Daily Archives: March 21, 2016

Archbishop of Canterbury announces new set of Lambeth Awards

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, today announces, on the third anniversary of his installation, a new set of non-academic Lambeth Awards to recognise outstanding service in various fields.
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The Hubert Walter Award for Reconciliation and Interfaith Cooperation
…Sir Andrew Pocock KCMG..

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

[Leadership Abuja] US, UK Knew Whereabouts Of Chibok Girls ”“ Ex-UK Envoy

The former British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Dr Andrew Pocock, has disclosed that the United States and the United Kingdom knew the whereabouts of about 80 of abducted Chibok girls by Boko Haram but failed to launch a rescue mission.

Pocock further claimed that a large group of the missing girls were spotted by the UK and the US surveillance officials shortly after their disappearance but experts felt nothing could be done.

The former UK envoy, who stated this during an interview with The Sunday Times of London, added that Western governments felt “powerless” to help as any rescue attempt would have been too risky with Boko Haram terrorists using the girls as human shields.

Pocock said: “A couple of months after the kidnapping, fly-bys and an American eye in the sky spotted a group of up to 80 girls in a particular spot in the Sambisa forest, around a very large tree, called locally the Tree of Life, along with evidence of vehicular movement and a large encampment.”

Read it all and there is an article in the International Business Times here

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

[Russian Orthodox Church] HH Patriarch Kirill meets with William Franklin Graham

the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church said with regret, ”“ spiritual and religious life in the West has undergone radical changes in the recent years. Western civilization and Western countries ceased to indentify themselves with Christian tradition and adopted an idea of society in which Christian moral values should not be dominant. And then, legislative solutions were taken in many countries, the United States of America including, which allow same-sex marriage, equaling it to natural marriage that the Lord has given us in commandment. People who do not want to abide by these solutions may be subjected to repressions. Today, Christians who uphold the intransient importance of Christian moral values had to become confessors of the faith living under various kind of pressure, on the part of mass media including.”

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill noted that the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association courageously confessed its faith and defended Christian values. “This gives us a sign of hope: there are people among Western Christians akin to us in ethic principles, sharing them with the Russian Orthodox Church,” His Holiness said and reminded his listeners that the Moscow Patriarchate had suspended any contacts and dialogue with Christian Churches and communities which perform same-sex marriages in church and even ordain people of non-traditional sexual orientation as priests and bishops. For instance, we had to break off contacts with the Episcopal Church in the USA, but we support the Anglican Church in North America which remains faithful to Christian ethics. I would like to note once again the role played by the conservative evangelicals in the United States as their position gives us an opportunity to continue our dialogue with Christians in America.”

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Posted in * Religion News & Commentary, Orthodox Church, Other Churches

[The Citizen] Why The Upcoming Lahore Metro Is Making Some People Very Angry


Lahore is a stunningly beautiful city, with historically important monuments dating to the Mughal era, Sikh empire and even colonial rule, dotting its landscape. It is also a city in desperate need of modernisation — especially when it comes to transport as the city has barely any public transportation.

Cue the Lahore Metro — an ambitious project that is the first such mass transit system in Pakistan. The Orange Line is the first leg of the project, scheduled to be completed in October 2017. It is also beset with a host of problems and challenges.

For one, the line runs dangerously close to several of Pakistan’s historically important architecture. According to reports, the line involves the destruction of the Anglican Cathedral..

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces

[Daily Nation Nairobi] Lobbying continues as Anglicans seek new leader

Archbishop Wabukala expressed confidence that the church’s neutral stance on politics will not change even after he leaves office.

“There should be no cause for alarm. A competent transition team is firmly in charge,” he said.

Those said to have expressed interest in the position are Dr Christopher Ruto (Diocese of Eldoret), Bishop Moses Masaba (Mbeere), Bishop Julius Wanyoike (Thika), Bishop Joseph ole Sapit (Kericho), Bishop Joel Waweru (Nairobi), Bishop James Ochiel (South Nyanza), and Lawrence Dena of Malindi.

However, it is only after April 1 that the official list will be known.

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

[Daily Nation Nairobi] Boycott threat for Anglican meeting

A meeting of Anglican clerics mid next month in Zambia might not take place after countries in Africa that make up the largest congregation, announced they would boycott it over same-sex marriages.

Anglican bishops in Uganda, Kenya, and Nigeria have indicated they will stay away from the conference until a “godly order” is restored in the Church.
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The conference in Lusaka ”” the 16th meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC-16) ”” starts on April 8 to 19 and is supposed to bring together Anglican bishops, priests and laity from across the world.

Generally, it is supposed to discuss how to keep the gospel, despite continuing challenges from secular forces. But the question of whether to accept same-sex marriages as part of the church’s culture has caused divisions, once again.

Archbishops Eliud Wabukala of Kenya, Stanley Ntagali of Uganda and Okoh of Nigeria say attending the conference would amount to violating the teachings of Christ on which the Anglican Church stands.

The three countries cumulatively host about 42 million of the estimated 57 million Anglicans in Africa. The three also belong to a conservative group of the church’s leaders called the Global Anglican Future Conference (Gafcon) formed in 2008 to protest the ordination of openly-gay priests in the American arm of the church, the Episcopal Church, back in 2003.

The Zambian meeting is still controversial and the three leaders say they do not want to be part of a conference where the Church of Canada, which also supports homosexuality, will be attending.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Primates, Primates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016

[ABC] Sexual abuse survivor meets with Tasmania's new Anglican Bishop

Bishop Richard Condie was consecrated on Saturday and is now the highest clergy member in Tasmania.

The Anglican Church reached out to abuse survivor and long-time campaigner Steven Fisher to invite him to meet with the Bishop.

It was an invitation Mr Fisher was pleased to receive.

“I believe it’s a huge step for them to reach out and ask a victim to come down and actually talk to them,” he said.

“It’s something we’ve been campaigning for for 15 years.”

Read it all and there is a report in the Tasmanian Examiner

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

[Catholic Herald] A perfectly good word exists in the English language for Judas’ action: evil

The BBC’s controversial documentary on Judas will not win souls for Christ

By Thomas Pascoe
This year the BBC will celebrate Good Friday by broadcasting a documentary called ”˜In the Footsteps of Judas’. It will be presented by a female Anglican vicar who stars in ”˜Gogglebox’ which is a show based on the questionable but apparently winning premise that it would be immensely entertaining to be able to watch a variety of pub bores as they themselves watch television.

It is worth quoting the Reverend Kate Bottley at some length on what the programme seeks to do. The Telegraph reports her as saying: “I don’t think any of the other disciples were whiter than white ”“ we just probably didn’t hear about it ”“ because they were all human and we are all a bit messed up. Up until that moment of betrayal, Judas seems no better or worse than any of the other disciples. But he has been defined by the worst thing he did. What Judas did is not OK but I think he holds up a very important mirror to our own human condition.

“Jesus forgave people as they were putting the nails in to his hands and there is no reason why he would not have forgiven Judas but he just didn’t hear that.”

There are a number of things which strike me as worrying about this summary. They are worthy of debate because of the deep theological ignorance of modern Britain, the fact that its national broadcaster has chosen to use one of its few headline religious programmes in Holy Week to propagate this message, and because the Anglican communion, which abounds with clerics making statements such as the one above, is still the main conduit in this country through which the layman with no particular religious instruction encounters Christ.

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

[N.T. Wright] Kingdom and Cross: Putting the Christian Story Back Together

..Obviously, without the resurrection of Jesus the evangelists would never have had a story to tell. Thousands of young Jews were crucified by the Romans. Very few of them are even mentioned in our historical sources, except as a grisly footnote. Even those who think that the evangelists were in fact very clever inventors of large-scale fictions, designed to revive a Jesus-movement that might not otherwise have survived the death (and continuing deadness, so to speak) of its founder, are bound to admit that the resurrection plays the vital role in opening the question up again, so that what looked like defeat was in fact a victory.

The resurrection, in short, is presented by the evangelists not as a “happy ending” after an increasingly sad and gloomy tale, but as the event which demonstrated that Jesus’s execution really had dealt the death-blow to the dark forces that had stood in the way of God’s new world, God’s “kingdom” of powerful creative and restorative love, arriving “on earth as in heaven.”

That is why the bodily resurrection matters, in a way that it never quite does if one is purely interested in a kingdom “not of this world.”

The resurrection is, from Mark’s point of view, the moment when God’s kingdom “comes with power.” From John’s point of view, it is the launching of the new creation, the new Genesis. From Matthew’s point of view, it brings Jesus into the position for which he was always destined, that of the world’s rightful lord, sending out his followers (as a new Roman emperor might send out his emissaries, but with methods that match the message) to call the world to follow him and learn his way of being human. From Luke’s point of view, the resurrection is the moment when Israel’s Messiah “enters into his glory” so that “repentance and forgiveness of sins” can now be announced to all the world as the way of life.

Once we put kingdom and cross together in the manner we have, it is not difficult to see how the resurrection goes closely with that great combined reality. It is the resurrection that declares that the cross was a victory, not a defeat. It therefore announces that God has indeed become king on earth as in heaven.

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Posted in Theology

When our spiritual journeys are traveled in public, is there any room for the voice of God?

This sort of public call-and-response has its appeal, but it runs several risks. The first and most obvious is that the very act of documenting one’s every move on the spectrum away from or toward belief will influence and alter that trajectory. It’s similar to what is called the observer effect in science. In life, as in science, you can’t watch something without changing the qualities of the thing being watched.

The risk is compounded when the process takes place in a forum that is entirely your own, unvetted by voices other than the ones you allow. In spite of the Internet’s potential to connect us to the diversity of Christian faith, past and present, too often it becomes a set of claustrophobic corners.

The young Christian becomes limited by a context in which time is always immediate, history is limited to one’s own personal existence, and the only readily available responses consistently confirm one’s own experiences. Theological difficulties are mediated through self-expression. It’s a waiting room full of people echoing what you just said, and little else. No wonder faith narrows and chokes, maybe even suffocates, in this setting. Everybody is trapped in the same room and nobody seems to know where the exit is. Maybe we should amend Sartre this way: hell is relentless, real-time commentary by other people just like yourself.

Read it all from S N D Kelly in Christianity Today.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Evangelicals, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Spirituality/Prayer

(OCRPL) Martin Davie–Religious Approaches to Human Rights

If we ask what is driving this assault on the free exercise of religious conviction, the answer is that it is in large part driven by a human rights agenda which sees religion and human rights as antithetical not simply on specific issues, but across the board. As the legal scholar Louis Herkin puts it: ”˜The human rights ideology is a fully secular and rational ideology whose very promise of success as a universal ideology depends on its secularity and rationality.’

In addition, there is also deep seated fear about religiously inspired violence. The growing threat of terrorist activity driven by an Islamist ideology has led many governments across the world, including the government in this country, to conclude that religion can be dangerous and that the best way to counteract this danger is seek to suppress the dissemination of ”˜extremist’ religious ideas.

What this combination of a secular rights ideology and fear of Islamic terrorism is in danger of leading to, if indeed it has not led to it already, is the undermining of the very rights that human rights advocates and Western governments say that they support.

Read it all (emphasis mine).

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Anthropology, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Europe, Globalization, Inter-Faith Relations, Law & Legal Issues, Other Faiths, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Secularism, Theology

(NPR) Subsidized apartments for young adults, a growing homeless demographic in Cities

It’s normal for millennials to still live at home these days. But what if you’re a millennial who doesn’t have a home to go back to?

Growing up, Alkeisha Porter, 23, says she didn’t like her mom’s husband and her dad had a drug problem. So at 16, she moved out and became homeless.

“I was basically just house-hopping from friends to some family members. Hey, it was comfortable to me. It wasn’t cold. I wasn’t sleeping outside,” she says.

Young people ”” 18- to 24-year-olds ”” make up one of the fastest-growing homeless populations in the country. In many big cities like New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco, where housing is at a premium, finding affordable housing is especially hard.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Pastoral Theology, Personal Finance, Poverty, Theology, Urban/City Life and Issues, Young Adults

A Joint Holy Week and Easter Message from the Archbishops of Armagh

As we again ponder, and ”˜pray with’, the events of the first Holy Week and Easter, we once more become aware of the enormity of God’s mercy to humankind. In the darkness of Calvary on Good Friday and in the celebration of Our Lord’s resurrection on Easter Day, we see both sides of Divine mercy. God is with us in the darkness of all human suffering and bewilderment, but God also holds out the hope of a new and wonderful dimension to human existence, both in this life and beyond this life. Herein is the miracle of that great mercy held out for us.

This year is a particular ”˜year of mercy’ in the Roman Catholic tradition, but for all Christian disciples ”“ of whatever tradition ”“ the heartbeat of the Beatitudes echoes through all true spiritual endeavour with its central message, ”˜Blessed are the merciful for they shall receive mercy.’ (Matthew 5.7)

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Provinces, Church of Ireland, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Holy Week

A Prayer to Begin the Day from Handley C. G. Moule

As…[in this week] we keep the special memory of our Redeemer’s entry into the city, so grant, O Lord, that now and ever he may triumph in our hearts. Let the King of grace and glory enter in, and let us lay ourselves and all we are in full and joyful homage before him; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.

–Handley Carr Glyn Moule (1841-1920)

Posted in Uncategorized

From the Morning Scripture Readings

Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward being; therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Fill me with joy and gladness; let the bones which thou hast broken rejoice. Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence, and take not thy holy Spirit from me.

–Psalm 51:6-11

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture