Daily Archives: January 10, 2013

(Christian Century) Craig Barnes–Pastor, not friend

The pastor offers the congregation’s laments and doxology to God and proclaims God’s holy word to the congregation. Friendships have little to do with this. Should God call the pastor to go to another place, it’s asking too much of the congregation to expect them to discern this with the pastor.

Ordination costs pastors, and one of the greatest costs is maintaining the lonely status of being surrounded by everyone in the church while always being the odd person in the room. [Layman] Jack Anderson will never understand this, but it is critical for his sake that I did.

As a physician, Jack had a similar challenge when he diagnosed me with a condition that required minor surgery. He didn’t ask me to help him discern the best course of action, and he knew that the truly loving act was to say necessary things that I didn’t want to hear. That’s because his ethical responsibility was to treat me not as a friend but as a patient. That makes perfect sense to him and to me. But he’s confused when I treat him as a parishioner.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Ethics / Moral Theology, Ministry of the Laity, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Theology

Chris Kornelis–Confessions of a sinking millennial: Time for us to accept personal responsibility

My household has more than its share of student and credit card debt. I didn’t expect my salary to be frozen for half a decade, and I assumed the spending was a temporary solution to a temporary problem. Bad assumption. Two months ago, I got a notice from my student loan company telling me that my monthly payment was about to double. It took a minute, but I thought back to the day I agreed to those repayment terms. By the time my payment obligations spike, I remember thinking, I’ll be so flush that it won’t even be an issue….

There have been many far more serious victims of the Great Recession and the anemic recovery than me, of course ”” people who have lost their jobs, their homes, breadwinners who have lost a defining sense of self. Although I have never felt more than a step or two away, I still have a home and I still have a job.

But too often there has not been a distinction made between the victims and people, like me ”” among the majority of Americans who are not unemployed or underemployed, but didn’t act as prudently as they should have ”” who made poor decisions.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Housing/Real Estate Market, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Personal Finance, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, Theology, Young Adults

(AP) No players selected for Baseball Hall of Fame

Steroid-tainted stars Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa were denied entry to baseball’s Hall of Fame, with voters failing to elect any candidates for only the second time in four decades.

Bonds received just 36.2 percent of the vote, Clemens 37.6 and Sosa 12.5 in totals announced Wednesday by the Hall and the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. They were appearing on the ballot for the first time and have up to 14 more years to make it to Cooperstown.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Drugs/Drug Addiction, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Men, Sports, Theology

(Times-Colonist) Blessing of same-sex couples ”˜not enough,' critics say

A move by the Anglican Diocese of B.C. to allow the blessing of married homosexual couples is only a small step, says a University of Victoria political scientist.

Janni Aragon, who has a special interest in gender issues, said for the church to bless couples but not perform or bless their marriages is not enough.

“What you see is some softening of church attitudes to acknowledge these people exist, but to say, ”˜;We are going to sanctify them but not their marriage’ is just hair-splitting,” Aragon said Monday.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Canada, Law & Legal Issues, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Marriage & Family, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)

(AFP) At least 10 Kenyans killed in reprisal raid: Red Cross

At least 10 people were killed and several wounded in a retaliatory dawn raid Thursday in the Tana River delta region of southeast Kenya, the latest violence to flare up in an area where scores died in clashes last year, Kenya Red Cross said.

“There are 10 dead and two critically wounded, with gunshot wounds, machete cuts and burns,” local Red Cross official Caleb Kilunde told AFP.
The attack came a day after nine were killed in a raid.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Kenya, Violence

(Anglican Ink) Tentative settlement reached in the Fort Worth 7 and Quincy 3 cases

A tentative settlement has been reached in the “Fort Worth 7” and “Quincy 3” cases, sources close to the proceedings report. Details of the agreement will not been released until all parties endorse the agreement, the sources report, but the disposition of the dispute is being characterized as “amicable” AI has learned.

If the agreement is ratified, the settlement will conclude the largest mass disciplinary proceeding launched against bishops of the Episcopal Church.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Polity & Canons

Barton Gingerich–The Millennial Generation's Acceptable Sin

Every human institution and society has its own list of sins and virtues that contradict the law of God. With the rise of the Millennial generation in evangelical churches, a vice is creeping up into the realms of acceptance, indifference, or at least resignation: fornication (i.e. extramarital sex or unchaste living).

A few decades ago, this was one of the main issues that evangelicals hammered in their social witness. The skeptical news cycle and entertainment industry mocked this often; they saw pleas for chastity as a laughable result of pietistic sexual repression and no small bit of hypocrisy. Theological leaders and other influential voices chided their fellow believers for obsessing over a select set of sexual taboos.

Now, however, the exhortations have eased off. Commentary from Tim Keller at the latest Q Conference in New York is quite telling. “We’re not doing well on the sex side,” he confessed. Talking about his church, Keller said, “We’re just like the rest of the city. If I preach like that [on sexual ethics], everybody gets real quiet.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Evangelicals, Other Churches, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Theology, Theology: Scripture, Young Adults

Church of England rejoicing over Christmas Twitter campaign

The Church of England today released figures for its Christmas Twitter campaign #ChristmasStartsWithChrist.

Launched in November 2012, congregations and clergy in the 12,500 parishes of the Church of England were encouraged to get out their smartphones and livetweet the joy and meaning of Christmas in a series of 140 character messages to the 10 million people who make up the UK’s ‘Twitterati’.

Churches from across the country took part in the campaign, tweeting their sermons using the hashtag “#ChristmasStartsWithChrist” to share their Christmas messages. Figures revealed today show almost 9,000 tweets sent using the hashtags “#ChristmasStartsWithChrist” and “#CSWC” with peak traffic occurring on Christmas Day at around 11am (GMT) and a smaller peak on Christmas Eve at 11pm (GMT).

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, --Social Networking, Anglican Provinces, Blogging & the Internet, Christmas, Church of England (CoE), Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, England / UK, Media, Religion & Culture

Must not Miss Video for Thursday–Operation Blessing restores a home to a Couple Married 61 years

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Watch it all–very heartwarming.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, Aging / the Elderly, Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, Marriage & Family, Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc.

(CFR's Africa in Transition) Anglicans in Zimbabwe Regain Cathedral and Other Properties

For the past five years, Robert Mugabe’s government has, in effect, persecuted the Anglican Church in Zimbabwe. As I blogged previously in 2011, the ex-bishop of Harare, Nolbert Kunonga, a long-time Mugabe supporter, sought to take his diocese out of the Anglican Communion, ostensibly because of Anglican Communion support for gay rights. The church thereupon deposed him and chose a new bishop, Chad Gandiya. But, Mugabe continued to support Kunonga and a pro-Mugabe judge gave him “custody” of church property pending a high court ruling. Kunonga also ended up with a confiscated, previously white-owned, farm. Pro-government goons over the past five years have, in effect, overseen the transfer of the cathedral in Harare, Anglican schools, orphanages, and parish churches to Kunonga and his supporters. The archbishop of Canterbury protested directly to Mugabe last year….

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Foreign Relations, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, Zimbabwe

(Onenews Now) Diocese of South Carolina Seeks to Preserve its Freedom, Faith and History

The South Carolina Diocese withdrew from the Episcopal Church, which has a history of suing to obtain ownership of diocese property. South Carolina has filed an advance lawsuit claiming ownership of the property valued at more than a half billion dollars. Diocese canon theologian Kendall Harmon tells OneNewsNow the diocese predates the Episcopal Church.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Church History, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: South Carolina, Theology

A Prayer for the Feast Day of William Laud

Keep us, O Lord, constant in faith and zealous in witness, that, like thy servant William Laud, we may live in thy fear, die in thy favor, and rest in thy peace; for the sake of Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, 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

Lord Jesus, our Master, go with us while we travel to the heavenly country; that, following thy star, we may not wander in the darkness of this world’s night, while thou, who art our Way, and Truth, and Life dost shine within us to our journey’s end; for thy mercy’s sake.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Epiphany, Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Scripture Readings

And to the angel of the church in Sardis write: ‘The words of him who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. “‘I know your works; you have the name of being alive, and you are dead. Awake, and strengthen what remains and is on the point of death, for I have not found your works perfect in the sight of my God. Remember then what you received and heard; keep that, and repent. If you will not awake, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come upon you. Yet you have still a few names in Sardis, people who have not soiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white, for they are worthy. He who conquers shall be clad thus in white garments, and I will not blot his name out of the book of life; I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels. 6 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’

–Revelation 3:1-6

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Virginia Supreme Court Will Hear Diocese's Cross-Appeal

Today, the Supreme Court of Virginia announced it will consider the Diocese of Virginia’s cross-appeal on whether the Diocese has a trust interest in the real and personal property of the Falls Church….

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Virginia