Daily Archives: February 22, 2016

"A Way Forward" the full text of the WFWG report

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Australia / NZ, Ethics / Moral Theology, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Marriage & Family, Ministry of the Laity, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology, Theology: Scripture

The text of the covering letter sent by the NZ Archbishops with the Way Forward

The Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia is culturally and theologically diverse, and it includes multiple national legal jurisdictions. Consequently, the Way Forward Working Group has considered the differing legal situation in New Zealand, and the respective nation states of the Pacific region that fall within the boundaries of the Diocese of Polynesia. The mechanism the Working Group offers for our consideration works with this reality and these differences to suggest a way that provides a clear protection of conscience.

In terms of process, this report, like many others for the General Synod/Te Hinota Whanui, will be sent to all members of the General Synod/Te Hinota Whanui for their consideration. In sharing this report with you, we remain hopeful that the wider community of the Church will be given the opportunity to share their concerns and reflections with their communities. This report will be tabled for discussion at the next General Synod/Te Hinota Whanui in Napier in May.

In offering the report and a possible way forward on these matters, the Working Group has sought to build on many years of discussion and study across this Church. In particular, they build on the work of the Commission on Doctrine and Theological Questions, which reported to General Synod/Te Hinota Whanui in 2014. That report presented two clearly-argued positions, both with their own biblical and theological integrity. One argued that the blessing of committed, monogamous, life-long same-sex relationships was outside of the doctrinal possibilities the Church can consider, the other that such relationships can and should be able to receive the blessing of the Church.

The Way Forward Working Group has assumed that these two integrities cannot be reconciled….

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Australia / NZ, Ethics / Moral Theology, Pastoral Theology, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology, Theology: Scripture

NZ Anglican's Way Forward report goes public–two same-sex relationship rites to be considered

The long-awaited report of the Way Forward Working Group[1] has been released.

Today’s publication comes almost 18 months since the 13-member group[2] began its work ”“ and it proposes two new liturgies to be considered by May’s General Synod.

These liturgies have been designed to allow for the blessing of couples who have been married in a civil ceremony ”“ according either to New Zealand law, or to the law in the Pacific Island nations which form part of this church. These liturgies also create a pathway for the people in such relationships to become ordained.

Civil marriages between a man and a woman have long been recognised in law in both New Zealand and in those Pacific Island nations. In New Zealand’s case, of course, an amendment to marriage law came into effect in August 2013 ”“ which allows same-sex couples to legally marry.

Read it all from Anglican Taonga.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, Anglican Provinces, Australia / NZ, Marriage & Family, Religion & Culture, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)

(FP) High Noon in Iraq–ISIS is finally being forced out of the country, but anarchy is taking over

The liberation of towns from the Islamic State has had the surprising effect on my Iraqi friends of making them more despondent than they were before. When they are asked when things will turn around, they shrug and say Allah karim, akin to the English expression “when pigs fly.” Just after Sinjar was “liberated,” my former student from there sent me pictures of his family’s Friday lunch spread before and after they devoured it, labeling them Sinjar “before liberation” and “after liberation.”

Iraq is now face-to-face with the classic “day after” dilemma. Many of its towns are demolished and there is no money to rebuild. There is no agreement on which groups should secure and govern the areas and who gets to go back. The most visceral and volatile barrier is the newfound distrust among the local populations of liberated areas, who see one another as collaborators, bystanders or victims of the Islamic State. Left unattended, these “day after” dynamics will ”” and have already ”” lead to internecine conflict and political gridlock that will undermine battlefield victories, similar to what happened in 2010 when military successes of the Sahwa, or Sunni Awakening militias, against Al Qaeda in Iraq were squandered due to a lack of lasting national and local political deals.

This is evident in Iraq’s disputed post-IS territories, where both the Kurdistan regional government in Erbil and the Iraqi federal government in Baghdad feel they have greater claims than ever before….

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Defense, National Security, Military, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Iraq, Iraq War, Middle East, Politics in General, Terrorism, Theology

Southern Africa: Archbishop Makgoba Reports on the Synod of Bishops meeting

Monday, 22 February 2016
To the Laos – To the People of God – Lent 2016

Dear People of God

I am writing to you just as we complete the February meeting of the Synod of Bishops, where we continued to travel together as we wrestled with our episcopal leadership of the Church. When we meet, we do so conscious that our vocation is not simply to serve you, the people of our Church, but to serve God through you — a tiny distinction perhaps, but an important one.
……….
the Synod of Bishops has agreed that we will continue to regard ourselves bound by the broad consensus in the Anglican Communion, expressed by the Lambeth Conference in 1998, which is that we “cannot advise the legitimising or blessing of same-sex unions nor ordaining those involved in same gender unions”. Having said that, we did address the questions of whether that decision is immutable, whether it has replaced scripture, and when a Province of the Communion, or a diocese within a Province may deviate from it.

Read it all

Statement from the Synod of Bishops of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa

The bishops again discussed and worked over their draft Pastoral Guidelines in response to Civil Unions within the wider contexts of Marriage and Human Sexuality in readiness for decision at Provincial Synod. These reaffirm our assurance that all baptised, believing and faithful persons, regardless of sexual orientation, are full members of the Body of Christ. However, they they do not change our current policy, which is that the Province ‘cannot advise the legitimising or blessing of same sex unions nor ordaining those involved in same gender unions’ (Resolution 1:10 of the Lambeth Conference of 1998).

The Prayer Book affirms ‘that marriage by divine institution is a lifelong and exclusive union partnership between one man and one woman‘; therefore the draft guidelines affirm for now that ‘partnership between two persons of the same sex cannot be regarded as a marriage… accordingly our clergy are not permitted to bless such unions… nor are they permitted to enter into such unions while they remain in licensed ministry‘.

Read it all

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Southern Africa, Anglican Provinces

“I’ve been resurrected” From Addiction and Homelessness to Tears of Joy – Rob’s Story

A former homeless addict has revealed how he would be dead if it was not for his faith in an interview to accompany the second teaser film released by the Church of England today for the justpray.uk website.

In a blog and podcast released to accompany the film, the 46-year-old admits he had to harden his heart to survive living rough and addiction before feeling resurrected through his faith and the love he found at the Saturday Gathering Place in Halifax, West Yorkshire. “If a human being can get resurrected after dying, He’s done it to me. I haven’t died but I feel like I’ve been resurrected away from a life of crime and trouble to peace, love, understanding, calmness.”

Rob’s story “I am poured out like water” is the second in a series of films based on Psalm 22 for Lent and Easter launched by the Church of England featuring men and women who all came to faith through a Homeless and Food Drop In Centre in Halifax and most have experienced crime, alcohol, drug addiction, homelessness or violence in their lives.

Read it all and follow the links.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Provinces, Christology, Church of England (CoE), Evangelism and Church Growth, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Care, Soteriology, Theology

(Daily Mail) Queen reveals the secret of her enduring Christian faith in new book

It’s a rare insight into her religious beliefs ”“ and a touching tribute to the beloved father she lost.

In a new book, the Queen writes of her enduring Christian faith and shares a treasured memory of the moment George VI prayed for the nation during the Second World War.

It comes in a forthcoming book from The Bible Society, published to celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday later this year.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Books, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Theology

Installation of the new Archbishop of the province of SE Asia

You can watch the ceremony below, starting at 5mins 42 secs in [2 hours or so] from St Mary’s Cathedral, Kuala Lumpur

George Conger reports:

The Bishop of West Malaysia, the Most Rev. Ng Moon Hing, was installed as Archbishop of the Church of the Province of South East Asia today at a ceremony in St. Mary’s Cathedral in Kuala Lumpur. On 2 Sept 2015, an Extraordinary General Meeting of the province elected Bishop Ng to a four year term of office as 5th archbishop and primate of the province in succession to the Most Rev. Bolly Lapok, Bishop of Kuching. Born on 12 Nov 1955 in Ipoh, Perak state in Malaya, Bishop Ng earned a Bachelor of Civil Engineering degree in 1978 from Monash University in Australia and worked in the construction industry before entering Seminari Teologi Malaysia where he earned a Bachelor of Divinity degree in 1985. Ordained deacon in 1985 and priest in 1986 in the Diocese of West Malaysia served as vicar of St. Peter’s Church, Ipoh, appointed a canon of St Mary’s Cathedral in Kuala Lumpur in 1996 and Archdeacon of the Lower North Archdeaconry in 2001. On 5 May 2007, Bishop Ng was consecrated the 4th Bishop of West Malaysia. He is married to Ding Siew Lan and has three children: Joshua Ng Tarng Jiun, Sarah Ng Jia Yi, and Charlotte Ng Jia Lerd.

Read it all

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, The Anglican Church in South East Asia

Blogging Dean of Belfast Reaches 250th Milestone

The Blogging Dean of Belfast chalked up another milestone when his 250th Blog was posted on the St Anne’s Cathedral website on Saturday February 20!

Dean John Mann…started blogging during a Diocese of Connor Pilgrimage to the Holy Land in November 2013, providing a daily summary of the experiences and adventures of the pilgrims for the Connor diocesan website as well as the Cathedral website.

Inspired by the reception to the Pilgrimage Blog, and realizing that this new media method was a great way of keeping people informed, the Dean published his first ”˜Dean’s Blog’ on the Cathedral website on November 26 2013.

Read it all and you may find his blog there.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Blogging & the Internet, Church of Ireland, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Eric Liddell

God whose strength bears us up as on mighty wings: We rejoice in remembering thy athlete and missionary, Eric Liddell, to whom thou didst bestow courage and resolution in contest and in captivity; and we pray that we also may run with endurance the race that is set before us and persevere in patient witness, until we wear that crown of victory won for us by Jesus our Savior; 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 C J Vaughan

Write deeply upon our minds, O Lord God, the lesson of thy holy Word, that only the pure in heart can see thee. Leave us not in the bondage of any sinful inclination. May we neither deceive ourselves with the thought that we have no sin, nor acquiesce idly in aught of which our conscience accuses us. Strengthen us by thy Holy Spirit to fight the good fight of faith, and grant that no day may pass without its victory; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

When I am afraid, I put my trust in thee. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust without a fear. What can flesh do to me?

–Psalm 56:3-4

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

[Reuters] Cameron calls June 23 poll that will shape fate of Britain and EU

Prime Minister David Cameron on Saturday called a June 23 referendum on membership of the European Union that could have far-reaching consequences for Britain’s unity and for the viability of the world’s biggest trading bloc.

Forty-three years after Britain joined the EU’s predecessor, Cameron clinched a deal from 27 other leaders to give it what he said was a special status before presenting the new settlement to senior ministers in London.

Read it all and an update here – there is background on the history of the EU/UK relationship here, the text of the agreement made with Brussels here and concerns over the eurozone here

Posted in * International News & Commentary, England / UK

[Telegraph] Yoweri Museveni wins Ugandan election as observers cry foul

Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni, in power since 1986, was re-elected for his fifth term on Saturday after winning a poll marked by suppression and violence.

Mr Museveni, the 71-year-old son of a cattle herder, won 60 per cent of the 9.7 million votes cast in the election, defeating his closest rival Kizza Besigye, who took 35 per cent, according to the Electoral Commission.

Election observers, who include the Commonwealth Observer Mission and the European Observer Mission, say the ballot fell short of key democratic benchmarks after the shutdown of social media sites Facebook and Twitter and the arrest of the Mr Besigye.

Read it all and there have been calls for prayer for peaceful elections from Archbishop Ntagali of Uganda here and the Chairman of GAFCON, Archbishop Wabukala of Kenya here

Posted in * International News & Commentary, Africa, Uganda

[Reuters] Trump wins decisively in South Carolina, Clinton clinches Nevada

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump rolled to victory on Saturday in South Carolina in a contest that saw former Florida Governor Jeb Bush drop out, while Democratic hopeful Hillary Clinton beat back a strong challenge from Bernie Sanders in Nevada.

The victories by Trump, who is running as an anti-establishment outsider, and Clinton, a preeminent political insider, solidified their positions as the front-runners to win their parties’ respective nominations ahead of the Nov. 8 presidential election.

The night’s most prominent casualty, Bush suffered a distant fourth place finish in the Republican contest and announced he had suspended his campaign, ending his dream of becoming a third Bush president after his father and brother.

Read it all

Posted in * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A.