Category : Marriage & Family

(CL) Southeastern’s Karen Swallow Prior: Why the Pro-Life Movement Must Prioritize Nuance, Education and the Imagination Post-Roe

Yet even though she is grateful that Roe has been overturned, Prior cautioned Christians against being hasty with how they move forward, saying that Roe’s absence gives us a unique opportunity to create beneficial legislation.

“For example,” said Prior, “we need to learn the difference between between intervening in the case of an ectopic pregnancy, which is going to be fatal to both mother and child and an abortion.” Because Roe was the law of the land for so long, Christians haven’t had to think through how the answer to such questions will impact the laws we create—but now in some states we have new opportunities.

Said Prior, “We’re going to have to educate ourselves quickly and thoughtfully and not just rush to put legislation in place that would be disastrous or uninformed or medically irresponsible. Of course, we want all of these laws to protect all of the human lives involved, but that’s not something that happens quickly and overnight. We have to really understand what it means to be pro-life and how to apply that in principle.”

Read it all.

Posted in America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Children, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Life Ethics, Marriage & Family, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Theology

(AC) Georgette Forney–Why are Anglicans Pro-Life?

People often say that abortion isn’t mentioned in the Bible. But the command to protect and honor Life is implicit in every word of Scripture.

First, we need to understand that the value of human life is based in our creation by God and in our redemption through Jesus. “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own, you were bought at a price. Therefore, honor God with your body.” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). Our lives have value not because they are ours but because they are His! For this reason, we must live our lives giving glory to God and living in His statues. In this way, Scripture firmly contradicts the “my body, my choice” mantra of abortion supporters.

Second, because our lives have value in Him, we as His people are called to protect and honor all Life. The clearest evidence of this is in the commandment, “You shall not murder.” (Exodus 20:13) But even earlier, in the book of Genesis, God declares that the spilling of man’s blood is inherently wrong, due to our status as God’s beloved creation: “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made man.” (Genesis 9:6)

True, society in general believes that murder is wrong. However, Scriptures show that “valuing” Life goes beyond avoiding the act of killing. Honoring the sacredness of Life means serving those in need and sharing the love of God. Christ demonstrates how we should do this: “For I was hungry, and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty, and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in…Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for Me.” (Matthew 25:41-45) Being a life-affirming Christian means more than opposing death—it means serving those who are hurting, lonely, and broken. It means caring for the “least of these,”—the unborn, the homeless, the single mothers, the elderly, and the handicapped. Because our lives are valuable to God, so theirs must be to us.

God didn’t “forget” to talk about abortion, assisted suicide, or euthanasia in the Scriptures. The gift of Life is proclaimed in all of God’s commands and in everything that God has created, including us.

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Posted in Anthropology, Children, Ethics / Moral Theology, Language, Law & Legal Issues, Life Ethics, Marriage & Family, Theology

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Prayer for Fathers Day from the Rev. Chuck Currie

From there:

We give our thanks, Creator God, for the fathers in our lives.

Fatherhood does not come with a manual, and reality teaches us that some fathers excel while others fail.
We ask for Your blessings for them all and forgiveness where it is needed.

This Father’s Day we remember the many sacrifices fathers make for their children and families, and the ways–both big and small–they lift children to achieve dreams thought beyond reach.

So too, we remember all those who have helped fill the void when fathers pass early or are absent; grandfathers and uncles, brothers and cousins, teachers, pastors and coaches and the women of our families.

For those who are fathers, we ask for wisdom and humility in the face of the task of parenting. Give them the strength to do well by their children and by You.
In Your Holy name, O God, we pray.

Amen.

Posted in Marriage & Family, Men, Spirituality/Prayer

(IFS) ‘Life Without Father’: Less College, Less Work, and More Prison for Young Men Growing Up Without Their Biological Father

“American fathers are today more removed from family life than ever before in our history,” wrote sociologist David Popenoe in his pathbreaking book, Life Without Father. “And according to a growing body of evidence, this massive erosion of fatherhood contributes mightily to many of the major social problems of our time.”

Popenoe wrote these words more than 25 years ago, but his assessment remains as relevant in 2022 as it was in 1996. The decline of marriage and the rise of fatherlessness in America remain at the center of some of the biggest problems facing the nation: crime and violence, school failure, deaths of despair, and children in poverty.

The predicament of the American male is of particular importance here. The percentage of boys living apart from their biological father has almost doubled since 1960—from about 17% to 32% today; now, an estimated 12 million boys are growing up in families without their biological father.1 Specifically, approximately 62.5% of boys under 18 are living in an intact-biological family, 1.7% are living in a step-family with their biological father and step- or adoptive mother, 4.2% are living with their single, biological father, and 31.5% are living in a home without their biological father.2

Lacking the day-to-day involvement, guidance, and positive example of their father in the home, and the financial advantages associated with having him in the household, these boys are more likely to act up, lash out, flounder in school, and fail at work as they move into adolescence and adulthood. Even though not all fathers play a positive role in their children’s lives, on average, boys benefit from having a present and involved father.

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Posted in Marriage & Family, Men

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

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

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

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

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

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

In His Holy Name,

Your [Saint Luke’s] Search Committee,

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

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

(ABC Aus.) Mark Thompson–I contend that twelve bishops did defy the will of the Australian General Synod on marriage and sexual ethics

In a recent opinion piece, Matthew Anstey provided an account of the recent debate in the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Australia over the meaning of marriage. While this piece largely elaborated the Archbishop of Brisbane’s recent letter to his clergy, it contained such egregious errors of fact and attribution of motive that it calls for a response.

At the General Synod last month, two statements were presented formally at the request of the Diocese of Sydney, though both those statements had been extensively workshopped with members of the synod outside of Sydney — laypeople, clergy, and bishops, women and men, same-sex attracted people and other-sex attracted people. Their final form was greatly improved by this extensive interaction. Both of these statements were reaffirmations of a determination to live according to the teaching of Christ as it is given to us in the Bible.

When each statement was put to the vote, the vote was taken in houses (laity, clergy, bishops). This is an entirely legitimate procedure. There are obvious disadvantages of such a procedure, since it means that the measure must pass in each of the three houses in order to pass overall. There are also very obvious advantages, particularly since the order of voting ensures that laity or clergy are free to vote prior to, and therefore without direction from, the bishops.

In the case of the first statement, specifically affirming the biblical teaching about marriage, the house of laity approved the statement (63/47) as did the house of clergy (70/39), but the house of bishops (which only contains the presiding bishop in each diocese, not every bishop of a diocese) narrowly voted to reject the statement (12/10 with 2 abstentions). This created consternation among many since the synod as a whole had voted so very clearly in support of it (without the bishops 133/86). The twelve bishops who voted against the statement had declined to listen to a very clear majority of the synod.

Read it all.

Posted in Anglican Church of Australia, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Pastoral Theology, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(TLS) Norma Clarke reviews William Leith’s ‘The Cut That Wouldn’t Heal’

Just as I’m thinking “This sounds like Holden Caulfield. Is he channelling J. D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye?”, William Leith mentions Karl Ove Knausgaard. Knausgaard’s series of books, My Struggle, chronicles his thoughts and feelings, beginning with his father’s death. Leith orders the series, and when it arrives in the post he is terrified – he feels “dread”, wants to put the books on a high shelf with the spines facing the wall. Then, when he begins reading the first volume, A Death in the Family, he is gripped. Leith often depicts himself having two opposed reactions. In his earlier memoir, The Hungry Years: Confessions of a food addict (2005), he writes: “I am always too empty, and yet too full. I am always too full, and yet too empty”. There’s quite a lot of that here.

Leith came early to the confessional writing game. A Guardian article published in 2005, by which time his tortured relationship to food, drink, money and drugs had become a staple of his journalism, described him as the “poster boy of binge living”. His binge living was driven by anxiety, and the writing about it, displaying his appetite for self-harm and honing his expertise in liking himself less and less, gave him a living. The Cut That Wouldn’t Heal has a present-tense immediacy, beginning ten seconds before his father’s death, but some of the material is recycled from earlier writings. The “cut” of the title is on his father’s leg, and Leith doesn’t press the obvious metaphorical application to himself. Beginning with his birth, which his father didn’t welcome, and continuing through a childhood in which his father was mostly absent, physically and emotionally, Leith charts the many ways he failed to be good enough. His father, a psychologist, apparently didn’t notice or didn’t care that his son was bleeding.

Read it all (subscription).

Posted in Anthropology, Books, Children, Marriage & Family, Psychology

(Economist) Asia’s advanced economies now have lower birth rates than Japan

Japanese fertility is still ultra-low compared with almost any society in human history. Yet it is now higher than that of any well-off East Asian or South-East Asian economy. The numbers in Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan ranged between 0.8 and 1.1 in 2020 (see chart). Nor is this a temporary blip caused by the pandemic: Japan’s figure was higher than all those countries in 2019, too.

Rich, baby-averse Asian countries in the region have three things in common. First, their people rarely have children outside marriage. Only around 2% of births in Japan and South Korea are to unmarried mothers, the lowest levels in the oecd, a club of rich countries. In wealthy Western countries that figure is typically between 30% and 60%. In China, the few who become pregnant out of wedlock are often denied benefits. The region’s decline in births has closely tracked a decline in marriages. The age at which people commit to a lifetime of entanglement has also been rising, further delaying child-bearing.

A second shared factor is expensive schooling. Pricey private tutoring and other wallet-emptying forms of “shadow education”, as such extras are known, are common in East Asia. The most frequent reason cited by Japanese couples for having fewer children is the cost of raising and educating them. Lucy Crehan, an education researcher, says that these problems might be even worse in other parts of Asia. Japanese pupils face their first high-stakes exams only at the age of 15. In contrast, children in Shanghai and Singapore must take such tests as early as primary school, piling on the parental pressure to perform and adding to the family’s tuition bills.

Yet it is the third factor that might explain why Japan is out-sprogging its rich Asian peers. A flurry of research in recent years suggests that high house prices cause young couples to delay having children.

Read it all.

Posted in Aging / the Elderly, Asia, Children, Marriage & Family

(Scotsman) Church of Scotland General Assembly 2022: Kirk says ministers can conduct same-sex marriages

The General Assembly voted by 274 to 136 to approve a change in church law to allow the move, but ministers who do not want to conduct such weddings will not have to.

Read it all.

Posted in --Civil Unions & Partnerships, --Scotland, Anthropology, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Parish Ministry, Presbyterian, Religion & Culture, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(Telegraph) Marriages in places of worship hit record low

A couple’s wedding day is traditionally considered one of the most important in life, but churches have become increasingly spared from hosting nuptials.

Marriages in places of worship have hit a record low, new figures revealed on Thursday, accounting for less than a fifth of all ceremonies for the first time.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) released data on marriages in England and Wales in 2019, analysed by age, sex, previous marital status and civil or religious ceremony.

It found that in 2019, religious ceremonies accounted for less than one in five (18.7 per cent) of opposite-sex marriages, a decrease from 21.1 per cent in 2018 and the lowest percentage on record; for same-sex marriages, 0.7 per cent of marriages were religious ceremonies.

Researchers said that the reason for the decline was down to “couples choosing to live together rather than marry, either as a precursor to marriage or as an alternative”.

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Marriage & Family, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Secularism

The Bishop of Durham calls for end of the Two Child Limit

Bishop of Durham calls for the end of the Two Child Limit with Private Members Bill

Today, a Private Members’ Bill which would abolish the two child limit to Universal Credit was drawn from the ballot, to be introduced in the coming session by the Bishop of Durham. For the last five years, support provided by the child element of Universal Credit has been limited to the first two children. The Universal Credit (Removal of Two Child Limit) Bill would remove the restriction introduced in 2016 and reinstate entitlement of support for all children and qualifying young people.

The Bishop of Durham, the Right Reverend Paul Butler said about the bill: “There is a huge amount of evidence that says that the two child limit is pushing larger families into poverty. There were significant concerns about this raised at the time the limit was introduced, and they have proved true five years later.

Read it all.

Posted in Anthropology, Children, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

([London] Times) Loyal labrador saves lost Texas woman with dementia

She strayed from a path and fell into the thicket. The search began the next day and security camera video showed Noppe and her dog on a road on the edge of the woods. The following afternoon the search was suspended because of a storm, though volunteers kept looking for her in the rain.

Noppe’s daughter Courtney said a team of tracking dogs had picked up a scent and a helicopter had been sent to try to spot her. At about 3am on May 6, the party turned off their all-terrain vehicles and heard a fateful bark.

“They just went to him and that’s how they found her,” she said.

Her family said that she was not seriously injured. “That dog has no leash, no collar, and stayed by her side for . . . three days,” her son Justin said. “That just shows you the loyalty that that dog has. He was never going to leave her side.”

Read it all.

Posted in * General Interest, Animals, Children, Health & Medicine, Marriage & Family

Greg and Beth Snyder are leaving the Anglican diocese of South Carolina to head to the University of Tennessee

The Lord has called me to a new ministry, a ministry which He has been preparing me for nearly 5 years. A ministry in the academy to young scientists and their professors. On April 13, I accepted the position as Lecturer in Geology at the University of Tennessee. Just a week later, on April 20 as you know, the Supreme Court ruling came down and not in our favor. I do not fully understand the Lord’s timing in this, but I must believe that it is good, and true and sure.

And I am encouraged in this by knowing that your Wardens and Vestry are ready and able to lead in the interim and to discern the nature of the next pastoral leadership for St. John’s Parish Church. I have seen the giftedness of this special vestry in recent months and you, the people, are all in very good hands.

My position begins at the University of Tennessee on August 1, so there are about two months or so before Beth and I, and Beth’s Mom, June, make the move to Knoxville. I must add that since the Lord has been growing this new call, both of my daughters have returned to Knoxville, and, as you all know, my granddaughter Ellie was born there. I had no idea of this 5 years ago, just as you all have no idea of the great blessing that will be poured out on you in the months and years ahead. “All will be well. All manner of things will be well.”

Read it all.

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

Australian Anglican Bishops affirm Christian definitions of chastity and unchastity but then narrowly veto support for Marriage

(Please note: for key background material on this you need to read this,that and this; KSH).

In his closing comments the mover of the motion, Archbishop Kanishka Raffel of Sydney, laid out what he understood to be the pivotal moment that the synod had arrived at; what synod was being asked to affirm here is unremarkable and if it could not pass then “something is fundamentally awry”. He reminded the attentive hall that a failure to pass the motion would effectively be adopting a stance contrary to that which had been repeatedly affirmed by successive General Synods.

The vote was called and immediately there was a move to call the vote by houses. Synod voted as follows:

For Against
Laity 63 47
Clergy 70 39
Bishops 10 12

Despite an overwhelming majority (greater than that in favour of same-sex marriage amongst the general population in the recent plebiscite) the Bishops narrowly voted against. Archbishop Raffel asked for leave for a personal statement and reminded the synod that this was a tipping point issue in Provinces around the Communion, going so far as to suggest that if dioceses now proceeded to simply act on their own on this contentious matter there was, perhaps, little point in meeting together in this way in the future.

Following a request from Raffel we adjourned early for lunch.

The mood around the room was best described as sombre. There were tears and prayers amongst many of the orthodox. The common lament was that our bishops could so willingly abandon orthodoxy and in the face of such a clear majority amongst the church.

Read it all.

Posted in --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anglican Church of Australia, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Sexuality, Theology, Theology: Scripture

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Saint Monnica

O Lord, who through spiritual discipline didst strengthen thy servant Monnica to persevere in offering her love and prayers and tears for the conversion of her husband and of Augustine their son: Deepen our devotion, we beseech thee, and use us in accordance with thy will to bring others, even our own kindred, to acknowledge Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord; who with thee and the Holy Spirit liveth and reigneth, one God, for ever and ever.

Posted in Children, Church History, Marriage & Family, Spirituality/Prayer

We took a long Weekend for our 35th Anniversary

Posted in Harmon Family, Marriage & Family, Photos/Photography

(The Critic) Sebastian Milbank–Rod Dreher comes home: The conscience of the New World is here in the Old

According to Daniel French there is an increasingly “underground” aspect to conservative Christian life in the UK — believers have woken up to the fact that the culture is against them, and in many cases even traditional religious leaders too.

Another of his UK allies, Dr James Orr, believes that Rod Dreher is destined to have a significant impact on our conservatism. “His insights are proving more salient with every week that passes, not only for Christians but for all those who are beginning to feel the consequences of rejecting the West’s Christian inheritance.

“As hyper-progressivism continues to colonise the UK public square with neuralgic imports from the US culture wars, I predict that more and more people in the UK will start to take Dreher’s jeremiads seriously and pay attention to his constructive proposals.”

Whether or not James Orr is right, Dreher is interesting not just for who he is, but for what he represents. He stands at a newly emergent nexus of traditional European conservatism, English realism, and American romanticism and religiosity. With an increasingly sterile politics, caught between technocratic centrism and the hollow battles of the culture wars, there’s a desperate need for new ideas, and fresh approaches. This is a man worth listening to.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, America/U.S.A., Books, Children, England / UK, Evangelicals, Marriage & Family, Orthodox Church, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Theology

(RNS) Jesus saved Beth Moore’s life. Twitter blew it up. A new memoir will tell the story.

For the past few years, Bible teacher and best-selling author Beth Moore has been one tweet away from disaster.

Moore, perhaps the best-known ex-Southern Baptist in the country, will recount her Twitter battles, her split with her former denomination and, more importantly, her lifelong journey with Jesus, in a new memoir titled “All My Knotted-Up Life,” due out from Tyndale in April 2023.

News of the memoir was first reported by Cathy Lynn Grossman of Publishers Weekly. Tyndale publisher Karen Watson told PW that the memoir will be a “southern literary reflection on an unlikely and winsomely remarkable life.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, America/U.S.A., Baptists, Books, Church History, Evangelicals, Marriage & Family, Religion & Culture, Women

A Weekend Mental Health Break–(CBS) Tampa Bay Rays’ Brett Phillips credits home run to fan battling cancer

Chloe Grimes, an 8-year-old battling cancer, gifted her favorite player, Tampa Bay Rays’ Brett Phillips, a bracelet. He hit a home run while wearing it and has been wearing it for good luck ever since. Steve Hartman shares more in “On the Road.”

Watch it all.

Posted in Children, Health & Medicine, Marriage & Family, Sports

Bono for Easter–The Day Death Died

Take the time to watch and listen to it all.

Posted in Children, Death / Burial / Funerals, Easter, Eschatology, Marriage & Family

(Tish Warren via NYT) Tim Keller for Holy Week–How a Cancer Diagnosis Makes Jesus’ Death and Resurrection Mean More

How has cancer and this encounter with your own mortality changed how you see your life and how you see death?

On an emotional level, we really do deny the fact that we’re mortal and our time is limited. The day after my diagnosis, one of the words I put down in my journal was “focus.” What are the most important things for you to be spending your time doing? I had not been focused.

The second change was you realize that there’s one sense in which if you believe in God, it’s a mental abstraction. You believe with your head. I came to realize that the experiential side of my faith really needed to strengthen or I wasn’t going to be able to handle this.

It’s one thing to believe God loves you, another thing to actually feel his love. It’s one thing to believe he’s present with you. It’s another to actually experience his presence. So the two things I wrote down in my journal: one was focus and the other one was “Know the Lord.” My experience of his presence and his love was going to have to double, triple, quintuple or I wouldn’t make it.

Read it all.

Posted in Death / Burial / Funerals, Easter, Eschatology, Health & Medicine, Holy Week, Marriage & Family, Pastoral Theology, Theology

(FT Magazine) ‘We packed fast’: those who left Ukraine, in their own words

Anastasia and Sonia arrived from Dnipro in central Ukraine. Hosted by the Świderski family

Anastasia says:
“My sister called me at 6am, February 24, and asked me if I am alive. I was shocked because I didn’t know what was happening at all, I didn’t listen to the news. My daughter was supposed to have a concert in the kindergarten that day, and she’d just woken up. We never watch the news on television, but after she called we turned it on to see what she was talking about. We saw that they started shooting and bombing all over Ukraine. I was shocked and didn’t know how to react. I started crying. We called a relative that has connections with the army and asked what to do, and she said that we have to leave the city.”

Marcin says:
“It was mostly my wife’s initiative [and] when Anastasia came to us, she asked why we are doing this, and it’s hard to explain. It’s something that feels so natural to us. Maybe because of ­historical reasons, that we thought that in the past, as a nation, we were abandoned during the war. So right now we feel this natural solidarity with this other country that is kind of in the same position — that there is an aggressor, and the rest of the world can’t really intervene, or they don’t want to. And I think that this is something that we as Polish people feel quite familiar with . . . There was no calculation. We didn’t even think it through that well.”

Read it all.

Posted in Anthropology, Children, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Immigration, Marriage & Family, Military / Armed Forces, Pastoral Theology, Poland, Politics in General, Russia, Ukraine, Violence

Ad Clerum on Retirement from Pittsburgh interim ACNA Bishop Martyn Minns

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. (Philippians 1:6)

Retirement is a serious business in the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), in a country in which there are minimal or non-existent pensions and inadequate healthcare for senior citizens. It is a particular challenge for clergy, who must often fend for themselves. Mandatory retirement age is 70, and to be sure that everyone was fully aware, and birth certificates have not been lost, each bishop’s retirement date is published every year. Shortly before my 70th birthday, Angela and I were called forward at a meeting of the Provincial Synod and we were each given a one-time cash payment of $1000 as our pension. I tried to object, knowing that for many of the poorer bishops this was a substantial amount of money. I was sure they could make better use of it than I could, but I was told, quite firmly, that was not an option. We expressed our heartfelt thanks and thought again about the importance of preparation for retirement.

The first and perhaps most important question is, “What are we retiring to?” Not “What are we retiring from?” Bishop Dave Bena, a dear friend and mentor, has retired a number of times. He retired from military service (he served with distinction as a Marine and then in the US Air Force), and he retired as the suffragan bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Albany, as my suffragan bishop in CANA, and most recently as the assistant bishop of the Anglican Diocese of the Living Word. He is something of an expert on retirement! But he spells it “retire-ment,” declaring that it is an opportunity to change tires and start a new journey.

One of the great blessings of ordained ministry is that while our particular place of service may change, our call to Gospel ministry remains unchanged – it is a lifelong call.

Read it all (quoted by yours truly at the conclusion to my Lenten teaching on a Christian theology of vocation, KSH).

Posted in Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Anthropology, Church of Nigeria, Marriage & Family, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Theology

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Saint Joseph

O God, who from the family of your servant David raised up Joseph to be the guardian of your incarnate Son and the spouse of his virgin mother: Give us grace to imitate his uprightness of life and his obedience to your commands; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Posted in Church History, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Marriage & Family, Spirituality/Prayer, Theology: Scripture

Bishop Helen-Ann Hartley, Bishop of Ripon shares a lovely story about an event that brought her (and others) joy

Listen to it all (just under 2 minutes).

Posted in Anthropology, Children, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Marriage & Family, Theology

Congratulation to, and prayers for, Chip and Beth Edgar

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

(Local Paper front page) Domestic violence in South Carolina cost nearly $360M in 2020 – or $1M a day, study says

The financial cost of domestic violence in South Carolina runs to nearly $1 million a day when you add up the burden put on families, courts, law enforcement and the economy, a study conducted by researchers at the University of South Carolina says.

USC economist Dr. Joseph Von Nessen said the spread of domestic violence cost the state approximately $358.4 million in 2020 alone, a sum that victim advocates describe as leaving a “staggering” toll on the state’s health care facilities, businesses, nonprofits and the judicial system.

“Domestic violence does occur in every county in our state,” Von Nessen said Feb. 15 at a Statehouse press conference to discuss details of the findings. “So it is critical for us to make sure that there’s sufficient resources for intervention and support services within reach of all South Carolinians.”

Read it all.

Posted in * South Carolina, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Sexuality, State Government, Violence

(GR) Cooper Kupp’s spiritual vision: Well, it’s hard not to pay attention to the Super Bowl MVP

It’s hard not to pay attention to what the winner of the Most Valuable Player award has to say after the Super Bowl.

Thus, a few mainstream media features after the Los Angeles Rams’ victory focused on a bit of very personal testimony by superstar wide receiver Cooper Kupp. In a way, what he said resembled the kind of stereotypical Godtalk that filters into the news when believers are asked to express their first reactions after a major event — glorious or tragic — in their lives.

Long ago (pre-Internet), I interviewed the late, great Dallas Cowboys coach Tom Landry about all of this. People tend to think that believers pray to win football Games and either God hears them or not, he said. The reality is more complex than that and, most of the time, players and coaches are trying to make sense of these events — wins and loses — in the context of how God is working in their lives.

In the case of Kupp, this win in The Big Game linked into what he claimed was a vision after a Super Bowl loss. Here is the top of a story from The Athletic: “How the Rams’ Cooper Kupp’s quiet vision became reality in front of the whole world.”

Read it all.

Posted in Marriage & Family, Media, Religion & Culture, Sports