Monthly Archives: July 2009

The Anglican Bishop of Port Elizabeth responds to General Convention

The Episcopal Church General Convention adoption of resolutions D025 and C056 is a deliberate defiance of the wider Body of the Anglican Communion. We believe this is the choice they make to be politically correct with circular popular opion which seeks continually to destroy the moral fibre of people in general as we see the decay all around us. The blessings of the same-sex unions and the ordination of practicing gay clergy is inconsistence with the Word of God written; it is theologically uninformed, incoherent with the wider church, endorsing schism in the Anglican Communion and threatens ecumenical fellowship and relations.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Southern Africa, Anglican Provinces, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)

David Sanders: The Great Philanthropy Takeover

With all of the talk in recent months from activist groups like Greenlining and the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy about how charitable foundations need to devote more of their resources to urban areas and racial minorities, observers may have forgotten how much of American poverty is white and rural.

Earlier this month, the Council on Foundations, a national association for philanthropic organizations, attempted to chart a progressive course aimed at combating problems facing rural America. It hosted a three-day conference at Bill Clinton’s Presidential Library, which sits only a short distance from the Mississippi River Delta, home to some of the country’s most abject poverty.

According to a new report from The Bridgespan Group, which analyzed grant-making in 2006 by the top 1,000 foundations, grants to rural America accounted for only 6.8% of overall giving even though 17% of the nation’s population is rural and 28% of that rural population lives in poverty. A 2003 analysis of poverty by U.S. Department of Agriculture revealed that of the 14.2% rural Americans who lived in poverty, 11.3% were white, 30.5% were black, 25.4% were Hispanic and 19.5% were classified as belonging some other ethnic group. With respect to corporate gifts, only 1.4% of the 11,000 grants made by 124 Fortune 500 companies in 2000 went to rural organizations.

Read the whole article.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, Poverty

Eduardo Porter: Are We What We Search?

Ancient Greece had the Oracle at Delphi. The Shang dynasty had oracle bones. Contemporary America has Google.

Earlier this month, Lawrence Summers, President Obama’s top economic adviser, unveiled a new class of tea leaf to gauge the direction of the American economy: Google searches. The number of queries for “Great Depression,” which surged earlier in the year, had declined sharply, Mr. Summers noted. Economic anxiety is abating. The economy is probably turning the corner.

It was not the first time Google was invoked to show us the way. The company has a tool to track the path of the flu virus by looking at geographic trends in Internet queries for related terms. A study by Google researchers suggested search patterns could be used to track everything from home sales to the popularity of tourist destinations, and add to the accuracy of forecasts for new-home starts and car sales.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Blogging & the Internet

Reverend Ike dies at 74; preached gospel of prosperity

The minister known as Reverend Ike, who preached the gospel of material prosperity to millions nationwide, has died. He was 74.

The Rev. Frederick J. Eikerenkoetter II died Tuesday, according to a statement on his website. The cause of death was not given.

Reverend Ike preached the power of what he called “positive self-image psychology” to his 5,000 parishioners at the United Church Science of Living Institute in New York.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Death / Burial / Funerals, Parish Ministry, Psychology, Religion & Culture

Marion Hatchett on the American Episcopal Church (trumpeted with "TEC: The Flagship of Anglicanism")

From here where it is trumpeted with the title “TEC: The Flagship of Anglicanism:”

The American Church jumped way out ahead of the Church of England and other sister churches in a number of respects. One was in giving voice to priests and deacons and to laity (as well as bishops and secular government officials) in the governance of the national church and of dioceses and of parishes. The early American Church revised the Prayer Book in a way that went far beyond revisions necessitated by the new independence of the states.

At its beginning the American Church legalized the use of hymnody along with metrical psalmody more than a generation before use of “hymns of human composure” became legal in the Church of England. At an early stage the American Church gave recognition to critical biblical scholarship.

The American Church eventually gave a place to women in various aspects of the life of the church including its ordained ministry. The American Church began to speak out against discrimination against those of same-sex orientation, and the American Church began to make moves in establishing full communion with other branches of Christendom.

Historically the American Church has been the flag-ship in the Anglican armada. It has been first among the provinces of the Anglican Communion to take forward steps on issue after issue, and on some of those issues other provinces of Anglicanism have eventually fallen in line behind the American Church. My prayer is that the American Church will be able to retain its self-esteem and to stand firm and resist some current movements which seem to me to be contrary to the principles of historic Anglicanism and to the teachings of the Holy Scriptures.

Ah, would this be the same American Episcopal Church which had the widely used 1786 Prayer Book that the English Church rejected, for, among many other things, its Unitarianism and anti-Trinitarianism? Hmmmm–KSH.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Provinces, Church History, Church of England (CoE), Episcopal Church (TEC)

Notable and Quotable (II)

We make a leap now of just a hundred years. From 1689 we pass to 1789, and find ourselves in the city of Philadelphia, at a convention assembled for the purpose of framing a constitution and setting forth a liturgy for a body of Christians destined to be known as the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America. During the interval between the issue of the Declaration of Independence and the Ratification of the Constitution of the United States, the people in this country who had been brought up in the communion of the Church of England found themselves ecclesiastically in a very delicate position indeed. As colonists they had been canonically under the spiritual jurisdiction of the Bishop of London, a somewhat remote diocesan. But with this Episcopal bond broken and no new one formed, they seemed to be in a peculiar sense adrift. It does not fall to me to narrate the steps that led to the final establishment of the episcopacy upon a sure foundation, nor yet to trace the process through which the Church’s legislative system came gradually to its completion. Our interest is a liturgical one, and our subject matter the evolution of the Prayer Book. I say nothing, therefore, of other matters that were debated in the Convention of 1789, but shall propose instead that we confine ourselves to what was said and done about the Prayer Book. In order, however, fully to appreciate the situation we must go back a little. In a half-formal and half­informal fashion there had come into existence, four years before this Convention of 1789 assembled, an American Liturgy now known by the name of The Proposed Book. It had been compiled on the basis of the English Prayer Book by a Committee of three eminent clergymen, Dr. White of Pennsylvania, Dr. William Smith of Maryland, and Dr. Wharton of Delaware. Precisely what measure of acceptance this book enjoyed, or to what extent it came actually into use, are difficult, perhaps hopeless questions.

–William Reed Huntington, A Short History of the Book of Common Prayer

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Church History, Episcopal Church (TEC), Liturgy, Music, Worship

Notable and Quotable

In the creed commonly called the Apostles creed, one clause is omitted; as being of uncertain meaning and the articles of religion have been reduced in number; yet it is humbly conceived that the doctrines of the church of England are preserved entire, as being judged perfectly agreeable to the gospel.

It is far from the intention of this Church to depart from the Church of England, any further than local circumstances require, or to deviate in anything essential to the true meaning of the thirty-nine articles; although a number of them be abridged by some variations in the mode of expression and the omission of such articles as were more evidently adapted to the times when they were first framed, and to the political constitution of England.

And now, this important work being brought to a conclusion, it is hoped the whole will be received and examined by every true member of our church, and every sincere christian with a meek, candid and charitable frame of mind; without prejudice or pre-possessions; seriously considering what christianity is, and what the truths of the gospel are; and earnestly beseeching Almighty God to accompany with his blessing every endeavor for promulgating them to mankind in the clearest, plainest, most affecting and majestic manner, for the sake of Jesus Christ, our blessed Lord and Saviour.

–The preface of the Proposed 1786 Book of Common Prayer

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Church History, Episcopal Church (TEC), Liturgy, Music, Worship

Statement by Province of Southeast Asia Standing Committee in response to GC 2009

We are of the view that the passing of these 2 resolutions, when on a plain and ordinary reading, constitutes an abrogation by TEC of the agreed-to moratorium on the consecration of practising homosexual clergy as bishops and rites of blessing for same-sex unions. This effectively moves TEC irretrievably away from the orthodox position of the rest of the Anglican Communion as a whole on these issues. This is a negative development. It is also a repudiation of the listening and consultation processes put in place in an attempt to resolve these issues.

We reiterate that the basis of the common heritage shared through membership of the worldwide Anglican Communion is best reflected by the proposed Anglican Covenant, which we wholly support. The proposed Anglican Covenant encompasses our basic shared beliefs and traditions. It represents the most basic statement of what we consider to be acceptable for resolving the present predicament facing the Anglican Communion and moving forward. We hope that the Anglican Covenant will be endorsed by the provinces in the Anglican Communion within the next 12 months.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), The Anglican Church in South East Asia

Giles Fraser: Are you Anglican or C of E?

Another kick in the teeth from the Archbishop of Canterbury comes this week in his reflections on the US General Convention. It looks as if we are heading for a two-tier Anglican­ism, with the anti-gay lot being able to have “representative functions”, and the inclusive lot being edged out of any decision-making processes.

Actually, we have been something like a two-tier Church for a while, but the nature of this division is different from the one Dr Williams des­cribes. One tier is called the Church of England; the other is called Ang­lican­ism. Ordinary people in the pews are members of the former; those with “representative func­tions” ”” bishops and the like ”” are often of the latter.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)

Church Times: Two-track Communion will not exclude, says Williams

Broken bridges to the wider Anglican Communion will not be repaired by recent actions of the General Convention of the Episcopal Church in the United States, the Archbishop of Canterbury has stated in a reflec­tion that advocates a “two-track” Communion based on accep­t-ance of the Covenant proposals.

The issue was not human rights or dignity, but whether the Church was free to recognise same-sex unions by means of public blessings seen as analogous to Christian marriage, he said in Communion, Covenant and our Anglican Future, published on Monday.

A “yes” would have had to be pre­ceded by “the most painstaking biblical exegesis”, strong consensus, solid theological grounding, and due account taken of the teaching of ecu­menical partners. This was not the situation, Dr Williams said. The Church did not sanction the chosen lifestyle of anyone living in a sexual relationship outside marriage, and “a certain choice of lifestyle has certain consequences.

“So long as the Church Catholic, or even the Communion as a whole, does not bless same-sex unions, a person living in such a union cannot without serious incongruity have a representative function in a Church whose public teaching is at odds with their lifestyle.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Archbishop of Canterbury, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention

Richard Crocker: The Episcopal Church Dispute is About Theology

In truth, our members overwhelmingly elected to leave the Episcopal Church in August 2004 due solely to long-standing theological differences, specifically regarding the authority of Holy Scripture and the Lordship of Christ.

What do those two phrases mean? Authority of Holy Scripture asks, “Does the Bible say what it means and mean what it says?” At St. James we believe that the Holy Bible is God’s word. We take to heart its teachings and do our best to live by its tenets. The lordship of Jesus Christ asks, “Is Jesus who the Bible says he is ”” the son of God, born of the Virgin Mary, who died for our sins, was resurrected, and is with God in heaven?” The Bible teaches this and we believe it to be true.

Over the course of several decades, the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles and the national Episcopal Church stepped further away from the Bible’s traditional teachings ”” to the point that many Episcopal leaders now deny Christ’s virgin birth and his resurrection from the dead. Just this month, the presiding bishop of the national Episcopal Church, Katherine Jefferts-Schori, proclaimed that having a personal relationship with Christ ”” a core tenet of evangelical Christian belief ”” is the “great Western heresy.”

Rhoades also opined that “the Episcopalians want their Newport Beach property back, but St. James is digging in.” Our legal battle is about religious freedom and property rights. Americans hold dear the right to free speech and freedom of religion. People should not have their property confiscated for exercising their religion even if others do not agree with their beliefs. But that is exactly what is happening to St. James. The Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles and the national Episcopal Church have never held title to the St. James property. The people of St. James bought and paid for every square inch of this property with their tithes and offerings. They alone purchased the pews, the hymnals and the Sunday School booklets. The Episcopalians never paid a penny toward the purchase of the St. James’ property or toward building construction.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Los Angeles

Firefighters Galvanize Milwaukee to Help Family of Burn Accident after Doing the Rescue

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Posted in * General Interest

Boston Globe: With Ortiz Story, Steroids scandal hits home

David Ortiz, the greatest single-season home run hitter in Red Sox history, yesterday acknowledged testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug in 2003 as he launched his golden era as one of the game’s premier power hitters.

Manny Ramírez, with whom Ortiz formed a fearsome 1-2 punch that helped catapult the Sox to world championships in 2004 and ’07, also tested positive for performance-enhancing substances in ’03, The New York Times reported.

Ortiz and Ramírez became the first Sox stars identified as purported drug cheats in a decades-long scandal that has sapped the integrity of the national pastime. Ortiz said he was unaware of the positive test until a reporter informed him an hour before yesterday’s game between the Sox and Oakland A’s at Fenway.

“The news blindsided me,’’ Ortiz said in a prepared statement after he hit a three-run home run to propel the Sox to an 8-5 victory.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Drugs/Drug Addiction, Ethics / Moral Theology, Sports, Theology

Living Church: Church Building Fund Plans Move to Richmond

The trustees of the Episcopal Church Building Fund (ECBF) have announced that the fund’s headquarters is moving to Richmond, Va. Offices will be relocating to St. Stephen’s Church there this fall.

“The Building Fund has been located at the Episcopal Church Center in Manhattan for 34 years, and has enjoyed a strong collegial partnership that has reaped abundance for both” said the Rt. Rev. Dabney Smith, Bishop of Southwest Florida and chairman of the ECBF board. “Today, we begin a new chapter in our 129-year history.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC)

Religious Intelligence: Archbishop’s TEC response reveals division

Commenting on Dr Rowan Williams’ 26 point reaction to TEC’s decision to part from the moratorium placed upon them by the Communion, the Rev Giles Fraser, chair of Inclusive Church and soon to be canon chancellor of St Paul’s Cathedral, said he respected the Archbishop’s sensitivity on the matter but believed much of Dr William’s response to be ”˜hypocritical’. “It [the response] says that you can’t liturgically acknowledge same-sex unions because this would be, in a sense, liturgical acknowledgment of sex outside of marriage,” he said.

“But actually the latest liturgy that the Church of England has produced for the joint wedding baptism services is precisely that, it seems to me, if you are actually getting married and having your children baptised at the same time you are producing a liturgy which acknowledges sex outside marriage so I think there is a form of hypocrisy that goes on here with regards to gay people.”

Reflecting on the Archbishop’s response he said there was now an increasing demand for TEC to be further represented outside of the US and in the UK. “If members of the Episcopal Church in London find that they are not welcome in Church of England parishes then I guess the Episcopal Church has to respond pastorally to their needs.” He added that TEC had representation in Europe with a strong centre in Paris.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Archbishop of Canterbury, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention