Daily Archives: January 23, 2011

The Houston Chronicle does a Q and A with the Presiding Bishop

Q: You’re here, in part, to bless a home in Galveston that the church helped to repair after Hurricane Ike. What role does social outreach and activism play in the Episcopal Church?
A: We understand caring for our neighbor to be fundamentally who we are as Christians. Loving God and loving your neighbor as yourself. Taking care of people in distress is a significant part of that.

Q: You were an oceanographer before becoming an Episcopal priest. Does your background as a scientist influence how you approach your role as bishop?
A: I think I’m trained and formed in such a way that I look at the world carefully. I come with a hypothesis, but I’m certainly willing to change it. I just came back from visiting the church in Mexico. I go to something like that ready to learn, to see what they’re doing, what the challenges are, and then to ask, where’s the intersection with our context, not just in the United States, but in the 15 countries we are in? How does this connect with the experience of Latino Christians here in the United States, which is a growing part of our context.

Read it all.

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

John Piper: Brothers, Bitzer Was a Banker!

[In 1982]… Baker Book House reissued a 1969 book of daily Scripture readings in Hebrew and Greek called Light on the Path. The readings are quite short, and vocabulary helps are given with the Hebrew verses. The aim of the editor, who died in 1980, was to help pastors preserve and improve their ability to interpret the Bible from the original languages.

His name was Heinrich Bitzer, and he was a banker.

A banker! Brothers, must we be admonished by the sheep what our responsibility is as shepherds? Evidently so. For we are surely not admonishing and encouraging each other to press on in Greek and Hebrew. And most seminaries–evangelical as well as liberal–have communicated by their curriculum emphases that learning Greek and Hebrew well is merely optional for the pastoral ministry….

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Ministry of the Laity, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Theology, Theology: Scripture

A Prayer to begin the Day

Lord Jesus, who in thy tender love didst stretch forth thy hand and touch the leper who came to thee for cleansing: Grant us a like compassion for all who claim our help, and a willingness to identify ourselves with them in their need; for thy sake who wast made sin for us, and who art our righteousness and our salvation, now and for ever.

–Frank Colquhoun

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Epiphany, Spirituality/Prayer

"Meditating on the mystery of His Passion or on the glory of His Resurrection"

….the bridegroom rejoices to revisit the heart’s chamber when He finds it adorned with fruits and decked with flowers””that is, meditating on the mystery of His Passion or on the glory of His Resurrection.

The tokens of the Passion we recognize as the fruitage of the ages of the past, appearing in the fullness of time during the reign of sin and death (Gal. 4.4). But it is the glory of the Resurrection, in the new springtime of regenerating grace, that the fresh flowers of the later age come forth, whose fruit shall be given without measure at the general resurrection, when time shall be no more. And so it is written, ”˜The winter is past, the rain is over and gone, the flowers appear on the earth’ (Cant. 2.11 f); signifying that summer has come back with Him who dissolves icy death into the spring of a new life and says, ”˜Behold, I make all things new’ (Rev. 21.5). His Body sown in the grave has blossomed in the Resurrection (I Cor. 15.42); and in like manner our valleys and fields which were barren or frozen, as if dead, glow with reviving life and warmth.
The Father of Christ who makes all things new, is well pleased with the freshness of those flowers and fruits, and the beauty of the field which breathes forth such heavenly fragrance; and He says in benediction, ”˜See, the smell of My Son is as the smell of a field which the Lord hath blessed’ (Gen. 27.27). Blessed to overflowing, indeed, since of His fullness have all we received (John 1.16). But the Bride may come when she pleases and gather flowers and fruits therewith to adorn the inmost recesses of her conscience; that the Bridegroom when He cometh may find the chamber of her heart redolent with perfume.

So it behoves us, if we would have Christ for a frequent guest, to fill our hearts with faithful meditations on the mercy He showed in dying for us, and on His mighty power in rising again from the dead. To this David testified when he sang, ”˜God spake once, and twice I have also heard the same; that power belongeth unto God; and that Thou, Lord, art merciful (Ps. 62.11f). And surely there is proof enough and to spare in that Christ died for our sins and rose again for our justification, and ascended into heaven that He might protect us from on high, and sent the Holy Spirit for our comfort. Hereafter He will come again for the consummation of our bliss. In His Death He displayed His mercy, in His Resurrection His power; both combine to manifest His glory.

–Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153), On Loving God, Chapter III

Posted in Uncategorized

An ENS Article on the Fort Worth decision

Read it all and please follow the links as well.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Fort Worth

A.S. Haley on the Fort Worth Decision

The judge did not issue a decision of his own, but simply signed the pro forma orders submitted by ECUSA and the local Gulick parties. He made a few deletions in the former, to make it clear that he was deciding the case by deference to the “hierarchy” of the Episcopal Church (USA), and not on neutral principles of law. Indeed, he staked his all on a bet that the Texas higher courts would not follow the latter approach, since he struck out the proposed paragraph that would have said he would reach the same result under “neutral principles” analysis. Thus if the Court of Appeal rules that he should have applied neutral principles, he will have to start all over again.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Fort Worth

Fort Worth Diocese and Corporation announce intention to appeal trial court ruling

On Friday afternoon, Jan. 21, attorneys for the Diocese and Corporation received two orders from the Hon. John Chupp in the matter of the main suit against us, in which a minority of former members has been joined by The Episcopal Church in an effort to claim diocesan property. Judge Chupp signed an order drafted by the plaintiffs’ attorneys, from which he struck several points with which he did not apparently agree. The order does find that TEC is a hierarchical church, and on that basis the judge has ruled in favor of the plaintiffs. The judge’s order can be read here.

Friday’s ruling from the trial court is a disappointment but not a disaster. The plaintiffs have offered no evidence, either in the courtroom or in their voluminous filings, supporting their claim that the Diocese was not entitled to withdraw from The Episcopal Church, as it did in November 2008. Nor have they demonstrated a legal right to our property, which is protected by Texas statutes regulating trusts and non-profit corporations.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Fort Worth

Presiding Bishop Bishop inspires Northern Floridians with sermon

[Katharine] Jefferts Schori, president bishop of the Episcopal Church, preached to a packed house of clergy and lay delegates of the 168th annual convention of the Jacksonville-based Episcopal Diocese of Florida. The convention began with the 4 p.m. Eucharist service and continues today at the cathedral and at the Marriott Hotel.

The homily compared the diocese, the denomination, the nation, the world, other cultures and religions to the human body. The body is healthy when its different parts work in harmony, but breaks down when they don’t, Jefferts Schori said.

The miracle of the human body is that its different limbs and organs, together with digestive bacteria and other micro-organisms can work together to create a healthy life. But sometimes the body turns on itself, creating anti-bodies against needed organisms it perceives as outsiders and threats.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Episcopal Church (TEC), Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Presiding Bishop, TEC Bishops, TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils