Category : Parish Ministry

Prayers for the Anglican Diocese of South Carolina This Day

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Parish Ministry, Spirituality/Prayer

(BBC) Portsmouth councillors spend own money on free breakfasts for children

Children will have access to free breakfasts during the summer holidays through a new initiative.

Portsmouth City councillors George and Brian Madgwick are personally donating £4,000 to fund the scheme.

The breakfasts will be held at St Michael and All Angels Church in Paulsgrove every weekend through the summer holidays.

George Madgwick said they hoped it would “ease the pressure” of the current cost of living crisis.

Read it all.

Posted in Children, Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Stewardship

The Latest Edition of the Anglican Diocese of South Carolina Enewsletter

Shelton Called as next Rector of St. John’s, Johns Island

The Rev. Jeremy Shelton has accepted a call to serve as the next Rector of St. John’s Parish Church, Johns Island. In a message to the parish Shelton wrote, “Serving here the last four years has been a tremendous blessing. Serving with Fr. Gregory Snyder has been the best learning experience of my life. Learning from and pastoring the people of St. John’s has truly been God’s calling on my life and our family. …God has called us to here, at this point in time, for His greater purposes. I am certain that God has great things in store for Johns Island. My first Sunday as rector will be July 17, 2022. This will also be the first worship service of St. John’s Parish Church to be held at Haut Gap Middle School. I can’t think of a better way to begin this ministry and life as rector.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Ministry of the Laity, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry

Church run ‘baby bank’ helps growing number of young families

The North Shields Baby Bank, based at St John’s Church Percy Main, in North Tyneside, has helped more than 400 families since its launch in March last year with items including nappies, wipes, clothing and baby formula.

The church is now appealing for help to replace its heating system, in order to keep the baby bank operating over the winter months.

Revd Lee Cleminson, Vicar of St John’s, said: “People are really, really struggling with energy prices, food prices and the cost of petrol and all sorts of other expenses. They are referred through different agencies and community projects to the baby bank but also there are people who knock on the vicarage door, because I live next door to the church.

Read it all.

Posted in Children, Church of England (CoE), Marriage & Family, Parish Ministry

An Anglican Diocese of South Carolina Legal Update for today

Friends,

As most of you are aware, the South Carolina Supreme Court released its final ruling in our case on April 20 this year. Shortly thereafter, eight of our congregations filed a petition for rehearing, each providing additional legal considerations for the court suggesting the standard adopted by the Court did not, in fact, create a trust interest in their property. Of those eight, there are still seven petitions being given active consideration by the Court.

Last week, legal counsel for the Episcopal Church (TEC) filed their Court directed return, detailing their legal arguments for why the remaining petitions should not be granted. Monday, legal counsel for the parishes in our Diocese filed their reply, providing counter arguments to those in the TEC return last week. Those filings can be found HERE and HERE.

To simplify somewhat, the ruling of the Court is that if a congregation acceded to the constitution and canons of TEC after 1979, it created a trust interest in the property in favor of TEC and its local Diocese. The arguments of the petitioning parishes, supported by yesterday’s reply, addresses two essential issues. Based on the Court’s holdings in April, to create a trust requires present action and present intent. Because the parishes of Holy Comforter, St. Jude’s, St. Luke’s and Trinity Church added their accession clauses long before the adoption of the Dennis Canon in 1979, those actions should not represent present action or intent to create a trust.

The other issue identified for Good Shepherd, Holy Cross and Old St. Andrew’s is that the documents referenced by the Court that created the alleged trust were adopted after January 2006. By state statute 62-7-602(a), trusts created after this date are revocable, unless there is clearly expressed intent at that time they should not be. Arguments provided in the petitions and Monday’s reply demonstrate there was no such intent at the time and these parishes clearly acted with intent to revoke any such interest.

Based on these arguments, it is our hope that these remaining seven parishes will be judged by the Court to have retained unencumbered ownership of their property. The outcome is now fully in the hands of the South Carolina Supreme Court. Please keep the Court, its Justices and staff in your prayers, that justice might be done, and swiftly.

In Christ’s service,

–The Rev. Canon Jim Lewis is Canon to the Ordinary in the Anglican Diocese of South Carolina

Posted in * South Carolina, Church History, History, Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

Kendall Harmon’s Sunday Sermon–The Controversy over neglected Widows and the story of the Death of Stephen (Acts 6-7)

You may also find more there.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * By Kendall, * South Carolina, Christology, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Sermons & Teachings, Soteriology, Theology: Holy Spirit (Pneumatology), Theology: Scripture

(World) Erin Hawley and Kristen Waggoner on the historic Dobbs decision–A victory for life and the Constitution

The U.S. Supreme Court’s courageous decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization is a win for life and the Constitution. That historic ruling finally reverses the court’s disastrous opinion in Roe v. Wade—a decision that made up a constitutional right to abortion and resulted in the deaths of more than 60 million unborn children. Because of the court’s ruling in Dobbs, states may now fully protect unborn life.

The Mississippi law at issue in the case, the Gestational Age Act, protects unborn children and the health of their pregnant mothers based on the latest science. It protects unborn life after 15 weeks of gestational age—a point in time when babies can move and stretch, hiccup, and quite likely feel pain. It permits abortions to save the life of the mother or for severe fetal abnormalities. Despite the modesty of Mississippi’s law, the lower courts struck it down because no matter what science showed, or how strong a state’s interest in protecting unborn life was, under the Roe regime, states may not protect life until viability—about 22 weeks of gestational age.

Dobbs is a win for life. Fifty years of scientific progress and innovation establish what the Bible has always taught: Life begins at conception. Ultrasound technology allows expectant parents to see the truth of Psalm 139: Children are fearfully and wonderfully made from the very beginning.

Under Roe v. Wade, moreover, the United States has been an extreme outlier in abortion law and policy. As the chief justice noted during oral arguments, the United States is one of only six nations, including China and North Korea, that allow elective abortions through all nine months of pregnancy. The Washington Post recently ranked the United States as the fourth most liberal abortion country in the world. Most countries do not allow elective abortions at all, and 75 percent protect life after 12 weeks of gestation.

Read it all.

Posted in America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Children, Death / Burial / Funerals, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Life Ethics, Marriage & Family, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology, Supreme Court, Theology

Prayers for the Anglican Diocese of South Carolina This Day

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Parish Ministry, Spirituality/Prayer

(The Verge) Amazon shows off Alexa feature that mimics the voices of your dead relatives

Amazon has revealed an experimental Alexa feature that allows the AI assistant to mimic the voices of users’ dead relatives.

The company demoed the feature at its annual MARS conference, showing a video in which a child asks Alexa to read a bedtime story in the voice of his dead grandmother.

“As you saw in this experience, instead of Alexa’s voice reading the book, it’s the kid’s grandma’s voice,” said Rohit Prasad, Amazon’s head scientist for Alexa AI. Prasad introduced the clip by saying that adding “human attributes” to AI systems was increasingly important “in these times of the ongoing pandemic, when so many of us have lost someone we love.”

“While AI can’t eliminate that pain of loss, it can definitely make their memories last,” said Prasad.

Read it all.

Posted in Corporations/Corporate Life, Death / Burial / Funerals, Science & Technology

(Eleanor Parker) Ælfric of Eynsham’s Homily for the Feast of the Birth of John the Baptist

The holy church celebrates the birth-tide of three people: of the Saviour, who is God and man, and of John his herald, and of the blessed Mary his mother. Of other chosen people, who have gone to God’s kingdom through martyrdom or other holy merits, we celebrate as their birth-tide their last day, which, after the fulfilment of all their labours, bore them victorious to eternal life; and the day on which they were born to this present life we let pass unheeded, because they came here to hardships and temptations and various dangers. The day is worthy of memory for God’s servants which sends his saints, after victory won, from all afflictions to eternal joy, and that is their true birth – not tearful, as the first, but rejoicing in eternal life.

But the birth-tide of Christ is to be celebrated with great care, through which came our redemption. John is the ending of the old law and the beginning of the new; as the Saviour said of him, “The old law and the prophets were till the coming of John.” Afterwards began the preaching of the gospel. Now, because of his great holiness, his birth is honoured, as the archangel promised his father with these words, “Many shall rejoice in his birth-tide.” Mary, parent of God, is like to none other, for she is maiden and mother, and bore him who created her and all creation: therefore she is most worthy that her birth should be honourably celebrated…

He was sent before the Lord, as the day-star goes before the sun, as the beadle goes before the judge, as the Old Testament before the New; because the old law was like a shadow, and the New Testament is the truth itself, through the grace of the Saviour.

Read it all.

Posted in Church History, Preaching / Homiletics

(Guardian) Christians in Oxford asked to commit to protecting environment

The addition to the liturgy comes as the Oxford diocese announces plans to spend £10m improving the energy efficiency of its vicarages in an effort to hit net zero emissions by 2035. It is one of 10 dioceses to have divested from fossil fuel companies, making commitments not to invest in coal, oil and gas in the future.

At a national level, the Church of England has been criticised for not acting quickly enough to cut its links with fossil fuel companies. It began to cut ties to coal and other heavily polluting industries in 2015, then pledged in 2018 to divest by 2023 from high-carbon companies that were “not aligned with the goals of the Paris agreement”. But as the deadline approaches, the organisation has said it is still “engaging” with key oil and gas interests, rather than cancelling all of its holdings.

Chris Manktelow, of the Young Christian Climate Network, told the Guardian earlier this year that that was not good enough. “The church should be moving quickly and showing moral leadership, and is just not going fast enough. We are not happy with this response [to the calls to divest].”

On Wednesday, Greenpeace welcomed the Oxford decision.

“The diocese of Oxford is moving away from fossil fuels, which is essential, but this liturgical change goes deeper,” said a spokesperson. “Today’s lesson is that, in a climate and nature emergency, you need to make environmental considerations central to your project right from the very beginning and keep them in mind the whole way through. That sounds very much like wisdom worth listening to.”

Read it all and you can see the additional wording in the liturgy there.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), Climate Change, Weather, Ecology, Energy, Natural Resources, Ethics / Moral Theology, Parish Ministry, Theology

Jeremy Shelton announced to be the new rector of Saint John’s Anglican Church, Johns Island SC

From here:

A Letter from our Sr. Warden
Regarding the New Rector

Sunday, June 19, 2022

Brothers and Sisters of St John’s Parish Church,
On May 3, 2022, Father Greg Snyder announced to the Wardens of St John’s that he would be leaving his position as Rector, that God had called him to a new ministry, a ministry which God has been preparing him for nearly 5 years. A ministry in the academy to young scientists and their professors. As Senior Warden, it was my responsibility to consult with the Bishop to determine what our options were going forward. Bishop Edgar explained the search process to me, that the Vestry should form a nominating committee that would prepare a parish profile, identify and screen candidates, interview them and present their recommendation to the Vestry for vote. Bishop Edgar also informed me that, given all else going on, if the Vestry chose to, we could vote to accept our associate Rector as our next Rector, and the process would be completed. After considerable thought and prayer, I chose not to pursue this option, as I felt we needed to be sure of who we are as a parish, and who we wanted as our next Rector. I instructed the Vestry to appoint a nominating committee, one that the Vestry voted should be comprised of members of the Vestry, as was recommended by Fr Greg and confirmed by Bp Edgar. The appointed nominating committee was made up of five members: Lindy Reynolds, Ann Edenfield, Todd Young, Jane Vaughan, and Jay Withington. As Senior Warden, I served as an ex-officio
member of the nominating committee.

The Nominating Committee identified five potential candidates to interview as the next Rector of St John’s. After much prayer and consideration, the committee voted unanimously to interview only one. Using input from several members of the parish, some of whom were not members of the Vestry, the nominating committee provided the interviewee with the parish profile, as well as the position description for Rector of St John’s Parish Church and spent the next two weeks in prayer and consideration over the process. The nominating committee conducted its final interview on Tuesday, June 14th, and presented their recommendation to me.

On Thursday, June 16th I brought the recommendation to the entire Vestry for a vote. The vote was unanimous, in favor of the recommended candidate. I then contacted Bp Edgar and informed him that the Vestry had made the decision for the next Rector of St John’s Parish Church. We discussed the decision, and he concurred with our decision. Bp Edgar also instructed me to make this announcement as soon as practical, that continuity of leadership was crucial in these days.

Therefore, it gives me great pleasure to announce that the Wardens and Vestry of St John’s Parish Church has voted unanimously to call Father Jeremy Shelton as our next Rector, and that after discussion on Friday, June 17, Father Jeremy has accepted the call. Fr Jeremy will be conducting his first service as Rector of St John’s Parish Church on Sunday, July 17 at Haut Gap Middle School, and I invite all of you to join us in worship as we move forward into this next chapter of the life of this Parish.

In Christ,

Ben Dixon
Senior Warden, St John’s Parish Church

Please read all the additional documents at the link above

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Parish Ministry

(BBC) Salisbury bishop marks appointment with cash giveaway

A new bishop says parishioners cheered after they were surprised with a gift of £10 each at his inauguration.

Bishop of Salisbury, the Rt Revd Stephen Lake, said it was the first time he had seen a congregation “burst out in applause”.

He said the money, given by two anonymous donators, was to show people can make the most of what they have been given.

Bishop Lake said: “It was a great start to a new ministry.”

He added: “They [the congregation] were given the £10 because we were living out the gospel, read out in the service. Taken from Luke, The Parable of the Talents, also known as The Parable of the Pound.

Read it all.

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

Prayers for the Anglican Diocese of South Carolina This Day

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Parish Ministry, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Bernard Mizeki

Almighty and everlasting God, who didst enkindle the flame of thy love in the heart of thy holy martyr Bernard Mizeki: Grant to us, thy humble servants, a like faith and power of love, that we who rejoice in his triumph may profit by his example; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Posted in Church History, Death / Burial / Funerals, Mozambique, South Africa, Spirituality/Prayer, Zimbabwe

(Church Times) Church Commissioners acknowledge that the slave trade boosted early funds

The Church Commissioners acknowledged on Thursday that their £10.1-billion fund has early links with the transatlantic slave trade. Both the Commissioners and the Archbishop of Canterbury have apologised.

The revelations come after research into Queen Anne’s Bounty, which was established in 1704 to tackle poverty among the clergy through the buying of land (from which the clergy received the income) or through an annuity stream. The Commissioners came into being in 1948 after a merger of the Bounty and the Ecclesiastical Commissioners.

The research was initiated by the Commissioners in 2019 — shortly before the death of George Floyd sparked the Black Lives Matter movement (News, 5 June 2020), and amid an international debate about monuments to people with links to the slave trade (News, 14 May 2021).

Read it all (registration or subscription).

Posted in Church History, Church of England (CoE), Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Race/Race Relations, Religion & Culture, Stewardship

(Local Paper front page) How Polly Sheppard, a survivor of the Emanuel mass shooting that occurred 7 years ago today, carries on

It doesn’t take long before the first embrace. And then Polly Sheppard greets another of the students, then another.

This group of young evangelicals, affiliated with the parachurch ministry Cru, is here at Emanuel AME Church to learn more about the 2015 mass shooting, visit the sanctuary and offer their prayers. They have just watched Brian Tetsuro Ivie’s documentary “Emanuel,” and they recognize Sheppard, who is visiting the church grounds, where a memorial soon will be erected.

The exchange between this survivor of the attack and the Cru crew is polite, warm, engaging.

Because that’s how the magnanimous Sheppard operates. Mostly, she sees the good in people. She’s ready with a smile….

Read it all.

Posted in * South Carolina, History, Parish Ministry, Race/Race Relations, Religion & Culture, Violence

(Prospect) Alice Goodman–Clerical life: Ordination season

In the US, where I studied for my Masters in Divinity (the professional degree for clergy across most of the churches in North America) it takes at least three years to prepare for ordination. I studied the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament, the history of Christianity, the philosophy of religion, moral theology, systematics, homiletics and pastoral care and counselling. I have my old ring-bound notebooks stacked in the wardrobe, and it comforts me to know they’re there if I ever forget what was said in that seminar on “Revelation, Faith, and the Nature of Tradition.”

You learn the history of liturgy, and how and why the church’s ceremonies have taken the shapes they have. There’s Field Education, the North American name for the attachments and placements we have here. Finally, before your General Ordination Examination, you go off to a hospital for an intensive programme of chaplaincy training combined with group therapy: the dreaded Clinical Pastoral Education. You learn how to listen to what’s not being said as much as to what is. You learn what your own baggage is, and how to check it. Some people concentrate on one part or another of the curriculum, but everyone has the basics and for everyone—whether they’re 20 or 60—it takes three years.

Over here it’s quite different. Alarmingly so. In the Church of England, the training you get depends, first of all, on your age. Ordinands over 40 tend to be funnelled into a shorter programme. The three-year course is primarily for younger ordinands, and those who have been talent-spotted for preferment. A full-time residential programme is for the lucky few. In a new development, one theological college and at least one diocese are trialling a scheme for ordinands to move in a single year from the selection interviews to the bishop’s laying-on of hands and anointing that makes them priests. This is aimed at what are referred to as “mature Christians.” Apparently, they are people who have been active in their church for a long time, and have retired with a really good final salary pension scheme, or are independently wealthy. The Church of England has decided that the learned clergy that the Elizabethans pushed for are a limiting factor to the survival of the institution.

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), Parish Ministry

The Latest Edition of the Anglican Diocese of South Carolina Enewsletter

Saint James Welcomes Toby Larson as Rector

The Rev. Toby Larson was welcomed by Saint James Church, James Island, on Sunday, June 12, as their new rector. Toby most recently served as Director of Celebration International in Fredericksburg, VA. He received his B.A. from Gonzaga University and his Th.M. in Biblical Theology and M.Div. from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.

Before his ministry at Celebration International, Toby worked in China, as a Foreign Expert in China’s Ministry of Television, Radio, and Film. After his time in China, he planted two congregations in Virginia and led evangelistic missions to central and east Asia.

Toby said, “‘Love God, Love Life’ is our family motto, and we’re excited to live that out at Saint James.” He and his wife Cynthia have five children the youngest of whom will live with them on James Island.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Parish Ministry

(ITV) Grenfell victims remembered at Westminster Abbey service on fifth anniversary

Attendees included former prime minister Theresa May, London Mayor Sadiq Khan, Housing Secretary Michael Gove, building safety and fire minister Stephen Greenhalgh, and shadow housing secretary Lisa Nandy.

Opening the service, the very Reverend Dr David Hoyle, Dean of Westminster, said the loss and anguish “are still vivid and sharp” as the congregation gathered “in sorrow and in pain”.

He said: “Here we renew our commitment to remember those we have lost.

“We gather as those who look for justice and a renewed commitment to securing safety in our homes, safety in times of fire.

“Grateful for the support of the communities and individuals that have sustained the bereaved and the survivors over the last five years, we meet in faith and hope looking to a better, safer, surer future.”

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), Death / Burial / Funerals, England / UK, History, Parish Ministry, Police/Fire

The Rev. Dr. Jady Koch, associate rector of Christ Church, Mt Pleasant, SC accepts a call to be the new rector of Saint Luke’s, Hilton Head SC

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

We are delighted to share the news that Reverend Dr. John D. “Jady” Koch has accepted St. Luke’s call to be our next rector! We know that with your continual prayers for us along with guidance from the Holy Spirit, God has truly blessed us with this decision!

Jady’s initial letter to us, which accompanied his application, stated “my passion to bring people to the love and knowledge of the Lord and to help strengthen and encourage the faithful has only grown, and I gladly and with great joy bring that experience, knowledge, and passion to any position I have been called to serve.” This bold statement certainly intrigued us as it aligns directly with St. Luke’s mission statement “to know Christ and to make Him known.” We invited him to answer the Written Response questions as to his next step. In those answers, he addressed such issues as his interest in St Luke’s being a place where people are hungry for faithful, consistent, courageous Bible teaching, and preaching. So many of his personal qualities, skills, and ministry priorities support our expectations of a new Rector and the desires that YOU expressed in the listening sessions, surveys, and in our Parish Profile. The search committee was struck by the powerful depth of Jady ‘s relationship with God. His faith is obvious and authentic. During the Zoom interview, his wife Liza joined him in responding and expressing their priority in ministry. It was clear from the Zoom interview that building relationships are central to their ministry. Invariably, when answering different questions, they both would return to the theme of growing a stronger, wider faith community by building individual relationships and that hospitality is a prime force in forming bonds between brothers and sisters in Christ. They each recognize that we at St. Luke’s are a family not only seeking this with one another but also seeking it within our community and beyond into the world. In other words, missions and outreach are critical to us. You may remember that after the Zoom interviews, several members of the Rector Search Committee visited candidates at their home churches to hear them preach. During the visit to Jady’s church, Christ Church in Mt. Pleasant, Search Committee members not only heard Jady preach the Sunday sermon but also sing with the Worship and Praise team after he finished his Sunday morning Bible study. They had the opportunity to meet all five of his lively and beautiful children! Following that wonderfully blessed time, the Search Committee decided to invite Jady and Liza to visit St Luke’s and meet the staff. This 3-day visit was very insightful for many reasons. There were several meet-and-greets and question-and-answer sessions with different groups. We were impressed not only with how Jady answered our many questions, but more importantly by the questions that he asked of us and how intently he listened to our responses. He has an approachable and inclusive style able to discern the gifts and strengths of each individual that he meets and desires to empower those people to an even more effective ministry.

We believe that Jady will bring us strong leadership and guide us to a renewal of faith in God and in each other.

Our welcome and transition team will now swing into action to be ready for the arrival of the Koch family on August 1st to settle into our island community. As the time gets closer, we will have more details on how you can meet Jady, Liza, and their family. You may want to learn more about Jady’s background and faith by visiting www.jadykoch.com or www.standfirminfaith.com

In His Holy Name,

Your [Saint Luke’s] Search Committee,

John Evans, Chair
Norm Galloway, CoChair
Judy Pugatch, Communications Coordinator
*Beth Meeder
*Nancy Henty
*Bill Peacher
Keith Tillman
Mike Blackshire
Sarah Brigham Partlow
*Robyn Zimmerman
*Denotes Vestry Member as well as RSC
Your Vestry Members
(see above)
Jim McGuirk, Rector’s Warden
Kent James, People’s Warden
Elizabeth Glick
Mike Mitchell
Jim Legg
John Austin
Sarah Tillman
Gleaves Rhodes

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Marriage & Family, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry

Prayers for the Anglican Diocese of South Carolina This Day

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Parish Ministry, Spirituality/Prayer

(C of E) Sowing seeds: how a patch of wasteland became heart of community

In just a few years, a patch of once unused land in the middle of the Quarrendon estate in Aylesbury, Bucks, has been transformed into the beating heart of the community by the local church.

The once neglected scrap of land surrounding St Peter’s Church, has been turned into a multipurpose green space – simultaneously a community garden, an exercise site, a place to grow food, an outdoor classroom, and a tranquil spot in the centre of the estate.

In partnership with local organisations, St Peter’s regularly takes referrals from the local GP surgery, known as ‘social prescribing.’

It also welcomes schools, the local Adult Education Centre, and the Youth Offenders Probation Service – where young adults learn new skills in landscaping and horticulture to help get them back into employment.

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), Ecology, Energy, Natural Resources, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Stewardship

(LR) Half of Americans Rule Out Pentecostal Churches

Most Americans are open to a variety of denominations of Christian churches, including many people of other faiths or no faith at all.

Americans have a wide range of opinions and impressions about Christian denominations, but most won’t rule out a church based on its denomination, according to a new study from Lifeway Research. From a list of nine denominational terms— Assemblies of God, Baptist, Catholic, Lutheran, Methodist, Pentecostal, Presbyterian, Southern Baptist, and nondenominational—more Americans rule out Pentecostal than any other denomination. Just over half of Americans (51%) say a church with Pentecostal in the name is not for them.

But for each of the other denominations in the study, most Americans say a specific religious label in the name of a church is not an automatic deterrent for them. Americans are most open to nondenominational and Baptist churches.

Read it all.

Posted in America/U.S.A., Parish Ministry, Pentecostal, Religion & Culture, Sociology

(Cambridge Independent) Jesus College will not pay legal costs for Rustat Memorial Group’s defence

The legal costs of the 65 alumni who successfully petitioned to keep the memorial to slave trade investor Tobias Rustat on the west wall of Jesus College chapel will not be paid by the college following a ruling by David Hodge QC of the Consistory Court of the Diocese of Ely.

Jesus College Chapel. Picture: Keith HeppellJesus College Chapel. Picture: Keith Heppell
A three-day hearing took place in February to determine whether the diocese would approve Jesus College’s request to remove the memorial to an exhibition space elsewhere on college grounds.

The hearing was overseen by David Hodge, who had been appointed as deputy chancellor to consider the college’s petition. In late March, the verdict was issued in a 108-page statement: the memorial will stay where it is. The unsuccessful case cost Jesus College £120,000.

David Hodge QC accepted, in his ruling date June 5, 2022 and made public on June 7, that it is convention for unsuccessful parties to pay the legal fees for the winning party in conventional hearings, but “that general rule does not apply in contested faculty proceedings in the consistory court,” he wrote.

Read it all.

Posted in Church History, Church of England (CoE), Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Law & Legal Issues, Race/Race Relations, Stewardship

ACNA announces that Bishop Atkinson has been inhibited

Three bishops have signed a Presentment alleging Bishop Atkinson of the Via Apostolica Missionary District has violated Title IV Canon 2 of the Anglican Church in North America. Bishop Atkinson has been inhibited from ministry pending the outcome of the Title IV process.

The Presentment and Inhibition came after a unanimous recommendation from the Provincial Investigative Team tasked with looking into allegations against Bishop Atkinson of misconduct brought to the Archbishop’s attention.

Read it all.

Posted in Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Ethics / Moral Theology, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology

(Reuters) ISIS affiliate suspected of R Catholic church massacre, Nigeria says

Nigerian security officials suspect extremists from Islamic State’s affiliate in west Africa were behind an attack on a Catholic church last weekend that killed dozens.

Forty people are now thought to have died after gunmen stormed St Francis Catholic church in Owo, Ondo State, on Sunday, and 61 survivors are still being treated in hospital, according to local authorities. The total is double an earlier estimate.

Nigeria’s National Security Council said on Thursday that the attack was the work of the Islamic State West Africa Province (Iswap) group, apparently reinforcing fears that the militants, who have been restricted to the north-east for many years, are looking to expand their influence and reach to other parts of the country. Ondo, in the south-west, has long been considered one of the safer parts of the country.

Read it all.

Posted in Liturgy, Music, Worship, Nigeria, Parish Ministry, Pentecost, Religion & Culture, Religious Freedom / Persecution, Terrorism, Violence

A Local Paper Article about the recent South Carolina Supreme Court Decision

On April 20, the state’s top court ordered that 14 of the 29 congregations that split from the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina were to hand over the properties to the Episcopal Church. It appeared that the court’s decision put an end to a decadelong legal battle over the ownership of dozens of church properties valued at roughly $200 million.

But in a stunning development Tuesday, the state’s top court did not deny petitions for rehearing submitted by seven of those churches. Instead, the court requested that the Episcopal Church respond by June 20 to the arguments made by the seven parishes.

The court’s order gives hope to some of the breakaway parishes, which fall within the Anglican Diocese of South Carolina umbrella, that they could, in fact, retain their valuable religious facilities.

“We are encouraged by the recent development from the South Carolina Supreme Court and are buoyed by the hope that seven more of our parishes might keep their properties,” said Bishop Chip Edgar of the Anglican Diocese. “But in all these legal matters, we are keeping our eyes focused on our Lord Jesus and the work he has called us to — to glorify God in worship and in our lives, to proclaim his name, to build up the church, and to love our neighbors as Christ loves us.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Church History, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Stewardship, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: South Carolina

SC Supreme Court Moves Petitions for Rehearing Forward for 7 of 8 parishes

From there:

Columbia, S.C. (June 8, 2022) – Yesterday, in welcome news for the Anglican Diocese of South Carolina, the South Carolina Supreme Court released an order concerning the eight petitions for rehearing filed by parishes of the Diocese. For seven of those congregations, the court requested that the Episcopal Church (TEC) and the Episcopal Church in South Carolina (TECSC) submit a return by June 20 responding to the arguments made by the seven parishes. The issues TEC and TECSC must address are: 1) the effect of subsection 62-7-602(a) of the South Carolina Code making all trusts created after Jan. 1, 2006 revocable, and 2) the argument that no trust was created by accession language incorporated in governing documents prior to 1979. Based on the April 20 ruling, these parishes maintain they did not create a trust interest in favor of TEC or TECSC and therefore, should retain ownership of their properties.

The parishes whose petitions for rehearing are included in the Court’s request are: the Church of the Holy Cross (Stateburg), the Church of the Good Shepherd (Charleston), the Church of the Holy Comforter (Sumter), St. Jude’s Church (Walterboro), Old St. Andrew’s (Charleston), St. Luke’s Church (Hilton Head) and Trinity Church (Myrtle Beach). The petition for Christ Church (Mt. Pleasant) was denied in its entirety. The people of the Diocese are encouraged to keep these parishes, the Supreme Court and its continued deliberations in their prayers.

In Christ’s Service,

The Rev. Canon Jim Lewis
The Anglican Diocese of South Carolina
Anglican Church in North America

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, State Government, Stewardship

Charles H Spurgeon on Pentecost–‘How absolutely necessary is the presence and power of the Holy Spirit!’

How absolutely necessary is the presence and power of the Holy Spirit! It is not possible for us to promote the glory of God or to bless the souls of men, unless the Holy Ghost shall be in us and with us. Those who were assembled on that memorable day of Pentecost, were all men of prayer and faith; but even these precious gifts are only available when the celestial fire sets them on a blaze. They were all men of experience; most of them had been preachers of the Word and workers of miracles; they had endured trials and troubles in company with their Lord, and had been with him in his temptation. Yet even experienced Christians, without the Spirit of God, are weak as water. Among them were the apostles and the seventy evangelists, and with them were those honoured women in whose houses the Lord had often been entertained, and who had ministered to him of their substance; yet even these favoured and honoured saints can do nothing without the breath of God the Holy Ghost. Apostles and evangelists dare not even attempt anything alone; they must tarry at Jerusalem till power be given them from on high. It was not a want of education; they had been for three years in the college of Christ, with perfect wisdom as their tutor, matchless eloquence as their instructor, and immaculate perfection as their example; yet they must not venture to open their mouths to testify of the mystery of Jesus, until the anointing Spirit has come with blessed unction from above. Surely, my brethren, if so it was with them, much more must it be the case with us.

–From a sermon in 1863

Posted in Church History, Ministry of the Ordained, Pentecost, Preaching / Homiletics, Theology: Holy Spirit (Pneumatology)