Daily Archives: June 29, 2011

South Carolina Episcopal priest Chad Lawrence, Robbed and Held at Gunpoint, tells his Story

Watch it all (video lasts 2 3/4 minutes)–KSH.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * South Carolina, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry

S.C. Clergy and Lay Leaders Examine Shifts in Church and Society in Workshop

Over 100 clergy and lay leaders attended the second offering of “The Future and Your Church” workshop, June 2, at the Church of the Redeemer, Orangeburg. They heard about the changing societal landscape churches face and what they can do to fulfill the gospel-mandate to make disciples while stemming the tide of declining church attendance and involvement.

“The world isn’t the way it used to be,” said the Very Rev. John Burwell, Rector of the Church of the Holy Cross, Sullivan’s Island and Daniel Island, during a presentation in which he used visuals to illustrate changes in culture. “What people want from their church is different. If we want our churches to thrive we can’t do things the way we used to do them.”

Bishop Lawrence told of the disturbing decline in average median Sunday church attendance in the Episcopal Church, from 74 in 2002 to 66 in 2009. “That statistic is stunning,” he said. “It used to be that a typical Episcopal congregation of 70 could afford a full-time clergy person…but because of demographics that’s becoming increasingly difficult. When you can’t afford a full time priest a church begins to just maintain. We work to keep the doors open, so someone’s here to bury me.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * South Carolina, Episcopal Church (TEC), Evangelism and Church Growth, Ministry of the Laity, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, TEC Bishops

(Northern Indiana) Episcopal Bishop Edward Little–Ayn Rand Led Me to Christ

Ayn Rand changed my life. When I embraced her philosophy, Objectivism, the conversion was far more dramatic than my decision, several years later, to follow Jesus Christ””more dramatic, but in the end transitory. Yet Rand, the novelist, philosopher, and uncompromising atheist, inadvertently opened a door for the gospel. I don’t believe dead people spin in their graves, but if they did and she could read these words, I imagine Rand would be twirling violently.

As many have noted, Rand’s ethic of rational self-interest is incompatible with the gospel, and leads to social as well as spiritual disaster. “Most observers see Rand as a political and economic philosopher,” wrote Gary Moore last year in Christianity Today. “I believe that she was first and foremost an anti-Christian philosopher.” A six-foot dollar sign wreath towered over her casket, Moore pointed out, an icon of the false gospel she labored to proclaim. I agree entirely that Christianity and Objectivism are utterly incompatible. But my gratitude to Rand remains profound.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Philosophy, TEC Bishops, Theology

Al Mohler–New York State Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage

It will be difficult to exaggerate the impact of New York’s move to legalize same-sex marriage. The statistics tell part of the story. New York State becomes the sixth state to recognize same-sex marriage, but its population is greater than that of the other five combined. When same-sex marriage is legal in New York next month, fully one in every nine Americans will live in a state or jurisdiction where same-sex marriage is legal. By any measure, this is a massive development in the nation’s legal and moral life.

Add to this the fact that California, the nation’s most populous state, is hanging in the balance as Proposition 8, the constitutional amendment passed by the state’s voters defining marriage as exclusively the union of a man and a woman, is now an issue before the Ninth U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco. It arrived at the appellate court after a federal judge in California ruled that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional. If California is added (again) to the states with legal same-sex marriage, more than a third of the nation’s citizens will live where same-sex marriage is the law of the land.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Pastoral Theology, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, State Government, Theology

Does David Cameron want to reduce the power of the Church of England in the House of Lords?

Three weeks after the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, condemned the “frightening” Coalition, David Cameron’s wider family is lending him support. .

Viscount Astor, who is married to the Prime Minister’s mother-in-law, Annabel, has made a rare speech in the House of Lords, calling for an end to the Church of England’s privileged position in public life.

Lord Astor proposed that in any reform of the Upper House, the Church should lose its unique position on the Benches Spiritual. “Other churches and faiths should be represented here,” he said.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), Politics in General, Religion & Culture

(ENS) Majority of New York Episcopal Bishops praise state passage of same-gender marriage

At least one Episcopal Church bishop in the state of New York has said that clergy in his diocese may solemnize same-gender marriages as soon as the state’s recently passed Marriage Equality Act goes into effect.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Parish Ministry, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), State Government, TEC Bishops

Sudan’s Episcopal Church consecrates new bishop in Mundri East county, South Sudan

The Episcopal Church of Sudan (ECS) consecrated Stephen Dokolo as the new Rt. Rev Bishop for the Diocese Lui in Mundri East, Western Equatoria stae, South Sudan, …[this past] Sunday.

The consecration came after his appointment by Archbishop Daniel Deng Bul to succeed the late Bishop Bullen Doli.

The co-consecrators were bishops from all the Episcopal dioceses in Western Equatoria, including Bishop Peter Munde of Yambio and Bishop Samuel Enos Peni of Nzara. Foreign church leaders included Swiss missionaries and the World Gospel Mission from Arua, Uganda.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anglican Provinces, Episcopal Church of the Sudan, Religion & Culture, Sudan

Connecticut Episcopal Church basement yields trove of headstones

Several years ago, Christ Episcopal Church property warden Stanley Stanley was working on the gas furnace in the dirt basement when he felt a poke in the back.

He reached around and pulled a human femur out of the dirt, then a rib bone.

“I didn’t go digging around there anymore,” said Stanley, now retired at age 82.

Read it all.

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

Change in church policy Allows CLU Professors in Same Sex partnerships to be ordained

For years, Guy Erwin worked toward becoming a Lutheran minister, knowing the whole time his church wouldn’t ordain him because he is gay.

Now Erwin, 53, is one of two California Lutheran University professors who were ordained recently because the Lutheran and Episcopal churches changed their policies on ordaining [non-celibate] gay and lesbian clergy.

“I had thought, ‘Maybe it’s too late for me,'” said Erwin, who was ordained at CLU in May. “But my friends said, ‘The church has been calling you all these years.’ It has ended up being a point of great joy.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Episcopal Church (TEC), Lutheran, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Sexuality Debate (Other denominations and faiths)

(Living Church) Lawsuit Prompts Nevada Episcopal Priest’s Resignation

“The results of this testing revealed that Fr. Parry was a sexual abuser who had the proclivity to reoffend with minors,” the lawsuit said, adding that the results were provided to the abbey, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Las Vegas and the Diocese of Nevada. Parry began working as music director at All Saints in 2000.[[Katharine] Jefferts Schori was consecrated Bishop of Nevada in 2001.

Parry said he felt called back to priestly ministry when an opening arose at All Saints’ Church.

“I talked to the bishop, and she accepted me,” he told The Kansas City Star. “And I told her at the time that there was an incident of sexual misconduct at Conception Abbey in ’87. The Episcopal Church doesn’t have a ”˜one strike and you’re out’ policy, so it didn’t seem like I was any particular threat. She said she’d have to check the canons, and she did.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Presiding Bishop, Religion & Culture, TEC Bishops, Theology

(RNS) Orthodox Rally to Rebuild Ground Zero Church

With cries of “Rebuild now! Rebuild Now!” parishioners and supporters of a Greek Orthodox church that was destroyed in the 9/11 attacks rallied at Ground Zero on Sunday (June 26) in hopes of resuming negotiations to rebuild the church.

St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey have been at odds for several years over the cost and exact location of the rebuilt church.

“Shame on the Port Authority to take this long to rebuild our church,” Nicholas A. Karacostas, supreme president of the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association, a national Greek-American group, at a rally that drew about 100 people to the site of the former World Trade Center.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, City Government, History, Orthodox Church, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

(Bloomberg View Edit.) Greek Vote Obscures the European Union’s Unsavory Choices

There are two ways the responsible parties can rectify their mistakes. One is to recognize that Greece should never have joined the euro. If it can’t or won’t swallow austerity measures, let it leave and default on its debts.

But the risks of allowing Greece to fail are similar to what the U.S. faced with the 2008 Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. bankruptcy. Uncertainty about losses would very likely undermine confidence in European banks and in the governments that would have to bail them out. If Greece’s failure led to a credit freeze, that would threaten banks with insolvency and cause losses for institutions that hold those banks’ debts, including the money-market mutual funds entrusted with $2.7 trillion in U.S. savings….

The alternative path is only slightly less ugly and unfair. It would require the euro area, led by Germany and France, to assume much of Greece’s $495 billion (345 billion euros) in debt indefinitely and be prepared to take on the debts of Portugal and Ireland as well….

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --European Sovereign Debt Crisis of 2010, Credit Markets, Currency Markets, Economy, Euro, Europe, European Central Bank, Greece, Politics in General, The Banking System/Sector, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

(NPR) Ex-Israeli Spy Chief's Iran Comments Spark Row

The former Mossad spy chief’s name is on everyone’s lips in Israel ”” with good reason.

Meir Dagan was the head of Israel’s spy agency for eight years and has been credited with raising the international prestige of the agency. So it came as a shock to many that upon leaving office he would talk about one of the most sensitive issues here: Iran.

Dagan has said that a military strike on that nation targeting its suspect nuclear program would be disastrous, and he lambasted the current Israeli leadership for being reckless in pursuing that aim. This past week, Dagan was stripped of his diplomatic passport, in apparent retaliation.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Defense, National Security, Military, Foreign Relations, Iran, Israel, Middle East, Science & Technology

South Carolina Gamecocks go undefeated in NCAA tourney to repeat as Champs

The South Carolina baseball program permanently etched its name into the College World Series history book Tuesday night.

With a 5-2 victory over Florida behind the stellar pitching of junior left-hander Michael Roth, the Gamecocks won their second consecutive NCAA championship, becoming the sixth program to repeat as national title holders along with Texas, Southern Cal, Stanford, LSU and Oregon State.

“Like the (CWS) motto says, ”˜History happens here,’ and that’s what we did. We made some history,” Roth said.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Education, Sports, Young Adults

A Prayer for the Feast Day of St. Peter and St. Paul

Almighty God, whose blessed apostles Peter and Paul glorified thee by their martyrdom: Grant that thy Church, instructed by their teaching and example, and knit together in unity by thy Spirit, may ever stand firm upon the one foundation, which is Jesus Christ our Lord; who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the same Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Church History, Spirituality/Prayer, Theology, Theology: Scripture

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Lift up our souls, O Lord, to the pure, serene light of thy presence; that there we may breathe freely, there repose in thy love, there may be at rest from ourselves, and from thence return, arrayed in thy peace, to do and bear what shall please thee; for thy holy name’s sake.

–E. B. Pusey (1800–1882)

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

Then the whole company of them arose, and brought him before Pilate. And they began to accuse him, saying, “We found this man perverting our nation, and forbidding us to give tribute to Caesar, and saying that he himself is Christ a king.” And Pilate asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” And he answered him, “You have said so.” And Pilate said to the chief priests and the multitudes, “I find no crime in this man.”

Luke 23:1-4

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

More Anglicans offer support to strife-engulfed Sudan

Anglicans from Melbourne and all over the world are offering prayers and support to Sudan and striving to find ways to help the chaos-torn nation, which is soon to be split into two separate countries.

Bishop Phillip Huggins of Melbourne’s North West Region said the city’s large Sudanese population still bore the scars of earlier civil wars.

“We hold the people of Sudan in our prayers, and as a community we will continue to offer what support we can to them,” Bishop Huggins said.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican Provinces, Episcopal Church of the Sudan, Poverty, Sudan, Violence

Central New York officials, religious leaders prepare for same-sex marriage law to go into effect

Priests who participate in a same-sex wedding would go against the teaching of the church, said Bishop Robert Cunningham, of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse.

“We would have to take appropriate action at that time,” he said.

By contrast, Bishop Skip Adams, who leads the Central New York Episcopal diocese, sent a letter Monday freeing priests to perform the ceremonies.

“They are free to use their own discretion in their pastoral responsibilities in their own parishes,” Adams said.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, State Government