Daily Archives: December 18, 2011

An AMiA Communique issued in London

Anglican Mission in the Americas Communiqué from the London Meeting

Archbishops Emmanuel Kolini, Moses Tay and Yong Ping Chung, founding archbishops of the Anglican Mission, met with Bishop Chuck Murphy December 12-14, 2011, in London, England, and were joined by Cynthia Tay, Julia Yong, Susan Grayson, Canon Mike Murphy, and Canon Kevin Donlon. They have issued the following report:

Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Advent is a season characterized by waiting, expectation and hope. In our recent time together, we took the opportunity to seek the Lord in prayer and meditation upon HIs Word as we waited to hear His voice. God, who is always faithful, gave us profound encouragement. We experienced His presence powerfully as we sought Him with expectant hearts in order to discern His good and perfect will for all of us in the Anglican Mission.
We acknowledged together the rapid and dramatic chain of events that have led to this moment. Remembering the joy and anticipation of Winter Conference 2011 as we welcomed the new leadership in the Rwandan House of Bishops makes the current reality of separation even more difficult for all concerned. We grieve the pain caused by such a radical and sudden change that resulted in the end of a meaningful sojourn with Rwanda.

We are mindful of the story of Abraham and Lot (Genesis 13:8-10) which illustrates that sometimes moments come when God’s people take different paths. Abraham and Lot separated with grace and mutual respect, and that is our desire as well. We are convinced that we can all find a godly way forward that overcomes division and builds for a future that honors God and extends His Kingdom.

Such a way forward demands humble hearts, fervent prayer, willing minds and committed effort.

In the midst of what must be recognized as a challenging transition, we believe God is showing us His direction for the future of the Anglican Mission. Our current situation necessitates a clear response based on what we have heard from the Lord, and therefore we commit to the creation of a missionary society as a cherished and honored model recognized within the wider Eastern and Western traditions of the Church. We look forward to the opportunity to give specific form and shape to this normative structure of a missionary society, seeking the input of our bishops, clergy, network leaders and laity. We are encouraged to be still before the Lord and to discern His leading to a new canonical provincial relationship. In addition, we pledge our commitment to the eight-member Council of Bishops and all of the Anglican Mission leadership and congregations. Living out this model within our Anglican context allows us to be a mission”¦nothing more, nothing less in North America and beyond. Finally, we

recognize and affirm the development of a Pastoral Declaration designed to provide the necessary order for developing a constitution.

In just a few weeks, we will gather in Houston, Texas, for Winter Conference 2012, and we look forward to the opportunity to explain the vision for a missionary society and process together this new chapter in the life of the Anglican Mission. We will hear the voices of those gathered and recommit to our Lord’s Great Commission and to one another as fellow missionaries. We believe the Lord would have us build on the past with the promise that He is with us always.

Be assured of our prayers of thanksgiving for you as we all prepare for the Nativity of our Lord and the new life He gives to each of us through His son, our Savior Jesus Christ.

“Seek ye first the Kingdom of God.”

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of Rwanda, Other Churches

Young Veterans return home to scant Jobs

In Afghanistan, Cpl. Clayton Rhoden earned about $2,500 a month jumping into helicopters to chase down improvised explosive devices or check out suspected bomb factories.

Now he lives with his parents, sells his blood plasma for $80 a week and works what extra duty he can get for his Marine Corps Reserve unit.

Cpl. Rhoden, who is 25, gawky and polite with a passion for soldiering, is one of the legions of veterans who served in combat yet have a harder time finding work than other people their age, a situation that officials say will grow worse as the United States completes its pullout of Iraq and as, by a White House estimate, a million new veterans join the workforce over the next five years.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Defense, National Security, Military, Economy, Iraq War, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Young Adults

An Important Announcement from the Provost of Trinity Cathedral, Pittsburgh

Yesterday evening the Chapter of Trinity Cathedral voted to re-affirm its Charter of Incorporation. Article II of the Charter states its purpose as “For the support and maintenance of a cathedral church for the public worship of Almighty God according to the faith, doctrine and discipline of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America” and Article V further clarifies Trinity Cathedral’s historic identity: “This corporation acknowledges religious allegiance to the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America and that portion of the same known as the Diocese of Pittsburgh and will be subject to and governed by the laws, rules, and regulations of the same as set forth in the constitutions and canons of said Church and said Diocese.” Chapter’s decision brings to conclusion the difficult and weighty matters with which they had been wrestling during the past six months. It also effectively ends the governance provisions of the Special Resolution which was adopted by Chapter in August, 2008 and ratified by the parish in September, 2008.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Pittsburgh

The Famous Jim Elliot (1927-1956) Quote from his own Diary in his own Hand

He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.

Simply amazing to see this–check it out. It was quoted in this morning’s sermon by yours truly–KSH.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Church History, Eschatology, Evangelicals, Missions, Other Churches, Theology

Music for a Sunday Morning–Lord for Thy Tender Mercy's Sake

Lord, for thy tender mercy’s sake,
lay not our sins to our charge,
but forgive that is past,
and give us grace to amend our sinful lives.
To decline from sin and incline to virtue,
that we may walk in a perfect heart before thee,
now and evermore.

–Richard Farrant (1530–1580)

The setting is Bowdoin College Chapel. This is posted by one who sang in this very group what seems like many moons ago–listen to it all–KSH.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Education, Music, Young Adults

Brene Brown: The Power Of Vulnerability

But as hard and, frankly, as weird as it’s been at times, I didn’t trade in my mantra, nor did I give up on what I learned from the research: Vulnerability is not weakness, nor is it optional. We can’t opt out of the uncertainty, exposure, and emotional risks that are woven through our daily experiences. Like it or not, vulnerability is coming, and we have to decide if we’re going to open up to it or push it away.

The only choice we really have is how we’re going to respond to feeling vulnerable. And contrary to popular belief, our shields don’t protect us. They simply keep us from being seen, heard, and known.

If there’s anything I’ve learned over the past decade and experienced firsthand over the last year, it’s this: Our willingness to own and engage with our vulnerability determines the depth of our courage and the clarity of our purpose.

Read it all (her emphasis).

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Pastoral Theology, Psychology, Theology

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O Almighty and Eternal God, the creator of all things, who hast made our days upon earth as it were a span long, and our age even as nothing in respect of Thee; give us grace, we humbly beseech Thee, to live under such a constant sense of our mortality, and of the shortness and uncertainty of this present life, that death may never surprise us in an hour that we are not aware; but, being always provided with oil in our lamps, we may be ready, whenever the Bridegroom may come, to enter with Him into the marriage feast, and receive a blessing among those who watch and wait for the coming of their Lord; to Whom, with Thee and the Holy Ghost, be all honour and glory, world without end.

–Henry Stobart, Daily Services For Christian Households (London: SPCK,1867), pp. 95-96

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

And a great portent appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; she was with child and she cried out in her pangs of birth, in anguish for delivery. And another portent appeared in heaven; behold, a great red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems upon his heads. His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven, and cast them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to bear a child, that he might devour her child when she brought it forth…

–Revelation 12:1-4

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Senate Clears Tax-Break Extension, Spending Bill

The U.S. Senate approved Saturday a two-month extension of payroll-tax breaks and unemployment benefits, providing a measure of relief in a struggling economy but far less than the full-year extension that leaders of both parties had wanted.

The overwhelming 89-10 vote reflected a bipartisan desire to block a New Year’s tax increase, but it belied deep differences between the parties over tax and spending policy that will persist when Congress is forced to take up the issue again early next year.

Lurching toward the end of a bitterly partisan year, the Senate also passed a $1 trillion spending bill to finance most of the government”“a last-minute measure to keep the government from shutting down.

Read it all.

Posted in Uncategorized

An incredibly important Speech by Dallas Federal Reserve Board President Richard Fisher

I maintain that no matter how much cash you have on your balance sheet, or how compliant your banker might be, or how cheap the cost of money, you will not commit substantial capital to expanding your payroll or investing significant amounts to expand plant and equipment until you know what it will cost you to run your business; until you know how much you will be taxed; until you know how federal spending will impact your customer base; until you know the cost of employee health insurance; until you are reassured that regulations that affect your business will be structured so as to incentivize rather than discourage expansion; until you have concrete assurance that the fiscal “fix” the nation so desperately needs will be crafted to stimulate the economy rather than depress it and incentivize job creation rather than discourage it; or until you are reassured that the sinkhole of unfunded liabilities like Medicare and Social Security that Republican- and Democrat-led congresses and presidents alike have dug will be repaired so that our successor generations of Americans will prosper rather than drown in dark, deep waters of debt.

My colleague Sarah Bloom Raskin””one of the newest Fed governors, and a woman possessed with a disarming ability to speak in non-quadratic-equation English””recently used the example of the common kitchen sink to illustrate a point. I am going to purloin her metaphor for my description of our present predicament. You give a dinner party. The guests leave and you are washing the dishes. When you are done, you notice the remnants of the party are clogging the sink: bits of food, coffee grinds, a hair or two and the like. You have two choices. You can reach down and scoop up the gunk, a distinctly unpleasant task. Or you can turn the water on full blast, washing the gunk down the drain, providing immediate relief from both the eyesore and the distasteful job of handling the mess. You look over your shoulder to make sure your kids aren’t looking, and, voilà, you turn the faucet on full blast, washing your immediate troubles away.

From my standpoint, resorting to further monetary accommodation to clean out the sink, clogged by the flotsam and jetsam of a jolly, drunken fiscal and financial party that has gone on far too long, is the wrong path to follow. It may provide immediate relief but risks destroying the plumbing of the entire house. It is a pyrrhic solution that ultimately comes at a devastating cost. Better that the Congress and the president””the makers of fiscal policy and regulation””roll up their sleeves and get on with the yucky task of cleaning out the clogged drain.

Read it all (emphasis mine).

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Economy, Federal Reserve, History, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, The U.S. Government

(Fort Worth) A Legal Update Concerning Matters in the State of Texas

From here:

[Yesterday]…in Austin the Texas Supreme Court…announced that it will hear oral arguments on Feb. 29, 2012, concerning the appellate court’s decision in a case between the parish of Good Shepherd, San Angelo, and the Episcopal Church Diocese of Northwest Texas. This follows written briefings the Court requested from each party earlier this year.

According to a statement from the Court’s public information officer, the principal issues in the property dispute between the diocese and congregation are “(1) whether in Texas the dispute should be decided by ”˜neutral principles’ ”“ using established trust and property law and taking account of deeds, the governing language employed by a local church and the larger denomination ”“ or by ”˜compulsory deference’ ”“ determining where church members place ultimate authority over property use; and (2) whether the trial court erred by deciding the diocese owns the property.”

The outcome of this appeal is likely to have significant impact for our own. Early in the new year, our legal team expects to file an amicus brief with the Court, supporting the position of the San Angelo parish.

As you continue to pray for our own legal team through this Advent and Christmas, please include the people of Good Shepherd and their legal team in your prayers.

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