Daily Archives: February 20, 2011

Churches urge British Government to act on problem gambling rise

The Government must take urgent action in response to a report showing a rise in the number of problem gamblers. That’s the call from a group of churches and Christian organisations, including The Salvation Army, who want local councils to have the power to limit the number of gambling premises in their areas.

The latest Gambling Prevalence survey* shows that problem gambling has increased in just a few years. The survey shows that last year 0.9% of the population – 451,000 people – admitted to being problem gamblers. That’s up from the 0.6% recorded in 2007 and 1999….

Malcolm Brown, Director of Mission and Public Affairs at the Church of England, said: ”˜Problem gamblers become sucked into a distorted view of reality and often drag themselves and their families into insecurity and poverty. This is not just a matter of personal morality and character, but a problem exacerbated by the values communicated by the wider social and policy context.’

Read it all and follow the links.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Gambling, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Theology

BBC's Moral Maze Radio Programme–"Who should be allowed to marry?"

From the BBC introductory blurb:

“Who should be allowed to marry?” It may sound a strange question, but that’s exactly the issue raised by reports that the government is considering allowing gay “weddings” in churches and other places of worship. If that isn’t contentious enough in recent weeks we’ve also had heterosexual couples demanding the right to have civil partnerships, plans to give co-habiting couples the same rights as those who are married and 24 hour Las Vegas style wedding chapels could be coming to a street near you soon. We’ve come a long way from the days of the Biblical understanding of the sacrament of marriage as the union of a man and a woman. But does it matter? Perhaps not if you see marriage as just another contractual arrangement like buying a car or a house. But historically we’ve viewed marriage as uniquely valuable to society….

The programme is chaired by Michael Buerk with Melanie Phillips (Daily Mail), Claire Fox(Institute of Ideas), Kenan Malik (a neurobiologist) and Clifford Longley (a Roman Catholic commentator)

Listen to it all (about 45 minutes).

(There are also four witnesses brought into the conversation whose indentity may be found here).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Men, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology, Sexuality, Women

Fulcrum–On the Use of Religious Buildings for Registration of Civil Partnerships

Fulcrum notes with appreciation undertakings given by the Church of England and the Catholic Church that they will not allow their churches to be used for ceremonies registering or celebrating same-sex unions. It means that a clear demarcation exists between these churches and other traditions wishing to offer such ceremonies.

Read it all.

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

Austen Ivereigh–The Church will have to fight this attempt to redefine marriage

The Civil Partnership Act 2004 gave same-sex couples rights and responsibilities similar to those in a civil marriage: civil partners are entitled to the same property rights, the same exemptions on inheritance tax, social security and pension benefits as married couples. They also have the same ability to get parental responsibility for a partner’s children as well as maintenance, tenancy rights, insurance and next-of-kin rights in hospital and with doctors. There is a process similar to divorce for dissolving a civil partnership.

In purely legal terms, therefore, a civil partnership looks and acts like a marriage. There are even vows. But it isn’t marriage, as the then Labour government stressed when it was pushing it through Parliament. It is a purely contractual, civil, legal arrangement. That’s why civil partnership ceremonies cannot be solemnised in churches, or include religious readings, music or symbols. In passing the Civil Partnership Act, therefore, the state’s message was clear: a civil partnership is not marriage, because marriage is a sacred institution, whether solemnized in a church or registry office; and inherent in the understanding of marriage is that it is between a man and a woman for the sake of children.

Read it all.

Posted in Uncategorized

(CEN) No action on same sex blessings Among Anglican Bishops in Southern Africa

Meeting from Feb 7-12 at the Mariannhill Conference Centre in the Diocese of Natal, the bishops released a pastoral letter at the close of their meeting confirming they were at an impasse.

They noted that Archbishop Thabo Makgoba had “taken a lead in bringing concerns to us from the dioceses in the Western Cape with regard to the pastoral care of persons who have entered into civil unions or are considering doing so.”

However, they noted this was “not a matter of legitimising same-sex unions but of care for worshippers who are already in them,” the bishops said, adding that “our Church does not consider any relationship to be marriage unless it is the historic relationship of a man and a woman uniting, ideally for life.”

Read it all.

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

Philip Turner–Communion on the Verge of a Breakdown: What Then Shall We Do?

What then shall we do? The most immediate answer is to provide an alternative to the shallow account of the Christian Gospel and the nature and mission of church now proposed by the liberal rump. As the Windsor Report suggests, a robust account of “communion” will go a long way toward meeting that goal. Nevertheless, such an account will not appear apart from work yet to be done. If not done, the politics of compromise and deal making will take over the dissidents as it has their progressive opponents. In that case, the counter example of what it is to be the Anglican Communion will not appear, and we will be left with only fragments.

This is the moment the Global South has asked and waited for. This is their time to call the Anglican Communion back to its roots in Holy Scripture and the fathers of the church. It is their time to show us what communion is all about. That effort will require of all of us not only great theological effort but also all the graces Paul places at the foundation of Christian unity””lowliness, meekness, patience, forbearance in love, eagerness for unity along with kindness, tenderheartedness and forgiveness. Much will be asked of everyone, but it is these, my brothers and sisters in the Global South, who, in our time, will bear the heat of battle. Those of us in provinces controlled by the liberal rump of what once was our communion, though we may help in this enterprise if asked, now in large measure are called upon to wait, watch and pray rather than control. One thing we should wait, watch and pray for is a rigorous account of what it means when Anglicans claim to be a communion of churches. We understand that meetings are now being planned within the Global South to arrive at ways to move forward despite the terrible divisions we face. I pray that a meeting soon will take place. I pray also that it will appoint a body from throughout the Communion to forge a common vision of what the Anglican Communion is called to be. Finally, I pray that those who now resist the direction manifest in Dublin will prayerfully move forward and embrace a Communion ecclesiology that gives glory to God, who has so richly blessed the missionary extension of the Gospel throughout the world. This should be a time of fresh hope in that same Gospel and its Lord.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Analysis, Anglican Primates, Archbishop of Canterbury, Global South Churches & Primates, Partial Primates Meeting in Dublin 2011

(Anglican Journal) Two Anglican Primates and 18 Bishops Continue a Process of Dialogue

Liturgy will include worship intended to engage the group in “celebrating the stories shared and giving thanks for [its] capacity to do good.”

Mission will include discussion in response to the question, “What may God be calling you to do or to say as you conclude the consultation?”

The Anglican provinces involved in the discussion are Canada, Tanzania, Kenya, Central Africa, South Africa, West Africa, England and the United States.

The consultation is sponsored by the Anglican Church of Canada, Fellowship of the Maple Leaf, The Episcopal Church in the U.S., Diocese of Dar es Salaam, the Anglican Diocese of Toronto Foundation, and Trinity Wall Street.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Episcopal Church (TEC), Parish Ministry, Stewardship

The Archbishop of York Raises Concerns Over BBC World Service Cuts

It is estimated that as a result [of the proposed cuts] there will be a 30 million drop in the World Service’s weekly audience from 180 million people to 150 million people worldwide.
The Archbishop said:

“The BBC World Service output is much loved and respected across the globe. Not only is it the gold standard for international affairs coverage, it has a unique ability to reach into a variety of situations overseas ”“ often where democratic values and basic human rights are not being upheld.

“Just look at the way the World Service has been covering the protests in Egypt, or the way it reports natural disasters or war. There is no-one else providing the same level of insight for a global audience.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Archbishop of York John Sentamu, England / UK, Globalization, Media, Religion & Culture

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O thou in whom we live and move and have our being, awaken us to thy presence that we may walk in thy world as thy children. Grant us reverence for all thy creation, that we may treat our fellow men with courtesy, and all living things with gentleness; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

–New Every Morning

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers; but the sheep did not heed them. I am the door; if any one enters by me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.

–John 10:7-10

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

ENS–A summary of Executive Council resolutions

Read it all.

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

Diocese of South Carolina Convention Today

Both important resolutions passed [for the second time as required] on the necessary vote by orders by more than the specified 2/3 vote margin necessary for their passage.

The Bishop’s address focused on church vitality, church planting, stewardship, and our collective future–KSH.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention, TEC Bishops, TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils, TEC Polity & Canons

Answers to this Morning's Episcopal Church Statistics Quiz

What are:

–the number of domestic (USA) TEC parishes? 6,895

–the median membership of said parishes? 160

–the median attendance of said parishes? 66

We actually had a blog thread on it–read it once again.

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

(Times-Picayune) The Rev. Jerry Kramer, formerly of Broadmoor, embraces Anglican church in Texas

The Rev. Jerry Kramer, the Episcopal priest who threw his church into the recovery of Broadmoor after Hurricane Katrina, has left the church for a more conservative Anglican community.

Kramer, the former rector of the Free Church of the Annunciation, said by e-mail he now is affiliated with the Anglican Church in North America.

That community is composed of former Episcopalians who split with the U.S. church in 2008 over deep theological differences.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Episcopal Church (TEC), Hurricane Katrina, Ministry of the Ordained, Missions, Parish Ministry

The Latest Developments in Pittsburgh (II)–A Post-Gazette Story

The Episcopal proposal said that “we seek to respect those who feel called to leave” but doesn’t recognize that those parishes have validly done so. It notes that those that have not paid diocesan assessments by March 13 can be declared “transitional parishes,” meaning their assets would be vested with trustees of the Episcopal diocese.

Rich Creehan, a spokesman for the Episcopal diocese, said that isn’t a deadline for negotiation.

David Trautman, a spokesman for the Anglican diocese, said the Anglicans would like all negotiations bundled so that there is one final agreement instead of dozens.

Read it all.

Posted in Uncategorized

The Latest Developments in Pittsburgh (I)–Episcopal Diocese's press Release

Building on two recent amicable agreements that settled parish property disputes, the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh has invited all other local congregations leaving the Episcopal Church to begin conversations aimed at reaching similar negotiated settlements.

In a February 17th letter mailed to the rector, wardens, and vestry of each congregation, Bishop Kenneth L. Price, Jr. of the Episcopal Diocese offered a Pastoral Direction for resolving property issues, including an 8-point overview of what would be involved in those conversations.

The documents were sent to 41 parishes that have not participated in the Episcopal Diocese since October 2008. Copies were sent as a courtesy to the many parishes that have remained active in the Diocese. The bishop’s letter also pointed to consequences required by church law for parishes that keep themselves removed from the Diocese for a prolonged time.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Pittsburgh

Nigeria Anglicans Re-Affirm Stand On Gay Marriages

THE Primate of Anglican Communion in Nigeria, The Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh, said that the communion remained “strongly’ opposed to homosexuality and gay marriages in church. Okoh said this when he led a delegation of four Bishops to the Nigerian High Commission in London.

“We have not repented from our initial stand; we remain strongly opposed to homosexuality and other anti-Christ like life in the Communion,’’ he said.

He explained that though the relationship between the Church of Nigeria and the Church of England was cordial, there was still disagreement on the same sex marriage issue.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of Nigeria, England / UK, Episcopal Church (TEC), Global South Churches & Primates, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)

Canadian Anglican Primate urges government to look at second Kairos proposal

Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, has called on the federal government to address the current imbroglio over foreign aid funding with “transparency, courtesy and action.”

Archbishop Hiltz issued a statement following Minister of Cooperation Bev Oda’s recent admission that she had instructed the doctoring of a document in order to reject a funding application made by the ecumenical justice group, Kairos.

“The member churches and ecumenical organizations of Kairos represent an important sector of the Canadian population,” said the primate in a statement. “Since our faith commits us to stand in solidarity and hope with the poor and the oppressed, I issue this threefold call for transparency, courtesy and action by the Government of Canada.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Canada, Politics in General