention 77 commentary floods the frames of this episode. Kevin and George discuss TEC’s “provisional” local rites for the blessing of same-sex unions, Humankind’s desire to identified by Acronyms, Bishop Lawrence’s actions, and Jesus’ discussion with Peter about the Rock. Alan Haley discusses the blood stains GC77 brought by charging nine Bishops for doing their duty. And finally, this week Peter Ould is giddy about Sports and humble about Women Bishops.”

Posted in Uncategorized

Retirement savings raided by 35% of laid-off workers

The number of displaced workers has risen dramatically since the start of the Great Recession, and this year a third of them had to raid retirement savings to make ends meet.

Making matters worse, many who have lost their jobs have defaulted on 401(k) loans, causing taxes and penalties to further deplete their retirement savings.

“Of greatest concern are those who are in their 40s and 50s,” says Catherine Collinson, president of Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, which released a study today on the retirement outlook of the unemployed and underemployed.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, Personal Finance, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

Anglican Church of Nigeria scores Government low on peace in the North

The Federal Government has been scored low in its efforts at ensuring peace in the northern part of Nigeria.

This was contained in the communique issued at the end of the first session of the fifth Synod of the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, Ibadan-South Diocese, held recently and presided over by the Right Reverend Jacob Ajetunmobi, at the St Luke’s Anglican Church, Molete, Ibadan.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of Nigeria

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Macrina

Merciful God, who didst call thy servant Macrina to reveal in her life and her teaching the riches of thy grace and truth: Mercifully grant that we, following her example, may seek after thy wisdom and live according to her way; through Jesus Christ our Savior, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

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

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Grant, O heavenly Father, that by the guidance of the Holy Spirit we may be enabled to discern thy holy will; and that by the grace of the same Spirit we may also be enabled to do it, gladly and with our whole hearts; for the glory of thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

I appeal to you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

–Romans 12:1-2

Posted in Uncategorized

(BBC) Syria conflict: Ministers 'killed in suicide attack'

Three men at the heart of President Assad’s defence team have died in a suicide bombing, Syrian state TV says.

The president’s defence minister, brother-in-law and head of his crisis team were at a meeting at national security headquarters in Damascus.

No footage has yet emerged of the attack in which the national security chief and interior minister were also said to have been wounded.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Defense, National Security, Military, Middle East, Syria, Violence

The Cathedral Church of St. Luke & St. Paul

The Cathedral Church of St. Luke & St. Paul from WDAVfm on Vimeo.

Posted in * South Carolina

The Bishop of Upper South Carolina Writes about General Convention

I am utterly serious when I describe myself as a radical centrist. It means that my very first principle as bishop when it comes to life and change within the community of faith is Jesus’ command to the disciple community to love one another as we have been loved, and to be willing to give up even our very lives for one another (John 15:12-13). To be a disciple is to be disciplined: disciplined in discernment, disciplined in theology, disciplined in action, disciplined in love. In his second letter, Peter writes, “For this very reason, you must make every effort to support your faith with goodness, and goodness with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with endurance, and endurance with godliness, and godliness with mutual affection, and mutual affection with love.”

My discipline is this: to listen deeply to the challenges and questions of all, from my position in that radical””and, I’m discovering, somewhat dangerous””center. My long-held and still-present desire to move forward on same-sex blessings has been given a new discipline upon listening to the questions of those who object to it and the questions of those who support it. Being the bishop of all requires of me an internal discipline that I am not free to ignore.

To those who object to same-sex blessings, my questions are these, among others:

– How, exactly, is Christian marriage threatened by the blessing of a relationship between two persons of the same sex?…

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * South Carolina, --Gen. Con. 2012, Anthropology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, General Convention, Parish Ministry, TEC Bishops, Theology, Theology: Scripture