— Kendall Harmon (@KendallHarmon6) April 22, 2018
(Church Times) Secretary General of the Archbishops’ Council, William Nye, writes a letter which warns TEC (The Episcopal Church) about same-sex marriage rites
Proposals to incorporate marriage rites used by same-sex couples into the Book of Common Prayer (BCP) of the Episcopal Church in the United States will increase pressure in the Church of England to “dissociate” itself, the secretary general of the Archbishops’ Council, William Nye, has warned.
In a letter to the Episcopal Church’s Task Force on the Study of Marriage, which has produced the proposals, Mr Nye writes that, if the rites — written to be used by same-sex or opposite-sex couples — are incorporated into the BCP as the only marriage rite, “the pressure to dissociate the Church of England from TEC [the Episcopal Church], in all manner of ways, would increase”. Such a move would also be “potentially damaging” to work in the C of E to create a new teaching document on sexuality (News, 30 June), he writes.
He goes on to warn that, if provision is not made for traditionalists in the Episcopal Church, it would be a “serious blow for interfaith relations, negatively impacting Christians around the world especially in areas where they are persecuted minorities, as well as harming the stringent efforts to reinforce moderation in religious expression in countries like ours which are affected by terrorism”. The Episcopal Church’s promulgation of the new liturgies is, he writes, “at the least, unhelpful to those of us seeking to bring the Church of England’s deliberations to a good outcome”.
Watch it all.
Preaching an environmental message to evangelicals is a bit like, as the New Testament says, casting seeds on rocky ground.
And few people know that better than atmospheric scientist Katharine Hayhoe, who recently ran into a pair of climate change skeptics while speaking at the Presbyterian Church in Granada Hills, California.
“These were two men who were leaning back and looking stern, with their arms folded across their chest and shaking their heads while I was speaking,” said Hayhoe, who is both the director of the Climate Change Center at Texas Tech University and a pastor’s wife.
“So I finally said, ‘The real reason most people reject the science of climate change has nothing to do with the science and everything to do with the solutions … they’re afraid of having the government regulating their thermostat,'” she recounted.
“One of the two guys said, ‘Yes, that’s exactly it!'”
Unlike Americans of European descent, most black Americans trace their ancestry to areas of Africa that, centuries ago, were not primarily part of the Christian world. Yet, today, a larger share of African Americans than whites say they are Christian. And, of all major U.S. racial and ethnic groups, blacks are the most likely to identify as Protestant.
Nearly eight-in-ten black Americans (79%) identify as Christian, according to Pew Research Center’s 2014 Religious Landscape Study. By comparison, seven-in-ten Americans overall (71%) say they are Christian, including 70% of whites, 77% of Latinos and just 34% of Asian Americans. Meanwhile, about seven-in-ten blacks are Protestant, compared with less than half of the public overall (47%), including 48% of whites, roughly a quarter of Latinos and 17% of Asian Americans.
More than half of all black adults in the United States (53%) are classified as members of the historically black Protestant tradition. This includes those who tell us they belong to specific denominations such as the African Methodist Episcopal Church or the Church of God in Christ. The category also includes black Americans who do not identify with a specific denomination but instead say they associate with a broader Protestant group (e.g., “just Baptist” or “just Methodist” or “just Pentecostal”) that has a sizable number of historically black denominations.
— Pew Research Fact Tank (@FactTank) April 23, 2018
(NYT Op-ed) Alex von Tunzelmann–The recent Windrush failure shows how the Empire still Haunts Britain
Hostility to immigration in Britain was a significant force driving the vote to leave the European Union, yet prominent Brexiteers are often sensitive to the charge that any part of their movement is inward-looking, xenophobic or racist. Many of them have recently rushed to condemn the treatment of the Windrush generation. Even the Daily Mail, a newspaper that regularly publishes scare stories about immigrants, splashed it on the front page as “Fiasco that shames Britain.”
Yet this is not an accidental fiasco but the intended outcome of Britain’s draconian and Byzantine immigration policy. Moreover, rather than being an upset, the treatment of the Windrush generation is all too consistent with Britain’s historical attitude toward those former colonies and dominions that supposedly make up its “family.”
The Commonwealth comprises 53 nations, most of which were once British-ruled, and 2.4 billion people, 94 percent of whom live in Africa and Asia. It is supposedly based on a common language, institutions and values — though, given its size and diversity, the commonality of those values is debatable. Its head is the Queen. In 2002, Boris Johnson, now the foreign minister but then a journalist, wrote: “It is said that the Queen has come to love the Commonwealth, partly because it supplies her with regular cheering crowds of flag-waving piccaninnies.” The line is still often quoted for its offensive language; it is less commonly observed that Mr. Johnson was taking a swipe at the monarch for indulging the Commonwealth partly as a vanity project.
Is the Commonwealth more than that?
(Local paper) Lowcountry South Carolina’s St. Andrew’s Church ‘finding a way forward’ after blaze that ravaged ministry center
One day after a fire devastated a large portion of St. Andrew’s Church Sunday, leaders started to plan how they’ll press forward, as authorities investigate the cause of the blaze.
Staff gathered Monday morning in a conference room inside Whole Foods, where they worshiped and debriefed after the fire that ravaged the Mount Pleasant church’s ministry center in the Old Village early Sunday.
Officials from the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina attended the meeting to offer support, St. Andrew’s spokesman Greg Shore said.
— St Andrew's Church (@standrewsmp) April 23, 2018
24 April is the anniversary of the death in 624 of Mellitus, first Bishop of London in the Anglo-Saxon period and third Archbishop of Canterbury. Mellitus arrived in England in 601, as part of the second wave of missionaries sent by Pope Gregory to support Augustine in his attempt to convert the Anglo-Saxons. With him came Justus (about whom I wrote here) and Paulinus (whose adventures in Northumbria you can read about here). Mellitus seems to have been the most senior of the party, since he is the addressee of the famous papal letter in which Gregory told the missionaries not to destroy the Anglo-Saxons’ pagan temples, customs and sacrifices, but to replace them.
Thanks to Bede, we have a detailed account of Mellitus’ activities once he arrived in Kent, and of the many trials and tribulations of the new church. We begin in Book II of the Historia Ecclesiastica (quotations are taken from A History of the English Church and People, trans. Leo Sherley-Price (Penguin, 1974), ch.3-7):
In the year of our Lord 604, Augustine, Archbishop of Britain, consecrated two bishops, Mellitus and Justus. Mellitus was appointed to preach in the province of the East Saxons, which is separated from Kent by the river Thames, and bounded on the east by the sea. Its capital is the city of London, which stands on the banks of the Thames, and is a trading centre for many nations who visit it by land and sea. At this time Sabert, Ethelbert’s nephew through his sister Ricula, ruled the province under the suzerainty of Ethelbert, who, as already stated, governed all the English peoples as far north as the Humber. When this province too had received the faith through the preaching of Mellitus, King Ethelbert built a church dedicated to the holy Apostle Paul in the city of London, which he appointed as the episcopal see of Mellitus and his successors.
Augustine also consecrated Justus as bishop of a Kentish city which the English call Hrofescaestir after an early chieftain named Hrof. This lies nearly twenty-four miles west of Canterbury, and a church in honour of St. Andrew the Apostle was built here by King Ethelbert, who made many gifts to the bishops of both these churches as well as to Canterbury; he later added lands and property for the maintenance of the bishop’s household.
April 24th is the feast of Saint Mellitus: Italian nobleman, Benedictine monk, Abbot of St. Andrew’s Monastery (in Rome), missionary to England, Bishop of London, and Archbishop of Canterbury, where he died on this day in AD 624—having personally baptized King Sæberht of Essex. pic.twitter.com/FJbtIv7NNV
— Tradical (@NoTrueScotist) April 24, 2018
God of grace and wisdom,
who called your servant Mellitus
to leave his home and proclaim your Word:
grant to all who belong to the college that bears his name
diligence for study, fervour for mission,
and perseverance for ministry,
that they might shine with your love and truth
in these dioceses and beyond,
for the sake of your Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Today the Church of England commemorates Mellitus, Bishop of London, 1st Bishop at St Paul’s, 624. Mellitus, a native of Italy, was a member of the Gregorian mission sent in 601 AD to England to convert the Anglo-Saxons to Christianity, and was also 3rd Archbishop of Canterbury. pic.twitter.com/Dl8YDwATnq
— Anglican Church SPB (@anglicanspb) April 24, 2018
O Lord Jesus Christ, who hast promised in thy holy gospel that thy disciples shall know the truth, and the truth shall make them free: Give us, we pray thee, the Spirit of truth, sent by thee and leading to thee, that we may find the truth in finding thee, who art the Way, the Truth, and the Life, for ever and ever.
—Daily Prayer, Eric Milner-White and G. W. Briggs, eds. (London: Penguin Books 1959 edition of the 1941 original)
Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:
Grace to you and peace.
We give thanks to God always for you all, constantly mentioning you in our prayers, remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. For we know, brethren beloved by God, that he has chosen you; for our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction. You know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake. And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you received the word in much affliction, with joy inspired by the Holy Spirit; so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. For not only has the word of the Lord sounded forth from you in Macedonia and Achaia, but your faith in God has gone forth everywhere, so that we need not say anything. For they themselves report concerning us what a welcome we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols, to serve a living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.
–1 Thessalonians 1:1-10
The sermon given by Bishop Mark Lawrence from Confirmation Sunday yesterday. https://t.co/k1zznh2ytN
— StMichaelsChurch (@StMichaelsChrch) April 23, 2018
(CNS) Roman Catholic group warns that Europe fails to give Young Europeans the support they need to start families
Young people in Europe need political support to start families in countries with aging populations, a French Catholic campaigner said.
While “young people want to form lasting relationships and have children,” they “don’t feel safe” to start families, said Antoine Renard, president of the Brussels-based Federation of Catholic Family Associations in Europe.
“Unless something is done rapidly, Europe risks a total demographic collapse,” Renard said in an April 19 interview with Catholic News Service after the federation called on European Union governments to “put the family at the center of national policies.”
Young people are “often discouraged by inadequate and individualistic policies and cultures which are hostile to the family,” the federation said in an April 13 statement at the end of its spring meeting in Vienna.
Read it all (my emphasis).
Southern Baptist chaplain Jerry Scott Squires is fighting a U.S. Army investigator’s charge of unlawful discrimination for refusing to preside over a marriage retreat including same-sex couples.
But Squires followed federal law and Army and Southern Baptist Convention chaplaincy protocol when he rescheduled a Feb. 9 Strong Bonds marriage retreat in order to involve a non-SBC chaplain, thereby accommodating the attendance of a lesbian couple, First Liberty Institute said in an April 17 letter to the Army in Squires’ defense.
“Federal law and Army policy both make clear that chaplains must remain faithful to the tenets of their faith,” First Liberty attorney Michael Berry wrote in the letter. “The failure of a chaplain to do so exposes the chaplain to risk of losing their ecclesiastical endorsement, or worse, violates … federal law and policy…. Squires’ actions here are fully protected by federal law and regulation.”
Squires, who follows the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message in protocol established by the North American Mission Board as an SBC-endorsed chaplain, told First Liberty he was shocked when an Army investigator concluded he should face disciplinary action, which is currently pending.
“I hope the Army sees that I was simply following Army regulations and the tenets of my church,” Squires, a decorated major with more than 25 years of military service, said in a First Liberty press release April 17.
I will take comments on this submitted by email only to KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com.