Daily Archives: December 17, 2011

Citing Doctrine, Sudanese Archbishop Disinvites Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori

(Please note–copied verbatim as received, edited only for format with the exception of one typo which I corrected–KSH).

The Most Rev Katharine Jefferts Schori
Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church
United States of America

Thursday 15th December 2011

Dear Bishop Katharine,

Advent greetings to you in the name of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

It is with a heavy heart that I write you informing you of our decision as a House of Bishops to withdraw your invitation to the Episcopal Church of the Sudan (ECS). We acknowledge your personal efforts to spearhead prayer and support campaigns on behalf of the ECS and remain very grateful for this attention you and your church have paid to Sudan and South Sudan. However, it remains difficult for us to invite you when elements of your church continue to flagrantly disregard biblical teaching on human sexuality.

Find attached a statement further explaining our position as a province.


–(The Most Rev.) Dr. Daniel Deng Bul Yak, Archbishop Primate and Metropolitan of the Province of the Episcopal Church of the Sudan and Bishop of the Diocese of Juba

Posted in Uncategorized

Episcopal Church of Sudan House of Bishops Issues Statement on Human Sexuality

(Please note–copied verbatim as received, edited only for format–KSH).


The House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church of the Sudan in its meeting held in Juba from 14-16, November 2011 in the context of General Synod has reaffirmed the statement of the Sudanese Bishops at the Lambeth Conference in 2008 as quoted below:

“We reject homosexual practice as contrary to Biblical teaching and can accept no place for it within ECS. We strongly oppose developments within the Anglican Church in USA and Canada in consecrating a practicing homosexual as bishop and in approving a rite for the blessing of same-sex relationships.”

We are deeply disappointed by The Episcopal Church’s refusal to abide by Biblical teaching on human sexuality and their refusal to listen to fellow Anglicans. For example, TEC Diocese of Los Angles, California in 2010 elected and consecrated Mary Douglas Glasspool as their first lesbian assistant Bishop. We are not happy with their acts of continuing ordaining homosexuals and lesbians as priests and bishops as well as blessing same sex relations in the church by some dioceses in TEC; it has pushed itself away from God’s Word and from Anglican Communion. TEC is not concerned for the unity of the Communion.

The Episcopal Church of Sudan is recognizing the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) fully as true faithful Orthodox Church and we will work with them to expand the Kingdom of God in the world. Also we will work with those Parishes and Dioceses in TEC who are Evangelical Orthodox Churches and faithful to God.

We will not compromise our faith on this and we will not give TEC advice anymore, because TEC ignored and has refused our advices.

–(The Most Rev.) Dr. Daniel Deng Bul, Archbishop and Primate of Episcopal Church of Sudan, Juba, 12th December 2011

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Episcopal Church (TEC), Episcopal Church of the Sudan, Global South Churches & Primates, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)

TEC Denied Summary Judgment in Quincy: Court Finds Triable Whether Church Is in Fact "Hierarchical"

In a ruling released yesterday afternoon by the Eighth Judicial Circuit Court in Adams County, Illinois, Judge Thomas J. Ortbal denied motions for summary judgment brought by ECUSA and its rump diocese of Quincy, which had intervened to join in ECUSA’s counterclaim against certain clergy and laity who held property and funds in trust for the (now missionary) Diocese of Quincy in ACNA.

To my knowledge, this is the first summary judgment motion lost by ECUSA, or by any of its rump dioceses, in their attempts to seize the property of the four dioceses which have thus far realigned with the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone and with the Anglican Church in North America (“ACNA”).

Read it all.

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

New York Bishop and the Presiding Bishop issue statements on Occupy Wall Street

Read them both.

I was interested to see the AP describe the Presiding Bishop’s remarks as “a rare comment on a local issue.”

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Economy, Episcopal Church (TEC), Housing/Real Estate Market, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Parish Ministry, Politics in General, Presiding Bishop, Stock Market, TEC Parishes, The Banking System/Sector, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, Urban/City Life and Issues

Occupy Group Faults Trinity Church, a Onetime Ally

For months, they were the best of neighbors: the slapdash champions of economic equality, putting down stakes in an outdoor plaza, and the venerable Episcopal parish next door, whose munificence helped sustain the growing protest.

But in the weeks since Occupy Wall Street was evicted from Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan, relations between the demonstrators and Trinity Wall Street, a church barely one block from the New York Stock Exchange, have reached a crossroads.

The displaced occupiers had asked the church, one of the city’s largest landholders, to hand over a gravel lot, near Canal Street and Avenue of the Americas, for use as an alternate campsite and organizing hub. The church declined, calling the proposed encampment “wrong, unsafe, unhealthy and potentially injurious.”

And now the Occupy movement, after weeks of targeting big banks and large corporations, has chosen Trinity, one of the nation’s most prominent Episcopal parishes, as its latest antagonist.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Economy, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Stock Market, TEC Parishes, The Banking System/Sector, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, Urban/City Life and Issues

Cary McMullen–Florida’s new central Florida Episcopal Bishop faces big challenges

It’s a confusing time to be a member of the Episcopal Church. More than two decades of bickering over a range of theological issues, notably the question of whether openly gay and lesbian people can be ordained as priests and bishops, has left one of America’s oldest denominations splintered.

Over the past eight years, the ordinations of [non-celibate] gay and lesbian priests as bishops has prompted strong objections from traditionalists, and some bishops have gone as far as schism ”” leaving the Episcopal Church for an array of more conservative Anglican groups.

Into this situation comes the Rev. Gregory Brewer, who recently was elected bishop of the Diocese of Central Florida, based in Orlando. Brewer, who was pastor of Calvary-St. George’s Episcopal Church in New York City, has big shoes to fill. He will succeed the Rt. Rev. John Howe, who is retiring in March….

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts

Terrell Glenn and Thad Barnum offer a letter of clarity in the midst of AMIA/Rwanda Upheaval

Read it all and please take the time to read the material at the links at the bottom of this piece.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of Rwanda, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Theology

Prime Minister David Cameron's King James Bible Speech Yesterday

And that brings me to my third point.

The Bible has helped to shape the values which define our country.

Indeed, as Margaret Thatcher once said, “we are a nation whose ideals are founded on the Bible.”

Responsibility, hard work, charity, compassion, humility, self-sacrifice, love”¦

”¦pride in working for the common good and honouring the social obligations we have to one another, to our families and our communities”¦

”¦these are the values we treasure.

Yes, they are Christian values.
And we should not be afraid to acknowledge that.

But they are also values that speak to us all ”“ to people of every faith and none.

And I believe we should all stand up and defend them.

Those who oppose this usually make the case for secular neutrality.

They argue that by saying we are a Christian country and standing up for Christian values we are somehow doing down other faiths.

And that the only way not to offend people is not to pass judgement on their behaviour.

I think these arguments are profoundly wrong.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(LA Times) Wishing for the right to make that final exit

Colleen Kegg hasn’t worked out the details of her exit plan yet. But about one thing, Kegg is clear: When she can no longer feed herself or go to the bathroom without assistance, she will take steps to end her life. A rare and incurable neurological disease is gradually stealing the things the 60-year-old Santa Barbara-area resident lives for, and she wishes a California physician could legally prescribe life-ending medication, as doctors can in Oregon, Washington and Montana. Instead, she’ll have to find another way.

“I know I can stop eating and drinking,” Kegg told me one evening in her sister’s home, her speech already slowed by corticobasal degeneration, a condition somewhat similar to Parkinson’s and Lou Gehrig’s disease.

To Kegg and her family, it seems unjust that how she must die is dictated in part by law, and influenced by religious convictions and social mores she doesn’t share. Starving herself could make death drag out for a couple of weeks, while just north of the state border, people can say their goodbyes and leave on their terms, quickly, comfortably and peacefully.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Death / Burial / Funerals, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Life Ethics, Parish Ministry

Minimum essential health benefits will be largely set by states

The Obama administration will give states broad latitude to define the minimum benefits that many health insurance policies will be required to offer under the 2010 health-care law, officials announced Friday.

The plan sparked criticism from interest groups on all sides of the issue. Consumer advocates worried that millions of Americans could end up with insurance substantially less comprehensive than the law’s drafters intended. Representatives of employers and insurers warned of an opposite scenario: A state could make the benefits package so comprehensive that the resulting plans would be prohibitively expensive.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, --The 2009 American Health Care Reform Debate, Economy, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, State Government, The U.S. Government

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O God, Father of mercies, who didst so love the world that thou didst give thine only begotten Son to take our nature upon him for us men and for our salvation: Grant to us who by his first coming have been called into thy kingdom of grace, that we may always abide in him, and be found watching and ready when he shall come again to call us to thy kingdom of glory; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.

–The Rev. Henry Stobart (1824-1895)

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

For thus says the LORD of hosts: “As I purposed to do evil to you, when your fathers provoked me to wrath, and I did not relent, says the LORD of hosts, so again have I purposed in these days to do good to Jerusalem and to the house of Judah; fear not. These are the things that you shall do: Speak the truth to one another, render in your gates judgments that are true and make for peace, do not devise evil in your hearts against one another, and love no false oath, for all these things I hate, says the LORD.”

–Zechariah 8:14-17

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

In Memoriam: Christopher Hitchens, 1949”“2011

Christopher Hitchens””the incomparable critic, masterful rhetorician, fiery wit, and fearless bon vivant””died today at the age of 62. Hitchens was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in the spring of 2010, just after the publication of his memoir, Hitch-22, and began chemotherapy soon after. His matchless prose has appeared in Vanity Fair since 1992, when he was named contributing editor.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Books, Death / Burial / Funerals, England / UK, Media, Parish Ministry

Father James Schall, S.J.–The Beginning of the Mystery (and the Nature of the Church's Mission)

In the Freiburg Concert Hall, Benedict frankly told the German leaders: “For some time now we have been experiencing a decline in religious practice and we have been seeing substantial numbers of the baptized drifting away from church life.” Benedict is a realist. So demands for change arise, changes almost always modeled on secular institutions and not on the sources of the original founding of the Church. Such radical changes would never work. The Church is of divine, not human law, in its essence.

Here, Benedict recalls that someone once asked Mother Teresa this same question about what needs to be changed in the Church. Her answer was “you and I.” Chesterton was once asked a similar question. “What’s wrong with the world?” He answered with wonderful brevity and profundity, “I am.” Mother Teresa meant by this response that the Church is not “other people.” “Every Christian and the whole community of the faithful are called to constant change,” change away from sin, change to accept what is revealed, to accept what is true. What sort of change? “The fundamental motive for change is the apostolic mission of the disciples and the Church herself.” Why is this? It is because ultimately this mission is not of our own making and arises from God’s presence in the world.

The Church is to keep its mission in mind. Christians are told: “You are witnesses.” They are not, at bottom, originators. They are to pass along what is heard, what is witnessed to every age and place. All nations, all times, and all places are in the original intention of the Church’s founding. This means that we must not think as the world, for something less than what we are. The Church must be rather in a way “unworldly.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Religion News & Commentary, Ecclesiology, Other Churches, Roman Catholic, Theology