Daily Archives: December 22, 2016

Philip Plyming announced as new warden of Cranmer Hall theological college

[The] Rev Dr Plyming trained at Cranmer Hall, where he gained a first in theology, before undertaking a curacy at an ecumenical church in Basingstoke.

He went on to serve on the General Synod of the Church of England since 2009 and played a significant role in the church’s Renewal and Reform modernisation project, sitting on the Archbishop’s Simplification Task Group.

He is currently Vicar of Holy Trinity Claygate, a parish church in the Diocese of Guildford which has seen significant growth in recent years, and also Area Dean of Emly.

He is married to Annabelle, a hospice doctor, and they have two schoolage sons.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Seminary / Theological Education, Theology

(Bloomberg) Nobody Is Eating Out Anymore, They're Just Ordering Pizza

In a year when U.S. restaurant chains have bemoaned sluggish traffic, competition from supermarket food and even the chilling effect of the presidential election, one area has continued to thrive: pizza.

Shares of Domino’s Pizza Inc. are up 45 percent this year. And Papa John’s International Inc. is up more than 60 percent. Compare that with a 3.4 percent gain for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Restaurants Index.

The reasons are pizza is cheap, fast and increasingly easy to get — thanks to user-friendly mobile-ordering apps and technology that lets diners order from Facebook, Twitter and Apple TV. That’s helped insulate pizza chains from a shift away from eating out.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Theology

2016 Advent Reflections from members of the Diocese of South Carolina

During this season leading up to Christmas, people all around you are wondering if God is available and if he cares. Is he accessible? Can he be known? The answer is Yes, yes, yes, and yes!

Right now, hearts are open to God. People are wondering about Him because the culture is focused on Christmas. We may lament the crass commercialization and the cultural confusion about reindeer and elves and such things. But the fact is, now is a perfect time to help those you know – neighbors, friends or co-workers – take a step toward Christ. This season offers one of the main times when people will actually come to church ”” if they are invited.

But here’s a tip to inviting people so that they won’t get cold feet at the last minute. Ask them if you can pick them up. Or offer to meet them in the lobby (don’t call it a Narthex!) so that you can sit together. Then offer to go out to eat together after the service and while you’re eating engage them in conversation about the message they heard and what they think. You’ll be amazed because you’ll discover that God is with you in the middle of it all.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * South Carolina, Advent, Christology, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Parish Ministry, Theology, Theology: Scripture

Congo's RC Bishops Urge Settlement of Political Crisis Before Christmas

Mediators urged Congo’s president and opposition parties to reach an agreement before Christmas on a peaceful settlement to the country’s political crisis, saying dozens already have been killed this week amid protests over the president’s stay in power.

“Enough is enough,” Msgr. Marcel Utembi, one of the Catholic Church mediators, said Wednesday. “A solution must be found as soon as possible by all political actors, but in particular by the government in order to reassure the Congolese people.”

He also conveyed a message from Pope Francis following their meeting this week: “I am concerned by what is happening in your country, which I wish to visit at the opportune moment. I pray for the Congolese people, who need peace so much now.”

Read it all from the WSJ.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Africa, Anthropology, Defense, National Security, Military, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Other Churches, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Republic of Congo, Roman Catholic, Theology, Violence

The Full "Gogglebox Vicar" ad from the C of E mentioned in the previous post

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Media, Religion & Culture

Church of England makes late bid for Christmas advert of the year with "GoggleBox Vicar"

The Church of England has squared up to commercial giants John Lewis, Sainsbury’s and Marks & Spencer with its bid for Christmas ad of the year.

The Church’s new two minute film “Joy to The World” features Gogglebox vicar and Songs of Praise presenter Kate Bottley and has been released on the Church’s official website and social media channels.

The film highlights the hectic life of a vicar at Christmas, combining priest, social worker, parent and dog owner up to the traditional midnight service on Christmas Eve and the magical first moment of Christmas Day.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Christmas, Church of England (CoE), Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, England / UK, Media, Religion & Culture, Theology

The Archbishop of Canterbury’s Ecumenical Christmas letter

In many parts of our troubled, uncertain world, Christian minority communities along with other minorities are being similarly targeted. In some places, this is motivated by a desire to eradicate the indigenous Christian presence completely. These are acts not only of terror but of genocide; criminal acts for which the international community must bring those guilty to account. Yet although so vulnerable and often forgotten and marginalised, our brothers and sisters are being courageous in the Lord. Indeed, ”˜God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong’ (1 Corinthians 1.27).
In other places conflict and corruption have become so normal that the world forgets the suffering of the poor.
I ask your prayers for those of us who live in safety that we may not be bystanders afar off, beating our breasts as we retire to the security of our homes, but that we may draw nearer to the cross of Jesus, stand there alongside our suffering brothers and sisters and be ready to take our part in practical action for change. I pray that Christ will strengthen all his people in our inner being with power through the Holy Spirit to be faithful, to have courage and to live in hope.
More than ever we need Christ like communities proclaiming the good news of the gospel in word and action.

Read it all (my emphasis).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Ecumenical Relations, Globalization, Other Churches, Religion & Culture

A Prayer for the (Provisional) Feast Day of Henry Budd

Creator of light, we offer thanks for thy priest Henry Budd, who carried the great treasure of Scripture to his people the Cree nation, earning their trust and love. Grant that his example may call us to reverence, orderliness and love, that we may give thee glory in word and action; through Jesus Christ our Savior, who with thee and the Holy Spirit livest and reignest, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Church History, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer to begin the day from the United Lutheran Church

O Lord God, heavenly Father, who through thy Son hast revealed to us that heaven and earth shall pass away: We beseech thee to keep us steadfast in thy Word and in true faith; graciously guard us from all sin and preserve us amid all temptations, so that our hearts may not be overcharged with the cares of this life, but at all times in watchfulness and prayer we may await the return of thy Son and joyfully cherish the expectation of our eternal salvation; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

Then he showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. There shall no more be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and his servants shall worship him; they shall see his face, and his name shall be on their foreheads. And night shall be no more; they need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they shall reign for ever and ever.

–Revelation 22:1-5

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(CHI) Today in Christian History

1941–The BBC airs the first play in Dorothy Sayers’ cycle The Man Born to Be King. Before it goes on air, some Christian groups call it blasphemous because an actor is to speak Christ’s lines. However, its reception among Christians will prove generally good.

1807–Death of John Newton, author of the hymn “Amazing Grace.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Church History

(Economist Erasmus Blog) Syria’s tragedy could poison inter-faith relations

Rashad Ali is a British Sunni Muslim who devotes most of his life to combating extremism and urging young co-religionists to reject the siren voices of jihadism. At the risk of making himself unpopular with some members of his community, he actively assists the government’s efforts to counter hard-line Islamism. He works mostly in his own country but also follows the Muslim scene in many other places.

Like many others working in his field, he is convinced that recent events in Syria have made his life much, much harder. Whether in Britain or in Jordan, Lebanon, Tunisia or Morocco (all countries he has visited recently), he finds that ordinary Sunnis are appalled and angry over the suffering of civilians in east Aleppo before and during the collapse of the rebel stronghold.

The news has made them furious with Russia, which claims inter alia to be deploying its fighter-bombers in support of local Christians; angry with Iran and the Shia Muslim militias that it sponsors in Syria; and disappointed with Western countries for doing nothing to restrain the Russo-Iranian coalition. A common grievance, says Mr Ali, a fellow of the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, is that Western consciences are moved by the plight of ethnic and religious minorities, such as the Kurds or Yazidis or small Christian sects, but indifferent to ordinary Sunni Arabs.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Defense, National Security, Military, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Inter-Faith Relations, Islam, Middle East, Muslim-Christian relations, Other Churches, Other Faiths, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Syria, Theology

(NYT) A Prison Class in African Religion Attracts Students Beyond Its Walls

In many ways, the class that met here Tuesday night could be in any university in the United States. There were desks arranged in a circle to facilitate discussion. There were student presentations based on dense readings. And there was the faint buzzing from the fluorescent lights overhead.

But in other important respects, the class was anything but typical. Coils of razor wire glinted under security lights outside the window, and more than half the students wore the drab green uniforms that mark them as inmates in New York’s only maximum-security prison for women.

This was Union Theological Seminary’s course on African religions in the Americas. Six seminary students boarded a van in Manhattan over 16 weeks this fall, commuting about 35 miles north to reach the secure walls of the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility. Part of a nationwide trend in prison education programs, it was a process that proved as educational and powerful for the graduate students as for the 10 inmates.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Prison/Prison Ministry, Religion & Culture, Seminary / Theological Education, Theology, Urban/City Life and Issues

(BBC) Jedi is not a religion, Charity Commission rules

Jediism, the worship of the mythology of Star Wars, is not a religion, the Charity Commission has ruled.
The commission rejected an application to grant charitable status to The Temple of the Jedi Order.
It said Jediism did not “promote moral or ethical improvement” for charity law purposes in England and Wales.
In the 2011 census, 177,000 people declared themselves Jedi under the religion section, making it the seventh most popular religion.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Anthropology, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Movies & Television, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Theology