Daily Archives: January 22, 2011

In Bermuda a Young Anglican Priest turns heads and hearts

It can be a challenge for a person to uproot their entire family and move to a new country and culture, but for Anthony Pettit and his family, the newest vicar at St. Paul’s Anglican Church, the move has proved to be a blessing.

Dressed in a typical clerical collar, but with the addition of a cross earring, Rev Pettit, along with wife Ruth, and sons, Ben, 9, and Sam, 7, arrived in Bermuda in the early autumn of last year, and have settled in well within the church and the community.

“The warmth of their welcome they’re lovely people,” Mrs Pettit shared of their new church family at St. Paul’s.

“They are such faithful people,” Mr Pettit added.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, - Anglican: Latest News, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry

The Episcopal Bishop of Arizona looks back on the 31st anniversary of his ordination

When I knelt before Bishop Porteus, I doubt that anyone in that congregation, myself included, could have imagined that:

1. There would be a woman Presiding Bishop (who will be in here Feb. 4-6, by the way),
2. There would be gay and lesbian bishops,
3. Any Episcopalian would ever dream of defecting to an African Anglican Church,
4. There would be such a movement as the “Emergent” Church,

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, --Social Networking, Blogging & the Internet, Church History, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops

Notable and Quotable

“Some manner must be found for Anglicans to confess the faith together.”

–Bishop Michale Nazir-Ali, speaking at Mere Anglicanism a moment ago

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Ecclesiology, Theology

The Bishop of Sherborne Launches a Ministry Where Bishops Respond to Hard Youth Questions

A BBC Today audio report on this is described as follows:

A Church of England bishop has called on Anglican clergy to take the Church’s message to young people by trying to address the fundamental questions of life and death. Dr Graham Kings, the Bishop of Sherborne, in Dorset, says a lack of religious knowledge is one of the causes of religious doubt. Robert Pigott reports.

Listen to it all (about 3 1/2 minutes).

You may also find much more about this ministry here.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Apologetics, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Parish Ministry, Teens / Youth, Theology, Youth Ministry

On the Dublin [Primates'] Meeting: A Global South Anglican Editorial

Unless and until there is unequivocal commitment to honour the agreed basis of Lambeth Resolution 1.10 and implement the decisions of previous Primates’ Meetings (2005, 2007, 2009) expressed in the respective Communiqués, especially that of Dar es Salem 2007, it will only lead to further erosion of the credibility of the Primates’ Meeting and accentuate our failure to honour the work already done by them.

What is most disturbing and difficult is that given the intractable miry situation the Communion is already in and being further driven into, there was hardly any timely and intentional prior consultation and collegial engagement of all concerned (or at least as many as reasonably possible) in preparing for the Meeting to ensure certain degree of significant and principally legitimate outcome to hold and move the Communion together. In light of the critical importance of the Meeting, the preparations are gravely inadequate. As it stands, the Meeting is almost pre-determined to end up as just another gathering that again cannot bring about effective ecclesial actions, despite the precious time, energy and monetary resources that Primates and Provinces have invested in attending the Meeting. This, most Provinces could scarcely afford. With the disappointingly lack of serious transparent planning and leadership beforehand to prepare the Primates for a genuine meeting of minds and hearts to face the very real and obvious issues before us, it will be strenuous to expect any significant, meaningful, credible and constructive outcome of the Dublin Meeting.

Read it all (my emphasis).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Primates, Global South Churches & Primates

Mere Anglicanism: Friday session ends with gala dinner for Bp. Fitzsimmons Allison

(By Cheri Wetzel).

The main day of presentations has concluded. This afternoon, we heard a brilliant piece by the Rev. Dr. Ashley Null on Recent findings in Cranmer Research. For the first time ever, the development of the Doctrine of Anglicanism made sense to me, from the early days of the beginning of the Church, through Cranmer’s time as Archbishop of Canterbury. The early Church Fathers, the writing, analysis and evaluation of competing texts in Eastern Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism, plus the Reformation writers, especially Luther, became a completed picture ”“ no longer a jig saw puzzle with lots of missing pieces. Rationale for Cranmer’s development of the Book of Common Prayer I and II finally make sense. Because major portions of this paper will be published this calendar year, this commentary ends here. Dr. Null has promised that when the publishing cycle is complete, we will do an in-depth interview. Trust me, it will be worth the wait for this excellent material.

This lecture was followed by the Rev. Dr. Steven Paulson, escapee from the frozen tundra of central Minnesota. His topic was “Preaching the Gospel of Grace.” A clerical member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), Dr. Paulson spoke with clarity about the difference between the yeast of the Pharisees and the yeast of the Sadducees, both of which are warned against in Paul’s letters. “Cheap Grace” and the problems between works and grace that have inhabited the Church since the early days, received great discussion. How do you actually preach the Gospels when these differences in understanding still exist? Get to the core. Who is the person of the Christ? What was he sent to us to accomplish? How did he do that? Is this healing balm still vital and active and functioning today? Yes. Preach it!

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, - Anglican: Analysis, Theology

Abp. Mouneer Anis: “Recovering the Power of the Word for the Anglican Communion”

(By Cheri Wetzel).

This year the bomb happened in the New Year’s Eve service 2011, as they were coming out of the church this bombing took place. It shook the nation, as well as the moderate Muslims as well. We are not used to this. We are a peaceful nation and this happening is upsetting many Christians. Something good may come out of this. Many moderate Muslims condemned this and speak of the right of the Christians to be there and worship. I want you to pray that the Church will continue to speak in love. The Church in Egypt was founded on the blood of the martyrs. Pray for us. We are not afraid and are ready to die for the sake of Jesus Christ in Egypt.

I want to talk to you about the Word of God for the Anglican Communion. There are four areas:

1) the importance of the Word of God as we see it in the Bible
2) The importance of the Word of God as affirmed by the early Anglican reformers, the Thirty Nine articles and Lambeth Resolutions
3) Where we have fallen
4) How we recover the importance of the Word of God for our Anglican Communion today.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, The Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East, Theology, Theology: Scripture

“Mere Anglicanism” begins

(By Cheri Wetzel).

The Rev. Jeffrey Miller of St. Helena’s, Beaufort South Carolina delivered the homily. Here are my notes from this homily, which was excellent.

Tertullian, a Roman theologian, said, “We are but of yesterday, yet we have felled every spot you occupied. We have left nothing to you but empty broken tokens of your gods.”In the short span of 200 years, a formerly persecuted sect filled the whole earth and even invaded Caesar’s palace.
How? Edward Gibbon wrote in The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, that Christians felt it was the sacred duty of each person to share their faith. Why is Christianity struggling and shrinking across the West and Islam growing? Because you and I have failed. We have become convinced that it is impolite, impolitic and rude to discuss in public our faith. We believe that our faith is a private matter and is best kept to the self. This is decidedly not how the disciples or the early Church felt.
Remember that first Palm Sunday in Jerusalem? Jesus was walking down the street and the people were ripping palm branches off the trees and shouting. It was pandemonium. The disciples ran to Jesus and begged him to make the people stop. He replied, “If they are silent, even the rocks will cry out.”
His last words to his disciples before his ascension into heaven were, “Go ye into all the world and make disciples”¦”
So let me ask you. Is it impolite, impolitic and rude to warn someone about a speed truck that is heading their way? Is it impolite, impolitic and rude to tell someone about a cure for cancer?

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * South Carolina, - Anglican: Analysis, - Anglican: Latest News, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Theology

Is N.J. A Precedent for Negotiated Settlements between the Episcopal Church and some Anglicans ?

In fact, this story [raises questions about]…the oft-heard assertion that bishops are bound by… [Presiding Bishop Jefferts] Schori, Mr. Beers, 815 and “fiduciary duty” to eschew any negotiated settlements. As you will see,…[Presiding Bishop Jefferts] Schori and Mr. Beers were fully informed along the way as this negotiation proceeded.

Is this a precedent for negotiated settlements and a forbearance of arms? Is it an isolated case, or does it herald a new day? Raymond Dague himself draws the best conclusion:

“[This case] goes to prove that when the parties both desire to find an amicable way to sell a formerly Episcopal Church to an Anglican Church which has disaffiliated from TEC, that a way can be found. There is no legal bar to such a sale, nor is such a sale, even at a fraction of the assessed value of the property, in violation of the fiduciary duty of the diocese or TEC. Where there is the will to be gracious and settle without lawsuits, there is a way that it can be done, because it was done here. Perhaps the Helmetta experience might be repeated. It need not be an isolated incident if both parties in other cases have the good will to try it.”

Read it all and make sure to take the time to read the whole Raymond Dague memorandum also.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Presiding Bishop, Stewardship, TEC Conflicts, TEC Departing Parishes

Down Under, Baptisms surge in popularity

Once considered a standard religious rite, the practice of christening a child has steadily declined over the past 50 years to make way for naming ceremonies.But in the past two years there has been a resurgence in the number of babies being baptised.

St John’s Anglican Church at Cooks Hill, Newcastle’s oldest church building, reported a record two years of baptisms.

Last year the church had 86 baptisms, three more than in 2009. They were the best figures recorded by the church since the 1950s.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican Provinces, Australia / NZ, Children, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

(The Economist) China will have to open its financial market if it wants Yuan to rival the Dollar

Could the yuan become a rival? China’s economy will probably surpass America’s in outright size within 20 years. It is already a bigger exporter. It is prodding firms to settle trade and even acquire foreign companies in its own currency. That is adding to a pool of “redbacks” outside its borders. These offshore yuan are, in turn, being tapped by borrowers, issuing “dim sum” bonds in Hong Kong.

But as the dollar’s history shows, economic clout is not enough without financial sophistication (see article). If foreigners are to store their wealth in yuan, they will need financial instruments that are safe, stable and easily sold. Dim sum makes for a tasty appetiser. But the main feast of China’s financial assets is onshore and off-limits, thanks to its strict capital controls. The government remains deeply reluctant to let foreigners hold, buy and sell these assets, except under tight limits. Indeed, it is barely ready to give its own people financial freedom: interest on bank deposits is capped; shares are largely owned by state entities; and bonds are chiefly held by the banks””which are, in turn, mostly owned by the state.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Asia, China, Currency Markets, Economy, Foreign Relations, Globalization, The Banking System/Sector, The U.S. Government, The United States Currency (Dollar etc)

In Western Canada the Campaign to help problem gamblers hits roadblocks

I’ve often wondered what happened to the high-profile 1990s church-led protest against expanded gambling in B.C. and the rest of Canada. It turns out some religious leaders,including Vancouver-area Anglican Bishop Michael Ingham, have joined with academics and others over the past several years to fight the fight, raising issues about problem gamblers. But with litte effect in B.C.

I received this letter today from one of those who has been pressing the B.C. Liberal government to address the issue of compulsive gamblers, who experts believe make up about six per cent of those using government-sponsored casinos….

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Canada, Gambling, Religion & Culture

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Saint Vincent

Almighty God, whose deacon Vincent, upheld by thee, was not terrified by threats nor overcome by torments: Strengthen us, we beseech thee, to endure all adversity with invincible and steadfast faith; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

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

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O Lord Jesus Christ, who didst say to thine apostles, By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one to another: Heal our divisions, and make us one in thee; that men may know us for thy true disciples, and through us may put their trust in thee; who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end.

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing; thou hast loosed my sackcloth and girded me with gladness, that my soul may praise thee and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks to thee for ever.

–Psalm 30:11-12

Posted in Uncategorized

(RNS) Scientists probe brief brushes with the afterlife and explore a consciousness beyond the brain

Once dismissed as mere hallucinations, NDE [near-death experiences]s are being taken more seriously than in the past. Studies published in The Lancet, a respected British medical journal, and the Journal of the American Medical Association have reframed NDEs as phenomena worthy of scientific research.

Last year, three medical doctors published books on new NDE research, including what it suggests about consciousness beyond the brain and even the possibility of afterlife.

Several mainstream films, including Clint Eastwood’s recent Hereafter, toyed with the possibility of an afterlife, and as NDEs garner increased attention, more people with NDEs are opening up and shedding light what happens as earthly life slips away.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Death / Burial / Funerals, Eschatology, Health & Medicine, Parish Ministry, Psychology, Science & Technology, Theology

CEN–New Year sees no let up in Episcopal Church lawsuits

A new year has brought new twists and turns to the Episcopal Church’s legal wars. The national church beat back the secession of a West Texas congregation from the Diocese of the Rio Grande, saw reasons for optimism and gloom from Presbyterian property cases in Georgia, Indiana and Missouri, found its lawyer in the Fort Worth cases accused of professional misconduct, and witnessed the amicable settlement of a church property split in New Jersey.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, Presiding Bishop, TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts

In British Columbia Fate of closed View Royal Anglican churches remains unclear

Closed churches in View Royal entered the new year in limbo.

The Anglican Diocese of B.C. disestablished All Saints church in June and St. Columba’s in November, leaving the town without the presence of a faith community.

The small congregations of both churches were encouraged to join the St. Peter’s and St. Paul’s parish in Esquimalt. But what will become of the vacant buildings remains undecided.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Parish Ministry

Report Exposes British Evangelicals' Differences

Evangelicals are fragmented in their beliefs, with little unanimity on moral and social questions, according to new research from the Evangelical Alliance.

The research, “21st Century Evangelicals: A Snapshot of the Beliefs and Habits of Evangelical Christians in the UK,” is based on a survey of 17,000 people conducted by the alliance and Christian Research at Christian festivals in 2010. The questionnaire was also completed at 35 Evangelical Alliance member churches.

Respondents were asked questions on topics including belief in miracles, abortion and the Bible.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, England / UK, Evangelicals, Other Churches, Religion & Culture

(Yorkshire Evening Post) Oliver Cross: Church needs to rise above the bishop issue

Being a radical atheist to the left of Richard Dawkins, I don’t take sides in religious matters, but I was depressed by the news that three Anglican bishops, appalled by the possibility of women becoming bishops, have switched to being Catholic priests.

Firstly I find it baffling that, among all the wrongs of the world, the issue of bishops’ genders should assume such importance ”“ mind you, that’s probably just me. I realise that if I were a narrow-minded sectarian bigot with no sense of perspective, I might see things differently.

But the worst thing is that this issue threatens to destroy the Church of England, or at least to diminish it until it becomes an irrelevance ”“ well, OK, even more of an irrelevance.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Atheism, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture