Monthly Archives: July 2017

A Prayer for the Evening from the Leonine Sacramentary

Be present, O merciful God, and protect us through the silent hours of this night, so that we who are wearied by the changes and chances of this fleeting world may repose upon thy eternal changelessness; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Posted in Spirituality/Prayer

White House opioid commission to Trump: “Declare a national emergency” on drug overdoses

The President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis issued a preliminary report on Monday stating that its “first and most urgent recommendation” is for the president to “declare a national emergency under either the Public Health Service Act or the Stafford Act.”

“With approximately 142 Americans dying every day,” the report notes, “America is enduring a death toll equal to September 11th every three weeks.”

The commission, led by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, states that the goals of such a declaration would be to “force Congress to focus on funding” and to “awaken every American to this simple fact: if this scourge has not found you or your family yet, without bold action by everyone, it soon will.”

Read it all and see also this report which says nearly 40% of Americans use opioids to manage pain, according to a federal government study, with deaths more than quadrupling between 1999 and 2015.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Drugs/Drug Addiction, Health & Medicine, Office of the President, President Donald Trump

(AJ) Anglican church in Ontario rents space to Muslim worshippers

A Leamington, Ont., church is renting out space in its basement to local Muslims for use as a mosque.

Since this spring, Muslim worship has been held in the basement of St. John the Evangelist Anglican Church, diocese of Huron, says the church’s rector, the Rev. Andrew Wilson.

The arrangement serves the church because it provides income to fund its ministry, he says; but it also an important part of the church’s outreach to Leamington’s growing refugee population.

“To one degree, it’s as basic as a rental, but it is creating wonderful community for them—they feel safe, they feel welcome,” he says.

Read it all.

Posted in Anglican Church of Canada, Canada, Islam, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Muslim-Christian relations, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

(CT) Joni Eareckson Tada–After 50 Years in a Wheelchair, I Still Walk with Jesus

You’ve vocally opposed assisted suicide laws, including in your home state of Californianoting that laws of this kind expose “a fundamental fear of pain and disability.” How do you see this fear impact the way we as a culture respond to those with debilitating illness, chronic suffering, or disability?

People have a fear of pain. People have a fear of dying. Fear is what has driven the legalization of euthanasia—but fear should never ever be the foundation for social policy. It should not be society’s role to help people end their lives.

Most people, when they are at the end stages of life, are afraid of pain, they’re afraid of abandonment, they’re afraid of isolation, they don’t want to be a burden to their families. But all these issues can be addressed. They are problems that have solutions—like better pain management, better support services, better family counseling. Let’s pour resources into making it easier for people to live and not to die.

Compassion is often a motivating factor for those who favor physician-assisted suicide—including Christians who support it. In your view, how should Christians rightly understand and express compassion toward those who are suffering?

The first thing Christians ought to do before they even work on compassion is get a biblical view on suffering. Most Christians would rather escape, avoid it, drug it, medicate it, divorce it, institutionalize it—do anything but live with it….

 

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Pastoral Theology, Theology, Theology: Holy Spirit (Pneumatology), Theology: Scripture

An Interview with the Archbishop of Canterbury this morning from the Sudan

Listen to it all (it begins 1 hour and 49 minutes in). It covers a wide range of topics including same-sex marriage and the Primates Meeting as well as the growth of the Global South church, Charlie Gard+Brexit.

Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Sudan

(National Affairs) Alan Jacobs–When Character No Longer Counts

These leaders have replaced a rhetoric of persuasion with a rhetoric of pure authority — very like the authority that Trump claims for himself. (“Nobody knows the system better than me, which is why I alone can fix it.”) Consequently, their whole house of cards may well collapse if the Trump presidency is anything other than a glorious success, and will leave those who have accepted that rhetoric bereft of explanations as well as arguments. Presumably the most fervent supporters of Trump will argue (as Trump himself will argue) that his failures have occurred because others have betrayed him, have rejected the man that God raised up to rescue America, but this will require the replacement of the Cyrus analogy with another one yet to be determined. We can only hope that no one compares a failed Trump to an American Jesus betrayed by American Judases.

If all this sounds like a strange fantasyland of narrative, an imaginative world of what members of the Trump administration have taken to calling “alternative facts,” that’s because it is just that. The larger, and longer-term, effect of accounts like this is to encourage Christians to abandon the world of shared evidence, shared convictions, and shared possibilities, and such abandonment is very bad news for Christians and for America.

What is required of serious religious believers in a pluralistic society is the ability to code-switch: never to forget or neglect their own native religious tongue, but also never to forget that they live in a society of people for whom that language is gibberish. To speak only in the language of pragmatism is to bring nothing distinctive to the table; to speak only a private language of revelation and self-proclaimed authority is to leave the table altogether. For their own good, but also for the common good, religious believers need to be always bilingually present.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Ethics / Moral Theology, Evangelicals, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Donald Trump, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

(CT) Mark Yarhouse–Understanding the Transgender Phenomenon

Let’s say Sara walks into your church. She looks like a man dressed as a woman. One question she will be asking is, “Am I welcome here?” In the spirit of a redemptive witness, I hope to communicate to her through my actions: “Yes, you are in the right place. We want you here.”

If I am drawn to a conversation or relationship with her, I hope to approach her not as a project, but as a person seeking real and sustained relationship, which is characterized by empathy as well as encouragement to walk faithfully with Christ. But I should not try to “fix” her, because unless I’m her professional therapist, I’m not privy to the best way to resolve her gender dysphoria. Rather, Christians are to foster the kinds of relationships that will help us know and love and obey Jesus better than we did yesterday. That is redemption.

If Sara shares her name with me, as a clinician and Christian, I use it. I do not use this moment to shout “Integrity!” by using her male name or pronoun, which clearly goes against that person’s wishes. It is an act of respect, even if we disagree, to let the person determine what they want to be called. If we can’t grant them that, it’s going to be next to impossible to establish any sort of relationship with them.

The exception is that, as a counselor, I defer to a parent’s preference for their teenager’s name and gender pronoun. Even here I talk with the parent about the benefits and drawbacks of what they want and what their teenager wants if the goal is to establish a sustained, meaningful relationship with their child.

Also, we can avoid gossip about Sara and her family. Gossip fuels the shame that drives people away from the church; gossip prevents whole families from receiving support.

Read it all.

Posted in Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Care, Pastoral Theology, Psychology, Sexuality, Theology: Scripture

(AFP) Archbishop of Canterbury declares Sudan new Anglican province

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby on Sunday declared Sudan the 39th province of the worldwide Anglican Communion, six years after the predominantly Christian south gained independence from the north.

The Anglican church in Sudan, a majority Muslim country, has been administered from South Sudan since the 2011 split which followed a civil war that left more than two million people dead.

Sunday’s ceremony in Khartoum added Sudan to the 85 million-strong worldwide Anglican communion’s 38 member churches — known as provinces — and six other branches known as extra provincials.

Read it all and there is also more there.

Posted in - Anglican: Latest News, Sudan

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Ignatius of Loyola

O God, by whose grace thy servant Ignatius, enkindled with the fire of thy love, became a burning and a shining light in thy Church: Grant that we also may be aflame with the spirit of love and discipline, and may ever walk before thee as children of light; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, liveth and reigneth, one God, now and for ever.

Posted in Church History, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer to Begin the Day from FT Woods

Into thy hands, O Lord, we commend ourselves and all who are dear to us this day. Be with us in our going out and in our coming in. Strengthen us for the work which thou hast given us to do. And grant that, filled with thy Holy Spirit, we may walk worthy of our high calling, and cheerfully accomplish those things that thou wouldest have done; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Posted in Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Scripture Readings

Thou hast kept count of my tossings; put thou my tears in thy bottle! Are they not in thy book?
Then my enemies will be turned back in the day when I call. This I know, that God is for me.
In God, whose word I praise, in the LORD, whose word I praise,
in God I trust without a fear. What can man do to me?

–Psalm 56:8-11

Posted in Uncategorized

([London] Times) Nearly 2,000 children in the UK+Ireland referred for help with gender identity

The number of children in the UK and Ireland being referred for specialist help because they are confused about their gender has risen by more than 2,000 per cent in eight years. Almost 2,000 children were seen by doctors last year, some as young as three.

Specialists attributed the increase in part to an increased willingness in society to accept gender diversity, with prominent transgender celebrities such as Caitlyn Jenner emboldening children to raise their concerns. They warned, however, of potential difficulties maintaining staff recruitment in line with rising demand.

According to data released by the Gender Identity Development Service, commissioned by NHS England, 1,986 people under 18 were referred and accepted for specialist treatment in the past year, compared with 94 in 2009-10. The youngest were aged just three, with seven children that age referred since 2009. The most common age at referral was 16, accounting for 24 per cent of all cases since 2009.

Read it all (requires subscription).

Posted in Anthropology, Children, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Psychology, Sexuality

(60 Minutes) A young American who grew up in the heartland tells Scott Pelley what made him try to join ISIS in Syria

Abdirizak Warsame learned the theology of murder in Minneapolis, Minnesota…

Scott Pelley: YouTube became more real to you than your neighborhood in Minnesota?

Abdirizak Warsame: Yes.

Scott Pelley: How could that be?

Abdirizak Warsame: It kind of takes control of you. And you think you’re doing something for a greater cause. And you think you’re doing it for good.

Scott Pelley: And what was that?

Abdirizak Warsame: Most of the videos would talk about how if you would engage in jihad you would be doing your family a favor. And that you would be saving their lives from eternal hell fire.

Scott Pelley:That if you died as a martyr you would not only go to paradise your whole family would go with you?

Abdirizak Warsame: Whole family would go to paradise.

Read (or better watch) it all.

Posted in America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Blogging & the Internet, Eschatology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Globalization, Islam, Law & Legal Issues, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Syria, Violence

Martin Davie–A review of material from Southwark Cathedral to mark civil partnerships

What these paragraphs tell us is:

It would not be right to produce an authorised public liturgy in relation to the registration of a Civil Partnership;
Clergy should not provide services of blessing for those who register a Civil Partnership;
Clergy need to bear in mind the teaching of the Church on sexual morality, celibacy and the value of committed friendships;
Requests for prayer should be responded to pastorally and sensitively in the light of the circumstances of each case.
The last point clearly needs to be understood in the light of what precedes it. Requests for prayer should not be met by the use of an authorised public liturgy (since such a liturgy should not exist). They should not be met by the provision of a service of blessing (since such services are not allowed). Finally, any form of prayer needs to be in line with the Church’s teaching (hence it cannot suggest either explicitly or implicitly that the Church approves of any form of sexual relationship outside of heterosexual marriage).

In the light of all this, how should we view the material that is being sent out by Southwark Cathedral?…

Read it all.

Posted in --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anthropology, Church of England (CoE), Ethics / Moral Theology, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Sexuality, Spirituality/Prayer, Theology

Do not take yourself too seriously Dept–A look Back Through some of the Best of Gary Larson’s Cartoons


Read it all and tell us your favorite.

Posted in * General Interest, Humor / Trivia