Category : Ministry of the Ordained

A Look Back to 1918–Francis James Grimké–“Some Reflections: Growing Out of the Recent Epidemic of Influenza that Afflicted Our City”

So Jehovah sent a pestilence upon Israel from the morning even unto the time appointed; and there died of the people from Dan even unto Beersheba seventy thousand men. And when the angel stretched forth his hand toward Jerusalem to destroy it, Jehovah repented him of the evil, and said to the angel that destroyed the people, It is enough; now stay thy hand.
—Samuel 24:15–16

We know now, perhaps, as we have never known before the meaning of the terms pestilence, plague, epidemic, since we have been passing through this terrible scourge of Spanish influenza, with its enormous death rate and its consequent wretchedness and misery. Every part of the land has felt its deadly touch—North, South, East and West—in the Army, in the Navy, among civilians, among all classes and conditions, rich and poor, high and low, white and black. Over the whole land it has thrown a gloom, and has stricken down such large numbers that it has been difficult to care for them properly, overcrowding all of our hospitals—and it has proven fatal in so many cases that it has been difficult at times to get coffins enough in which to place the dead, and men enough to dig graves fast enough in which to bury them. Our own beautiful city has suffered terribly from it, making it necessary, as a precautionary measure, to close the schools, theaters, churches, and to forbid all public gathering within doors as well as outdoors. At last, however, the scourge has been stayed, and we are permitted again to resume the public worship of God, and to open again the schools of our city.

Now that the worst is over, I have been thinking, as doubtless you have all been, of these calamitous weeks through which we have been passing—thinking of the large numbers that have been sick—the large numbers that have died, the many, many homes that have been made desolate—the many, many bleeding, sorrowing hearts that have been left behind, and I have been asking myself the question, What is the meaning of it all? What ought it to mean to us? Is it to come and go and we be no wiser, or better for it? Surely God had a purpose in it, and it is our duty to find out, as far as we may, what that purpose is, and try to profit by it.

Among the things which stand out in my own mind, as I have been thinking the whole matter over, are these…

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Posted in Church History, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Presbyterian, Theology

Please join me in continued Prayer for Steve Wood

Posted in * South Carolina, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Spirituality/Prayer

The Rector of Saint Philip’s, Charleston, SC writes his parish with perspective in a time of pandemic

Dear St. Philip’s Family,

This past week of social distancing has been a surreal and difficult experience for the majority of Americans. Many are beginning to think that if the coronavirus doesn’t get them, “Cabin Fever” will. Not since World War II or the polio epidemic of the 1940s and ’50s have the American people been so inconvenienced or threatened with long-term confinement and financial ruin. It reminds me of the following story shared by the Very Reverend Laurie Thompson, Dean of Trinity Seminary.

In a series of lectures on preaching, the late D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones recalled an incident from the bombings that took place in London during the fall of 1940. During that time the citizens of London were required to remain in underground bomb shelters for long periods of time while “the Blitz” was carried out by the German Luftwaffe. The experience of being confined in shelters was psychologically difficult, and many people struggled to cope with their sense of helplessness. He tells the story of one fireman who rushed out of a bomb shelter after the Luftwaffe had departed. Using two hammers, he began pounding on a steel pillar at the foundation of a public building. After the police arrived and stopped him, the fireman was asked why he was pounding on the pillar. He said, “I don’t know. I just felt I had to be doing something.”

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Posted in * South Carolina, Church History, History, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Theology

Kendall Harmon’s Sunday Sermon–Let us not be Ignorant of Satan’s Designs (Acts 3-6)

You can listen directly there and download the mp3 there.

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

(The Lincolnite) Last resident canon to leave Lincoln Cathedral

The resignation of the Precentor has left Lincoln Cathedral without a single permanent residential canon.

The Reverend Canon Sal McDougall has announced that she will leave the cathedral in May after three years in her current post.

Lincoln Cathedral credited her with playing a key role in developing and organising its special services.

“It is a tremendous privilege to be responsible for the worship and music in such an incredible place,” The Reverend Canon Sal McDougall said.

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

(SA) Bishop Ivan Lee RIP–“We have lost a great champion for the gospel”

“We have lost a great champion for the gospel, for evangelism and for healthy churches engaged in ministry and mission,” said Archbishop Glenn Davies. “Our Diocese has lost a faithful bishop and teacher of God’s word. I have lost a good friend and loyal colleague. Virginia and her family have lost a loving husband, father and grandfather.”

Bishop Lee was the first Bishop of Chinese descent in Sydney Diocese and only the second in Australia. He served a record 17 years as Bishop of Western Sydney after his consecration in 2003. Even though his successor, Gary Koo, was appointed last year, he continued to serve as Bishop for Evangelism and Church Growth until he was forced to go into hospital in January.

Speaking to Southern Cross last year, Bishop Lee reflected on the fact that the cancer had been in remission after his initial operation and chemotherapy in 2015, until it reappeared in 2019.

“That’s a pretty good run,” he said at the time, adding that people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer “typically last months, not years… so it’s quite a blessing (to be given that time)”.

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Posted in Anglican Church of Australia, Death / Burial / Funerals, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry

The Archbishop of York appoints a new Archdeacon of Cleveland

The Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu has today announced the appointment of The Revd Dr Amanda Bloor as the new Archdeacon of Cleveland.

Amanda is currently Priest in Charge of Holy Trinity Bembridge on the Isle of Wight and Assistant Diocesan Director of Ordinands in the Diocese of Portsmouth. Ordained in 2004, she has previously served as Chaplain and Diocesan Advisor in Women’s Ministry to the Bishop of Oxford, and as Area Director of Ordinands for Berkshire. She undertook Doctoral research in Clergy Wellbeing and has a keen interest in the flourishing of those engaged in ministry. She is also a Chaplain to the Army Cadet Force. Amanda is married to Mark and has two grown-up daughters.

Archbishop Sentamu said: “I very much look forward to welcoming Amanda to the Diocese of York and especially to her new ministry in the Archdeaconry of Cleveland. As well as her experience in a bishop’s team, her research on clergy wellbeing stands her in good stead to support everyone whose work and calling is to serve others in Jesus’ name.”

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Posted in Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell, Church of England, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry

(AP) Stresses multiply for many US clergy: ‘We need help too’

Greg Laurie is among America’s most successful clergymen — senior pastor at a California megachurch, prolific author, host of a global radio program. Yet after a youthful colleague’s suicide, his view of his vocation is unsparing.

“Pastors are people, just like everyone else,” Laurie said by email. “We are broken people who live in a broken world. Sometimes, we need help too.”

Laurie’s 15,000-member Harvest Christian Fellowship, based in Riverside, California, was jolted in September by the death of 30-year-old associate pastor Jarrid Wilson. He and his wife had founded an outreach group to help people coping with depression and suicidal thoughts.

“People may think that as pastors or spiritual leaders we are somehow above the pain and struggles of everyday people,” Laurie wrote after Wilson’s death. “We are the ones who are supposed to have all the answers. But we do not.”

There is similar introspection among clergy of many faiths across the United States as the age-old challenges of their ministries are deepened by many newly evolving stresses.

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Posted in Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

(CT) Polyamory: Pastors’ Next Sexual Frontier

How would you respond to Tyler, Amanda, and Jon? How would you counsel Tyler’s parents to respond? Tyler’s parents’ pastor advised them to first listen to their son rather than trying to preach at him, so after Tyler came out to them, they set up a time to simply connect and listen. Though they were clear they did not affirm Tyler’s choice, they did affirm their love for Tyler, Amanda, and their grandkids. They made a point to keep their weekly Thursday afternoon “dates” with their grandkids and stay a part of their lives. Because of this, Tyler has maintained his relationship with his parents, and though his relationship choices are unbiblical, they have been able to communicate their love and care for him and his family. Amanda’s mother responded differently. Decades earlier, her relationship with Amanda’s father had ended when he had proposed a polyamorous relationship and then left when she wasn’t open to it. Amanda’s choice reopened her mother’s unhealed wounds. Feeling angry and betrayed, Amanda’s mother effectively broke off the relationship with her daughter. When children choose less than God’s best for their relationships, affirming both grace and truth is a difficult but necessary balance for parents to maintain.

Another important pastoral step is to distinguish elements of polyamory that are in violation of God’s will from elements that are simply culturally unfamiliar to us. When we want to lovingly call people to repentance, we should be precise about what needs repentance and what relationships or elements can and should be sanctified in Christ. For example, the notion of kinship in polyamory is a secular echo of the way Scripture calls the church to function as a new family. In cultures that idolize individualism (but actually isolate individuals), polyamory’s focus on relationship, care, and affection can have a powerful pull. And in churches that idolize marriage and the nuclear family, polyamory’s focus on hospitality and community can be an attractive alternative. We can acknowledge that many of the elements that draw people to polyamory—deep relationships, care for others, hospitality, and community—are good things.

But Scripture does clearly connect sex, marriage, and monogamy in ways that are violated in polyamorous relationships. In the example above, Amanda and Tyler both need to be called to repentance for the way they have committed adultery. A pastoral approach would commend them for their desire to have other adults contribute to the life of their family but point them to the church—not a polyamorous relationship—as the place where God intends for that to happen.

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I will take comments on this submitted by email only to KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com.

Posted in --Polyamory, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Ministry of the Laity, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Care, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(Mirror) The Rev. Paul Nicolson–‘I’m an 87-year-old vicar – but when I acted homeless, I was suddenly invisible’

While several people entering or leaving Church House stopped for a chat, most walked by as if I was not there.

That invisibility while lying on the pavement must be very depressing for long term street homeless people.

£14.38 was put into my mug which I gave to one of the three street homeless people begging outside Tottenham who I pass on my journey home. I am planning another session in the role of beggar opposite Downing Street.

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

Kendall Harmon’s Sunday Sermon–Anger, Lust and the Call of the Holy Spirit to the Church (Matthew 5:21-30)

You can listen directly there and download the mp3 there.

Posted in * By Kendall, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Sermons & Teachings, Theology: Salvation (Soteriology)

([London] Times) Oversized vicarages send wrong message to the poor, warns rector

Plush vicarages put off working class Christians claims a priest as the Church of England warns of a “serious threat” to its future in poorer areas.

In a debate about struggling to reach people on low-income backgrounds, Rev Canon Chris Tebbutt, rector of Canford Magna, Salisbury, said he had forged much better relationships with his community after giving up a seven-bedroom “manor house” to live in a new local development.

“Clergy housing is a hugely important factor for mission and evangelism,” he said. “Inappropriate housing sends out totally the wrong message to the community.” The vicarage is now occupied by an archdeacon, he added.

Read it all (requires subscription).

Posted in Church of England (CoE), Housing/Real Estate Market, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Stewardship

(Church Times) General Synod accepts that ‘serious money’ must be found for abuse survivors

Calls for “proper” and “just” redress for survivors of clerical abuse, with “serious money”, were made in an emotional debate on safeguarding in the General Synod on Wednesday morning.

The Synod voted unanimously for an amended motion to endorse the response of the Archbishops’ Council to the recommendations made by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA).

The amendment, brought by the next lead Bishop of safeguarding, the Bishop of Huddersfield, Dr Jonathan Gibbs, asked that the original motion be reinforced by “concrete actions”. Earlier attempts to strengthen it had foundered (News, 7 February). Dr Gibbs’s amendment also urged the National Safeguarding Steering Group to commit to a “fully survivor-centred approach to safeguarding, including arrangements for redress for survivors” and to update the Synod on the progress on the IICSA recommendations not later than 2021.

Redress was a small phrase with large implications, Dr Gibbs said. “It will mean serious money [and] changes in ways we handle claims and complaints.” Safeguarding responses must be “shaped by the righteousness and compassion of God’s Kingdom, not by the short-term and short-sighted financial and reputational interests of the Church,” he said.

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

(C of E) Overwhelming support for General Synod safeguarding motion

General Synod voted unanimously today to endorse the Church’s response to the five recommendations from IICSA and urged its national safeguarding steering group to work towards a more fully survivor-centred approach to safeguarding, including arrangements for redress for survivors.

The debate was opened by the lead bishop for safeguarding, Bishop Peter Hancock who shared personal reflections on his time as lead bishop along with outlining the Church’s response to the IICSA recommendations. The Bishop of Huddersfield, Jonathan Gibbs, takes over as lead safeguarding bishop in April.

Read it all and please note the links to the various speeches.

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

(Archbp Cranmer Blog) Martin Sewell–Safeguarding: the Church of England’s house is slowly being rebuilt

Our proposals sought to record our collective lament at our sins of omission and commission, and (for the second time of asking) we commended the text of the excellent Blackburn Ad Clerum. Then and now these suggestions were rejected: the first time our Archbishops thought it premature; this time, seeking to preface our acceptance of the IICSA recommendations with sentiments of repentance, and endorsing the pastoral response which our victims had welcomed, were ruled technically out of order. We can play with the idea of repentance being ‘out of order’ in this context at a future juncture: this is not the time for mischief-making, however tempting.

Our purpose in going beyond the anaemic and prosaic was to make this debate a cultural turning point from which we might begin to move on from the necessary demolition – of structures, attitudes, policies etc. – toward a more positive future.

We thought it important that such an initiative should come from below, for we saw that it is no longer sufficient for the House of Bishops alone to direct our response. Archbishop Justin has previously acknowledged that a change to the culture of deference is needed. We were taking him seriously. It is liberating and deserves to be taken seriously. “Trust me, I’m a Bishop” is no longer a sound principle: the whole of the Church, from top to bottom, must own its priorities, and discussing these at Synod seemed to be a healthy place to start.

Our proposals additionally committed Synod to accepting the final IICSA proposals promptly, on the basis that it was inconceivable that we would pretend to know better after all the embarrassment of the IICSA evidence and submissions. Our track record does not merit once again wandering off on a Safeguarding frolic of our own.

Our final proposal dared to engage bluntly with the issue of proper reparation. We were mindful of the story of ‘Tony’ in the insurance press. He told his story on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme, and explained how survivors have endured very low levels of compensation because they cannot afford to take matters to court and lose. The power imbalance in the negotiations is immense.

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

(Christian Today) Church of England’s parliamentary body reaffirms commitment to tackling clergy stress and burnout

The Church of England is launching a ‘Big Conversation’ to combat clergy stress and burnout.

The Covenant for Clergy Care and Wellbeing was proclaimed an Act of Synod by the Church of England’s parliamentary body on Monday, and will now be sent out to all 42 dioceses to formally adopt.

“What we are proposing this Synod does today in making an Act of Synod, is to make clear and unequivocal the mind of the church on a simple statement of commitment to one another, in our different roles, callings and responsibilities,” he told the General Synod,” said the Rev Canon Simon Butler, who headed the Working Group which drew up the Covenant.

“From such a statement, we believe that the potential for much good and much good fruit can emerge.”

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Posted in Church of England (CoE), Health & Medicine, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology

The Rev. Gary Beson’s Farewell letter to the parish of St. Timothy’s, Cane Bay, in the Diocese of South Carolina

Dear Family and Friends of St. Timothy’s Church,

At last Saturday night’s worship Sue and I announced that we had been called to Prince George Winyah Church in Georgetown, SC . Like the last time I wrote to you all, it was a night I will never forget. I can’t express how emotional I felt to tell you we were called out of your livesand I could feel the shock, pain and grief as soon as the words left my lips.

I have been in the congregation when my friend and beloved priest told our church that he and his wife were stepping down. I wanted to stand up and cry “no, don’t leave us, it was just starting to get beautiful, wonderful and life-giving.” He assured us then, like I tried last
Saturday, that “our times are in God’s hands” Psalm 31:15

Those words of scripture gave me some comfort then as I pray God’s words can give younow. I know His plans and His ways are rarely what I would have chosen, but I also know each time I have said, “yes Lord, I will go” he has taken me from one beautiful place to the next. He really is a lamp unto our feet and a sure and certain hope in times of trouble. He promises to never leave us or forsake us, for times such as these. Sue and I will be with you until 2/26/20….

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

The Latest Edition of the Diocese of South Carolina Enewsletter

Not a Convention Delegate? Come anyway – for the Workshops! Join us on Friday March 13:

Morning Mini Conference on:
Creating a Spiritual Legacy: Your Game Plan from Success to Significance

Afternoon Workshops on:

Church Revitalization • Stewardship • Global Partnerships • Church Planting • The New ACNA Prayerbook • Small Church, Big Heart, Big God • Hispanic Ministry • Prayer

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Adult Education, Evangelism and Church Growth, Ministry of the Laity, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry

Bishop Philip Mounstephen of Truro issues a statement on safeguarding

As your bishop I have a particular charge laid upon me ‘to serve and care for the flock of Christ’, and as chief pastor of the whole diocese I will never abrogate that prime responsibility. I bring many years’ experience of devising and implementing safeguarding policies to this role: but that very experience teaches me that in this area there is never any room at all for complacency.

Pastoral care in this diocese falls ultimately to me, so I expect all those who exercise pastoral responsibility under my authority to show the very highest levels of care and concern possible, the Lord being our helper. We do well to remember Jesus’ sobering words, ‘If any of you put a stumbling- block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were fastened around your neck and you were drowned in the depth of the sea. (Matthew 18: 6)

These things should be of the utmost importance in any diocese, which is why the Church of England is currently undergoing the second ‘Past Cases Review’. But there are particular reasons why these are core concerns for us here in Truro. I am acutely aware that Peter Ball lived with his twin brother, Bishop Michael, in the same house my wife and I now call home, after he resigned as Bishop of Gloucester. I know, too, that for many the recent documentaries about Peter Ball were deeply upsetting and shocking – and rightly so.

Furthermore, those in authority in this diocese repeatedly failed to deal with allegations of child sex abuse made against a former press officer of the diocese, Jeremy Dowling. Those were abject failures and must never be repeated. The report on this case, written by Dr Andy Thompson, makes for sobering, but necessary reading, and I commend it to you

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Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Law & Legal Issues, Ministry of the Laity, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Violence

Kendall Harmon’s Sunday Sermon–The Presentation and its Call upon us to see as God sees (Luke 2:22-40)

You can listen directly there and download the mp3 there.

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

The Rev. Gary Beson to become the next rector of Prince George Winyah Church in the Anglican Diocese of South Carolina

Gary and Sue were both born in Ohio and later both of their families, after several moves, ended up in Summerville, SC. They met their junior year at Summerville High School, dated while Gary was at the Citadel and after graduation, and they were married in 1984 at St. Phillips Church. They moved that fall from Charleston to Columbia so Sue could attend the University of South Carolina and major in Civil Engineering. In 1987 they moved back to Summerville so Gary could open his first Home Health business. Children followed: Gardner in ‘89, Parks in ‘92 and Mary Grace in ‘95.

They lived and served the Lord at St. Paul’s Summerville (where Gary was confirmed as a teenager, by the Rt. Rev. Fitz Allison in 1974) for over 25 years before being called into full-time ordained life. They attended Trinity School for Ministry and while there the family became involved in church planting at Southside Anglican Church.

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Posted in * South Carolina, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry

(Christian Today) C of E’s clergy discipline process ‘leading to suicide and post-traumatic stress disorder

…no-one in the official Church hierarchy has a proper overview of what is happening, according to the investigation by the Sheldon Hub – part of a charity supporting those in Christian ministry. And Bishops are operating “irregular discipline” over clergy which is ‘even less accountable’, the report adds.

The Clergy Discipline Measure (CDM) was introduced in 2003 and is supposed to deal “efficiently and fairly with formal complaints of serious misconduct against members of the clergy” – according to the Church of England website.

However, the CDM has been subjected to scathing criticism – and even the Church’s own explanatory diagram of the processes involved reveals a highly complex and confusing structure.

The report from the Sheldon Hub says: “We started two years ago with the assumption that the likely outcome of our project should be better training for those tasked with implementation of the existing CDM, plus some repairs to the Measure.

“The process so far has convinced us that the Measure is so fundamentally flawed that starting over from first principles and completely replacing the Measure is essential.”

Read it all.

Posted in Anthropology, Church of England (CoE), Ethics / Moral Theology, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Theology

The Bishop of Repton to move to a new role at Lichfield Cathedral

The Bishop of Repton is moving on from the Diocese of Derby to become Residentiary Canon (House for Duty) at Lichfield Cathedral and Honorary Assistant Bishop in the Diocese of Lichfield.

The Rt Revd Jan McFarlane will move to Lichfield with her husband Andrew and take on her new role in April, after almost four years as Bishop of Repton.

It will be a return to Diocese of Lichfield for Bishop Jan who was born in Stoke-on-Trent and began parish ministry in Stafford following her ordination as a priest in 1994. From there she served in Ely and Norwich dioceses before becoming the Bishop of Repton in 2016.

Bishop Jan said: “Andrew and I will be very sorry to leave the beautiful county of Derbyshire where we have been so happy. I feel blessed to have worked with some excellent colleagues and wonderful congregations. I came to the diocese knowing there would be a vacancy-in-see to cover. The completion of that task has coincided with the silver anniversary of my ordination to the priesthood, and much reflection during my recent sabbatical on the past 26 years since I was ordained at Lichfield Cathedral.

“In addition, following five years of hospital visits I have been formally declared in remission from cancer. All of this together has led to a desire to live life at a different pace. I look forward to being able to carve out time for writing and to return to the rhythm of preaching, praying, presiding and pastoring for which I was first ordained. I’m much looking forward to returning to my home county and diocese, journeying from Repton to Lichfield quite literally in the footsteps of St Chad.”

Read it all.

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

(Metro UK) Simon Butler–As a vicar I know it’s time the Church stopped telling people to be abstinent

Last week, bishops of the Church of England, issued a statement on the new opposite-sex civil partnerships.

All they could say, when it boiled down to it, was: ‘no sex before or outside marriage.’ They added that those in same or opposite sex civil partnerships should live their lives as ‘sexually abstinent friends’ and those in same sex marriages should not be having sex. The bishops of the Church are, in my experience, thoughtful, wise and compassionate women and men. But many of us are embarrassed and angered by the tone of what we read. The response of many clergy in the Church was to, metaphorically, shout at the telly.

I think it’s wrong and naive to ask for and to expect abstinence from couples. It’s wrong because there is no evidence that sex in other forms of committed relationship are harmful: the texts of the Bible assume a very different meaning to sex than it currently possesses….

Read it all.

Posted in Anthropology, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Theology, Theology: Scripture

Saint Michael’s Charleston’s Four Collars Podcast on Daniel and the Beast

Listen to it all.

Posted in * South Carolina, Ministry of the Laity, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Theology: Scripture

(GR) Trinity Church Wall Street: Can reporters solve the case of the missing Episcopal rector?

It was a strange way to announce one’s resignation, I must admit.

On Jan. 5, the rector of the richest Episcopal church in the country was standing before his congregation in downtown Manhattan giving some rather banal parish announcements. Then, he added, he knew that some folks had heard that he was leaving and yes, this would be his last Sunday there. Comparing himself and his wife to the Mary, Joseph and Jesus trio in terms of being on the move toward Egypt (and away from Herod, one supposes), he said they were going to take a sabbatical and that he wished the church well.

It was clear that many in the church had no idea what was going on, including the choir that was awkwardly standing by, waiting to sing an anthem during the offering. (You can see all this go down in this video. Start at the 50-minute mark).

Read it all.

Posted in Media, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, TEC Parishes

Thinking Strategically About Book Choices; An Interview with Bishop Mark Lawrence

Bishop, I sense you’re a voracious reader. Would you use that term to describe yourself?

I would say as a parish priest I was, but as a Bishop less so, because the schedule and demands – which are voracious – have truncated that.

How many books do you read a month?

Far less than I wish, unfortunately. About two a month.

What are you reading right now?

This summer I’m rereading Hamlet, King Lear, Macbeth. I’m also listening to two lecture series on the tragedies of Shakespeare and looking for opportunities to attend performances of those plays. Remarkably, we’ll be at the Utah Shakespeare Festival in August, and they’re performing Hamlet and Macbeth. There’s also a haunting performance of Lear by Anthony Hopkins in a movie version.

I’m also reading Landscape and Inscape: Vision and Inspiration in Hopkins’s Poetry by Peter Milward and The Man Who Went into the West: The Life of R.S. Thomas by Byron Rogers. (Thomas was a Welsh Poet and Anglican Priest). So I’ll reread his poems along with this recent biography.

How do you go about deciding what to read?

Often I will choose a reading project. When I was in parish ministry, I did this all the time. I’d read books in three areas: preaching and teaching, leadership, and pastoral ministry.

For preaching and teaching I would read 8 to12 books per year in theology, commentaries on the scriptures, homiletics or preaching. For leadership I’d read books from the secular world whether it be a book by Stephen Covey, Warren Bennis, Peter Drucker, James Burns, John Maxwell, etc., as well as in the Christian world and certainly biographies of leaders in various walks of life. The other arena was books on pastoral care, what’s known as pastoralia. That was for many years what I did in terms of my calling or vocational reading.

Read it all.

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

(Church Times) Bishops shamed by BBC documentary

The two-part programme, Exposed: The Church’s dark secret, was shown on BBC2 on Monday and Tuesday nights after the watershed. The documentary, which has been well-received by reviewers, included testimonies from victims, police, lawyers, and church officers, as well as dramatic reconstructions.

On Wednesday, the independent chair of the National Safeguarding Panel, Meg Munn, praised survivors of Ball and their families. “The BBC documentary showed the devastating and lifelong impact of abuse,” she said. “Those who spoke out, showed incredible bravery.

“The failure to stop Peter Ball and other abusers, and the failure to bring them promptly to justice, compound the hurt and damage to victims and survivors. Failure to co-operate with police by high-ranking clergy, including a former Archbishop, is truly shocking. Those who failed victims should consider their position.”

Speaking about the changes in the Church’s hierarchy and culture that she has witnessed, she said: “These are necessary, but not sufficient.

“Within the church structure, each diocese is effectively a fiefdom, and significant power rests with diocesan bishops. Last year, one diocese refused to share safeguarding information with another diocese. It took a number of months to resolve the issue, possibly exposing people to risk.”

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, History, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Sexuality, Violence

(AI) Southwark vicar cleared of immigration fraud by criminal court, sacked by CoE for theft

In his first four years at St Jude’s, Mr. Ntege conducted 29 weddings. The pace quickened beginning in 2007 with nine weddings a day taking place on some Saturdays. In 2011 the UK Border Agency arrested him, charging him with facilitating immigration fraud. In Oct 2014 a judge at Inner London Crown Court threw out the trial after he determined UK Border Agency officers concealed evidence and lied under oath. Judge Nic Madge ruled “bad faith and serious misconduct” had fatally undermined the case against the vicar and six other defendants.

After the trial Mr. Ntege was permitted to resume his post at St Jude’s, but in 2017 the Archdeacon of Croydon initiated church disciplinary proceedings over the shortfall in fees collected at the suspect weddings but not remitted to the diocese. At the November 2019 hearing the panel found the vicar ‘had knowingly engaged in systematic wrongdoing over a period of several years” and “wrongfully retained substantial sums of money which he knew should have been remitted to the DBF and had done so over a sustained period of time.”

Mr. Ntege, who had been able to delay his hearing for over a year due to claims of ill health claimed he had not been properly trained by the Church of England upon his arrival from Uganda and was unfamiliar with his statutory responsibilities. The panel was not persuaded by this argument and further noted he had “not demonstrated any remorse in relation to his conduct.”

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Posted in Church of England (CoE), Ethics / Moral Theology, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry

(C of E) Bishop Rachel Treweek responds to the Peter Ball documentary

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