Daily Archives: October 8, 2012

Worshipers offer heartfelt goodbye as Western Mass. Episcopal Bishop Gordon P. Scruton retires

In his final service at Christ Church Cathedral, retiring Episcopal Bishop, the Rt. Rev. Gordon P. Scruton, told worshipers it had been a privilege to serve as their pastoral leader for the past 16 years.

Worshipers from Episcopal churches across the state gathered for Scruton’s last mass at the cathedral as the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts, the bishop and his wife, Rebecca, greeted each member of the church for a heartfelt goodbye.

“It was a joy to share with people who we came to love and share our life and ministry,” Scruton said. “It was a joy to be able to say ”˜Thank you.’”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops

TEC Diocese of Fond Du Lac considers blessing same-sex relationships

Earlier this year at its general convention, the national church authorized the provisional use of liturgy to bless same-sex couples. The liturgy can be used beginning in December if local diocese choose to allow it.

“The church says we can use it, but it is under the authority of the local bishops whether to use it,” said Bishop Russell Jacobus of the Episcopal Diocese of Fond du Lac, which heads Episcopal churches in Northeastern Wisconsin.

Jacobus said he plans to announce his decision of whether to allow clergy in the diocese to use the liturgy at the diocese’s annual convention Oct. 19-20 in Manitowoc.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Gen. Con. 2012, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Bishops

The 16 people helping to select the next Archbishop of Canterbury

These are the 16 members of the Crown Nominations Commission, the panel selected to appoint Dr Rowan Williams’s successor as Archbishop of Canterbury….

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, Religion & Culture

(Sunday Telegraph) Archbishop panel split over Church's future

It is the decision that 77 million Anglicans around the world are waiting for: who will become the next Archbishop of Canterbury.
But nine days after the successor to Dr Rowan Williams was expected to have been named, the Crown Nominations Commission remains silent.
Its work is shrouded in secrecy, but a Sunday Telegraph investigation can reveal that its 16 members are split, not over women bishops or same sex marriages, but the future of the Church itself.

Read it all. Also, there was an earlier Evening Stndard article there.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops

Unique church agreement signed between Methodists and Anglicans in North Yorkshire

The agreement between the Ripon and Leeds Anglican Diocese, which covers a large part of the region, and the Leeds Methodist District will mean more sharing of clergy and services and both churches working together to support their “ministry and mission”.

The Covenant Area Partnership is the first of its kind in the UK and will see greater consultation and co-operation between 85 Anglican parishes and 65 Methodist churches.

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

First woman elected Chair of Anglican national indigenous body inAustralia

The Revd Gloria Shipp, from the Gamilaroi tribe in New South Wales, has been elected Chair of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Anglican Council (NATSIAC) by members at their Annual Gathering in Brisbane.

Ms Shipp, the Indigenous Ministry Coordinator and Chaplain at Orana Juvenile Justice Centre in the Parish of Dubbo (Diocese of Bathurst), is the first woman to be elected as Chair, having previously held the Treasurer’s position.

She said she was “excited and honoured” to be elected Chair.

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

TEC Bishop of California Marc Andrus–My experience at the installation of Archbishop Cordileone

Read it all. Also, the AP has more there.

Posted in Uncategorized

(Christianity Today) Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove–The Awakening of Hope

God always makes the first move. To know the God of the Bible is to trust the God who created everything out of nothing, not because more was needed to somehow complete the circle, but simply because it pleased God. There’s nothing necessary about our existence, just as there’s nothing we can do to force God’s movement in the world. God always makes the first move. Faithful action, then, is always a response.

So, if you’re a bishop of the church in the turmoil of the fourth century, there’s nothing you can do to guarantee the future of the church. And if you’re a passionate, thoughtful person at the beginning of the twenty-first century, eager to sort out the big questions about God and life, there’s nowhere you can go to start figuring everything out for sure. However strong our desire, however fervent our initiative, it’s never enough. God always makes the first move. The Spirit blows where it will. When it does, it often blows our minds.

But after you’ve been knocked off your feet””after the Spirit has hovered over the chaos of your life and hurled you forward into a future beyond the limits of your vision””the questions are still there. God’s interruption doesn’t answer our questions. It doesn’t erase them either. It leaves us, rather, with a photo album full of pictures of hope.

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Posted in Eschatology, Pastoral Theology, The Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Theology, Theology: Holy Spirit (Pneumatology)

(CNN) Israel eyes Lebanon after drone downed

Israeli military experts Sunday worked around the clock to examine the remains of a mysterious drone that was shot down after penetrating Israeli airspace from the Mediterranean Sea.

The Israeli military announced Saturday that the unmanned aerial vehicle was shot down over the northern Negev Desert. They say the drone did not take off from Gaza, leading them to consider the possibility that it originated in Lebanon.

Israeli security experts point the finger at Israel’s longstanding rival Hezbollah, the Shiite militia based in southern Lebanon.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Defense, National Security, Military, Foreign Relations, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Lebanon, Middle East, Politics in General, Science & Technology, Syria, The Palestinian/Israeli Struggle

(AFP) Roman Catholic leaders gather to counter decline of faith

Pope Benedict XVI on Sunday opened a meeting of Roman Catholic Church leaders from around the world to debate how to counter rising secularism on the 50th anniversary of the momentous Second Vatican Council.

The synod of 262 archbishops, bishops and other senior clerics heard a call from the pope for a “new evangelism” for the Catholic Church, which is fast losing followers in Europe and feels increasingly discriminated against in many parts of the world.

The three-week synod coincides with the announcement on October 11 of a “Year of Faith” to mark the anniversary of the start of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965), which changed the face of Catholicism.

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

Pope Benedict XVI's Homily at Opening Mass of Synod of Bishops

The theme of marriage, found in the Gospel and the first reading, deserves special attention. The message of the word of God may be summed up in the expression found in the Book of Genesis and taken up by Jesus himself: “Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh” (Gen 2:24; Mk 10:7-8). What does this word say to us today? It seems to me that it invites us to be more aware of a reality, already well known but not fully appreciated: that matrimony is a Gospel in itself, a Good News for the world of today, especially the de-Christianized world. The union of a man and a woman, their becoming “one flesh” in charity, in fruitful and indissoluble love, is a sign that speaks of God with a force and an eloquence which in our days has become greater because unfortunately, for various reasons, marriage, in precisely the oldest regions evangelized, is going through a profound crisis. And it is not by chance. Marriage is linked to faith, but not in a general way. Marriage, as a union of faithful and indissoluble love, is based upon the grace that comes from the triune God, who in Christ loved us with a faithful love, even to the Cross. Today we ought to grasp the full truth of this statement, in contrast to the painful reality of many marriages which, unhappily, end badly. There is a clear link between the crisis in faith and the crisis in marriage. And, as the Church has said and witnessed for a long time now, marriage is called to be not only an object but a subject of the new evangelization. This is already being seen in the many experiences of communities and movements, but its realization is also growing in dioceses and parishes, as shown in the recent World Meeting of Families.

One of the important ideas of the renewed impulse that the Second Vatican Council gave to evangelization is that of the universal call to holiness, which in itself concerns all Christians (cf. Lumen Gentium, 39-42)….

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Evangelism and Church Growth, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Pope Benedict XVI, Preaching / Homiletics, Roman Catholic

(Father John Flynn) Canadian Census Reveals Marriage in Decline

Traditional family life in Canada is declining, according to data recently published from the 2011 census.

Census data show that married couples declined as a proportion of all census families between 2006 and 2011. Nevertheless, they still formed the predominant family structure in Canada, accounting for two-thirds of all families, Statistics Canada reported Sept. 19.

The proportion of cohabitating couples and lone-parent families both increased. For the first time, cohabitating couples outnumbered lone-parent families in 2011.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Canada, Children, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Secularism

(LA Times) Egypt rights activists seeing hopes dissolve

After an uprising toppled President Hosni Mubarak early last year, women and minorities hoped for a nation that would guarantee long-denied equal rights. But their pleas have gone unanswered as Egypt has shifted from military control to the conservative designs of a new Islamist president. Mostafa’s death symbolizes for many women the prospect that civil rights would be further jeopardized by a new constitution.

Scores of Egyptians, with the support of 33 women’s rights organizations, protested outside President Mohamed Morsi’s palace last week against the proposed constitution, particularly Article 36, which says the state is “committed to providing all measures to ensure the equality of women with men, as long as those rights are not contradicting the laws of Islam,” or sharia.

Overwhelmed by Islamist domination in the assembly drafting the constitution, liberals and moderates have repeatedly threatened to resign because they say the political body leans toward radical political Islam. A previous assembly was dissolved this year for failing to represent Egypt’s diverse society, and a court decision expected Tuesday could again disband the body amid charges it has ignored women, Christians, youths and other groups.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Coptic Church, Egypt, History, Islam, Law & Legal Issues, Middle East, Muslim-Christian relations, Other Churches, Other Faiths, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O Heavenly Father, grant us so to love thee with all our heart and mind and strength, and our neighbour for thy sake; that the grace of charity and brotherly love may dwell in us, and all envy, harshness and may die in us; according to the perfect love of thy Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

Praise the LORD! O give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures for ever! Who can utter the mighty doings of the LORD, or show forth all his praise?

–Psalm 106:1-2

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture