Daily Archives: July 7, 2011

To marry or not to marry? Houses of worship divided

According to [Don] Waring, the Episcopal bishop of New York permits rectors to exercise their own discretion in conferring religious blessings on same-sex couples who have been civilly married. Waring said he hasn’t performed such a ceremony because the situation hasn’t yet presented itself to him.

“We are still sort of in no-man’s land, trying to figure out what sort of blessings to provide, what language to use,” he said.

“We celebrate the passage of the marriage equality act and the equal rights for gay couples under the law in the civil sphere,” Waring added. “In the church sphere, we’re moving in step with the diocese of New York, which is: We’re all still trying to figure this out.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Marriage & Family, Parish Ministry, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, State Government, TEC Parishes

On radar: Bombs implanted in fliers

“Unfortunately, it’s not science fiction,” said Frank Cilluffo, director of the Homeland Security Policy Institute at George Washington University. “The reality is that al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula in particular has come up with creative means to disguise explosive devices.”

Known as AQAP, the Yemen-based offshoot of al-Qaeda has been credited with building the underwear bomb used in the Christmas 2009 attempted attack on a Northwest Airlines jet near Detroit and the bombs built into toner cartridges sent last December on cargo carriers.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Science & Technology, Terrorism

San Francisco Chief Deputy City Attorney Questions Proposed Circumcision Ban

In a potential blow to the proposed San Francisco circumcision ban, the city’s top lawyer has concluded it is unconstitutional to ban the practice as a religious ritual, but allow it as a medical procedure.

The measure, now headed toward the Nov. 8 ballot, would ban nearly all infant circumcisions.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, City Government, Health & Medicine, Judaism, Law & Legal Issues, Other Faiths, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

National Conference of Anglican Use Society Begins Today

The 2011 National Conference of the Anglican Use Society begins Thursday evening in Arlington, Texas at Church of St. Mary the Virgin. The general theme for the conference, which runs through noon on Saturday, July 9th, is “Our Patrimony.”

This year, the Society welcomes the Ordinary for the newly formed Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham in England & Wales, Msgr. Keith Newton, and John Hunwicke, formerly parish priest of St. Thomas the Martyr Church in Oxford and now a member of the Ordinariate in England, as presenters.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Ecumenical Relations, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic

(Vanguard) Nigerian Anglicans continue to kick against Islamic banking

Angry reactions have continued to trail the planned introduction of Islamic banking system in the country by the governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi.

The condemnation was part of a 14-point communiqué issued at the end of the third session of the first synod of the Diocese of Oru, Anglican Communion, and signed by the Bishop and Synod Secretary, Rt. Rev. Geoffrey Chukwunenye and Ven. H.U Nnaoma respectively.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of Nigeria, Economy, Islam, Muslim-Christian relations, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, The Banking System/Sector

(CEN) Fury over Dr. Williams’ Palestine remarks

The Archbishop of Canterbury has come under sharp criticism from Palestinian activists, who have accused Dr. Rowan Williams of being an ill-informed right-winger bent on “demonizing Islam” and supporting the Israeli government.

However, a spokesman for Dr. Williams tells The Church of England Newspaper that Kairos Palestine had improperly construed the archbishop’s remarks about the plight of Christians across the Middle East to be an endorsement of Israeli government policies.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Archbishop of Canterbury, Middle East, Religion & Culture, The Palestinian/Israeli Struggle

French See Case Against Strauss-Kahn as American Folly

The stunning reversals in the criminal case against Dominique Strauss-Kahn, a putative French presidential candidate, have reawakened a dormant anti-Americanism here, fueled by a sense that the raw, media-driven culture of the United States has undermined justice and fair play.

There was shock in France after the arrest of Mr. Strauss-Kahn in May and intense criticism of the manner in which he was displayed in handcuffs, pulled unshaven into a televised court session and stuffed into a Rikers Island cell under suicide watch. There was confusion and criticism over the glee with which the New York tabloids in particular highlighted every humiliation and turned to clichés about the French ”” “Chez Perv” and “Frog Legs It” ”” in the coverage. And there was a sense that it was not just Mr. Strauss-Kahn who was being so jauntily humiliated, but France itself.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Europe, France, Law & Legal Issues

Sustain Commitment to Education, Anglican Bishop Fearon Urges Pres. Jonathan

[Bishop Idowu Fearon of Kaduna]… lauded the establishment of federal universities, noted that the development of any nation was hinged on the level of education of its people.

He urged the president to sustain the leverage given Nigerians to be educated from primary to tertiary levels with less stress.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Church of Nigeria, Education

(SMH) Anglican Church queries school chaplain program

The legitimate place of religion in NSW government schools might be put at risk by the misuse of the National School Chaplaincy Program, the head of Sydney’s Anglican Education Commission has warned.

Bryan Cowling, the executive director of the peak body for the Anglican Diocese of Sydney, said well-established special religious education preserved the secularism of NSW schools while providing weekly faith instruction for those who wanted it.

But he told the Herald that chaplains – with the term’s religious connotations – might blur the distinction between faith and welfare, increasing the chance of misuse by proselytising, which might call into question access granted to schools for special religious education, also known as scripture.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican Provinces, Australia / NZ, Education, Religion & Culture

(RNS) Episcopal Church defends top bishop's record in abuse case

A statement issued by the Nevada diocese after the lawsuit was filed raised more questions than it answered, according to victims’ advocates, and said nothing of Jefferts Schori’s role in the matter.

“Parishioners deserve the whole truth about why (she) kept silent about Parry’s crimes and why she ordained him,” said David Clohessy, national director the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP).

“Many church officials, not just Catholic bishops, fixate on self-preservation rather than on preventing abuse and healing victims and exposing the truth,” he said.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Children, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Presiding Bishop, Psychology, Roman Catholic, Sexuality, TEC Bishops, Theology

An ENS article on the Saint Francis Settlement in the Rio Grande

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Rio Grande, TEC Departing Parishes

David Crowder–Finally, a settlement at St. Francis in the Rio Grande

The Episcopal Diocese of the Rio Grande has agreed to settle a 2008 lawsuit that challenged the ownership of St. Francis on the Hill Church.

The settlement means the conservative breakaway Anglican group now occupying the church has to be out by the end of July.

It also means a smaller group of Episcopalians who felt forced out of the church a few years ago will take control of the property, but not its financial assets.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Rio Grande, TEC Departing Parishes

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O Lord God, who dost call thy servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown: Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing whither we go, but only that thy hand is leading us, and thy love supporting us; to the glory of thy name.

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies. The cords of death encompassed me, the torrents of perdition assailed me; the cords of Sheol entangled me, the snares of death confronted me. In my distress I called upon the LORD; to my God I cried for help. From his temple he heard my voice, and my cry to him reached his ears.

–Psalm 18:2-6

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(LA Times) California families are changing, U.S. Census data show

New census figures show that the percentage of Californians who live in “nuclear family” households ”” a married man and a woman raising their children ”” has dropped again over the last decade, to 23.4% of all households. That represents a 10% decline in 10 years, measured as a percentage of the state’s households.

Those households, the Times analysis shows, are being supplanted by a striking spectrum of postmodern living arrangements: same-sex households, unmarried opposite-sex partners, married couples who have no children. Some forms of households that were rare just a generation ago are becoming common; the number of single-father households in California, for instance, grew by 36% between 2000 and 2010.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Census/Census Data, Children, Economy, Marriage & Family, The U.S. Government

AMIE responds to the Lambeth Palace Statement

Found here:

AMIE (formally the Saint Augustine Society) is grateful for the statement from Lambeth Palace of Tuesday July 5th. We are very pleased to note the welcome given to new mission initiatives and also the recognition of AMIE’s desire to remain within the Church of England.

Those recommended for ordination had already been through due processes of selection and training and were recommended after a thorough process of discernment.

According to a report at a recent conference, half the serving clergy of the Church of England will retire in the next ten years, a little acknowledged fact with no apparent strategy to address it. Meanwhile there are delayed candidates offering, parishes willing to sponsor them, and others eager to receive their ministry, congregations wishing to remain within the Church but not receiving recognition, and missional church plants needing authorisation. Many senior clergy are concerned about the quality of ministry that may be available in the future.
AMIE has come about precisely in order to retain within the Church of England those who share passion for gospel mission and wish to minister within this Church despite some problematic issues.

New problems are not being raised. Discussions on these issues have taken place with Lambeth Palace and its representatives over a period of four and half years. They were again rehearsed over the last year with three bishops appointed by the Archbishop of Canterbury to meet with those now forming the panel of bishops and steering group of AMIE. They were fully communicated to Lambeth Palace in a document presented in July 2010.

Significant challenges face those called to minister in England at this time. Its ordained clergy need oversight and encouragement from those who believe in their work and ministry and who will walk with them step by step both theologically and missiologically. Such encouragement has been given by the Primates Council of GAFCON.

Episcopal collegiality within England needs to be matched by both Episcopal collegiality with the wider Anglican Communion and Episcopal integrity in upholding and teaching the truth of the Christian faith as found in the Scriptures.

We warmly welcome the invitation to meet to clarify the goals of AMIE which are to preach and live the gospel of Jesus Christ. The gospel is the standard for Episcopal integrity and collegiality in upholding and teaching the Christian faith.

Paul Perkin (Chair) on behalf of the Steering Committee

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

A statement from Lambeth Palace

The announcement [found here at the bottom] of the creation an ‘Anglican Mission in England’ prompts concern for a number of reasons. New mission initiatives are, as such, always good news; and the declared intention of the spokesmen for this new initiative to remain faithful to the structures of the Church of England is welcome.

However, it is not at all clear how the proposed panel of bishops relate to the proper oversight of the diocesan bishops of the Church of England….

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

(A Telegraph Editorial) A short sermon

The Bishop of Lichfield’s plan to shorten services might make them more palatable, but at what cost?

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Religion & Culture

(Sunday Telegraph) Church services need to be shorter, says bishop

The Rt Rev Jonathan Gledhill, the Bishop of Lichfield, said worship has become too complicated and time-consuming, leaving people who are not regular churchgoers feeling confused and excluded.

He said that services have become too long, recommending clergy should aim to keep them to no more than 50 minutes and make sure they are careful not to preach for too long.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics

Another Earthquake for New Zealand–Ugh!

A magnitude 7.9 hit somewhere east of Raoul Island, some 1000 kilometers north northeast of NZ. Note this is an early report which may be subsequently revised.

Posted in * International News & Commentary, Australia / NZ

The Bishop of Lichfield Causes a Stir with his Diocesan Address

…some of our churches don’t have a weekly Communion at 10 o’clock. And I think that even the greatest enthusiast would admit that there have been losses as well as gains in this great change which has happened over the last 60 years.

The first loss is length. Morning Prayer used to last 50 minutes with a good sermon; Family Services only 45 minutes. But a sung Eucharist can take anything from an hour and a quarter to an hour and a half ”“ especially if there is a Confirmation added in. Sometimes I find myself thinking that this is a good way of saying “Go away” to young people who come to visit us.

The second loss is simplicity….

Read it all (it begins in full toward the bottom).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry