Monthly Archives: June 2017

A Prayer to Begin the Day from Bishop Thomas Wilson

Enlarge Thy kingdom, O God, and deliver the world from the tyranny of Satan. Hasten the time, which Thy Spirit hath foretold, when all nations whom Thou hast made shall worship Thee and glorify Thy Name. Bless the good endeavours of those who strive to propagate the truth, and prepare the hearts of all men to receive it; to the honour of Thy Name.

– Frederick B.Macnutt, The prayer manual for private devotions or public use on divers occasions: Compiled from all sources ancient, medieval, and modern (A.R. Mowbray, 1951)

Posted in Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Scripture Readings

Now in these days when the disciples were increasing in number, the Hellenists murmured against the Hebrews because their widows were neglected in the daily distribution. And the twelve summoned the body of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables. Therefore, brethren, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may appoint to this duty. But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” And what they said pleased the whole multitude, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, and Proch’orus, and Nica’nor, and Ti’mon, and Par’menas, and Nicola’us, a proselyte of Antioch. These they set before the apostles, and they prayed and laid their hands upon them. And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith.

–Acts 6:1-7

Posted in Theology: Scripture

Bp Geoffrey Rowell’s obituary in the (London) Times

He left Oxford in 1994 to become suffragan Bishop of Basingstoke, a warning ringing in his ears from the Bishop of Winchester who predicted that the appointment would expose Rowell “to the seedier side of the Church of England”. Although Rowell had never worked in a parish, he was a wise pastor. Listening to troubled souls — perhaps a student nervous of final exams, or a vicar feeling isolated — he would typically prop his head in his hand.

If Rowell’s style was redolent of Trollope’s Chronicles of Barsetshire, suggestions that he could not work a mobile telephone proved unfounded. He wrote leader columns for The Times for Christmas Day and Easter until the early 2000s, and until 2014 contributed reflective columns to Saturday’s Credo section. His many books include Hell and the Victorians (1974) and The Vision Glorious (1983), a vivid summary of the 19th-century Oxford Movement. With gentleness — he found arguments difficult because his parents had never quarrelled — Rowell strived to convey the riches of the Anglo-Catholic tradition to a Church that he found frustratingly focused on management.

He renamed his house, located next to a wood, Bishopswood End, because the next line in the address was Kingswood Rise. He was famously hospitable: his guests included diplomats, clergy, psychiatrists and composers. From 2001 they would stay at the cosy cottage adjoining his rectory at St Nicholas’ Church, Worth, West Sussex, where he lived while Bishop of Gibraltar in Europe. Gentleman’s Relish was served at his breakfast table and for old friends he would produce “KGB Sherry” later in the day. Every Friday he braved Easyjet or Ryanair to fly to one of the 270 Anglican chaplaincies in the 44 countries of mainland Europe.

A keen ecumenist, he was careful to meet local church leaders….

Read it all (requires subscription).

Posted in Uncategorized

A Prayer to Begin the Day from The Prayer Manual

Almighty Father, Who dost from age to age revive and inspire Thy Church; look now upon that branch of it which Thou hast planted in this land; that being fulfilled with Thy Holy Spirit, we may be worthy of the freedom which Thou hast given to us, and in zeal and courage, faithfulness and love, may manifest Thy glory in service of our nation and the world; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

–Frederick B. Macnutt, The prayer manual for private devotions or public use on divers occasions: Compiled from all sources ancient, medieval, and modern (A.R. Mowbray, 1951), p.145

Posted in Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Bible Readings

The Lord reigns; let the earth rejoice; let the many coastlands be glad! Clouds and thick darkness are round about him; righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne. Fire goes before him, and burns up his adversaries round about. His lightnings lighten the world; the earth sees and trembles. The mountains melt like wax before the LORD, before the Lord of all the earth. The heavens proclaim his righteousness; and all the peoples behold his glory.

–Psalm 97:1-6

Posted in Theology: Scripture

Blogging update

We’re back from a lovely break in the great state of Maine (hence the Acadia National Park pictures below) but tomorrow I leave for the rest of the week to go to the ACNA National Assembly in Wheaton, Illinois. Since I am unsure how much posting I will be able to do and will want to do, I am going to play it by ear–KSH.

Posted in * By Kendall, Blogging & the Internet

(CT) Supreme Court Gives Christian Schools a Big Victory

Trinity Lutheran argued that Missouri was violating the free exercise clause of the First Amendment (“no law … prohibiting the free exercise of religion”) by declaring the church’s preschool ineligible for a grant program—which helped cover the cost of safer playground surfaces made of recycled tires—just because the school was affiliated with the church.

On the other side, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources deployed the establishment clause of the First Amendment (“no law respecting the establishment of religion”) to defend its decision not to provide aid directly to a church, even if used for a secular purpose. This prohibition has been codified in Missouri and 30 other states under laws known as “Blaine Amendments.” Missouri’s bars state funds from going “directly or indirectly, in aid of any church, sect, or denomination of religion.”

While Roberts wrote that the consequences of Missouri’s rejection were likely “a few extra scraped knees,” he considered the discriminatory policy “odious to our Constitution all the same.” He defended the rights of religious institutions to get their fair share of public benefits.

By siding with the church, the Supreme Court sets a precedent against a strict interpretation of state-level Blaine Amendments, thereby shifting the prospects for religious institutions’ involvement in public programs.

Read it all.

Posted in America/U.S.A., Education, History, Law & Legal Issues, Religion & Culture, Supreme Court

The Diocese of South Carolina was received into the Anglican Church in North America This week

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Parish Ministry

(Pacific Standard) Why Poverty is Skyrocketing in the Suburbs

If you were to ask a group of Americans to pinpoint poverty in this country, a good many would tell you you to turn a watchful eye to the inner-city blocks. Perhaps others would suggest you look at the isolated valleys of rural Appalachian coal mining towns. But few would point you to the suburbs, our country’s neatly manicured, leafy green mazes of driveways and cul-de-sacs. That’s a shame; it’s this very misperception that makes the issue so pernicious.

In recent decades, the number of suburbanites living in poverty has increased at an alarming clip. In 1990, there were 9.5 million poor people living in America’s 100 largest cities, and 8.6 million poor people living in the suburbs of those cities. By 2014, there were 17 million poor people in the suburbs of the country’s 100 largest metro areas, and less than 13 million in the cities themselves. The average suburban poverty rate, meanwhile increased from 8.3 percent in 1990 to 12.2 percent in 2014.

Poverty, in other words, is now a suburban problem, just as much as it’s an urban or rural problem. In his new book, Places in Need: The Changing Geography of Poverty, Scott Allard, a poverty researcher and professor at the University of Washington, explores this phenomenon and its many implications. Allard spoke to Pacific Standard about what’s driving suburban poverty rates, how the mismatch between perception and reality may affect support for safety net programs, and what the changing distribution of poverty means for the social safety net.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, America/U.S.A., Economy, History, Personal Finance, Poverty, Uncategorized

(NYT) Is a Buddhist Group Changing China? Or Is China Changing It?

…five years ago, a Buddhist organization from Taiwan called Fo Guang Shan, or Buddha’s Light Mountain, began building a temple in the outskirts of…[Shen Ying’s] city, Yixing. She began attending its meetings and studying its texts — and it changed her life.

She and her husband, a successful businessman, started living more simply. They gave up luxury goods and made donations to support poor children. And before the temple opened last year, she left her convenience store to manage a tea shop near the temple, pledging the proceeds to charity.

Across China, millions of people like Ms. Shen have begun participating in faith-based organizations like Fo Guang Shan. They aim to fill what they see as a moral vacuum left by attacks on traditional values over the past century, especially under Mao, and the nation’s embrace of a cutthroat form of capitalism.

Many want to change their country — to make it more compassionate, more civil and more just. But unlike political dissidents or other activists suppressed by the Communist Party, they hope to change Chinese society through personal piety and by working with the government instead of against it. And for the most part, the authorities have left them alone.

Read it all.

Posted in Buddhism, China, Religion & Culture

Lord Carey : Statement from the Rt. Rev Dr Steven Croft, Bishop of Oxford

“I have met with Lord Carey following the Archbishop’s letter to him. In light of Dame Moira Gibb’s review into the Peter Ball case, Lord Carey has resigned from his role as honorary Assistant Bishop in the Diocese of Oxford. Lord Carey has accepted the criticisms made of him in the Gibb review and has apologised to the victims of Peter Ball.

He said in his statement on Thursday: “I accept the criticisms made of me. I apologise to the victims of Peter Ball. I believed Peter Ball’s protestations and gave too little credence to the vulnerable young men and boys behind those allegations. I regret that after Peter Ball was cautioned I did not place his name on the Lambeth list.”

Read it all.

Posted in Archbishop of Canterbury, CoE Bishops, Ethics / Moral Theology, Pastoral Theology

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Isabel Hapgood

Loving God, we offer thanks for the work and witness of Isabel Florence Hapgood, who introduced the Divine Liturgy of the Russian Orthodox Church to English-speaking Christians, and encouraged dialogue between Anglicans and Orthodox. Guide us as we build on the foundation that she gave us, that all may be one in Christ; who with thee and the Holy Spirit livest and reignest, one God, unto ages of ages. Amen.

Posted in Church History, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Russia, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer to Begin the Day from the Mozarabic Liturgy

Look upon us and hear us, O Lord our God; and assist those endeavours to please Thee which Thou Thyself hast granted to us; as Thou hast given the first act of will, so give the completion of the work; grant that we may be able to finish what Thou hast granted us to wish to begin; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

–James Manning, ed., Prayers of the Middle Ages: Light from a Thousand Years (Nashville: The Upper Room, 1954)

Posted in Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Bible Readings

And all the assembly kept silence; and they listened to Barnabas and Paul as they related what signs and wonders God had done through them among the Gentiles. After they finished speaking, James replied, “Brethren, listen to me. Simeon has related how God first visited the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name. And with this the words of the prophets agree, as it is written,

”˜After this I will return,
and I will rebuild the dwelling of David, which has fallen;
I will rebuild its ruins,
and I will set it up,
that the rest of men may seek the Lord,
and all the Gentiles who are called by my name,
says the Lord, who has made these things known from of old.’

Therefore my judgment is that we should not trouble those of the Gentiles who turn to God, but should write to them to abstain from the pollutions of idols and from unchastity and from what is strangled and from blood. For from early generations Moses has had in every city those who preach him, for he is read every sabbath in the synagogues.”

–Acts 15:12-21

Posted in Theology: Scripture

The Guardian view on abuse in the Church of England: a reputation deservedly damaged

After news of Bishop Ball’s arrest broke, Lambeth Palace received seven independent accusations about his earlier behaviour. Two were seen by Archbishop Carey, who replied to them personally. Only one of the seven, though, was passed to the police, and that the least damning. Lord Carey’s message to the diocese after Bishop Ball was arrested urged prayers for the bishop and said nothing about victims. After Bishop Ball had retired on spurious grounds of ill health and accepted a caution – though remaining in denial about his crimes – Lord Carey worked to have him rehabilitated. True, he did so with less ingenuity than Peter Ball’s identical twin Michael, himself a bishop, who has admitted allowing his twin to deputise for him at “one or two events”, even after his disgrace.

Lord Carey nevertheless gave Peter Ball £12,000 from church funds, leading to loud complaints from the brothers, who had wanted £20,000. He deliberately kept Peter Ball’s name off the Lambeth blacklist of unemployable clergy; he had the disgraced bishop to stay at Lambeth Palace twice; he attempted to find him work in South Africa (writing to Desmond Tutu for this scheme) and in prisons; he wrote to an American parish that “Peter was possibly the victim of a plot but that, of course, cannot be proved”. Lord Carey’s only objection to a full rehabilitation of Bishop Ball as a retired bishop was that it might provoke unfavourable publicity.
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This was disgraceful, and the result has been a deserved disgrace. But it was part of a culture of privilege, power and make-believe that corrupted more than one bishop. Lord Carey’s successor, Rowan Williams did nothing to help Bishop Ball but very little and very slowly to hinder him either.

Read it all.

Posted in Archbishop of Canterbury, Children, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Sexuality, Violence