Category : Sacramental Theology

In British Columbia, Anglicans and Catholics debate the Eucharist

When Anglicans and Catholics recently gathered to discuss their differing beliefs about the Eucharist, the atmosphere was notably friction-free.

“It’s awkward to talk about our differences because we can’t do anything about them in terms of resolving them,” said Christophe Potworowski, Redeemer Pacific College theology professor. “It’s not really in our hands. The point is really how to live with those differences.”

He and the Rev. Richard Leggett of St. Faith’s Anglican Church shared their ideas about communion with about 100 hundred people March 23. Much of what they discussed covered areas of mutual agreement.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Canada, Eucharist, Other Churches, Roman Catholic, Sacramental Theology, Theology

(Chr. Post) Nashotah House Draws Ire for Inviting TEC Presiding Bishop to Preach

Over the past several years, the U.S. Episcopal Church has filed church property lawsuits against churches and dioceses that have chosen to cut ties with the denomination over theological differences. Conservative Episcopalians have left, denouncing what they believe is the denomination’s departure from scriptural authority and traditional Anglicanism….

Anglican Church of North America Archbishop Robert Duncan told Institute on Religion and Demography, “This is a tragic and unwise decision that threatens the future of Nashotah House.” Duncan also serves on the seminary’s Board of Trustees.

The seminary’s dean, Salmon, explained that the decision came after Deacon Terry Star of North Dakota, a student at Nashotah and member of the Episcopal Church’s Executive Council, said that Schori had advised him against attending the seminary. Two other female Episcopal students said they were also discouraged from attending the seminary. “All three said she should be invited to come and see ACNA and TEC in harmony,” Salmon said, according to IRD. “No one here is fighting with anybody.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Ecclesiology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Presiding Bishop, Sacramental Theology, Seminary / Theological Education, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Fort Worth, Theology

Bishop Mark Lawrence–Stepping from the Stable to the Jordan

How quickly they disappear””the greens, the wreaths, the poin­set­tias. Gone. Another Christ­mas comes and goes. For some it was sad and lonely. For oth­ers it was bright, joy­ous, even unforgettable””and yet all too short lived. Now in one short step a new year has begun. In the con­gre­ga­tions of the Dio­cese of South Car­olina we step litur­gi­cally into a new sea­son as well. Into the sea­son after The Epiphany and with it from Jesus’ birth to his bap­tism; we step out of the sta­ble of Beth­le­hem into the muddy waters of the Jor­dan. As the old spir­i­tual puts it, “The River Jor­dan is muddy and cold. It chills the body but not the soul. All my tri­als, Lord, will soon be over.” This speaks of a cross­ing over. Life is filled with many cross­ings and changes and in the midst of them it is good to remem­ber the great truths such as””“Jesus is the same, yes­ter­day, today, and for­ever.” The cul­tural trap­pings of the Christ­mas sea­son pass and in their place the waters of the Jor­dan flow and the Lamb of God comes to river bank for the Bap­tism of John.

This is impor­tant for us because the cross­ings and changes of life are like the poor ”“ they are always with us.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Baptism, Christmas, Christology, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Epiphany, Sacramental Theology, Theology

A Kendall Harmon Sermon on the Baptism of Jesus and The Doctrine of Humanness

Listen to it all should you wish to.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Anthropology, Baptism, Christology, Psychology, Sacramental Theology, Theology

A Bishop Mark Lawrence Sermon on the Baptism of Jesus

You can find the audio link here; listen to it all (just under 23 minutes).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * South Carolina, Baptism, Christology, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Sacramental Theology, Theology

A Pope Benedict XVI Homily for the Feast of the Baptism of Jesus

Let us return again to the theme of witnessing. In the second reading the Apostle John writes: “It is the Spirit who bears witness” (1 John 5:6). He is referring to the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God, who bears witness to Jesus, testifying that he is the Christ, the Son of God. This is also seen in the scene of the baptism in the Jordan River: the Holy Spirit descends upon Jesus like a dove, revealing that he is the Only Begotten Son of the Eternal Father (cf. Mark 1:10). John underscores this aspect as well in his Gospel when Jesus says to his disciples: “When the Paraclete comes, whom I will send from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness to me; and you too will bear witness to me, because you have been with me from the beginning” (John 15:26-27). This is a great comfort to us in educating others in the faith because we know that we are not alone and that our witness is supported by the Holy Spirit.

It is very important for you parents and also for you godfathers and godmothers to believe strongly in the presence and the action of the Holy Spirit, to call upon him and welcome him in you through prayer and the sacraments. He is the one in fact who enlightens the mind, who makes the heart of the educator burn so that he or she knows how to transmit the knowledge of the love of Christ. Prayer is the first condition for educating, because in praying we create the disposition in ourselves of letting God have the initiative, of entrusting our children to him, who knows them before we do and better than us, and knows perfectly what their true good is.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Baptism, Christology, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Epiphany, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Pope Benedict XVI, Preaching / Homiletics, Roman Catholic, Sacramental Theology, Theology

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Almighty God, who at the baptism of thy blessed Son Jesus Christ in the river Jordan didst manifest his glorious Godhead: Grant, we beseech thee, that the brightness of his presence may shine in our hearts, and his glory be set forth in our lives; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Baptism, Christology, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Epiphany, Sacramental Theology, Spirituality/Prayer, Theology

(NY Times On Religion) Back After Losing His Church, and Still Supporting Same Sex Marriage

Three below zero on a Minnesota morning, and the Rev. Oliver White stomps the snow off his boots as he enters the stucco edifice of Clark Memorial United Church of Christ to lead worship. He peels off an overcoat to reveal the kente-cloth vestments his wife made for him, which match the kufi hat he wears.

On this Sunday midway between Christmas and New Year’s Day, he sees a congregation thinned by both vacation and weather. Perhaps 50 people fill the pews, yet in their modest number resides a startling range: a lesbian couple with their son; a 98-year-old man who still shovels his own sidewalk; the black and white relatives of a biracial baby about to be baptized.

“Good morning, and let’s have the church say, ”˜Amen,’ “ Mr. White, 71, begins, standing in the aisle rather than at the pulpit. Hearing the desultory response, he chides: “That was only half the church. Again?” The voices now rise, and he adds his own emphatic “Amen!”

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Sacramental Theology, Sexuality, Sexuality Debate (Other denominations and faiths), Theology, Theology: Scripture, United Church of Christ

(Church Times) Draft ”˜baptism lite’ criticised

The text is currently being piloted in 450 parishes. It was developed by the Liturgical Commission after the Synod approved a motion from Liverpool diocese asking for an alternative text in “accessible language”.

A note attached to the text, which was published on Sunday, says that “Clergy frequently find themselves conducting baptisms for families who have little contact with the Church. . . For the majority of those attending on such occasions, the existing provision can seem complex and inaccessible.”

The note states that the Commission had sought to “express the primacy of God’s welcoming grace, while retaining the solemnity of the promises to turn away from evil and towards Christ”.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Baptism, Church of England (CoE), Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Sacramental Theology, Soteriology, Theology

”˜No plans’ to remove the devil from Church of Ireland baptisms, following CofE lead

The Church of Ireland has “no current plans” to follow the example of Anglican church leaders in England and introduce a devil-free version of the traditional baptism service.

In the new wording, currently being-road tested in 400 parishes across the water, parents and godparents are being asked if they “reject evil, and all its many forms, and all empty promises”. In the traditional version, they are asked if they “reject the devil and all rebellion against God”.

The move follows a motion brought to the church’s General Synod from the a group of clergy in Liverpool, who sought to alter the baptism service to include “culturally appropriate and accessible language”.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Baptism, Church of England (CoE), Church of Ireland, Sacramental Theology, Theology

(Cranmer Blog) Responding to the Proposed Liturgy–Is C of E ashamed to preach Christ crucified?

What on earth is wrong with ‘Christ crucified’? Does the phrase no longer resonate in the minds of the un-churched? Is it not a matter of general historical knowledge that Jesus died on as cross? Is it not generally known that this is what the Church believes? It must be the ultimate irony in liturgical development that the Church of England becomes ashamed of the exhortation not to be ashamed to confess the faith of Christ crucified.
But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; (1 Cor 1:23)

Saint Paul goes to the very heart of the gospel with this phrase. One is left in no doubt that Christ crucified is the very nexus – quite literally crucial – to the plan of salvation. We must preach Christ and him crucified, not just the man, for His death and resurrection are the beginning, middle and end of our redemption. Christ crucified is offensive; it is indeed a stumblingblock; it is undoubtedly foolishness to those who are being lost. But we do not help them by purging it from liturgy and trying to express it in “culturally appropriate and accessible language”.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Analysis, - Anglican: Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Baptism, Christology, Church of England (CoE), Sacramental Theology, Theology

Links to recent posts about alternative baptism liturgy for the Church of England

These recent entries about a proposed alternative baptism liturgy scrolled off the main page quite quickly, and perhaps many blog readers missed them. They deserve close attention in our opinion – the elves

The proposed baptism service is here:
Church of England””Alternative Baptism Materials

News and commentary:

(BBC) Church of England accused of ”˜dumbing down’ baptism service
Bishop Nazir Ali””Why the CofE must abandon this dumbed-down christening
The Bishop of Willesden in reponse””The experimental baptism rite – baptism lite
Church of England””Statement on proposal to Synod on baptism service wording

Posted in * Admin, * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Baptism, Church of England (CoE), Featured (Sticky), Sacramental Theology, Theology

(BBC) Church of England accused of 'dumbing down' baptism service

A Church of England spokesman said that the baptism service used would be decided by the priest, in consultation with the family.

He said the new wording was the third revision of the baptism service in 30 years.

He said the current service had been in use since Easter 1998 and the wording had been amended by general synod in 2000 and in 2005.

Read it all.

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

Bishop Nazir Ali–Why the CofE must abandon this dumbed-down christening

Since at least the 1970s there has been a fashion in the Church of England to minimise depth and mystery in its worship because of the alleged need to make its services ”˜accessible’.

The new alternative service for baptism, which has been sent for trial, continues this trend. Instead of explaining what baptism means and what the various parts of the service signify, its solution is to do away with key elements of the service altogether!

From ancient times, the structure of the service has included the renunciation of sin, the world and the devil and the turning to Christ as Lord and Saviour.

Read it all from the Mail on Sunday.

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

The Bishop of Willesden in reponse–The experimental baptism rite – baptism lite

On the alternative so-called baptismal rite – the salient questions are:

1. Why is it so semi-Pelagian when it claims to be about grace? “Will you help them?” It’s wet… and not in the water sense!

2. Where is the sense of their own pilgrimage which was expressed in “walk with them in the way of Christ?”

3. Where is the truth that we are rebels against God expressed?

4. Where is repentance from sin?

Read it all.

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

Church of England–Alternative Baptism Materials

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Provinces, Baptism, Church of England (CoE), Liturgy, Music, Worship, Sacramental Theology, Theology

Church of England–Statement on proposal to Synod on baptism service wording

The Baptism service currently used by the Church of England has been in use since Easter 1998. The wording of the service was amended by General Synod in 2000 and again in 2005.
In 2011 a group of clergy from the Diocese of Liverpool brought forward a motion to the General Synod of the Church of England requesting materials to supplement the Baptism service “in culturally appropriate and accessible language.” Specifically the motion requested new additional materials which would not replace or revise the current Baptsim service but would be available for use as alternatives to three parts of the service.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Baptism, Church of England (CoE), Sacramental Theology, Theology

(Guardian) Joanna Moorhead–Prince George is being baptised ”“ if only more children were

A baptism is all about renouncing the devil, washing away the stain of original sin, and entrusting your child’s soul to God. But here’s betting that for Kate and William today’s ceremony is less about religion and more an opportunity for a happy party, surrounded by the people they most care about, to celebrate the arrival of their son. And if it is, what’s wrong with that?

The tradition of having your baby baptised is in decline in Britain: christenings in the Church of England are down by around a half on what they were in 1980, and there’s a similar story in the Catholic church. Justin Welby, the archbishop of Canterbury who’s presiding at the font in St James’s Palace today, says it would be wonderful if the baptism of Prince George led other parents to think about getting their baby christened. And he’s right ”“ not because the church needs bums on its pews, but because baptism is an age-old rite of passage that provides one of those all-important moments in family life when we pause, take stock, and think about both where we’ve come from and where we’re going, and how important it is to support one another along the way.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Baptism, Children, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Marriage & Family, Religion & Culture, Sacramental Theology, Theology

(Lambeth Palace Pr) Prince George's christening: read highlights from the Archbishop's address

Those who make this journey must look in two directions, the Archbishop said.

‘First, they look at the world. Jesus tells his disciples to let people come to him. To do that they have to be outward looking, in touch with the world, welcoming, generous-spirited, alive with the life of the Christ to whom they will introduce all who come.’

He added that as a Christian, Prince George ‘is to share the life of Christ which is in him, regardless of whom he meets, their faith or nature or habits, so that others find life. That sharing may be in words, or generous actions – most likely both – but it will be both very costly and infinitely rewarding.’

The second direction in which Christians must look is towards Christ, the Archbishop said….

Read it all and note the video link at the bottom for those interested.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --Justin Welby, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Baptism, Children, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Marriage & Family, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Sacramental Theology, Theology

(BBC) Prince George Christened at Chapel Royal

The christening of Prince George has taken place in the Chapel Royal at St James’s Palace in London.

The prince, third in line to the throne, was baptised by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

The christening was private, with only senior royals, four members of the Middleton family, the seven godparents and their spouses among the 22 guests.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --Justin Welby, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Baptism, Children, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Marriage & Family, Parish Ministry, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Sacramental Theology, Theology

Reformation Scholar Ashley Null's Lectures on Thomas Cranmer & Contemporary Worship are Available

Please read this carefully and follow the directions so as not to be confused. You can find the links to the lectures here, BUT, and this is a very important but, the top lecture is not yet available and so what you see when you go immediately to the page is a big black screen with white writing saying “Lost Signal.” DO NOT LET THIS DISCOURAGE YOU. Look at the black bar directly underneath the words “Thomas Cranmer and Contemporary Anglican Worship with Ashley Null.” On the lefthand side of this bar you will see the word “Livestream,” and on the right you will see “login” and then further right you will see the word “join.” Immediately to the right of the word “join” you will see an arrow up sign with a toggle bar underneath. If you move this togglebar down the page you will begin to see links to six of Dr. Null’s lectures which are available as of this time. Below this description I will also post a link to the first of his lectures–KSH.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church History, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Religion & Culture, Sacramental Theology, Soteriology, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(Royal Central) ”˜Business as usual’ for Royal Family on Prince George’s christening day

Next week, Prince George of Cambridge is to be christened into the Church of England in a 45-minute ceremony at the Chapel Royal of St James’s Palace. As well as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge: The Queen, Duke of Edinburgh, Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall and members of the Middleton family will be present.

Although godparents have yet to be announced, many have speculated over who the honour could be afforded to. Princess Beatrice, Prince Harry, Pippa Middleton and also some of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s friends from university have been picked out by analysts.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Baptism, Children, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, History, Marriage & Family, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Care, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Sacramental Theology, Theology

Did Archbishop Bernard Longley say that the ban on giving Communion to Anglicans may be relaxed?

Archbishop Longley, wanting to sound positive, says that he could “imagine and foresee one of the fruits of our ecumenical engagement as moving towards a deeper understanding of communion and a deeper sharing between our churches ”¦ which perhaps would lead to a reconsideration of some of the circumstances.” That’s all very well-meaning: but since the chances of prelate-speak of this kind being misunderstood by the secular press are about 100 per cent, it really would have been better not to have said it….Archbishop Longley’s fantastical notion that there has been a “deeper theological understanding of one another’s Churches”, presumably because of the work of ARCIC, requires a little more attention. What theological understanding would that be? The trouble with ARCIC always was (as a former Catholic member of it once explained to me) that on the Catholic side of the table you have a body of men who represent a more or less coherent view, being members of a Church which has established means of knowing and declaring what it believes. On the Anglican side of the table you have a body of men the divisions between whom are just fundamental as, and sometimes a lot more fundamental than, those between any one of them and the Catholic representatives they face: they all represent only themselves.

Read it all from William Oddie in the Catholic Herald (emphasis his).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Ecumenical Relations, Eucharist, Media, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Pope Francis, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Sacramental Theology, Theology

(Catholic Herald) Ordinariate unveils new Mass text that draws on Cranmer

A new text for the Catholic Mass which integrates centuries old Anglican prayers into the Roman Rite was officially introduced in a London church on Thursday.

The new liturgy, known as the Ordinariate Use, has been devised for the personal ordinariates ”“ the structures set up by Benedict XVI to allow Anglicans to enter into full communion with the Pope, while preserving elements of their distinctive Anglican liturgical and pastoral traditions.

The Mass, at the church of Our Lady of the Assumption and St Gregory, Warwick Street, was celebrated by the leader ”“ or Ordinary ”“ of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, Monsignor Keith Newton. It was offered in honour of the patron of the Ordinariate, Blessed John Henry Newman, whose feast was on October 9.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church History, Church of England (CoE), Eucharist, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Other Churches, Roman Catholic, Sacramental Theology, Theology

(Telegraph) 'Catholic' confession is good for the soul – says Archbishop of Canterbury

The Most Rev Justin Welby advised churchgoers that it could be an “enormously powerful” experience to unburden themselves to a confessor, even if it was not always a “bunch of laughs”.

His comments came as he addressed the heads of other churches ”“ including the leader of the Roman Catholic Church in England Wales, the Most Rev Vincent Nichols ”“ about divisions between Christians.

Although Archbishop Welby comes from the evangelical wing of Anglicanism, his personal spiritual director is a Swiss Roman Catholic priest, Fr Nicolas Buttet, and he is a strong advocate of Catholic worship styles.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, --Justin Welby, Anthropology, Archbishop of Canterbury, Ethics / Moral Theology, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Sacramental Theology, Soteriology, Theology

Church of Ireland Gazette–Vatican's rules on eucharistic sharing may be further relaxed

The Roman Catholic Co-Chair of the Third Anglican/Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC III) has expressed his personal view that, seeing how in 1993 certain relaxations were made in the Vatican’s rules on eucharistic sharing, further relaxation is possible.

Speaking last week to the Gazette editor following a joint session of the National Advisers’ Committee on Ecumenism of the Irish (Roman Catholic) Episcopal Conference and representatives of the Church of Ireland’s Commission for Christian Unity and Dialogue, at St Patrick’s College, Maynooth, the Most Revd Bernard Longley – Roman Catholic Archbishop of Birmingham and ARCIC III Co-Chair -referred to the changes in “specified circumstances” set out in the 1993 Ecumenism Directory.

He commented, “Given that that represents a change, and a very significant shift away from the impossibility to the limited possibility, then I could imagine and foresee one of the fruits of our ecumenical engagement as moving towards a deeper understanding of communion and a deeper sharing, a deeper communion between our Churches which perhaps would lead to reconsideration of some of the circumstances.”

Read it all and please note the audio link at the bottom for those interested.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Ecclesiology, Ecumenical Relations, Eucharist, Other Churches, Roman Catholic, Sacramental Theology, Theology

Christopher Howse–A Roman Catholic Mass, with words by Thomas Cranmer

Something extraordinary is happening in English churches. Imagine you arrived at an unfamiliar church just as the service was starting and you heard: “Almighty God, unto whom all hearts be open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hid”¦” Right, you’d think, CofE, Book of Common Prayer.

But this is the beginning of a Catholic Mass, a Roman Catholic Mass. It is a liturgy approved by the Pope, and it takes lumps of the Holy Communion service from the 1662 Prayer Book. I find the general effect pleasing but distinctly unsettling.

Two questions arise, depending on the direction from which one is coming. A member of the Church of England might wonder why Catholics should want to use the Book of Common Prayer compiled by Archbishop Cranmer (pictured here in 1546). A Catholic might ask: but is it the Mass?

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church History, Church of England (CoE), Ecumenical Relations, Eucharist, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Roman Catholic, Sacramental Theology, Theology

(Christian Century) John Buchanan on World Communion Sunday–Shared meal

World Communion Sunday is one of the best ideas Presbyterians ever had. The idea originated in the 1930s, a time of economic turmoil and fear and the rise of militaristic fascism abroad. Hugh Thomson Kerr, a beloved pastor in the Presbyterian Church, persuaded the denomination to designate one Sunday when American Christians would join brothers and sisters around the world at the Lord’s Table.

The idea caught on. Other denominations followed suit and the Federal Council of Churches (now the National Council of Churches) endorsed World Communion Sunday in 1940. But though the day is still noted in some denominational calendars and program materials, it doesn’t seem to be considered as important as it once was.

Of course, every Sunday is in a sense World Communion Sunday insofar as many churches celebrate the Lord’s Supper every Sunday. But we do not welcome one another at the Lord’s Table….

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Ecclesiology, Ecumenical Relations, Eucharist, Globalization, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Sacramental Theology, Theology

(ACI) Ephraim Radner–Same-Sex Marriage Is Still Wrong; And It’s Getting Wronger Every Day

The unexpectedly rapid civil acceptance of same-sex marriage in the West may lead one to imagine that the issue is somehow already settled. Whatever doubts one may have had, they have been swept away by the overwhelming flood of changed public opinion. Fait accompli. Traditional Christians must simply step aside now.

Such a judgment would be a mistake. Indeed, far from the matter being settled, at least form a Christian perspective it has hardly been engaged, despite claims to the contrary by proponents of same-sex marriage. What we have had instead is a bait-and-switch set of tactics, first seeking civil and religious recognition and affirmation somehow of same-sex attractions, then pressing for ordinations, then blessings of unions. What comes next? The question of a “slippery slope” is hardly a fallacy here, for in this case we have a historical track-record of legal advocacy and movement that stands as quite rational “evidence” for the slope’s existence.
All the while, most discussions claimed that “marriage” was never nor could be ever the issue at stake. But here we are: changes to “marriage canons” and Prayer Books are now in the works. At this stage the advocates of change are merciful enough to suggest “conscience clauses” for those who disagree.

“Disagree” how, exactly? What happened? Was a carefully developed argument offered, studied, engaged consultatively across lines of commitment and ecclesial fellowship, and then adopted by a kind of consensual accord? Of course not! Failure to persuade on the part of same-sex advocates has simply been reinterpreted as “legitimate decision in the face of minority dissent”.

What is key to remember is that no sustained argument or persuasive action has taken place on the matter of same-sex marriage.

Read it all (my emphasis).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Canada, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Sacramental Theology, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology, Theology: Scripture

A Statement by Forward in Faith on The Church in Wales' Decision on Women Bishops

From here:

Forward in Faith regrets the decision of the Governing Body of the Church in Wales to authorize the ordination of women as bishops without first agreeing arrangements for those who, for theological reasons, will not be able to receive episcopal ministry from them.

We cannot see how a female bishop could be what a diocesan bishop should be ”“ a Father in God and a focus of unity for all within his diocese. This vote therefore makes the question of the provision of episcopal ministry for those who continue to uphold catholic faith and order in the Church in Wales even more pressing.

Experience in Wales and elsewhere does not give us confidence that the promised ”˜code of practice’ could offer the level of assurance that would encourage growth and flourishing ”“ so sorely needed in Wales ”“ or the degree of certainty that would remove the possibility of damaging and distracting disputes.

Our brothers and sisters in Credo Cymru will seek to enter into dialogue with the Welsh bishops. We can only hope that their representations will be met with the generosity of spirit that ought to be the hallmark of Christian episcopacy. Meanwhile, we continue to pray for and with our Welsh sisters and brothers, encouraging them to follow St David in being joyful and keeping the faith.

X JONATHAN FULHAM

The Rt Revd Jonathan Baker, Bishop of Fulham, Chairman

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Ecclesiology, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Sacramental Theology, Theology, Theology: Scripture, Wales, Women