Daily Archives: July 30, 2015

Bishop Abraham Nhial's keynote talk at Christ St Paul's SC

Bishop Abraham Nhiel is Bishop of Awiel in the Episcopal Church of the Sudan and one of the former ‘lost boys’ of South Sudan. There is more of his story here
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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Episcopal Church of the Sudan

Newsweek: Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby Interview: 'I Have No Right to Be Here'

Welby has a reputation as a guy who enjoys a good laugh and discourages formality. His manner when I meet him is affable but circumspect. This is a man who once observed that he didn’t want the top job and was “one of the thicker bishops” in the Church of England.

“I can spot an old Etonian a mile off ,” I venture, “and your defining characteristic is precisely that kind of phoney diffidence.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury

AAC Announces Director of Church Revitalization

Canon Saul will direct the AAC’s Church Revitalization and Lay Leadership Institute as well as coordinate clergy coaching. He attended the AAC’s inaugural Clergy Leadership Training Institute (CLTI) and was a leader in the AAC’s church revitalization program from 2011-2013. “During the last four years,” says Canon Saul, “I’ve seen the importance of equipping the clergy, lay leadership and the local church for the call we have to ”˜live out’ the Great Commission (Matt. 28:18-20). I’m looking forward to personally working with Anglicans as we do that together.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Latest News

[Premier] Not Dead Yet: How two Anglican churches came back to life

Rev Archie Coates, vicar of St Peter’s, Brighton, describes how a team from HTB rescued the city’s ”˜unofficial cathedral’ in 2005. They now welcome over 1000 people into the church for weekend worship services.

‘St Peter’s is one of Brighton’s iconic buildings, so when it was due to close there was a huge public outcry and 6,500 people signed the petition to keep it open.

The building is incredible, but it’s also a nightmare because it’s crumbling. I remember giving sermons wearing hard hats. We didn’t have any heating for four winters, so people used to come to church in a hat carrying a hot-water bottle.

I think this is a visual aid for the wider work. The local churches all said that when the building looks like it’s closed and dying on its feet, that sends out the message to Brighton that that’s what God is like as well. But equally if you could do the opposite ”“ open it up, fix it up ”“ then that would send out the message: ”˜Wow, the Church is alive and God is on the move.’

When we began, we were about 30, including children: our family and about three other families. If you’re going to attract other people to come, there needs to be a certain group for them to come into, and it’s quite hard to do that with less than 30.

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

A message from Primate of Brazil related to decisions taken by TEC on Marriage understanding

From The Most Reverend Francisco de Assis da Silva
The Church of Brazil feels strengthened by the fact that here we are also living a broad process of reflection on the search for consensus on this issue. In our country, since 2011, the Supreme Court already recognizes the legality of civil marriage between people of same sex.

Our Province is discussing this matter ”“ under the methodology of Indaba ”“ in all instances of the Church. Our new Prayer Book already contemplates a change of language, stabilishing the gender neutrality that is a significant step of inclusivity. This change do not requires us to celebrate matrimony between people of same sex, but we’re open to the future and new pastoral requirements from our time.

We see with joy changing processes in the churches of Canada and Scotland. We see with joy advances in discussion of the theme in the churches of England, Wales, Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia.

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

[Living Church] G. Jeffrey MacDonald: Bishop Sprints at Convention

Kings said he aims to serve rising theologians, including some in the Global South whom God might use as the Augustines of their time, much like the great fifth-century bishop and theologian, Augustine of Hippo.

On a 100-degree day in Salt Lake City, the crowd of 75 at the Hilton Salt Lake City Center got a taste of what a new network of theologians might produce.
Beyond making peace with persecutors, the Church also has a God-given mission to stand with those who suffer the brunt of unjust systems, both economic and political, said the Most Rev. Francisco De Assis da Silva, Primate of Brazil.

“The charisma is to be beside, aside, or on the side of the people who are suffering too much from unjust structures in politics and in economics,” Archbishop da Silva said. He said a theology of liberation has weakened over time in Latin America as a more conservative, confessional theology gained traction in recent decades. But the time is right for another shift in theological discourse, in his view.

“We have a unique opportunity to change from a confessional position to a more engaged, a more incarnational, theological reflection,” da Silva said.

For his part, Kings said the Anglican Communion’s calling “is to be Catholic, evangelical, and ecumenical.” In practice, that involves the disciplines of meeting together as Anglicans. It also involves remembering how the Church, like the Trinity, is inherently interconnected.

Bishop Kings quoted from the Archbishop of Canterbury’s foreword to Living Reconciliation: “I am eager to encourage each of us to take full account of the way in which decisions of one province echo around the world. The impact of their echoes is something to which we must listen in the course of our decision-making, if we are not to narrow our horizons and reject the breadth of our global family.”

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

Eric Foner (from 2007) for William Wilberforce's Feast Day–A forgotten step toward freedom

We Americans live in a society awash in historical celebrations. The last few years have witnessed commemorations of the bicentennial of the Louisiana Purchase (2003) and the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II (2005). But one significant milestone has gone strangely unnoticed: the 200th anniversary of Jan. 1, 1808, when the importation of slaves into the United States was prohibited.

This neglect stands in striking contrast to the many scholarly and public events in Britain that marked the 2007 bicentennial of that country’s banning of the slave trade. There were historical conferences, museum exhibits, even a high-budget film, “Amazing Grace,” about William Wilberforce, the leader of the parliamentary crusade that resulted in abolition.

What explains this divergence? Throughout the 1780s, the horrors of the Middle Passage were widely publicized on both sides of the Atlantic, and by 1792 the British Parliament stood on the verge of banning the trade. But when war broke out with revolutionary France, the idea was shelved. Final prohibition came in 1807, and it proved a major step toward the abolition of slavery in the empire.
What explains this divergence? Throughout the 1780s, the horrors of the Middle Passage were widely publicized on both sides of the Atlantic, and by 1792 the British Parliament stood on the verge of banning the trade. But when war broke out with revolutionary France, the idea was shelved. Final prohibition came in 1807, and it proved a major step toward the abolition of slavery in the empire.

The British campaign against the African slave trade not only launched the modern concern for human rights as an international principle, but today offers a usable past for a society increasingly aware of its multiracial character. It remains a historic chapter of which Britons of all origins can be proud.

In the United States, however, slavery not only survived the end of the African trade but embarked on an era of unprecedented expansion.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Church History, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Race/Race Relations, Religion & Culture, Theology

A Prayer for the Feast Day of William Wilberforce and Anthony Ashley-Cooper

Just and eternal God, we offer thanks for the stalwart faith and persistence of thy servants William Wilberforce and Anthony Ashley-Cooper, who, undeterred by opposition and failure, held fast to a vision of justice in which no child of yours might suffer in enforced servitude and misery. Grant that we, drawn by that same Gospel vision, may persevere in serving the common good and caring for those who have been cast down, that they may be raised up through Jesus Christ; who with thee and the Holy Spirit livest and reignest, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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

A Prayer to Begin the Day from Thomas Aquinas

Give us, O Lord, a steadfast heart, which no unworthy affection may drag downwards; give us an unconquered heart, which no tribulation can wear out; give us an upright heart, which no unworthy purpose may tempt aside. Bestow upon us also, O Lord our God, understanding to know thee, diligence to seek thee, wisdom to find thee, and a faithfulness that may finally embrace thee; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them, and suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and every one’s fetters were unfastened. When the jailer woke and saw that the prison doors were open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped. But Paul cried with a loud voice, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here.” And he called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas, and brought them out and said, “Men, what must I do to be saved?” And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” And they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all that were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their wounds, and he was baptized at once, with all his family. Then he brought them up into his house, and set food before them; and he rejoiced with all his household that he had believed in God.

–Acts 16:25-34

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Gustav Holst: Jupiter – the bringer of jollity

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Music

[National UAE] Andrew Thompson: In the midst of a turbulent region, this country is a beacon of hope

This region is characterised in much of the western media as a hotbed of religious persecution and violence, although the UAE stands out for the opposite reason. Christians and people of other faiths can worship here without fear of intimidation. So, what makes this country different?

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Posted in * International News & Commentary, Middle East, UAE (United Arab Emirates)

Premier: On-the-run vicar jailed for church fees thefts

A vicar who went on the run to Germany just before he was convicted of stealing thousands of pounds has been jailed for two years and eight months.

Simon Reynolds, 50, took more than £16,500 handed over to All Saints Church in Darton, Barnsley, for weddings, funerals and churchyard memorials.

Reynolds left Sheffield Crown Court on Thursday lunchtime after the jury went out to consider its verdicts on four counts of theft against him.

He never returned and a Europe-wide search began, with police involving Interpol and senior clergy appealing for the vicar to come back.

Alasdair Cambell, defending, told the judge that his client first went to his Sheffield hotel before travelling to Manchester Airport.

The barrister said Reynolds then meant to go Dublin but, in a state of stress, booked a flight to Dusseldorf instead, where he stayed with a friend.

Mr Campbell said this friend drove him back to his home in Farnham in Surrey, and the defendant then made his way to meet police in Sheffield.

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

The Press: Rare look inside Civil War landmark USS Monitor

“When we filled the tank three years ago, the armor wall of the turret was a single 8-inch-thick mass. But now we’re getting some definition,” Krop said.

“It’s visibly different from what it looked like in 2012. You can see all of those individual layers of iron. And that’s something nobody has seen since the Monitor sank more than 150 years ago.”

At 120 tons, the Monitor’s famous revolving turret is the largest metal marine artifact ever recovered from the ocean, and the past decade of treatment at The Mariner’s Museum in the world’s biggest metal conservation lab is expected take another 15 years, Krop said.

During most of that time, the 9-foot-tall cylinder will be immersed in its tank and visible only through the clear treatment solution.

But over the next two weeks, museum visitors will be able to peer into the drained interior from an elevated observation platform as the conservation team inspects the turret and plans for an upcoming treatment campaign.

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Posted in * General Interest

Premier: Crosses removed from Chinese churches for 'safety'

Government officials in China are defending the removal of more than 1,200 crosses from churches, putting it down to health and safety concerns.

The Communist party says the removals are for “the sake of safety and beauty,” according to one government official.

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Posted in * International News & Commentary, Asia, China