Daily Archives: March 12, 2015

A S Haley–Anglican/Episcopal Dust-up in Fort Worth over All Saints

Bishop Iker’s latest request was thus simply an attempt to go back to ground zero, before Mr. Hill started drawing the battle lines, and to take the real pulse of the entire All Saints congregation in order to arrive at an amicable, Paulian-motivated settlement of the dispute. The rump faction at All Saints once again has spurned any such resolution — acting, no doubt, in unity with ECUSA and its attorneys.

And so we see that little has changed, despite Bishop Iker’s success in the underlying lawsuit. The attorneys have agreed on some procedures to expedite the resolution or trial, if necessary, of the All Saints case, and there remain still other matters which the parties can address by means of further partial summary judgment motions. No one seems to think that there are any material disputed facts.

Read it all.

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

(BBC) Recycled bells installed in Churchdown, Gloucestershire, church tower

New bells, made from the recycled metal from an old peal, have been hoisted into a church tower in Gloucestershire.

St Andrew’s and St Bartholomew’s in Churchdown raised more than £80,000 to replace five of its six historic bells, damaged by centuries of ringing.

The new peal of bells is due to be rung for the first time on Friday.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Architecture, England / UK, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Stewardship

(ABC Aus.) Alain de Botton–Connected to the Good: Exploring the Source of Motivation at Work

Organisations are constantly playing around with the levers of financial motivation – offering or withholding money as an inducement or a threat. They use individual and team bonuses, cash rewards, profit sharing and company stock as ways of using economic factors to enhance motivation.

But there are some striking examples of motivation outside this system. The military is a central case. In the armed forces, often for very modest pay, people will do extraordinary things. Even die. It’s an astonishing contrast. You can pay someone $38,000 a year to die for you. But you struggle to pay someone $45,000 a year to sit in a room and fill in forms.

This tells us that motivation simply cannot be primarily financial. People can be moved by money, but they can be moved and motivated more by other things. The armed forces also tell us something about where the strongest kinds of motivation come from.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anthropology, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Military / Armed Forces, Philosophy, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Theology

(C of E Acts 435) Jenny Herrera–The Blessing of Giving and Receiving

Sometimes there is a lull in donations and I start to get nervous. Ye of little faith! Then suddenly another surge of generous givers ”“ the faithful who give almost every month (in spite of the fact we are not signing them up to a direct debit or standing order), and new donors who seem to appear from nowhere, or heard about us years ago and suddenly decide to give.

Of course the most wonderful thing is to read the thank you emails that church/charity advocates (the Acts 435 representative who meets with the person in need and posts their request) can send to the donors who gave to that specific request. There I read of lives changed, of the impact a small gift can make, the self-esteem being able to go into a shop and buy clothes can give, the life-saving help with arrears to prevent eviction or an all-important bond to get someone off the streets.

It is humbling to hear from beneficiaries blessed through Acts 435 but equally from donors who let me know how touched they are by these emails. I shouldn’t be surprised, after all, we know “it is more blessed to give than receive” (Acts 20:35).

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Parish Ministry, Stewardship

(Reuters) Jean Vanier, Advocate of disabled, wins $1.7 million Templeton Prize for 2015

Jean Vanier, a Canadian who launched an international network of communities for the mentally disabled, has won the 2015 Templeton Prize worth $1.7 million for affirming life’s spiritual dimension.

The U.S.-based John Templeton Foundation announced the award on Wednesday in London, calling him “this extraordinary man” whose message of compassion for society’s weakest members “has the potential to change the world for the better”.

Vanier, 86, founded the first L’Arche (“Ark”) community in 1964 when he invited two mentally disabled men to leave their large institution and live with him in a small house in Trosly-Breuil, a village 95 km (60 miles) north of Paris.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anthropology, Canada, Ethics / Moral Theology, Europe, France, Globalization, Health & Medicine, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Care, Poverty, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Theology

(Independent) Isis is now using chemical weapons in Iraq

Isis is allegedly attacking Iraqi soldiers with roadside bombs containing chlorine gas as allied forces continue a huge assault against the group in Tikrit.

Footage captured by an Iraqi bomb disposal team shows plumes of thick orange gas emerging from a detonated roadside bomb.

The team told the BBC it has diffused “dozens” of chlorine bombs left by Isis militants, which it says are used more as a means to create fear than harm.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Defense, National Security, Military, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Iraq, Middle East, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology, Terrorism, Theology, Violence

Archbishop Justin Welby welcomes faith leaders to Lambeth Palace

The Archbishop of Canterbury…[Tuesday] night hosted a reception for inter-religious and community leaders at Lambeth Palace.

Speaking at the annual event, which brings together members different faith groups to foster relationships, Archbishop Justin Welby reflected on the theme of reconciliation, which is one of his ministry priorities.

The event was attended by a wide range of people from Muslim, Jewish, Sikh, Hindu, Zoroastrian, Buddhist, Jain and Christian traditions.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Inter-Faith Relations, Religion & Culture, Theology

(Gospel Coalition) John Yates–Who Are These Anglicans in TGC?

In fact, during The Gospel Coalition 2015 National Conference, April 13 to 15 in Orlando, a number of Anglican leaders are offering seminars and workshops, and there will be an informal gathering one evening for Anglicans to come together for fellowship and encouragement.

Let me explain a little of how we reached this point. Many evangelicals might not know that in 2009 the Anglican Church in North America was established, and there are already a thousand or more congregations with a vigorous church planting flavor. While many are former Episcopalians, believers from various other traditions have been drawn down the Canterbury Trail. Many have rediscovered the beauty of Anglican worship and been surprised by the strong Reformation doctrines that permeate the Book of Common Prayer and its Thirty-Nine Articles. The Anglican Reformers of the 16th century were closely linked with the continental Reformers, and Thomas Cranmer””martyr and author of the first Anglican prayer book””was not only greatly influenced by Calvin and Bucer, but also married the niece of Luther’s disciple Osiander.

While the Episcopal Church in the United States has gradually self-destructed over the last 40 years, a decidedly Reformed and evangelical movement has matured and found expression in parts of ACNA, Trinity School for Ministry in Pittsburgh, and a growing number of congregations around North America.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, Ecumenical Relations, Evangelicals, Other Churches, Theology

(First Things) Timothy George–An Introduction to the 1st Evangelicals+Catholics Together Statement

In 1534, Abbot Paul Bachmann published a virulent anti-Protestant booklet entitled “A Punch in the Mouth for the Lutheran Lying Wide-Gaping Throats.” Not to be outdone, the Protestant court chaplain, Jerome Rauscher, responded with a treatise of his own, titled “One Hundred Select, Great, Shameless, Fat, Well-Swilled, Stinking, Papistical Lies.” Such was the tenor of theological discourse among many of the formative shapers of classical Protestantism and resurgent Roman Catholicism in the sixteenth century. Such rhetoric was brought from the Old World to the New. Fueled by local prejudice and nativist traditions, it continued to deepen the divide between the heirs of the Reformation debates.

Imagine the surprise, then””in some circles the shock””when on March 29, 1994 the statement “Evangelicals and Catholics Together: The Christian Mission in the Third Millennium” was released in New York. Here, the old hostility between Catholics and Evangelicals was replaced by a new awareness of their common Christian identity””a shared life in Jesus Christ. The core affirmation of the first ECT statement, and of the entire project, was this declaration: “All who accept Christ as Lord and Savior are brothers and sisters in Christ. Evangelicals and Catholics are brothers and sisters in Christ. We have not chosen one another, just as we have not chosen Christ. He has chosen us, and He has chosen us to be his together.”

On the following day, the story of the new Evangelical and Catholic initiative was carried on the front page of The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, and other newspapers across the country. The reaction was immediate and explosive. While some saw this new effort as a hopeful sign, others, especially some conservative evangelicals on the right, were disturbed and distraught. Best-selling author Dave Hunt wrote of the ECT statement: “I believe the document represents the most devastating blow against the gospel in at least one thousand years.” For their part, many left-leaning progressives, both Catholics and Protestants, dismissed the statement as a publicity stunt tied to conservative politics.

It seemed to me that both of these narratives had badly misjudged the situation.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Church History, Ecumenical Relations, Evangelicals, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Theology

(Telegraph) Faith schools 'damaged by British values curriculum', says MP

The idea that Catholics are being radicalised in state schools is “ridiculous” and “offensive”, the Conservative MP for Gainsborough will say today during a parliamentary debate on education, regulation and faith schools.

Sir Edward Leigh, who is also the president of the Catholic Union of Great Britain, will say in a speech that “faith schools should hold their heads up high” and should stand for Christian values, according to fragments of his speech seen by the Telegraph.

“[Faith schools] should not engage in the pre-emptive cringe and kowtow to the latest fashion but should stand by the principles that have made them such a success: love for God and neighbour; pursuit of truth; high-aspiration and discipline,” Sir Edward will say.

“The idea that Catholics are being radicalised in state schools is as ridiculous as it is offensive,” he will say.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Children, Education, England / UK, History, Other Churches, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

A Gregory the Great Thought to Ponder in Lent

…often the wicked so devote themselves to the practice of sin that they succeed in doing more wickedness than they would have been able to learn from the bad example of reprobate sinners. For this reason the torment of greater punishment is inflicted on them, in that they, by their own initiative, sought out greater ways of sinning, for which they are to be punished. Consequently it is well said: “According to the multitude of his devices, so shall he suffer [a citation from Job 20:18]. For he would not find out new ways of sinning unless he sought them out, and he would not seek out such things unless he were anxious to do them deliberately. Therefore, in his punishment, this excess in devising wickedness is taken into account, and he receives proportionate punishment and retribution. And even though the suffering of the damned is infinite, nevertheless they receive greater punishments who, by their own desires, sought out many new ways of sinning.

–Gregory the Great (540-604), Book of Morals 15.18.22

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Church History, Eschatology, Theology

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Gregory the Great

Almighty and merciful God, who didst raise up Gregory of Rome to be a servant of the servants of God, and didst inspire him to send missionaries to preach the Gospel to the English people: Preserve in thy Church the catholic and apostolic faith they taught, that thy people, being fruitful in every good work, may receive the crown of glory that fadeth not away; 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 to Begin the Day from Joseph Hall

O Thou who hast prepared a place for my soul, prepare my soul for that place. Prepare it with holiness; prepare it with desire; and even while it sojourneth upon earth, let it dwell in heaven with thee, beholding the beauty of thy countenance and the glory of thy saints, now and for evermore.

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

Again he said to them, “I go away, and you will seek me and die in your sin; where I am going, you cannot come.” Then said the Jews, “Will he kill himself, since he says, ”˜Where I am going, you cannot come’?” He said to them, “You are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world. I told you that you would die in your sins, for you will die in your sins unless you believe that I am he.” They said to him, “Who are you?”
Jesus said to them, “Even what I have told you from the beginning. I have much to say about you and much to judge; but he who sent me is true, and I declare to the world what I have heard from him.” They did not understand that he spoke to them of the Father. So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of man, then you will know that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own authority but speak thus as the Father taught me. And he who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what is pleasing to him.” As he spoke thus, many believed in him.

Jesus then said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”

–John 8:21-32

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(USA Today) PSG [Paris Saint-Germain] stuns Chelsea in the Champions League

When Zlatan Ibrahimovic was controversially red carded in the first half of Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea’s Champions League second leg game Wednesday, it seemed like the Swedish striker had doomed the French club. PSG was able to keep Chelsea from scoring for the majority of an ugly game that more closely resembled a wrestling match, but Gary Cahill gave Chelsea goal, and a 2-1 lead on aggregate, with just nine minutes to play.

PSG needed a miracle, and former Chelsea centerback David Luiz delivered. Luiz climbed above two defenders and hit a bullet header into the top corner at the near post. Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois didn’t even have time to move his feet.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, England / UK, Europe, France, Men, Sports