Category : Ministry of the Ordained

Martin Luther King Jr. in the Christian Century how I changed my Mind series in 1960–My Pilgrimage to nonviolence

I also came to see that liberalism’s superficial optimism concerning human nature caused it to overlook the fact that reason is darkened by sin. The more I thought about human nature the more I saw how our tragic inclination for sin causes us to use our minds to rationalize our actions. Liberalism failed to see that reason by itself is little more than an instrument to justify man’s defensive ways of thinking. Reason, devoid of the purifying power of faith, can never free itself from distortions and rationalizations.

In spite of the fact that I had to reject some aspects of liberalism, I never came to an all-out acceptance of neo-orthodoxy. While I saw neo-orthodoxy as a helpful corrective for a liberalism that had become all too sentimental, I never felt that it provided an adequate answer to the basic questions. If liberalism was too optimistic concerning human nature, neo-orthodoxy was too pessimistic. Not only on the question of man but also on other vital issues, neo-orthodoxy went too far in its revolt. In its attempt to preserve the transcendence of God, which had been neglected by liberalism’s overstress of his immanence, neo-orthodoxy went to the extreme of stressing a God who was hidden, unknown and “wholly other.” In its revolt against liberalism’s overemphasis on the power of reason, neo-orthodoxy fell into a mood of antirationalism and semifundamentalism, stressing a narrow, uncritical biblicism. This approach, I felt, was inadequate both for the church and for personal life.

So although liberalism left me unsatisfied on the question of the nature of man, I found no refuge in neo-orthodoxy. I am now convinced that the truth about man is found neither in liberalism nor in neo-orthodoxy. Each represents a partial truth. A large segment of Protestant liberalism defined man only in terms of his essential nature, his capacity for good. Neo-orthodoxy tended to define man only in terms of his existential nature, his capacity for evil. An adequate understanding of man is found neither in the thesis of liberalism nor in the antithesis of neo-orthodoxy, but in a synthesis which reconciles the truths of both.

Read it all.

Posted in Anthropology, Church History, Ethics / Moral Theology, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Race/Race Relations, Religion & Culture, Theology, Violence

(1st Things) Richard John Neuhaus: Remembering, and Misremembering, Martin Luther King Jr.

As Abernathy tells it—and I believe he is right—he and King were first of all Christians, then Southerners, and then blacks living under an oppressive segregationist regime. King of course came from the black bourgeoisie of Atlanta in which his father, “Daddy King,” had succeeded in establishing himself as a king. Abernathy came from much more modest circumstances, but he was proud of his heritage and, as he writes, wanted nothing more than that whites would address his father as Mr. Abernathy. He and Martin loved the South, and envisioned its coming into its own once the sin of segregation had been expunged.

“Years later,” Abernathy writes that, “after the civil rights movement had peaked and I had taken over [after Martin’s death] as president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference,” he met with Governor George Wallace. “Governor Wallace, by then restricted to a wheel chair after having been paralyzed by a would-be assassin’s bullet, shook hands with me and welcomed me to the State of Alabama. I smiled, realizing that he had forgotten all about Montgomery and Birmingham, and particularly Selma. ‘This is not my first visit,’ I said. ‘I was born in Alabama—in Marengo County.’ ‘Good,’ said Governor Wallace, ‘then welcome back.’ I really believe he meant it. In his later years he had become one of the greatest friends the blacks had ever had in Montgomery. Where once he had stood in the doorway and barred federal marshals from entering, he now made certain that our people were first in line for jobs, new schools, and other benefits of state government.” Abernathy concludes, “It was a time for reconciliations.”

Read it all (my emphasis).

Posted in Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Politics in General, Race/Race Relations, Religion & Culture

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: Letter from a Birmingham Jail

We have waited for more than 340 years for our constitutional and God given rights. The nations of Asia and Africa are moving with jetlike speed toward gaining political independence, but we still creep at horse and buggy pace toward gaining a cup of coffee at a lunch counter. Perhaps it is easy for those who have never felt the stinging darts of segregation to say, “Wait.” But when you have seen vicious mobs lynch your mothers and fathers at will and drown your sisters and brothers at whim; when you have seen hate filled policemen curse, kick and even kill your black brothers and sisters; when you see the vast majority of your twenty million Negro brothers smothering in an airtight cage of poverty in the midst of an affluent society; when you suddenly find your tongue twisted and your speech stammering as you seek to explain to your six year old daughter why she can’t go to the public amusement park that has just been advertised on television, and see tears welling up in her eyes when she is told that Funtown is closed to colored children, and see ominous clouds of inferiority beginning to form in her little mental sky, and see her beginning to distort her personality by developing an unconscious bitterness toward white people; when you have to concoct an answer for a five year old son who is asking: “Daddy, why do white people treat colored people so mean?”; when you take a cross county drive and find it necessary to sleep night after night in the uncomfortable corners of your automobile because no motel will accept you; when you are humiliated day in and day out by nagging signs reading “white” and “colored”; when your first name becomes “nigger,” your middle name becomes “boy” (however old you are) and your last name becomes “John,” and your wife and mother are never given the respected title “Mrs.”; when you are harried by day and haunted by night by the fact that you are a Negro, living constantly at tiptoe stance, never quite knowing what to expect next, and are plagued with inner fears and outer resentments; when you are forever fighting a degenerating sense of “nobodiness”–then you will understand why we find it difficult to wait.

There comes a time when the cup of endurance runs over, and men are no longer willing to be plunged into the abyss of despair. I hope, sirs, you can understand our legitimate and unavoidable impatience. You express a great deal of anxiety over our willingness to break laws. This is certainly a legitimate concern. Since we so diligently urge people to obey the Supreme Court’s decision of 1954 outlawing segregation in the public schools, at first glance it may seem rather paradoxical for us consciously to break laws. One may well ask: “How can you advocate breaking some laws and obeying others?” The answer lies in the fact that there are two types of laws: just and unjust. I would be the first to advocate obeying just laws. One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that “an unjust law is no law at all.”

Read it all.

Posted in History, Language, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Prison/Prison Ministry, Race/Race Relations, Religion & Culture

(Local Paper) The needed Voice of a local Hero—The Rev. Anthony Thompson’s message of forgiveness shaped by tragedy, MLK

‘“It’s ‘You can’t destroy my spirit,’” Cone told the magazine. ”‘I have a forgiving spirit because that’s what God created me to be.’”

Thompson’s message doesn’t let Whites off the hook. White people must repent, he said. Though today’s White Americans haven’t participated in slavery, they reap the benefits, which are seen in today’s social and economic inequities, Thompson said.

Thompson, who was the speaker for this year’s MLK ecumenical service at Greater St. Luke AME on Jan. 16, sees a connection between his message and King’s philosophy of nonviolence. In his sermon “The Meaning of Forgiveness,” King preached that he saw forgiveness as the solution to the nation’s “race problem.” King saw forgiveness as a “weapon of social redemption.”

Similar to King, Thompson feels that forgiveness can bring about racial healing.

“Martin Luther King Jr. once said: ‘We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love,’” Thompson said at the service.’

Read it all.

Posted in * South Carolina, Death / Burial / Funerals, Marriage & Family, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Race/Race Relations, Religion & Culture, Violence

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr: I Have a Dream

You can find the full text here.

I find it always is really worth the time to listen to and read and ponder it all on this day especially–KSH.

Posted in America/U.S.A., History, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Race/Race Relations, Religion & Culture

A Prayer for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Almighty God, who by the hand of Moses thy servant didst lead thy people out of slavery, and didst make them free at last: Grant that thy Church, following the example of thy prophet Martin Luther King, may resist oppression in the name of thy love, and may strive to secure for all thy children the blessed liberty of the Gospel of Jesus Christ; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Posted in America/U.S.A., History, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Race/Race Relations, Religion & Culture, Spirituality/Prayer

(LR) Your Pastor Cares When You Don’t Care

Pastors face unique difficulties inherent in their career, but what are their greatest needs? Pastors themselves say they’re most concerned about seeing their churchgoers grow spiritually and making connections with those outside of their churches.

After speaking directly with pastors to gather their perspectives on their ministry and personal challenges, Lifeway Research surveyed 1,000 US pastors for the 2022 Greatest Needs of Pastors study to discover what they see as their most pressing issues.

“The pre-existing challenges of ministry were amplified by COVID, and it’s important we lean in and listen closely to pastors,” said Ben Mandrell, president of Lifeway Christian Resources. “This project has shed light on critical needs they have and will point the way forward in how we partner with them to fuel their ministries and improve their health in multiple areas.”

Scott McConnell, executive director of Lifeway Research, said his team began the study by speaking with more than 200 pastors, asking them to think beyond the current pandemic-related struggles and share some of the enduring needs of pastors and their churches today.

Read it all.

Posted in Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Care, Pastoral Theology

Kendall Harmon’s Sunday sermon–What does the Baptism of Jesus Teach us about our Identity (Luke 3:15-21)

Listen to it all or there is more there if you so desire.

Posted in * By Kendall, * South Carolina, Anthropology, Christology, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Sermons & Teachings, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(SHNS) Bright Bonfires Mark Real End of Christmas Season

The same thing happens to Father Kendall Harmon every year during the 12 days after the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

It happens with newcomers at his home parish, Christ-St. Paul’s in Yonges Island, South Carolina, near Charleston. It often happens when, as Canon Theologian, he visits other parishes in the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina.

“I greet people and say ‘Merry Christmas!’ all the way through the 12 days” of the season, he said, laughing. “They look at me like I’m a Martian or I’m someone who is lost. … So many people just don’t know there’s more Christmas after Christmas Day.”

Read it all.

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

Kendall Harmon’s 2021 Christmas sermon–Three Central Questions for Christmas

Listen to it all or there is more there if you so desire.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * By Kendall, * South Carolina, Christmas, Christology, Ministry of the Ordained, Preaching / Homiletics, Sermons & Teachings, Theology: Scripture

The Archbishop of York’s 2021 Christmas Sermon

What can I say to you this Christmas morning, but turn to him? Let his light shine on you. Ask to have your vision expanded, that you may see the world as he sees it, for his vision for his world is the world’s greatest hope for the human race to live in peace and love one another and – if you will excuse the political jargon – build back better.

We are all exhausted by the horrors and privations of Covid. Our world cries out.

I do hope you will have a happy Christmas. And I hope you are able to get together with those you love today, even – as it will be the case with some of my family – it’s on yet another zoom conference. Most of all I hope and pray that in your hearts and imaginations, and even now in this holy Eucharist, you will come to the stable at Bethlehem.

You will come – surprised like the shepherds; doggedly faithful like Joseph; defiantly rejoicing like Mary; amazed like the Magi, and have your life re-directed. Changed, because in this great light you will not just see things differently, you will see them as they truly are, as they are meant to be, at last having the focus of your life shifted, enabling you to see the clear, pure beauty of Christ.

God of God. Light of light. Begotten, not created. O come, let us adore him.

Read it all.

Posted in Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell, Christmas, Church of England (CoE), Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Theology

John Donne–Christmas was and is Much More

Twas much,
that man was
made like God before,
But that God should
be like man
much more

–John Donne (1572-1631)

Posted in Adult Education, Christmas, Church History, Church of England (CoE), Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Poetry & Literature, Theology

(BBC) Burnley’s Pastor Mick: ‘If I lock this door, he dies’

Although Joanne doesn’t blame the mental health team, she believes Robert could have been saved with early help. “I think he’d have been all right – he’d have still been here.”

More than a year on, Joanne is still haunted by death. Each word brings back painful memories, but she wants to share how she is feeling. “I can see the flashbacks. I can see him every day in my head – when I get up, when I go to sleep.”

She says one day everything just became too much for her. “I rang Pastor Mick and he told me to come down. He’s been great.”

Church on the Street has been Joanne’s salvation. She says it’s a place where she and her family feel safe – and she’s not the only one. Hundreds of others come here each week looking for hope.

Read it all.

Posted in England / UK, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Suicide

Kendall Harmon’s Sunday sermon–Wrestling with the Ministry and Person of John the Baptist

Listen to it all or there is more there if you so desire.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * By Kendall, * South Carolina, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Sermons & Teachings

(World) Sophia Lee Talks to Tim Keller on coming to Christ and learning to love the city

How does New York City set the culture for the rest of the country and the world? In the ’90s I heard New Yorkers discussing and expressing their views on gender and sexuality in ways that are now, many years later, mainstream on a national level. The city is a pacesetter for the culture, whether we like it or not. Some might think therefore that Christians should stay away from cities, but when you look at Scripture, you can’t deny that Jesus went from city to city in his ministry, or that Paul was willing to argue with the cultural intelligentsia in city centers such as Athens and Ephesus. In fact, I went back to Acts 17 over and over while I was in NYC to learn how to interact faithfully with center-city people.

How can Christians influence New York City for good? I started wondering, “What if there could be a movement of the gospel in one of the most religiously hostile and influential cities in America?” That was a goal. And it has been partially realized. A great number of people who became Christians here are now serving as salt and light in all sorts of places you’d never expect to find Christians.

At the time were there other contemporary pastors who preached about loving and investing in the city? Well, we have to start by pointing out that this question is something of a white-centric question. Or at least it’s the kind of question an upper-middle-class professional would ask. Because black, brown, and Asian churches never left the city. When white evangelicalism grew so much from 1965-1995, it was shaped by this “white flight” mentality and so had a very anti-urban bias to it.

However, during my five years teaching practical theology at Westminster Seminary in Philadelphia alongside Harvie Conn and Manny Ortiz, I was exposed to a host of thoughtful, dynamic, and theologically informed African American, Hispanic, and Asian pastors and their ministries. They had thriving ministries at a time when U.S. inner cities were in terrible shape. But there they were. When Kathy and I announced we were moving to New York City, a number of people told us we were sinning against our children by taking them to the city, that they would lose their faith—and maybe their lives. (The opposite was true.) But the white evangelical view of the big cities as complete “spiritual wastelands” was wrong. So yes, in the 1980s, there were not many white and middle-class pastors talking about loving and investing in the city.

Read it all.

Posted in Evangelicals, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Urban/City Life and Issues

Kendall Harmon’s Sunday sermon–What can we learn from the Person and Ministry of Ezra (Ezra 7)?

Listen to it all and there is more there.

Posted in * By Kendall, * South Carolina, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Theology: Scripture

(Church Times) Evangelicals encouraged to engage in soul-searching after abuse

The Church of England Evangelical Council (CEEC) has published material intended to initiate conversations about “issues of culture, power and abuse” within its constituency.

The materials, published on Wednesday, are “designed to help Evangelical churches review, repent and reshape their cultures on the back of the recent Thirtyone:eight independent reviews into two prominent Evangelical churches and their leaders”, a press release says.

The reviews to which it refers are those of Emmanuel Proprietary Chapel, Ridgway, in Wimbledon and the Revd Jonathan Fletcher (News, 26 March), and the Crowded House, a non-denominational Evangelical church in Sheffield, at which “some instances of emotional and/or psychological abuse took place as a result of persistent coercive and controlling behaviour”.

The resources include an introductory film and a “liturgy of lament” for churches to use. There is also a booklet, Church Cultures Review Questions, which contains more than 100 questions for churches.

Read it all.

Posted in Anthropology, Church of England (CoE), Ethics / Moral Theology, Evangelicals, Ministry of the Laity, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Theology, Violence

(Guardian) ‘Rogues or idiots’: Justin Welby condemns TV portrayal of clergy

It became an instant hit with viewers for its female vicar, quirky cast of village characters and the gentle fun it poked at the Church of England.

Almost three decades after the first episode was aired, the Vicar of Dibley, starring Dawn French, is still a staple of Christmas specials and fundraising telethons. The Rev Geraldine Granger even made several broadcasts to the nation during lockdown.

But the archbishop of Canterbury has cast aspersions on Dibley’s vicar and other television clergy, saying they portrayed vicars as “rogues or idiots”, whereas in reality they are “hard-working, normal people, caring deeply about what they do”.

Read it all.

Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, England / UK, Ministry of the Ordained, Movies & Television, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

(C of E) ‘I was fighting it’ an AI scientist’s 12-year journey to ordination

Henry Akingbemisilu was ordained as a Deacon earlier this year. He serves as a Self-Supporting Minister in Thamesmead, London, in the Diocese of Southwark – alongside working in Data Science.
Henry is shown in his clerical robes smiling
Henry was born in Nigeria, coming to the UK to study mathematics and computer network engineering. His journey to ordination started in 2008, but it was only in 2015 that he finally started the official discernment process with Southwark Diocese.

In the years that preceded this, he was involved in his church – in the choir, in prayer ministry groups and as Church Warden for eight years but felt a ‘calling’ to do more.

“You know, when God is calling, you just won’t be at peace with yourself until you give in,” he explained.

“It took me so many years.

“I asked myself is this God or is it me making things up?

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology, Seminary / Theological Education

(C of E) Nearly 400 ordinands on course to take up stipendiary curacy posts in 2022

The Church of England has confirmed that 400 stipendiary curacy posts – both full and part time –will be available for ordinands expecting to take up stipendiary title posts from 2022 after leaving theological training.

Of these, 290 posts are fully funded by the dioceses while the Strategic Ministry Fund (SMF), administered by the Strategic Ministry Board, will support an additional 110 posts.

The SMF was set up in 2019 to help ensure that dioceses are able to support additional curate numbers as part of the drive to increase the number of candidates for ordained ministry.

The Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, Martin Seeley, who is Chair of the Ministry Council, said: “Stipendiary ministry remains core to the work of the Church of England and our Vision and Strategy for the future.

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry

(Barna) 38% of U.S. Pastors Have Thought About Quitting Full-Time Ministry in the Past Year

Nearly Two in Five Pastors Have Considered Quitting Full-Time Ministry


With pastors’ well-being on the line, and many on the brink of burnout, 38 percent indicate they have considered quitting full-time ministry within the past year. This percentage is up 9 full points (from 29%) since Barna asked church leaders this same question at the beginning of 2021.

A deeper analysis of these data show that some groups are faring worse than others. One of the more alarming findings is that 46 percent of pastors under the age of 45 say they are considering quitting full-time ministry, compared to 34 percent of pastors 45 and older. Keeping the right younger leaders encouraged and in their ministry roles will be crucial to the next decade of congregational vitality in the U.S.

Another notable gap emerges based on denomination, with pastors from mainline denominations far more likely to consider quitting than those from non-mainline denominations (51% vs. 34%). Other significant differences arise among gender, with female pastors being far more likely than male pastors to have considered giving up full-time ministry, and ministry tenure. Specifically, roughly one-third of pastors who are considering resignation have been in ministry for about 20 years but have been at their current church for seven years.

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Posted in Health & Medicine, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Psychology, Stress

Information about the Funeral for Bishop Alex Dickson RIP

Please note it will be livestreamed for those interested.

Posted in * South Carolina, Death / Burial / Funerals, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry

Kendall Harmon’s Sunday sermon–Do we know how Wonderful our King is (Isaiah 9:1-7)?

Listen to it all and there is more there.

Posted in * By Kendall, * South Carolina, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Theology: Scripture

(ADOSC) The Rt. Rev. Alex D. Dickson, Jr. (1926–2021)

From there:

Bishop Dickson was consecrated as the First Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of West Tennessee on April 9, 1983. Prior to his consecration as Bishop, he served 10 years as a parish priest in the Diocese of Mississippi; four years at Rolling Fork and Hollandale; six years in Jackson; and then he served as Rector and Headmaster of All Saints School in Vicksburg for 15 years.

In 1995, after he retired as Bishop of West Tennessee, he began Mission Work in Southeast Asia and Africa. At the time of his death, he was serving as Bishop in Residence at St. Michael’s Church in Charleston, SC. He was also Chairman of a mission to a leprosy colony in Liberia. His greatest passion was to bring people to a deep faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. He loved to work with people in small groups, teaching them to pray the Scriptures. He was working in this ministry until the day of his death.

During World War II, he served on a destroyer in the Pacific during the Battle of Okinawa.

He was born on September 9, 1926, on New Africa Plantation near Alligator, Mississippi. He married Charnelle Perkins of Glen Allan, MS on October 7, 1948. They have three sons: Alex III (now in heaven), Charles in Sylva, NC, and John in Memphis, TN; six grandchildren, and 13 great grandchildren. God is good! Charnelle died on October 16, 1995. He married Jane Graham Carver of Charleston, SC on January 2, 1999. Jane has three children and six grandchildren. God is good!

“I am the resurrection and the life, saith the Lord; he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live; and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.”

Memorials may be given to G3 Ministry (led by his stepson), The Rev. Graham Schuyler, 76 Westfield Drive, Pawleys Island, SC 29585.

Posted in * South Carolina, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Death / Burial / Funerals, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, TEC Bishops

Anglican Bishop Alex Dickson RIP

Posted in * South Carolina, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Death / Burial / Funerals, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry

(Churchman) J I Packer–Expository Preaching: Charles Simeon and ourselves

[Charles] Simeon himself is our example here. The feature of his preaching which most constantly impressed his hearers was the fact that he was, as they said, “in earnest”; and that reflected his own overwhelming sense of sin, and of the wonder of the grace that had saved him; and that in turn bore witness to the closeness of his daily fellowship and walk with his God. As he gave time to sermon preparation, so he gave time to seeking God’s face.

“The quality of his preaching,” writes the Bishop of Bradford, “was but a reflection of the quality of the man himself. And there can be little doubt that the man himself was largely made in the early morning hours which he devoted to private prayer and the devotional study of the Scriptures. It was his custom to rise at 4 a.m., light his own fire, and then devote the first four hours of the day to communion with God. Such costly self-discipline made the preacher. That was primary. The making of the sermon was secondary and derivative.”

Read it all.

Posted in Church History, Church of England (CoE), Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics

John Stott gives an introduction to the life and work of Charles Simeon

John Stott on Charles Simeon at Taylor University from Randall Gruendyke on Vimeo.

Posted in Church History, Church of England, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry

Charles Simeon as described by (Bishop of Calcutta) Daniel Wilson

He stood for many years alone, he was long opposed, ridiculed, shunned, his doctrines were misrepresented, his little peculiarities of voice and manner were satirized, disturbances were frequently raised in his church or he was a person not taken into account, nor considered in the light of a regular clergyman in the church.

-–as quoted in William Carus, Memoirs of the Life of the Rev. Charles Simeon (New York: Robert Carter, 1848), p.39

Posted in Church History, Church of England (CoE), Evangelicals, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry

The Archbishop of York’s Sermon for White Ribbon Sunday

And, of course, we don’t need to look far. Jesus models for us a very different attitude to women. The way he treated women and responded to them was radically different to the prevailing culture of his day and deeply shocking to many who encountered him.

It is likely that many women travelled with him in the wider band of his disciples.

Martha and Mary were his friends and he was a welcome guest in their house.

When he was thirsty, he asked a Samaritan woman for a drink. We can’t realise how scandalous this was. Not only was he approaching a woman in a way that was unacceptable in his time, it was a Samaritan woman, whose religious beliefs were anathema to the Jews. In this way, Jesus crossed boundaries and broke, and challenged those cultural and religious traditions that not only excluded women, but also enabled them to be treated as property and dealt with in the same negligent and wilfully violent way.

Then, we have this beautiful story of Jesus honouring and receiving the kindness of the woman who anoints him, shaming the men who had welcomed him in by her profound care born. I suppose, of her thankfulness to him and her recognition of what she saw in him, nothing less than a different way of being human – a different way of being a man (see Mark 14. 3-9).

Read it all.

Posted in Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell, Children, Church of England (CoE), Marriage & Family, Ministry of the Ordained, Preaching / Homiletics, Sexuality, Violence

A Local Paper Profile on the New Bishop-elect of the Anglican Diocese of South Carolina, Chip Edgar

The Very Rev. Chip Edgar isn’t sure when he’ll officially assume the role of bishop of the Anglican Diocese of South Carolina.

As the newly elected bishop coadjutor, his task for the next few months is to serve alongside the diocese’s current bishop, learning all of the ins and outs of what it takes to lead the growing religious group.

But Edgar, who serves as the planting pastor at Cathedral Church of the Apostles in Columbia, does have some early thoughts about how his experience in establishing new congregations will shape how he leads a diocese during a time when nationwide trends have indicated decline in church membership and religious affiliation.

“I think church planting is at the heart of who we are as Christians,” Edgar said. “Regardless of what sociological statistics are suggesting, the church is obligated to be always out there trying to plant, trying to grow.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry