Daily Archives: June 9, 2017

(NYT) The 25 Best Films of the 21st Century. So Far.

We are now approximately one-sixth of the way through the 21st century, and thousands of movies have already been released. Which means that it’s high time for the sorting – and the fighting – to start. As the chief film critics of The Times, we decided to rank, with some help from cinema savants on Facebook, the top 25 movies that are destined to be the classics of the future. While we’re sure almost everyone will agree with our choices, we’re equally sure that those of you who don’t will let us know.

Read it all and see what you make of the list in terms of ones on that you think should be on and ones off you think should be on.

Posted in Movies & Television

(Daily Post) Buhari must overhaul his cabinet Bishop‎ Steven Akobe says

The Anglican Bishop of Kabba Diocese in Kogi State, Rt. Rev. Steven Kayode Akobe, has said President Muhammadu Buhari must overhaul his cabinet to get Nigeria out of recession.

He also said that driving the economy into recovery and growth should top the President’s agenda this year as Nigerians are dying of hunger.

The cleric gave the advice during the 8th Synod of the diocese at the St Andrew’s Anglican Cathedral, Kabba, with the title; “God is Looking for Disciples, Are You One?”

Read it all.

Posted in Ethics / Moral Theology, Nigeria, Nigeria, Politics in General

(WSJ) Charlotte Allen–In Spain Muslims demand to worship in a cathedral that hasn’t been Islamic since 1236

“The Great Mosque of Cordoba.” That’s what Unesco—the cultural arm of the United Nations—calls the 24,000-square-foot 10th-century structure visited by 1.5 million tourists a year. It was declared a World Heritage site in 1984, and rightfully so: The building’s interior is a stunning example of Moorish architecture.

Yet this “mosque” is actually the cathedral of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Córdoba. In 1236, King Ferdinand III of Castile captured Córdoba from the Almohad Caliphate. He then had the building consecrated for Christian use. Or reconsecrated, rather, since underneath the mosque lay the demolished remains of a sixth-century church built by Spain’s Visigothic rulers before the Muslim invasion in 711. Today, Mass and confession are celebrated inside. The cathedral has been a Christian house of worship for centuries longer than it was an Islamic one.

The discordance greeting tourists is the result of more than 200 years of antagonism toward the Catholic Church by left-leaning Spanish intellectuals. They have used the cathedral’s unique architecture essentially to de-Christianize it in the name of restoring its historical Islamic roots. This secularist campaign began in the early 19th century but has gained new force in the past 20 years. Recent Islamic immigration to Spain has given the anticlerical leftists new allies—Muslims demanding to worship in their “Great Mosque.”

But that would require taking the building out of the Catholic Church’s hands.

Read it all.

Posted in Church History, Islam, Muslim-Christian relations, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Spain

(CT) Joy Beth Smith reviews Gina Dalfonzo’s book providing an insider’s perspective on the frustrations of long-term singleness in the Church

Somehow, despite many friends getting married, the single among us are still here, clinging to a community that seems to view us as more of a nuisance than a necessity. And we long for a place in the church—besides standing up at the altar while other people’s vows are being exchanged.

Gina Dalfonzo has lived this storyline as well, but a bit longer and with more grace than I have. As a lifelong single, she’s endured passive-aggressive advice, negligent married friends, hurtful generalizations, and the inevitable shaming that comes with prolonged singleness. The path just wide enough for one is familiar to her feet, though not always welcome. But bitterness has no place in Dalfonzo’s journey, and that alone is refreshing.

Her book, One by One: Welcoming the Singles in Your Church, is the result of extensive interviews, hours of research, and years of living the harsh realities the book describes. Dalfonzo highlights the experiences of others as she discusses the state of singleness, touching on everything from the stereotypes and stigmas of the unmarried to the hope we have for a unified church that seeks to celebrate every phase of life.

Read it all.

Posted in Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Ministry of the Laity, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Care, Pastoral Theology, Theology, Theology: Scripture, Young Adults

(CEN) Peter Brierley–Future Anglican attendance

The actuaries calculated that even if the number of adults under 35 increased by three per cent a year there would still be losses in total attendance until 2041. That rate of increase is currently not being seen, so the expected upturn will be later unless numbers increase.

Not all children who come to church when they are small continue to attend when they are older, but at present the number of children in church represents only five per cent of all births.

In Scotland, six per cent of all children born start attending church. Reaching children and especially teenage young adults would therefore seem pivotal if forecast figures are not to become realities.

This, however, is only a partial picture of the future of Church life in Britain.For example, by 2030, the number of Pentecostals attending church on a Sunday could exceed the number of Anglicans! May Anglicans, in their privileged position nationwide, continue to play a vital role, an expanding role, in the growth of God’s Kingdom in this country.

Read it all (requires subscription).

Posted in Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Religion & Culture

(Scotsman) Scottish Episcopal Church votes to allow same-sex marriage

Introducing the motion, the Bishop of Edinburgh Dr John Armes said the new definition of marriage would “protect the consciences both of those who believe that they must not – and of those who believe that they must – offer God’s blessing on a marriage of a same-sex couple”….

…The] Rev Canon Ian Ferguson, of the Aberdeen diocese, said that if the motion was passed it would be “one of the saddest and most painful days” in the history of the Church, describing it as a “broken” institution. “I’m deeply concerned that in the passing of this Canon, the Scottish Episcopal Church will be disagreeing with the teachings of our Lord Jesus, who has made it clear that marriage is a union of one man and one woman,” he added. “Changing our definition of marriage…is a schismatic move that will cause serious harm to our unity and future relationship with our sisters and brothers throughout the Anglican Communion.”

Read it all.

Posted in Same-sex blessings, Scottish Episcopal Church, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)

(Church Times) Scottish Episcopalians revise canon law to permit same-sex marriage, but with conscience provision

The Scottish Episcopal Church’s General Synod voted on Thursday to allow its clergy to solemnise marriages for same-sex couples in church. After two hours of respectful and emotional debate in St Paul’s and St George’s, Edinburgh, the Synod gave final approval to a revised Canon 31 on the solemnisation of holy matrimony.

The first two clauses of Canon 31 — containing the doctrinal statement that marriage is to be understood as a “physical, spiritual and mystical union of one man and one woman” — were deleted, and replaced with a single conscience clause to ensure that no cleric would be obliged to officiate against his or her conscience.

A special majority of two-thirds was required in each House for the second and final reading to be passed, and the Synod agreed (Motion 4) to conduct the vote by ballot. A two-thirds majority was obtained in all three Houses: Bishops 4 to 1; Clergy 42 to 20; and Laity 50 to 12.

Read it all.

Posted in Same-sex blessings, Scottish Episcopal Church, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)

UK General Eelection Results in a Hung Parliament but still a Tory Majority; Theresa May will nevertheless try to form a New Government

Posted in England / UK, Politics in General

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Saint Columba

O God, who by the preaching of thy blessed servant Columba didst cause the light of the Gospel to shine in Scotland: Grant, we beseech thee, that, having his life and labors in remembrance, we may show forth our thankfulness to thee by following the example of his zeal and patience; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Posted in --Scotland, Church History, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer to Begin the Day from James Martineau

O Thou whose eye is over all the children of men, and who hast called them into a kingdom not of this world: Send forth thy Holy Spirit into all the dark places of life. Let him still the noise of our strife and the tumult of the people, carry faith to the doubting, hope to the fearful, strength to the weak, light to the mourners, and more and more increase the pure in heart who see their God; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Posted in Pentecost, Spirituality/Prayer

Music for a Friday Morning: Mendelssohn – I waited for the Lord

Académie Vocale de Paris [13-18 year-olds]

I waited for the Lord, he inclined unto me, he heard my complaint.
O bless’d are they that hope and trust in the Lord. [see Psalm 40:1-5]

Posted in Liturgy, Music, Worship

From the Morning Scripture Readings

Thou hast multiplied, O LORD my God, thy wondrous deeds and thy thoughts toward us; none can compare with thee! Were I to proclaim and tell of them, they would be more than can be numbered.

–Psalm 40:5

Posted in Theology: Scripture