Daily Archives: June 24, 2014

Archbishop Wabukala welcomes new ACNA Archbishop

GAFCON: ACNA Primate welcomed
On behalf of the Anglican Church of Kenya, I warmly welcome the appointment of Archbishop-elect Foley Beach and assure him of our prayers and best wishes. He is a man of courage, compassion for the lost and biblical conviction and I am greatly encouraged for the continuing witness of this new Province he has been called to lead. The future of the Anglican Communion depends upon raising up such leaders and I very much look forward to his participation in the work of the GAFCON Primates Council as we stand together for the truth of the gospel.

Archbishop Eliud Wabukala, Primate of Kenya and Chairman of the GAFCON Primates Council

Posted June 24, 2014

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA)

(BBC) Sudan death row woman Meriam Ibrahim 're-arrested'

A Sudanese woman freed from death row on Monday has been arrested with her family at Khartoum airport, sources have told the BBC.

Meriam Ibrahim was sentenced to hang in May for renouncing Islam, sparking widespread outrage at home and abroad.

About 40 security agents detained Mrs Ibrahim – along with her husband Daniel Wani and two sons – at the airport, the sources said.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --South Sudan, Africa, Foreign Relations, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Sudan, Women

(Aleteia) Philip Jenkins–The Fall of Mosul and the end of Christianity in Iraq

On June 10, the city of Mosul fell to the forces of ISIS, the extremist Islamic State of Iraq and al-Shams. Politically, this is a catastrophe for American hopes of preserving the settlement they had uneasily imposed on the region, while a humanitarian catastrophe looms. Particularly hard hit are the region’s Christians, who have no wish to live under jihadi rule. A heartbreaking story in the The Telegraph recently headlined “Iraq’s beleaguered Christians make final stand on the Mosul frontline.”

So much has been widely reported, but what has been missing in media accounts is just how crucially significant Mosul is to the whole Christian story over two millennia. Although the destruction of Christian Mosul has been drawn out over many years, the imminent end is still shocking. The best way to describe its implications is to imagine the annihilation of some great European center of the faith, such as Assisi, Cologne, or York. Once upon a time, Mosul was the heart of a landscape that was no less thoroughly Christ-haunted.

Mosul itself was a truly ancient Assyrian center, which continued to flourish through the Middle Ages. No later than the second century AD, the city had a Christian presence.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Church History, History, Iraq, Islam, Middle East, Muslim-Christian relations, Other Churches, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture

(TLC) Friendship in God’s Kingdom–A Conversation with Wesley Hill

In your first column for Christianity Today, you noted that George Herbert helped guide you into the Anglican tradition. How exactly did that happen?

I was raised Southern Baptist and have been a believing Christian since childhood. But for several years during college and afterward, I felt I was still looking for the right ecclesial home. My first exposure to the Anglican tradition was when I attended a Maundy Thursday service during my freshman year of college. I was simultaneously put off by what felt, at that time, like excessive formality, and attracted to what seemed like a form of worship with integrity, mystery, and depth. Eventually I was confirmed in the Church of England, by then-Bishop of Durham Justin Welby. By that time, I had developed theological reasons for becoming Anglican ”” reasons that had to do with Anglicanism’s identity as “catholic” and “reformed.” But initially, Anglicanism represented more of a sensibility than a theology. It nurtured in me something I didn’t initially have or want: a taste for beauty in liturgy and church art, and an inclination toward theological reticence and reverence.

What thinkers of the Church, present or past, are you most excited about?

I’m very interested in the work that a celibate lesbian Roman Catholic named Eve Tushnet is doing. Her first book is coming out this fall from Ave Maria Press (Gay and Catholic: Accepting My Sexuality, Finding Community, Living My Faith). I’ve been reading Eve’s blog for years, and I think she’s one of the sharpest cultural critics around, in addition to being one of our most provocative and helpful Christian voices on the theology of friendship.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Pastoral Theology, Psychology, Seminary / Theological Education, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(USA Today) VA scandal is another example of govt failure to follow a collective mission

The American people — most of us, anyway — did “choose” to provide first-class medical care for our veterans. But we didn’t do it. We set up the Veterans Administration to do it. And the Veterans Administration — or, more accurately, some of the people who work for and run the Veterans Administration — had a stronger interest in other things. Things like fat bonuses, and low workloads in comfy offices.

Thus we find that, even though veterans were dying, and books were being cooked, every single VA senior executive received an evaluation of “fully successful” or better over a 4-year period. That’s right. Every single one. Over four years. At least 65% of them received bonuses (“performance awards”). All while veterans around the country were suffering and dying because of delayed care. The executives got these bonuses, in part, because they cooked the books, because the bonuses were more important to them than the veterans’ care.

It would be nice to believe that this sort of problem is limited to the VA, but there’s no particular reason to think that it is. The problem with the VA is that, like every other government agency — and every other human institution — it’s not a machine that runs itself. It’s a collection of people. And people tend to act in their own self interest.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Aging / the Elderly, Anthropology, Defense, National Security, Military, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, The U.S. Government, Theology

(MNN) Are some Boko Haram terrorists turning to Christianity?

The leader of a Nigerian ministry supported by Christian Aid recently shared this update on their work. Along with providing necessities for refugees, they share the Gospel with Islamic militants who are curious about Christ.

“We were able to give out 45 of ”˜The Treasure’ audio Bibles to Muslims who were ready to hear. Some of them assured us we shall hear from them when we come back,” the leader shares in his report. “Pray for one new convert who accepted Christ after listening to the Gospel of John.

“This is a great tool for reaching Muslims.”

However, these indigenous missionaries are not immune to danger. The ministry leader says Boko Haram attacks continue daily.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Africa, Islam, Muslim-Christian relations, Nigeria, Other Faiths, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Teens / Youth, Violence, Women

(Guardian) A Second priest defies the Church of England to marry his same sex partner

A second priest has defied the Church of England’s official line to marry his same sex partner. On Saturday, the Rev Andrew Cain, vicar of St James church in West Hampstead, London, posted on Facebook pictures of his wedding to Stephen Foreshew.

The wedding took place as the first priest to marry his partner, Canon Jeremy Pemberton, confirmed that he had been stripped of the permission to work as a priest in the diocese of Southwell and Nottingham.

Church authorities face difficulties if they try to prevent clergy from contracting perfectly legal marriages.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(Ruth Gledhill article for Christian Today) Rowan Williams 'hated' being Archbishop of Canterbury

The former Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, has admitted he has “no problem” with legal parity for same-sex couples.

But he feels the State rushed into “redefining” marriage without giving the Church enough time to think about it.

The revelations come in the latest edition of his biography, Rowan’s Rule, by Rupert Shortt, which is published next month.

When appointed Archbishop of Canterbury in December 2002, succeeding evangelical Lord Carey of Clifton, many who were familiar with his theology and his position as patron of Affirming Catholicism believed he would take the Church in a liberal direction. They were disappointed when, the following year, he pressured Dr Jeffrey John, an openly-gay clergyman in a long-term but celibate relationship with another priest, to withdraw from his controversial nomination as Bishop of Reading.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, --Rowan Williams, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), History, Religion & Culture

(NYT) In Iraq’s Sectarian Violence, a Show of Each Side’s Worst

Sectarian violence in Iraq on Monday showed both sides in the conflict at their brutal worst, as Iraqi police officers were reported to have killed scores of Sunni insurgent prisoners along a highway in the south, and militants in the north turned over the bodies of 15 Shiite civilians they had killed, including women and children, only to bomb the cemetery during their funerals, according to one account.

In a third episode without clear sectarian links, a family of six, including three children, was found fatally shot in Tarmiya, a Sunni area in Baghdad Province north of the capital. There was no confirmation about who was behind their deaths.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, History, Iraq, Islam, Middle East, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Violence

([London] Times) British Muslims flock to jihadists’ hardline sect

Two British jihadists who appeared in a terrorism recruitment video urging Muslims to fight in Syria were followers of an austere sect which is the fastest growing branch of Islam in Britain, it emerged last night.

Nasser Muthana and Reyaad Khan, both 20, went to the Al-Manar Centre in Cardiff, which is aligned to the ultra-conservative Salafi wing of Islam.

Jailed and banned radical preachers, including the convicted terrorist Abu Hamza and the terror suspect Abu Qatada, are also followers. The Salafis, who are hostile to music, television and even birthdays, are poised to control half of mosques within a generation, a study of the sects comprising British Islam found.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, England / UK, Islam, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture

A Prayer for the Feast Day of the Nativity of John the Baptist

Almighty God, by whose providence thy servant John the Baptist was wonderfully born, and sent to prepare the way of thy Son our Savior by preaching repentance: Make us so to follow his doctrine and holy life, that we may truly repent according to his preaching; and after his example constantly speak the truth, boldly rebuke vice, and patiently suffer for the truth’s sake; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ 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 Year / Liturgical Seasons, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O God of love, who hast given us a new commandment through thine only begotten Son, that we should love one another even as thou didst love us, the unworthy and the wandering, and gavest him for our life and salvation: We pray thee to give to us thy servants, in all time of our life on earth, a mind forgetful of past ill-will, a pure conscience, and a heart to love our brethren; for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord.

–Coptic Liturgy of St. Cyril

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

The Lord reigns; let the earth rejoice; let the many coastlands be glad! Clouds and thick darkness are round about him; righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne. Fire goes before him, and burns up his adversaries round about. His lightnings lighten the world; the earth sees and trembles. The mountains melt like wax before the LORD, before the Lord of all the earth. The heavens proclaim his righteousness; and all the peoples behold his glory.

–Psalm 97:1-6

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

A Star-Telegram Article on the Fort Worth Anglican Episcopal Lawsuit

Local Episcopalians hoping to reclaim millions of dollars in church property, which is now controlled by those who split six years ago from the national Episcopal Church, are taking their case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Leaders of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth who remain faithful to the U.S. Episcopal Church filed a petition Thursday for a writ of certiorari with the nation’s highest court.

The petition asks the U.S. Supreme Court to review the decision of the Texas Supreme Court on Aug. 30, 2013, overturning a Fort Worth lower court’s ruling in January 2011 that awarded property and holdings in the 24-county diocese to those loyal to the national church.

The Texas Supreme Court called for a rehearing on property matters in Judge John Chupp’s 141st District Court based on “neutral principles” of Texas law. The “deference” principles used in the earlier decision gave weight to the hierarchical structure of the U.S. Episcopal Church and its claim of ownership of all church properties.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Presiding Bishop, Stewardship, TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Fort Worth, Theology

Did you know Dept.–Nigeria and Iran could be forced to draw lots in the World Cup

Nigeria and Iran could see their World Cup fate decided by the drawing of lots.

Argentina play Nigeria and Iran face Bosnia-Herzegovina in Group F’s final matches on Wednesday, and if Iran and Argentina were both to win their games 1-0 then the FIFA Organising Committee would need to draw lots to determine whether the Super Eagles or Team Melli would advance.

Iran and Nigeria drew 0-0 in their opening match, with Iran then losing 1-0 to Argentina and Nigeria beating Bosnia & Herzegovina 1-0 in their second games.

FIFA rules determine that teams should be separated first by points, then goal difference, then goals scored and then their head-to-head record. However, lots are used as a last recourse if they cannot otherwise be set apart.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Brazil, Globalization, Iran, Men, Middle East, Nigeria, South America, Sports