— Stacey (@StaceyD3153) July 12, 2018
Category : Ministry of the Ordained
The Latest Newsletter from the Diocese of South Carolina Camp+Conference Center, Camp Saint Christopher
A key figure in one of China’s best-known churches was released on bail this week, six months after she and dozens of other members of the congregation were detained and their church was closed.
The release on Tuesday of Jiang Rong, 46, still leaves her husband, Wang Yi, pastor of Early Rain Covenant Church, and four other church members in detention. According to a church news release posted on the church’s Facebook page, Ms. Jiang was reunited with the couple’s son, Shuya, who had been living without his parents since they were detained on Dec. 9.
News of the release of Ms. Jiang and another church member was confirmed by a human rights lawyer familiar with the case, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of government retribution.
More than 100 members of Early Rain, which is based in the southwestern city of Chengdu, were detained on Dec. 9 as part of a continuing crackdown on churches, mosques and temples not registered with the state. About half of them were quickly released, but 54 were held for a period of days or months.
The pastor of one of China’s best-known churches, who once visited the White House, is still being held by the government. But his wife is now free on bail. https://t.co/xKLNSgdUgN
— The New York Times (@nytimes) June 13, 2019
In recent months, schoolteachers in various parts of the country have gone on strike, protesting (among other things) their low salaries. In 2017, the average elementary and middle school teacher in the United States made $60,900 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. For many clergypersons, that figure looks pretty good since the average clergy salary is $50,800. But unlike most teachers, clergy are not in a position to strike for higher wages.
Salaries of teachers and clergy range above and below these means, of course; but regardless of regional variations or demographic contexts, teacher salaries tend to be higher than clergy salaries.
Salaries of teachers and clergy range above and below these means, of course; but regardless of regional variations or demographic contexts, teacher salaries tend to be higher than clergy salaries.
Calls for higher wages are voiced not only by teachers in poorer states but also by those in places where teacher incomes are well above the national average. In some high-priced urban settings and coastal states, the relatively low salary of teachers makes it difficult for schools to attract teachers. For clergy too, whatever the setting, their relatively low salary is often an issue of economic survival.
The avg amount owed by new MDiv grads is $54,600. Avg debt amount incurred during seminary jumped from $26K in 2008 to $36K in 2016. https://t.co/Xu7znfnCs9
— G. Jeffrey MacDonald (@gjmacdonald) June 11, 2019
(NYT) Her Evangelical Megachurch Was Her World. Then Her Daughter Said She Was Molested by a Minister
Read it all (not suitable content for all blog readers).
A mom told @villagechurchtx that her daughter was sexually molested at their camp. She expected support, an apology, one conversation with @MattChandler74, for her church to take responsibility. None of that ever came. #sbc19 My investigation –> https://t.co/ecOWZYjW7c
— Elizabeth Dias (@elizabethjdias) June 10, 2019
The rector, the Revd John Parker, accused both the Church of England school and the diocese of silencing his concerns over transgender issues and how the school’s leadership was handling the topic.
The clergyman and the other governors and staff were informed earlier this year that the eight-year-old wished to return to school as a girl, not a boy.
Concerned by the school’s approach, Mr Parker secretly recorded a training session at the school led by the transgender education charity Mermaids.
In the recording, Mr Parker can be heard trying to ask questions and challenge some scientific and legal issues that are raised, but is told by the head teacher and others that he should not speak out and instead send his concerns in an email.
“Throughout the training session, there was an implicit threat to us that if we did not implement Mermaids’ ideology and affirm LGBTQI+ children, it would result in children committing suicide, self-harming, and police and OFSTED would enforce the policy,” Mr Parker said later.
“After the head told us about the plan to allow the pupil to transition, the school suddenly turned into a place where you did not even have the freedom to question or express a view. I felt it was no longer a Christian place of truth but a place of fear and intimidation.”
A rector in Essex has resigned as both parish priest and governor of the local primary school after a row over an eight-year-old pupil’s gender transitionhttps://t.co/tmz4ts507i
— Church Times (@ChurchTimes) May 31, 2019
The Latest Edition of the Diocese of #SouthCarolina Enewsletter https://t.co/y36ntoXjUg#parishministry #lowcountrylife #anglican #churchgrowth #theology #lowcountrylife #anglican #media pic.twitter.com/EhqZ0oeFso
— Kendall Harmon (@KendallHarmon6) June 5, 2019
The clergy and people of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth, gathered here in a special electing convention, have chosen the Very Rev. Ryan Reed, 51, to become the fourth Bishop of the Diocese, succeeding the Rt. Rev. Jack L. Iker.
The Bishop-elect has served as Dean of St. Vincent’s Cathedral, where the election was held, since 2002. A native of Omaha, Neb., Dean Reed was raised near Houston. He holds a B.A. in Political Science from Texas A&M University, where he was a member of the Corps of Cadets, and a Master of Divinity degree from Trinity School for Ministry in Ambridge, Pa. He and his wife, Kathy, have one daughter. Ordained to the priesthood in 1997, he has served churches in Fort Worth, Bridgeport, and Bedford, Texas; and held a variety of ministerial and administrative posts. He is a past President of the diocesan Standing Committee and presently serves on the Executive Committee of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA). He is a member of the Society of the Holy Cross, an international devotional society for clergy.
The special convention opened with the report of the Nominating Committee, which officially placed four names in nomination. Balloting began after a worship service. The election was confirmed on the third ballot, when Dean Reed received a majority of votes from both the clergy and lay orders, as required.
Bishop Ackerman leads the electors in prayer before the third ballot. pic.twitter.com/cKIzhilIsL
— Diocese • Fort Worth (@e_quips) June 1, 2019
Dean Ryan Reed elected the Next Bishop of Fort Worth on the third Ballot at the Special Convention today
Bishop Iker with the Very Rev. Ryan Reed and his wife, Kathy. Dean Reed was elected Bishop Coadjutor of the Diocese on the third ballot. pic.twitter.com/UxHgbwfBIk
— Diocese • Fort Worth (@e_quips) June 1, 2019
The Church has forgotten how to tell the Christian story to the 93 per cent of people who have little or no contact with it, a new report from the Central Council of Readers suggests.
“We desperately need skilled teachers who will live the story, tell the story, and accompany people as they explore the full implications of becoming part of the story,” says Resourcing Sunday to Saturday Faith, a booklet sent to every Anglican Bishop and every Reader in England and Wales this month. “Our argument in this booklet is that Readers are ideally placed to meet this urgent need.”
Setting out the Council’s “renewed vision” for lay ministry, it begins with a diagnosis of the current landscape for evangelism: “a time of great ferment in the Church”, given internal disputes over sexuality, safeguarding failures, and a society where “many are bewildered by the sheer scale of change”. A “fresh perspective” is needed, it suggests.
“The problem is that we have forgotten how to tell our story — or, to put it another way, we have only been telling part of the story,” it argues.
“In part, this is because we simply don’t know the story. The Church has been described as ‘a mile wide and an inch deep’. Many people in our churches simply haven’t reflected on how the story impacts that many different parts of their lives.”
I found this interesting – a new booklet that has been sent to all Readers and Bishops. It says the Church historically devoted “great time and care” to catechesis. Thanks so much to Readers @jembloomfield & @hamchick for comment: https://t.co/yV49KE73NX
— Madeleine Davies (@MadsDavies) May 31, 2019
Court papers have revealed that the number of victims of the late John Smyth QC have exceeded 100.
Smyth, who groomed his victims when he was chair of the Iwerne camps from 1975-82, was previously known to have beaten at least 26 young men in the UK.
When his crimes came to light in 1982 the leadership of the Iwerne network arranged for him to move to Zimbabwe to work with a missionary organisation.
Once there, Smyth started his own network of camps, in which boys were routinely beaten for his sexual pleasure. A court case was launched but aborted in 1997, and court papers from that case reveal that as many as 90 boys made formal complaints against him.
Read it all (subscription).
Herewith the blurb form the publishers website:
In the warzone that Nigeria has become, Archbishop Ben Kwashi has survived three assassination attempts. A brutal assault on his wife, Gloria, drove him to his knees – to forgive and find the strength to press on. Islamist militants have Nigeria in their sights. These are the terrorists who kidnapped hundreds of Christian schoolgirls – who have vowed to turn Africa’s most populous nation into a hard-line Islamic state. Their plan is to drive the Christian minority from the north by kidnapping, bombing and attacking churches. Plateau State is on the frontline. But holding that line against Boko Haram, and standing firm for the Gospel, is Ben Kwashi, the Anglican Archbishop of Jos. In Jos, churches have been turned into fortresses and Archbishop Ben now conducts more funerals than weddings and baptisms put together. Yet his faith grows ever more vibrant. He has adopted scores of orphans who live in his home, including many who are HIV positive. And the challenge of his message – to live for the Gospel even in the face of terror – has never been so timely.
For yr reading lists–A new biography of the Archbishop of Jos, Benjamin Kwashi ‘Neither Bomb Nor Bullet Benjamin Kwashi: The Archbishop they just couldn’t kill’ https://t.co/5egaZySDp6 #anglican #nigeria #terrorism #violence #bokoharam (hat tip: @goddardaj) #books #africa pic.twitter.com/qB2NmN3yyd
— Kendall Harmon (@KendallHarmon6) May 25, 2019
(Church Times) Bishop of Bristol speaks of being ‘silenced’ by ‘tribalism’ in Gloucester Diocese in the 1990s
THE Bishop of Bristol, the Rt Revd Vivienne Faull, has said that she was “silenced and marginalised” while she was a deacon in Gloucester diocese in the 1990s by the same “tribalism and clericalism” identified by the official abuse inquiry in its latest report.
Bishop Faull was one of a handful of bishops to respond individually to the scathing conclusions published in the latest Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse (IICSA) report, Anglican Church Case Studies: The diocese of Chichester and the response to allegations against Peter Ball (News, 17 May).
In both the diocese of Chichester and the wider Church, it states: “The responses to child sexual abuse were marked by secrecy, prevarication, avoidance of reporting alleged crimes to the authorities and a failure to take professional advice.”
This included the Church’s “unwavering support of Peter Ball” — the disgraced former bishop and convicted abuser — during the Gloucestershire Police investigation (allegations about Ball came to light when he was translated from Lewes to Gloucester), and its failure to “recognise or acknowledge the seriousness” of Ball’s misconduct.
Bishop of Bristol speaks of being ‘silenced’ by ‘tribalism’ in Gloucester Diocese in the 1990s
She was among a handful of bishops to respond individually to the abuse inquiry findingshttps://t.co/MPoE01cXKn
— Church Times (@ChurchTimes) May 24, 2019
His Hon David Pearl has been appointed by the National Safeguarding Team as chair of the independent lessons learnt review into the Whitsey case. The Church supported a police investigation into allegations of sexual offences against children and adults by the late Bishop Hubert Victor Whitsey. The allegations dated from 1974 onwards when he was Bishop of Chester and from 1981 while he was retired and living in Blackburn diocese. Bishop Whitsey died in 1987.
The review is expected to be carried out in two phases and will include the case of Gordon Dickenson, once other Church processes have concluded. Dickenson, a former chaplain to Bishop Whitsey, was jailed in March after admitting sexually assaulting a boy in the 1970s.
Christian leaders from across the world responded with warm tributes to the news of Prebendary Richard Bewes’ peaceful release from months of suffering from cancer at 6.25pm on Friday 9 May at his home in Virginia Water, surrounded by Timothy, Wendy, Stephen and his wife Pam.
A child of the East African Revival in the 1930s, he treasured his African roots and was the UK chairman of African Enterprise for 32 years. The son of missionary parents, Canon Cecil and Mrs Sylvia Bewes, he was born in 1934 in Nairobi and spent his first five years in what became (over 40 years later) the library of St Andrew College of Theology and Development in Kabare, founded by Archbishop David Gitari in 1977.
The family moved then to Weithaga where — along with his two brothers and sister — he had ‘the most tranquil upbringing a child could have’ on the lower slopes of Mt Kenya.
He told the story of how he first experienced revival as a child to the sound of thousands of African voices singing, in his most recent and final book Under the Thorn Tree – when Revival comes.
Coming to England at the age of 13, he was educated at Marlborough College, (and Iwerne Minster Camps), Emmanuel College and Ridley Hall, Cambridge. He was ordained by Bishop Chavasse of Rochester in 1959 and served a six-year curacy under Herbert Cragg at Christ Church, Beckenham. Then successively he was vicar of St Peter’s, Harold Wood, Emmanuel, Northwood and finally successor to Michael Baughen as vicar of All Souls, Langham Place.
Read it all (subscription).
— St Andrews Bookshop (@StAndrewsBooks) May 14, 2019
— Kendall Harmon (@KendallHarmon6) May 21, 2019
The Spring issue of the Jubilate Duo has just published! A front page article salutes our church plant – St. Timothy's – https://t.co/0lrrUV6tRM
To subscribe tothe Jubilate Deo, go here: https://t.co/tiTmvbIx3O pic.twitter.com/889A11PtE8
— St Pauls Summerville (@StPaulsSVille) May 20, 2019
A statement from members of the House of Bishops in response to The Anglican Church Case Studies IICSA report:
“We write on behalf of the whole House following the publication last week of the IICSA report into the Peter Ball and Chichester Diocese case studies. We recognise that the publication of this report causes most hurt and concern to survivors themselves. It reopens wounds.
“At this week’s meeting of the House of Bishops, Archbishop Justin asked every one of us to read and study the full report in detail and we are absolutely committed to this. The Church has failed survivors and the report is very clear that the Church should have been a place which protected all children and supported victims and survivors. We are ashamed of our past failures, have been working for change but recognise the deep cultural change needed takes longer than we would like to achieve.
“We welcome the recommendations.
“The report will now go to the National Safeguarding Steering Group next month so the Church can formulate a detailed response to the findings and recommendations as we approach IICSA’s wider Church hearing in July. The lead bishop for safeguarding has been asked to report back to the House and to General Synod.
“It is absolutely right that the Church at all levels should learn lessons from the issues raised in this report and act upon them”
Bishop Paul Butler
Bishop Christine Hardman
Bishop Peter Hancock
Bishop Sarah Mullally
The Bishop of Lincoln, Christopher Lowson, is suspended from office for an alleged safeguarding failure
“Following information provided by the police, I [Justin Welby] have suspended the Bishop of Lincoln Christopher Lowson from office, having obtained the consent of the Bishops of Birmingham and Worcester (the two longest serving bishops in the Province of Canterbury). If these matters are found to be proven I consider that the bishop would present a significant risk of harm by not adequately safeguarding children and vulnerable people. I would like to make it absolutely clear that there has been no allegation that Bishop Christopher has committed abuse of a child or vulnerable adult. The Bishop of Grimsby, David Court, will take on episcopal leadership of the diocese. It should be noted that suspension is a neutral act and nothing further can be said at this stage while matters are investigated. I ask for prayers for all affected by this matter.”
Commenting today the Bishop of Lincoln said: “I am bewildered by the suspension and will fully cooperate in this matter. For the sake of the diocese and the wider Church I would like this to be investigated as quickly as possible to bring the matter to a swift conclusion.”
BREAKING NEWS: The Bishop of Lincoln, the Rt Rev Christopher Lowson, has been suspended by the Archbishop of Canterbury following information provided by the police pic.twitter.com/9vhX6zN0yj
— BBC Radio Lincolnshire (@BBCRadioLincs) May 16, 2019
We asked pastors and writers to tell us about a book that has helped them envision what it means to live the Christian life.
As a thought exercise see how many of the ten you can guess and then read it all.
Kendall Harmon’s Sunday Sermon–What is the Connection Between Easter and the Church (Revelation 7:9-17)
(Premier) Paul Blackham–Richard Bewes (1934-2019) RIP: An outstanding preacher who loved the Word of God
Richard Bewes was one of the most outstanding preachers, Bible teachers and Church leaders of our age.
Through his books, sermons, hymns and video series he opened up the Bible to show us the Lord Jesus and the great adventure of Church life with him.
Richard was most of all a mighty preacher. Others gave good lectures on the Bible, full of accurate information and solid content, but Richard’s sermons were always so much more than that. He worked so hard at getting the Bible right and would never be satisfied until that truth was shown off in bright, warm and living colours.
He was loved by so many because he cared about people so much. Many of us were drawn into Church life because Richard spoke with integrity, compassion and warmth. He was always looking above and beyond the current fads and conflicts to the Kingdom of God over all the empires and ages. He loved the book of Daniel because it portrays the Kingdom as a stone that becomes a mountain and covers the whole world. He always lifted our vision to the heroic and colourful characters of Church history, all over the world, on every continent. No one could tell stories the way Richard did!
Such a privilege to know Richard. Sharing sadness with Pam Bewes and thanking God for a great man. I agree with paul blackham here: a humble, godly, encouraging, gifted Preacher & Pastor https://t.co/nePbWKlmrC
— Simon Vibert (@Simonvib) May 11, 2019
For decades, the Church of England repeatedly and seriously failed to respond to allegations of child sex abuse made against clerics and churchpeople, the official abuse inquiry has concluded.
It also failed to implement safeguarding structures to protect children and vulnerable adults who “should have been safe” under its care.
These conclusions are included in the report from the Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse (IICSA), Anglican Church Case Studies: the Diocese of Chichester and the response to allegations against Peter Ball, published on Thursday.
The 252-page report summarises the thousands of documents, witness statements, and oral evidence given during two public hearings in London in March and July 2018. The hearings used the diocese, and the case of the disgraced former Bishop of Lewes, Peter Ball, as case studies to examine the extent to which the Church of England as a whole failed to protect children and vulnerable adults from abuse over several decades.
In both the diocese and the wider Church, the report states: “The responses to child sexual abuse were marked by secrecy, prevarication, avoidance of reporting alleged crimes to the authorities and a failure to take professional advice.”
This includes the Church’s “unwavering support of Peter Ball” during the Gloucestershire Police investigation (allegations about Ball came to light when he was translated to from Lewes to Gloucester), and its failure afterwards to “recognise or acknowledge the seriousness” of Ball’s misconduct.
The report comments specifically on the evidence given by the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey, on the case, whose response is described as “weak”. His “compassion” towards Ball did not extend to the victims, it says.
LATEST. For decades, the Church of England repeatedly and seriously failed to respond to allegations of child sex abuse made against clerics and churchpeople, @InquiryCSA report on @ChichesterDio concludeshttps://t.co/2456czvttO
— Hattie Williams (@hattieewilliams) May 9, 2019
The Church of England put its own reputation above the needs of victims of sexual abuse, with a serious failure of leadership by the former archbishop of Canterbury George Carey, in its handling of the case of a bishop who eventually went to prison, an official inquiry has concluded.
It also found that Prince Charles and other members of the establishment were misguided in their expressions of support of Peter Ball as he battled the accusations.
Ball, a former bishop of Lewes and Gloucester, was jailed in 2015, more than 20 years after allegations were made against him that were largely ignored or downplayed by the church. Ball accepted a police caution in 1993 and resigned as bishop but was allowed to continue officiating in the C of E.
Ball “seemed to relish contact with prominent and influential people”, a 250-page report published on Thursday by the independent inquiry into child sexual abuse (IICSA) said. He “sought to use his relationship with His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales to further his campaign to return to unrestricted ministry”.
“The urgent need for independent oversight of #safeguarding & a mandatory reporting law to protect innocent & vulnerable people.” After this, the @churchofengland’s continued resistance to independent safeguarding oversight is indefensible. https://t.co/L9X5OsGEFe
— Michael Sadgrove (@MichaelSadgrove) May 10, 2019
Bishop Michael Burrows chairs the Church of Ireland’s Commission on Ministry, which will be organising a Vocations Sunday across the Church this autumn (15th September). In this interview with Peter Cheney, he discusses how people sense a call into ordained ministry and the main themes of his committee’s current work as the 2019 General Synod approaches.
Listen to it all (just under 11 minutes).
Promoting vocations: Bishop Michael Burrows chairs the Church of Ireland’s Commission on Ministry, which will be organising a Vocations Sunday across the Church this autumn (15th September). In this interview with Peter Cheney, he discusses how… https://t.co/C1W0slIyjs #coigs pic.twitter.com/DwO97JWXQP
— Church of Ireland (@churchofireland) May 10, 2019
It was important for the group to gather as much evidence as it could around the use of the confessional and the specificity of ‘the seal’. By the very nature of the subject this was not an easy task. Confessors could not break the confidentiality of matters shared with them. Those using the opportunity of making confession are not necessarily willing to share their story. However, the group did obtain significant input from those who exercise the ministry of hearing confessions, some from those who have experienced the abuse and misuse of the confessional and reflections from those who value the discipline of sacramental confession.
The evidence is clear that there have been priests, acting as confessors, who have misused and abused their position to exercise dominant power over those making confession, and in some cases seriously abusing those who had placed their trust in them. This is deeply disturbing and clearly wrong.
The evidence is also clear that there are many who have been abused and maltreated who have found the confessional and the confidentiality of it a significant place and space of safety in which to share their story, and have false guilt dealt with. This is therefore clearly of deep value.
In wrestling with the way forward the group had to recognise both realities and weigh up the contrasting evidence. The significant weight of evidence lay in the use of the confessional as a place of safety for those who have been abused rather than a place from which a priest abused their position to commit abuse.
Of all his many writings his “Be” commentary series is his most well known and well loved, including books like Be Loyal (Matthew), Be Diligent (Mark), Be Compassionate (Luke 1–13), Be Courageous (Luke 14–24), Be Alive (John 1–12), and Be Transformed (John 13–21). Wiersbe sawhis love of expounding the Scriptures as a gift that God had given him for the sake of others:
Writing to me is a ministry. I’m not an athlete, I’m not a mechanic. I can’t do so many of the things that successful men can do. But I can read and study and think and teach. This is a beautiful, wonderful gift from God. All I’m doing is using what He’s given to me to teach people, and to give glory to the Lord Jesus Christ.
His wisdom and teaching has left an indelible mark on countless pastors and Christian leaders.
Jerry Vines, Baptist minister and two-time past president of the Southern Baptist Convention, remarked on Twitter that “so many things I did were birthed by Warren Wiersbe.” Remembering his “great mentor and friend,” Vines said Wiersbe “is the man who taught me how to expound the Word of God.”
Daniel Darling, vice president for communications at the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, also spoke of Wiersbe’s influence: “Wiersbe had a formative influence on me as a writer and pastor. A long full life of service to the church.”
Warren Wiersbe, pastor of Moody Church from 1971-1978, went home to be with the Lord last night.
“A hundred years from now, it will make little difference what people think or say about us, but what God does with us will make a great deal of difference.” pic.twitter.com/iDGXUNN4ss
— D.L. Moody (@DLMoodydaily) May 3, 2019
Bishop Lawrence focused on prayer in his sermon at yesterday’s Clergy Renewal of Vows service and urged the clergy of the Diocese to trust the Lord with their deepest fears. “Prayer demands time, space, solitude,” he said.
Two former Bishops of Lincoln “turned a blind eye” to alleged abuse cases and did not report them to police until decades later, a BBC Panorama investigation…[revealed yesterday].
A list of 53 Lincoln Diocese clergy and staff was also eventually referred to the police in 2015, eight years after a review into past safeguarding disclosures was announced.
The Church of England Past Cases Review which examined thousands of records in 2008 and 2009, including some child abuse cases, found that some names could have been referred years earlier.
The police investigation that followed resulted in the conviction of three people….
https://t.co/lf3c1ZB03Z Looks like Lincoln is another Chichester. I’m sure plenty more will emerge from this & other dioceses. @churchofengland has been hiding much & hoping things would lay undisturbed. They are in crisis and still not owning it properly.
— Gilo (@seaofcomplicity) April 29, 2019
Watch it all (30 minutes).
— John Harvey 💜 (@Mr_John_Harvey_) April 29, 2019
You can listen directly there and download the mp3 there. Listen carefully for a famous Henry Allen “Harry” Ironside (1876-1951) story about forgiveness of sins from the life of czar Nicholas I of Russia.
“I bow before your cross,
O Christ my God;
I glorify your grave,
O Deathless One;
Feasting for your Rising
I cry to you:
‘My Lord is Risen!'”
– St Romanos the Melodist, On the Resurrection II pic.twitter.com/VQDudJqdKM
— Robert Mitchell (@RobertMitchel_l) April 28, 2019