Daily Archives: September 24, 2015

The Reverend Kenneth Leech RIP

The Reverend Kenneth Leech, who has died aged 76, was unique among the Anglican clergy of his generation in combining orthodox Christian faith, high churchmanship, a deep spirituality, radical socialism and unwavering commitment to the welfare of the underprivileged ”“ mainly in London’s East End. He was also a prolific writer.

There was nothing trendy or superficial about this. He strongly opposed the liberal theology originating in the 1960s and the more recent outburst of evangelicalism. He was a profound thinker and believed that only the inherited Catholic doctrine of the Incarnation and its sacramental consequences could sustain a Christian involvement in political and social action.

“Subversive orthodoxy” was his own description of his position. He believed that “an alliance between prophetic Christianity and progressive Marxism” offered “the last human hope of mankind”. For him New Labour came nowhere near to providing such a hope and he said that while there was overwhelming evidence of Tony Blair’s faith there was no evidence of his socialism.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Death / Burial / Funerals, Parish Ministry, Spirituality/Prayer

The full text of Pope Francis' historic address to U.S. Congress today

Yours is a work which makes me reflect in two ways on the figure of Moses. On the one hand, the patriarch and lawgiver of the people of Israel symbolizes the need of peoples to keep alive their sense of unity by means of just legislation. On the other, the figure of Moses leads us directly to God and thus to the transcendent dignity of the human being. Moses provides us with a good synthesis of your work: you are asked to protect, by means of the law, the image and likeness fashioned by God on every human face.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Globalization, House of Representatives, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Other Churches, Politics in General, Pope Francis, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Senate, Theology

[Evangelical Focus] England: 67% know at least one ”˜active Christian’

An exhaustive study shows that 2 in 5 believe Jesus is a myth. Evangelical Alliance, Church of England and Hope encourage churches to “understand the landscape we are in.”
…Some of the key findings among non-Christians are:

61% of English adults do not believe the Bible is God’s word
– 40% think Jesus is a myth and did not actually exist
– 57% describe themselves as “Christians”
– Only 9% is an “active Christian” (reads the Bible, prays and goes to church).


Among non-Christians, 67% know someone who is a ”˜practising Christian’. 60% say they “enjoy the company of the Christians they know” and they “attribute more positive than negative qualities to the Christian they know”, the study shows. More than half of non-Christians describe their practicing Christian friends as “friendly” and “caring.”


A variety of influences led practicing Christians to make their faith commitment. Growing up in a Christian family was a key factor (41%), attending church services was also important (28%), followed by reading the Bible (27%).

Conversations with a Christian they knew well (27%), an experience of the love of Jesus (24%), an unexplainable spiritual experience (17%) and a particular life event, whether positive or negative (16%), where also among the key factors of conversion.

Christians talking to non-Christians. /Barna
“85% of practising Christians feel a responsibility to evangelise”, the study shows. In fact, “7 in 10 practising Christians are comfortable sharing their faith.”

Read it all and there is also a release from Evangelical Alliance and more information on Talking Jesus

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Evangelism and Church Growth, Parish Ministry

How one of the smallest religious communities in the world is struggling to sustain its community

from Al- Monitor
NABLUS, West Bank ”” Mount Gerizim, south of Nablus in the northern West Bank, is home to the Samaritans, who call themselves the world’s smallest religious community. There are some 780 Samaritans total, distributed between Gerizim, where 380 of them live, and the city of Holon in Israel, where they number 400.

Hosni Wassef, a Samaritan priest and curator of the Samaritan Museum, located on Mount Gerizim on the outskirts of Nablus, told Al-Monitor that the Samaritans are the descendants of Israelites who fled with Moses from Egypt to the Holy Land some 3,600 years ago to escape the oppression of the Pharaoh. “We have not left the Holy Land since,” he said.

The word “Samaritan” in Ancient Hebrew, the language of Moses, means “guardian,” referring to those who guarded the Torah, said Wassef. Samaritanism is based on five key pillars: the oneness of God, the prophecy of Moses, the first five books of the Torah, the sanctity of Mount Gerizim (not Jerusalem) and the Last Judgment.

Read it all

Posted in * Religion News & Commentary, Other Faiths

(AI) No conciliation in the bishop Jon Bruno/St James the Great affair

The misconduct complaint filed against the Bishop of Los Angeles by members of St James the Great Episcopal Church in Newport Beach has been handed back to the national church’s disciplinary panel for bishops after the parties were unable to reach an amicable resolution.

The Rt. Rev. J. Jon Bruno appears to have adopted a scorched earth in dealing with complaints of bullying and dishonesty levelled against him by ignoring a request for the national church that he not prejudice the proceedings. Though all parties had been charged to “enter into this process in good faith,” the bishop’s attorneys have not relented in their legal campaign, and have sought to depose a Girl Scout leader whose troop had planted an herb garden at the parish, and the daughter of a woman whose ashes are interned at the church.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Los Angeles, TEC Polity & Canons, Theology

A look back to 2012–Bp Mark Lawrence’s address Guildford Diocesan Evangelical Fellwshp

The Presiding Bishop hired an attorney in the Diocese of South Carolina, who presented himself as ”˜Counsel for The Episcopal Church in South Carolina’. I said, wait a minute, according to our polity we are The Episcopal Church in South Carolina. I am the only one that has juridical or jurisdictional authority here. She has not spoken to me. She has not asked for my permission, and there is no constitutional or canonical authority that the Presiding Bishop has to hire an attorney to investigate me and the Diocese or South Carolina. We called a Special Convention; told the Presiding Bishop to remove the attorney. I have never received any notice from her ”“ it is four years later.

That brought us into a cold war with the national church, and in a cold war the difficulty is everything you do to protect yourself in a cold war, can be interpreted by the person on the opposite side of the cold war as an act of aggression. That goes for me towards them and them towards me and so we have lived with that for three years now.

I need to conclude because our time is all but up, mine is already past. In the Fall of last year, I was informed that there were 12 allegations brought against me that I had abandoned the communion of The Episcopal Church. And after 2 or 3 months, the Disciplinary Board for Bishops came back and said, there is not enough evidence – I think that is the simplest way to put it ”“ that I have abandoned the communion and so I will not be brought up on charges.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * South Carolina, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, General Convention, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Presiding Bishop, TEC Conflicts, TEC Polity & Canons, Theology

A S Haley–On the recent Oral Arguments in South Carolina in the Episcopal Church Case

That left Chief Justice Toal, who despite all the tortuous arguments stuck to basic legal principles and analysis: a trust needs a settlor to be created, and the beneficiary of a trust is perfectly within his rights to quitclaim back to the settlor all of his supposed interest in the trust. (There was thus no “breach of the Dennnis Canon” when Bishop Lawrence signed individual quitclaim deeds to his parishes, on behalf of the Diocese as beneficiary of any trust interest that arguably may still have existed following the All Saints Waccamaw decision.) And South Carolina religious corporations are free to amend their governing documents — including a complete change in their charitable purpose — as long as they comply with the formalities required by South Carolina law.

To this observer, it seemed as though the Justices had not discussed the case with each other beforehand. And it also looked as though the Chief Justice had taken on the responsibility of writing an opinion in the case — since she was the one most weighed down with case files and briefs. But whether her opinion will be the majority one remains to be seen. I believe she has the confidence of Justice Beatty, who followed her before. And she may have Judge Kittredge in her camp, as well.

But both he and Justice Costa Pleicones seemed to have difficulty following the ins and outs of the arguments — thanks to the constant interjections by Justice Hearn on behalf of the Church of which she is an active member. She practically monopolized the argument with long speeches (not questions) that would have sounded more appropriate had they come from ECUSA’s attorneys. The resulting final impression of Mark Lawrence and his Diocese having had a rough time in the Court is almost entirely, in my estimation, due to the attempts by Justice Hearn to derail the case by returning South Carolina to the days of deference, as ECUSA argued in its briefs.

Whether her unprofessional and entirely partial tactics will succeed is a question that will have to await the Court’s opinion, which could be months away. I shall have much more to say about those tactics in my following post.

Read it all.

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

A Prayer to Begin the Day from Saint Augustine

O God, our Father, we are exceedingly frail, and indisposed to every virtuous and gallant undertaking: Strengthen our weakness, we beseech thee, that we may do valiantly in this spiritual war; help us against our own negligence and cowardice, and defend us from the treachery of our unfaithful hearts; for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord.

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

“Beware of practicing your piety before men in order to be seen by them; for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.

“Thus, when you give alms, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your alms may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

“And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

–Matthew 6:1-6

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Facebook’s Free Internet Access Program in Developing Countries Provokes Backlash

When Muhammad Maiyagy Gery heard about a new mobile app from Facebook Inc. that provides free Internet access in his native Indonesia, he was excited.

But after testing it, the 24-year-old student from a mining town on the eastern edge of Borneo soon deleted the app, called Internet.org, frustrated that he was unable to access Google.com and some local Indonesian sites.

Mr. Gery said Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg is an “inspiration in the tech world,” but added that the company’s free Internet effort is “inadequate.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, --Social Networking, Anthropology, Blogging & the Internet, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Globalization, Politics in General, Theology

(CT) Evangelicals Help Greet Pope Francis at the White House

An enthusiastic crowd of 11,000 ticketed guests gathered on the South Lawn of the White House this morning as President Obama officially welcomed Pope Francis to the United States.

Among the overwhelmingly Catholic audience there to greet him on his first US visit was a smattering of evangelical leaders.

Leith Anderson and Galen Carey from the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE). Gabriel Salguero of the National Latino Evangelical Coalition. David Anderson, pastor of Bridgeway Community Church. Lisa Sharon Harper from Sojourners. Joel Hunter of Northland Church.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Evangelicals, Other Churches, Pope Francis, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

Yogi Berra, Yankees’ MVP Catcher, Wayward Wordsmith, Dies at 90

Long before he became celebrated for his wayward way with words, Berra was hailed as one of baseball’s best players and fiercest competitors.
Berra starred on Yankees teams that dominated baseball during his 18 years playing in pinstripes, from 1946 to 1963. He played in 14 World Series and was on the winning side 10 times, both records. He also holds World Series career records for at-bats (259) and hits (71).
The American League Most Valuable Player in 1951, 1954 and 1955, he was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1972, the same year the Yankees retired his uniform, No. 8.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Death / Burial / Funerals, History, Men, Parish Ministry, Sports