Monthly Archives: January 2017

(C of E Comm Blog) From Zumba to singing: combatting loneliness amongst older people

Monday morning and it’s a Zumba class for the over 50s at St Stephen’s Church, Westminster. This class is part of St Stephen’s Second Half Club, a weekly day of classes that looks to build community, keep people active in mind, body and spirit, and ultimately combat social isolation. St Stephen’s is one of two London churches, the other being St Paul’s, North Marylebone running a pilot of this programme.

It is well-known that loneliness is a serious concern, with over half of adults in England saying they experience feelings of loneliness.

Although there are many different ways Anglican churches are addressing loneliness in their communities, what is truly exciting about the Second Half Clubs is the partnership that they can create with other organisations looking to achieve the same goals.

Read it all from Joseph Friedrich.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Aging / the Elderly, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Church of England (CoE), Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Ministry of the Laity, Ministry of the Ordained, Music, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Care, Pastoral Theology, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Theology

AU 266 – Sexual Immorality Plans for the CofE

With Gavin Ashenden

With thanks to Kevin Kallsen at Anglican TV

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

(CT) 5 pastors confess their temptations to manipulate, control+cling to worldly significance

Joshua Ryan Butler, pastor of local and global outreach at Imago Dei Community in Portland, Oregon

I want to change the world. But in the process, I’m tempted to see people as a means-to-an-end rather than servants to be discipled deeper into life with Jesus.

When this happens, I find myself using manipulation and guilt as tools to mobilize volunteers. Instead, I want to emphasize the beauty and grandeur of Christ, and use the tools of celebrating who he is and what he has done to draw others to embody his love and serve the world””because they want to, not because they have to.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Anthropology, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Evangelicals, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Theology, Theology: Scripture

The New Bishop of Sheffield hopes to tackle 'dangerous and toxic' divisions in society

Outspoken Bishop North – who has previously accused the Church of England of failing to notice the poor – said the clergy had ‘lived with the reality of decline for a long time’.

“It has made us a bit nervous and reticent,” he added.

“I would love to see some fresh confidence in Christians in living out their faith.”

Read it all (and the video is available as well).

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

Remembering Sam Shoemaker on his Feast Day (III)-the importance of soul surgery

We have no respect for a surgeon who goes in but does not cut deeply enough to cure nor a patient who backs out of an operation because it may hurt; yet people can go through their whole lives attending church, listening to searching exposures of human sin, without ever taking it to themselves, or meeting anyone with skill and concern enough to lay the challenge right in their own laps.

Experiment of Faith (New York: Harper&Row, 1957), p.22 (emphasis mine)

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anthropology, Christology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Theology, Theology: Holy Spirit (Pneumatology), Theology: Scripture

Remembering Sam Shoemaker on his Feast Day (II)–His Obituary in the New York Times, Nov. 2, 1963

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Church History, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Urban/City Life and Issues

Remembering Sam Shoemaker on his Feast Day (I)–a man concerned with USA's internal enemies

It was America’s enemies within that interested Shoemaker most. After the country entered World War II, the cleric addressed the nation’s cause in several sermons, eventually published in Christ and this Cause. In one of those sermons, “God and the War,” he lashed out at the nation’s immorality.

This nation has had the greatest privileges ever given to any nation in all time. America has been God’s privileged child. But America has become a spoiled child. We have been ungrateful to the God under whom our liberties were given to us. I believe it is high time for someone to say that this war today is God’s judgment upon a godless and selfish people.”

Shoemaker did support the war effort; in his sermon, “What Are We Fighting For?” he admitted that the war was a “grim necessity,” the means by which nations would once again have the opportunity to choose democracy. But he abhorred any self-righteous cause:

“No war can ever be a clear-cut way for a Christian to express his hatred of evil. For war involves a basic confusion. All the good in the world is not ranged against all the evil. In the present war, some nations that have a great deal of evil in them are yet seeking to stand for freedom ”¦ against other nations which have a great deal of good in them but yet are presently dedicated to turning the world backwards into the darkness of enslavement.”

Read it all (emphasis mine).

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Christology, Church History, Religion & Culture, Theology, Theology: Holy Spirit (Pneumatology), Theology: Scripture

Philip North Announced as Next Bishop of Sheffield

Bishop Philip studied history at the University of York, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in 1988 when he started to explore a vocation to priestly ministry. He spent a year working as a pastoral assistant in Redhouse, Sunderland, before preparing for ordination at St Stephen’s House, Oxford. He graduated from the University of Oxford with a BA degree in 1991. He was ordained as a priest in 1993. Bishop Philip then went on to serve as curate at Saint Mary and Saint Peter’s in Sunderland until 1996, after which he became the vicar of Holy Trinity in Hartlepool until 2002, during which time he was also Hartlepool’s area dean (2000-2002).

In 2002 he moved to Norfolk where he spent six years as Priest Administrator of the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham, ministering to pilgrims and overseeing the regeneration of the Shrine’s buildings and grounds. In 2008 he became team rector in the Parish of Old St Pancras and team vicar at St Michael’s Church, Camden Town.

He was consecrated as Bishop of Burnley in February 2015.

Read it all.

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

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Samuel Shoemaker

Holy God, we offer thanks for the vision of Samuel Shoemaker, priest and co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous; and we pray that we may follow his example to help others find salvation through knowledge and love of Jesus Christ our Savior; who with thee and the Holy Spirit livest and reignest, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

(recoveryspeakers.com)

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

A Prayer to Begin the Day from The Narrow Way

O Our God, we believe in thee, we hope in thee, and we love thee, because thou hast created us, redeemed us, and dost sanctify us. Increase our faith, strengthen our hope, and deepen our love, that giving up ourselves wholly to thy will, we may serve thee faithfully all the rest of our life; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The Narrow Way, Being a Complete Manual of Devotion with a Guide to Confirmation and Holy Communion (London: J. Whitaker and Sons, 1893)

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

Brethren, I beseech you, become as I am, for I also have become as you are. You did me no wrong; you know it was because of a bodily ailment that I preached the gospel to you at first; and though my condition was a trial to you, you did not scorn or despise me, but received me as an angel of God, as Christ Jesus. What has become of the satisfaction you felt? For I bear you witness that, if possible, you would have plucked out your eyes and given them to me. Have I then become your enemy by telling you the truth? They make much of you, but for no good purpose; they want to shut you out, that you may make much of them. For a good purpose it is always good to be made much of, and not only when I am present with you. My little children, with whom I am again in travail until Christ be formed in you! I could wish to be present with you now and to change my tone, for I am perplexed about you.

–Galatians 4:12-20

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

NYT: These Booths Are Made For Talking: Soothers Hit the Streets

A week after the presidential election, while walking through the farmers’ market in Union Square, I came across a young woman giving out free hugs to strangers. I gladly accepted one. Balm.

A day later, a friend told me that a Lutheran pastor on the Upper East Side has been dispensing free counsel on the sidewalk on Tuesday mornings while sitting in a wooden booth that he had made to the exact specifications of Lucy’s in the comic strip “Peanuts,” complete with a sign reading, “Spiritual Help, 5 cents. The pastor is in.” (Nickels are provided.)

Street preachers. Huggers without portfolio. If stores and restaurants can pop up, why can’t the helping professions?

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Religion & Culture, Urban/City Life and Issues

(WaPo) The letter Russell Moore will send President Trump about the refugee order

As a nation, we must seek to resolve the tension created by these two values ”” compassion for the sojourner and the security of our citizens ”” in a way that upholds both values.

While we know refugees are already the most vetted category of immigrants to the United States, the FBI and others raised legitimate questions about the sufficiency of these procedures. It is crucial these questions be resolved. As a result, we are sympathetic to the desire to strengthen our nation’s security processes.

However, we have concerns about the Executive Order’s consequences. We share the concerns of Representative Mark Walker (R-N.C.), a Southern Baptist lawmaker, who said, “The language of the order should not apply to legal permanent residents of the United States, and if it is being enforced in any other way, the administration should step in swiftly to clarify.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Baptists, Ethics / Moral Theology, Evangelicals, Foreign Relations, History, Immigration, Law & Legal Issues, Other Churches, Pastoral Theology, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Theology

South Carolina nurse practitioners battle for expanded authority in care

One day a week for 10 years, Stephanie Burgess made a trip to a clinic that serves the uninsured in rural Kershaw County and treated patients who might not otherwise have had access to health care.

Burgess was never paid. A clinical professor in the College of Nursing at the University of South Carolina, she went to treat the poor and enrich her students’ experience. Last year, she had to stop making the weekly trips.

State law requires Burgess to sign a contract with a supervising doctor within 45 miles of where she is practicing. But the physician who oversaw Burgess retired. While the clinic remains open, the 300 patients she saw there each year were left without access to their primary care provider….

Read it all from the local paper.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, Anthropology, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Theology

(ACNS) Anglican Church in Melbourne intervenes in debate about a surge in youth crime

Bishop Philip Huggins, the Vicar-General of the Anglican Diocese of Melbourne, has called for a fresh approach to the growing problem of youth crime in the state of Victoria. His comments come after a spate of riots and violent crimes by young offenders over many months and a mass breakout from a youth justice centre earlier this week. The authorities have announced plans for a new high security juvenile prison that will be built for the state’s worst youth criminals.

But Bishop Huggins has now called for a more strategic approach to replace what he called the current fragmented system: “Problems evident in Victoria’s youth justice system will not be solved simply with new prisons and tougher sentences, and certainly not by just blaming politicians or police”, he said. “There is a growing cohort of young people who are dysfunctional at many levels, whose backgrounds may involve domestic and family violence, unstable housing, problems of addiction, and perhaps an inability to find positive social identity through education and durable employment.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican Provinces, Australia / NZ, Children, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Teens / Youth, Theology