Daily Archives: October 23, 2010

At Capetown 2010, Latin American Voices Address the Global Church

When asked about the messages emanating from the Cape Town 2010, Dr [René] Padilla said ”˜I am thankful that we can now talk openly about the social dimension of the gospel.’ Referring to the relationship of evangelism and social responsibility, Padilla recalled the analogy once given by his longtime friend, British theologian and churchman John Stott. Aged 89 and a lifelong bird watcher, John Stott advocates that proclamation of the gospel and the social dimension of the gospel go together like ”˜two wings of a bird.’

René Padilla remarked that the level of disquiet he received in 1974 was rather intense. Given the climate of Cape Town 2010, it would appear that things have clearly changed.

While taking part in a panel focusing on Latin America, René Padilla articulated three priorities facing evangelicalism in particular, and the Church as a whole. At the top of the list is what the senior statesman calls ”˜true discipleship, modelled after the original disciples of Christ.’ His other concerns, seen as interrelated and of equal importance, are globalization, which he claims breeds an unjust economic system, and the stewardship of God’s creation.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Africa, Evangelicals, Evangelism and Church Growth, Globalization, Ministry of the Laity, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, South Africa, Theology

St. Mary Magdalene in Southwest Florida granted Parish Status

Mission churches operate under the auspices of the bishop of the diocese and, rather than a rector, they have a vicar.

After a church gains at least 50 families and establishes a sound financial base, it can gain its own autonomy within the diocese.

[Jim] Hedman made the convention sweet for church members by giving Bishop Dabney Smith a jar of M&M’s candies when he walked in.

“I sometimes abbreviate our church name in my emails as St. M&M,” said Hedman, who began to realize there was a preaching moment there when he got the chance to make a short speech at the convention.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Episcopal Church (TEC), Parish Ministry, TEC Parishes

Christianity Today: Deanna Favre speaks about her faith amid suffering

You’ve gone through a lot with breast cancer and having a spotlight on your family. What are the appropriate emotional responses to suffering? For instance, can one be angry?

I dealt with that when I lost my brother in October 2004, and four days after I buried my brother, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I was furious. I had a lot of fear and disappointment, and coming from a strong faith background, I couldn’t believe these things could happen to me, to my family. That’s what the “chronic life” is. You start to turn inward, and these patterns, despair, and depression cause us to turn inward and focus on ourselves. The message in the book and what we’re hoping is to help people turn outward. The focus then is on others.

You wrote about how one of your friends told you, “Sure you have cancer inside your body, but you also have Christ.” You wrote, “I will never forget those words. They were simple, to the point and incredibly true.” How did your faith shape your response to breast cancer?

I think at that moment I realized, this isn’t about me. God obviously didn’t give me cancer, but he certainly prepared me for it. I knew there was a bigger plan.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Death / Burial / Funerals, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Sports, Theology, Women

NBC Washington Video–Historic Chapel Burns in Alexandria

View more news videos at: http://www.nbcwashington.com/video.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), Seminary / Theological Education, Theology

Washington Post–'Traumatic' fire ravages historic Alexandria chapel

The blaze, which raged through the 19th-century Immanuel Chapel, was described by the Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, dean and president of the Episcopal seminary, as a catastrophe.

The blaze was reported about 3:55 p.m., and “the moment the fire took hold, it went down rapidly,” Markham said of large sections of the 129-year-old building. No injuries or damage to other buildings was reported at the facility, on the western side of the city, at Seminary Road and Quaker Lane. The cause was not yet known.

“I watched it,” Markham said. “Within 40 minutes, the heart of the chapel was destroyed. It was a trauma that will stay with me.”

Many members of the Episcopal clergy were ordained in the chapel. It had also been the site of marriages and funerals.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), Seminary / Theological Education, Theology

Capetown 2010 attendees grapple with poverty, ethnic conflict and climate change

(ACNS) The second full day of the Cape Town 2010 Congress focused on the role of the church in the ministry of reconciliation””reconciliation of women and men with God’s creation, reconciliation between people of different economic status, and reconciliation between people of different ethnic and racial backgrounds.

Ruth Padilla DeBorst, the General Secretary of the Latin American Theological Fellowship, began the day by leading participants through a study of Ephesians chapter two. She provided thoughtful insights about the nature of God’s transformative power in changing people and societies.

“Jesus made peace by doing justice, by restoring to rightful place and right relations those who were being deprived of them by unjust systems, human greed and abuse of power,” Ruth Padilla Deborst said. “God lives wherever men and women together allow the Community-of-love to imprint God’s image on them, to speak reconciliation into being in their midst, to tear down all humanly constructed walls and spiritually bolstered exclusions so that unity becomes visible, to remind them that once we were all together in death and that our lives, our value and our purpose depend entirely on God’s unmerited grace. God yearns to build the world church today into his earthly dwelling place.”

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Africa, Evangelicals, Evangelism and Church Growth, Globalization, Missions, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, South Africa

G. Thomas Graves III–Revisions to Title IV Are Bad Law

…the first dean of St. Matthew’s Cathedral, the Very Rev. Hudson Stuck, was well versed in the precedents of church history. “For consider that every organized diocese is essentially an independent, autonomous portion of the church, having all that is necessary for a church,” he wrote in 1895. Statements like this were not made to defeat a “national church,” as none existed then on the terms we now see being proposed. They were made out of enthusiasm for spreading the gospel, because Dallas was complete as a diocese and so suited for the challenge. To quote the Rt. Rev. James Stanton, sixth Bishop of Dallas, sovereignty in the context that Stuck and Garrett used it did not mean going it alone. Garrett made this clear when he said that the “fullness of the apostolic power, to which I have referred again and again as the great deposit of authority, resides not in each individual bishop, but in the complete apostolic college. It resides in the whole body of bishops.”

The revisions to Title IV enacted by General Convention at Anaheim in 2009 turn the principles of the founders of the Diocese of Dallas and those of the entire Episcopal Church on their head. As neatly summarized in the excellent article on this subject written by Alan Runyan and Mark McCall, these amendments inflict a broad range of damage that should be of grave concern to Episcopalians across the entire political spectrum. They enable a bishop (and the presiding bishop) not only to serve as policeman writing the citation, but also to sit as a member of the three-person board (or grand jury) that will be appointed to replace a duly elected standing committee.

Any resemblance to due process as we understand it in this country has been eliminated from Title IV, including protection of ordained clergy against self-incrimination. Clergy must now “testify and cooperate”; they must “self-report” an offense; and they will no longer hear Miranda warnings. As rewritten, Title IV works to the advantage of those who currently hold authority within TEC. With a change in regime, however, it could easily become an instrument of control by those they oppose. Good law should serve all parties, not simply whichever group may be in power.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Church History, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention, House of Deputies President, Presiding Bishop, TEC Bishops, TEC Polity & Canons

The BLS report on State Unemployment Rates in September: Not Much Change

In September, Nevada’s unemployment rate held at 14.4 percent, again the highest among the states. The states with the next highest rates were Michigan, 13.0 percent, and California, 12.4 percent. North Dakota continued to register the lowest jobless rate, 3.7 percent, followed by South Dakota and Nebraska, at 4.4 and 4.6 percent, respectively. In total, 26 states posted jobless rates significantly lower than the U.S. figure of 9.6 percent, 7 states recorded measurably higher rates, and 17 states and the District of Columbia had rates that were not appreciably different from that of the nation.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Politics in General, State Government, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

(DNA) Proper understanding of faith will help tackle terrorism: Archbishop of Canterbury

Wrong understanding of religion and God was often the cause of terrorism and religious fanaticism, archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams observed in Thiruvananthapuram today.

There were some who think that God required us all the time defending him and the faith. God need not require us to defend him, the visiting head of the Church of England said during an interaction with students of the Kerala United Theological Seminary here.

What is important is to try to understand”the infinity, inexhaustibility and mystery of God”, which will lead to a meaningful understanding of the faith, the supreme leader of the Anglican Communion said.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, Archbishop of Canterbury, Asia, India

Rangers down the Yankees to reach first their World Series

The Texas Rangers reached the World Series for the first time in their 50 years as a franchise by beating the New York Yankees 6-1 on Friday to win the American League Championship Series.

The win gave them a 4-2 triumph in the best-of-seven series and put them into the Fall Classic against the winner of the National League Championship Series between the Philadelphia Phillies and San Francisco Giants, who lead it 3-2.

Rookie closer Neftali Feliz struck out former Ranger Alex Rodriguez for the final out, igniting wild celebrations on the diamond and among the crowd of more than 51,000 at Rangers Ballpark.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Sports

Historic Australian Anglican Church fight heads for court

The Anglican Church will go to the Land and Environment Court next month to argue for the right to subdivide and sell part of a historic piece of land in Vaucluse, including the burial site of William Wentworth, after the local council refused the proposal on the grounds of the site’s heritage significance.

Woollahra Council refused the application from the Anglican parish of Watsons Bay to subdivide land on Fitzwilliam Street. The site contains the heritage-listed Wentworth Memorial Church.

The parish wants to divide the land in two, retaining the church and mausoleum but selling land containing a church hall. The funds would pay for the redevelopment of a church hall at St Peter’s in Watsons Bay.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican Provinces, Law & Legal Issues

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Saint James of Jerusalem

Grant, we beseech thee, O God, that after the example of thy servant James the Just, brother of our Lord, thy Church may give itself continually to prayer and to the reconciliation of all who are at variance and enmity; through the same our Lord Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and ever.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Church History, Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Scripture Readings

He was praying in a certain place, and when he ceased, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.” And he said to them, “When you pray, say: “Father, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread; and forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive every one who is indebted to us; and lead us not into temptation.”

–Luke 11:1-4

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Fire reported at Virginia Theological Seminary

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There is a general headline on the main Washington Post site: “Large fire burns at Alexandria seminary.” Ugh.

Update: I found a slide show of ten pictures here.

The following is from the VTS website:

This afternoon, at 3:55 p.m., the Virginia Theological Seminary community became aware that the historic 129 year old Immanuel Chapel was on fire.

9-1-1 was immediately called, buildings were evacuated and the emergency services responded quickly and efficiently. It is clear that significant damage has occurred, including the loss of the stained glass windows and iconic words “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel.”

“At this stage, the cause of the fire is unclear. The VTS Community is saddened and devastated by this catastrophe,” said the Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, dean and president of Virginia Theological Seminary, said, “The buildings nearby are intact and safe. The ministry and mission of VTS continue, even as the community grieves.”

Founded in 1823, Virginia Theological Seminary is the largest of the 11 accredited seminaries of the Episcopal Church. The school prepares men and women for service in the Church worldwide, both as ordained and lay ministers, and offers a number of professional degree programs and diplomas. Currently, the Seminary represents more than 40 different dioceses and nine different countries, for service in the Church.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), Seminary / Theological Education, Theology

ABC Nightline–The Hunt for the Rare Spirit Bears

Simply an amazing sight–watch it all.

Posted in * General Interest, Animals

FT–Foreclosures spawn new attitude to ownership

Jeff Horton has a job, two cars and money in the bank. Yet, he stopped paying his mortgage a year ago. With shoddy documentation by mortgage lenders now delaying foreclosures across the US, Jeff thinks he will continue living for free for at least another six months, and probably longer.

The 33-year-old IT specialist is keen to put an end to his disastrous home purchase that will likely leave his bank with a loss of at least $100,000. Until the bank actually makes him leave, he will keep living in the Orlando house, and pocket the $2,200 he used to pay on his monthly mortgage. “I’m not stupid,” he says. “I will live for free until the bank takes over the house.”

Shasta Gaughen, an anthropologist living in California, stopped paying her mortgage in February. She has no idea when her home will actually be taken over. “I have been able to save significantly,” she says. “Every penny that was supposed to go to my mortgage went into savings, around $1,200 a month.”

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, Consumer/consumer spending, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Housing/Real Estate Market, Personal Finance, Politics in General, The 2009 Obama Administration Housing Amelioration Plan, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, The Fiscal Stimulus Package of 2009, The U.S. Government, Theology

ENS–Liturgy and Music commission hears call for openness, equality for same-gender couples

Ministering in the “middle of this cauldron of multicultural activity” that is Harvard Square, the Rev. Joseph Robinson, rector of Christ Church Cambridge in the Diocese of Massachusetts says he wants to be able to welcome everyone, including same-gender couples who want their relationships blessed.

“And what they’re asking of me is that it’s the same for everyone, that it’s done with intention, truthfulness and that it begins with the words ‘dearly beloved,'” Robinson told the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music Oct. 19 during a hearing here. “It needs to sound like something that’s recognizable.”

“Whatever we do, whatever we offer our people, let it be eloquent, let it be truthful, let it be prayer and let it be common because those are the things which are the strengths of our church,” Robinson added.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anthropology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Marriage & Family, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology