Daily Archives: February 4, 2015

An Overview of Global Christianity in Terms of Statistics

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Globalization, Orthodox Church, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Sociology

Reminder–Timeline of Events in the Diocese of South Carolina leading up to latest legal ruling

Read it all.

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

An article on the Pilgrimage taken by the new Anglican Bishop of Bathhurst

With the question “well, where’s the coffee?”, Anglican Bishop Ian Palmer and his wife Elizabeth made their first stop at St Barnabas Anglican Church on day three of their trek through the central west.

Twenty Orange East parishioners on the corner of McLachlan and Dora Streets gave a cheer and a clap as they spotted their leader make his way up Summer Street East at 10.15am on Tuesday.

They greeted him with morning tea and sent him on his way with a prayer.

Bishop Palmer is moving to Dubbo to take on the duties of parish priest while continuing his work as bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Bathurst.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican Provinces, Australia / NZ, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

Steven Ford on the Episcopal Church's Wastefulness and Self-Destructive Bureaucratization

It’s no secret that mainline Christianity is suffering destruction and rapid decline. I’m not convinced that God is through with us yet. Instead, we’re gradually crumbling for a variety of reasons, many of our very own making. Certainly cultural change is leading many people of faith to find spiritual fulfillment in contexts other than churches.

In the Episcopal Church’s case, millions upon millions of dollars are being wasted to fight increasingly nasty culture wars in secular courts; this is money lost forever to mission and ministry. Court battles, moreover, produce casualties who will never come home. National and diocesan bureaucracies and expenses seem never to mirror numerically declining constituencies. Instead, they keep on growing, which is the nature of all unharnessed bureaucracies. And they increasingly make decisions (e.g., clergy placement, how money will be spent, etc.) for communities about which they know little or nothing.

Perhaps Hanoi’s grassroots revival might provide insights for reimagining the Episcopal Church. What if we suddenly stopped paying for continuous court battles, retired litigation debt, and (as the House of Deputies voted to do in 2012) sold the Church Center? What if we reduced diocesan funding and staff to reflect the actual canonical functions of dioceses, which are really pretty minimal? And what if the national bureaucracy were radically reduced to reflect that the Episcopal Church is now the same size as it was in the 1930s?

. Reat it all at TLC.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, - Anglican: Commentary, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Stewardship, Theology

The Diocese of Alabama Revised Guidelines for Blessing Same-Sex Relationships

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anthropology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Religion & Culture, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Bishops, Theology, Theology: Scripture

Episcopal Bishop Kee Sloan says he'll allow same-sex blessings in Alabama

Bishop Kee Sloan, head of the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama, voted in favor of a new ritual of blessing for same-sex unions that the Episcopal Church approved during its 2012 General Convention.

At the time, he said he wouldn’t allow blessings of same-sex unions in Alabama churches. It was too divisive and the state wasn’t ready, he said. Now, Alabama is ready, he said. “I just needed to wait for the right time,” Sloan told AL.com.

“This is not marriage, and has nothing to do with the federal judge in Mobile or the Supreme Court,” Sloan said. “This is blessing a same-sex union.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anthropology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Religion & Culture, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Bishops, Theology, Theology: Scripture

55 years after ”˜To Kill a Mockingbird,’ Harper Lee releases a kind of sequel

For 50 years, critics and readers have wondered why Harper Lee never wrote a novel besides “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

It turns out she did.

The reclusive Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist announced Tuesday that in July she will publish “Go Set a Watchman,” a kind of sequel to “To Kill a Mockingbird.” The news electrified her fans and the publishing world, which long ago gave up hope of another novel from the beloved author.

Even more surprising than the announcement of the forthcoming book was the revelation that it had been written in the mid-1950s and then, apparently, forgotten.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., History, Poetry & Literature

(RNS) Jonathan Edwards’ works made available for free as interest in Puritanism surges

The collected works of Jonathan Edwards, the 18th-century preacher and one of America’s most famous theologians, are now available for download thanks to Logos Bible Software. But for those who don’t want to cough up $1,289.95 to purchase them, there’s good news: The Jonathan Edwards Center at Yale Divinity School lets you view them online for free.

The colonial preacher was instrumental in America’s Great Awakening and is known for fiery sermons such as “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.” The 26-volume collection, “The Works of Jonathan Edwards,” comprises more than 10,000 sermons, articles and letters that were indexed from 1953 to 2008.

“Edwards is widely recognized as one of the most important American thinkers and religious figures and as a major figure in the history of Christian thought,” said Kenneth Minkema, executive director of Yale’s Jonathan Edwards Center. “Publication of his works is important for providing resources for those, such as students, who wish to learn for the first time about his influences, thought and legacies.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Blogging & the Internet, Church History, History, Religion & Culture, Seminary / Theological Education, Theology

The Local Paper Article on the Ruling in favor of the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina

The Rev. Jim Lewis, canon to the ordinary, applauded the ruling saying it “protects South Carolina churches from being added to the long list of properties that TEC seized, then either abandoned or sold off. The decision protects our freedom to embrace the faith Anglicans have practiced for hundreds of years ”” and not the new theology being imposed on TEC’s dwindling membership.”

A spokeswoman for local parishes that remain a part of The Episcopal Church declined to comment late Tuesday saying church leaders first needed time to analyze the lengthy ruling.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Church History, Episcopal Church (TEC), Hurricane Katrina, Parish Ministry, Presiding Bishop, Stewardship, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: South Carolina

(AP) South Carolina court rules Episcopal diocese, churches can keep property

A South Carolina court has ruled that the Diocese of South Carolina and its parish churches are the owners of their property, not The Episcopal Church.

In a decision handed down Tuesday, Circuit Court Judge Diane Goodstein wrote that the diocese and its churches are “the owners of their real, personal and intellectual property.”

Goodstein wrote that The Episcopal Church “has no legal, beneficial or equitable interest” in the diocese and its property.

Read it all.

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

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Saint Anskar

Almighty and everlasting God, who didst send thy servant Anskar as an apostle to the people of Scandinavia, and dist enable him to lay a firm foundation for their conversion, though he did not see the results of his labors: Keep thy Church from discouragement in the day of small things, knowing that when thou hast begun a good work thou wilt bring it to a faithful conclusion; through 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 History, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer For the Coming of the Holy Spirit to begin the day

Blessed Spirit of God, come to us in all thy fullness and power, to enrich us in our poverty, to inflame us in our feebleness. Be closer to us than breathing, nearer than hands or feet. As the branches are in the vine, so may we abide in thee. Compass our minds with thy wisdom. Saturate our souls with thy righteousness. Fire our wills with thy might. Melt our hearts with thy love. Do everything at all times to make us wholly thine until thy wealth is ours and we are lost in thee; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

–The Pastor’s Prayerbook

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Spirituality/Prayer, Theology, Theology: Holy Spirit (Pneumatology)

From the Morning Bible Readings

Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, who alone does wondrous things. Blessed be his glorious name for ever; may his glory fill the whole earth! Amen and Amen!

–Psalm 72:18-19

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Lent and Beyond: Prayer for South Carolina on Tuesday February 3rd

Song of Solomon 4:16
[Young Woman] Awake, north wind! Rise up, south wind! Blow on my garden and spread its fragrance all around. Come into your garden, my love; taste its finest fruits.
We invite You, Holy Spirit, to move through the Diocese of South Carolina in this season.
Dear Jesus, You are much loved in the Diocese of South Carolina. Come into Your garden!

Song of Solomon 5:1
[Young Man] I have entered my garden, my treasure, my bride! I gather myrrh with my spices and eat honeycomb with my honey. I drink wine with my milk.
[Young Women of Jerusalem] Oh, lover and beloved, eat and drink! Yes, drink deeply of your love!
O Jesus, drink deeply of Your love in the Diocese of South Carolina!

Song of Solomon 6:2-3
[Young Woman] My lover has gone down to his garden,
to his spice beds,
to browse in the gardens
and gather the lilies.
I am my lover’s, and my lover is mine.
He browses among the lilies.

Please pray it all and there are more prayers for South Carolina here

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: South Carolina

Circuit Court Judge Diane Goodstein rules in favor of Dio. of South Carolina in case vs TEC/TECSC

Update: Explanation and Timeline.
(Please note for important background on this case please review the article there–KSH).

IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED,
1. The Plaintiffs are the owners of their real, personal and intellectual property.
2. The Defendants have no legal, beneficial or equitable interest in the Plaintiffs’ real, personal and intellectual property.
3. The Defendant TEC, also known as The Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America and Defendant The Episcopal Church in South Carolina and their officers, agents, servants, employees, members, attorneys and any person in concert with or under their direction or control are permanently enjoined from using, assuming, or adopting in any way, directly or indirectly the names, styles, emblems or marks of the Plaintiff as hereinafter set out, or any names, styles, emblems or marks that may be reasonably perceived to be those names, styles emblems or marks . . .
4. The Dorchester County clerk is directed, upon the filing of this order, to refund the sum of $50,000.00 to the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Diocese of South Carolina.
5. The Defendants counterclaims are dismissed with prejudice.

Read it carefully and read it all (it is a 54 page pdf)

Posted in * Admin, * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Episcopal Church (TEC), Featured (Sticky), Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Presiding Bishop, Stewardship, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: South Carolina