Daily Archives: February 27, 2012

Kendall Harmon at Cathedral Church of the Advent (III): Right relationship with God (Philippians 3)

Check it out if you wish to listen to this recent sermon.

Posted in * By Kendall, * Christian Life / Church Life, Christology, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Lent, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Preaching / Homiletics, Sermons & Teachings, Soteriology, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(NY Times Letter from Europe) Anglicans Seek a Quiet Strength

When the central heating broke down at a North London church midway through a snap of icy weather the other day, the vicar offered the faithful a choice: Attend another church for a cozier celebration, or display what he wryly called “muscular Christianity” by worshiping in a side chapel in their own, unheated church.

Perhaps surprisingly, perhaps not, the muscular, if shivery, Christians seemed to outnumber those who headed for warmer pews ”” an indication, some might argue, that Britain’s established state religion can draw on doughty reserves in the face of adversity.

It might need to….

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Secularism

Melanie Baker–What’s at Stake in the “Same-Sex Marriage” Debate?

Why is this important, and how does it affect even those who do not live in Maryland? Isn’t it best just to let people do what they want with their lives and leave well enough alone, as long as we are left in peace to do what we want with our lives? That’s a pipedream. This law is a misnomer, and its passage signals the destruction of, not greater protection for, marriage. Let me explain why.

First, let’s step back from the rhetoric and define our terms. Fundamentally, what defines a marriage? What makes it unique and distinct from all other human relationships? It is the only relationship that naturally leads to the procreation of a child, and, through its stability and mutual commitment, provides the optimal conditions to nurture and educate that child. Same-sex unions cannot achieve this biologically. Two women cannot conceive a child, nor can two men. Therefore, they simply cannot, naturally speaking, be “married,” for their relationship lacks the essential component of fertility. Sexual difference is an essential component of marriage.

Some will claim that homosexual partners raise children just as heterosexual ones do. But again, let’s step aside from the rhetoric and look at facts. Two lesbians who bring a child into the world through artificial insemination still require the male gamete necessary for fertilization to take place. Whether aware of him or not, the child of that lesbian couple actually does have a father.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology, Sexuality, State Government

Kendall Harmon at Cathedral Church of the Advent (II): Developments in TEC (includes Bp of Alabama)

Part one is here and part two is there. You are encouraged to take the time to listen to (suffer through?) it all.

Please note–these are both audio files. The time begins with a short Q and A to introduce me to those present before the questions shift to the subject at hand. Note, too that Bishop Kee Sloan of Alabama was invited by the Dean, Frank Limehouse, to come, which he (graciously) chose to do. During the time, Dean Limehouse invited Bishop Sloan to speak, and he chose to do so. This covers a wide range of recent events/developments and will be of broad interest to many blog readers–KSH.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * By Kendall, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, - Anglican: Analysis, - Anglican: Commentary, Adult Education, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Christology, Ecclesiology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Ministry of the Laity, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Sermons & Teachings, Stewardship, TEC Bishops, TEC Data, Theology

Kendall Harmon at Cathedral Church of the Advent (I): Sermon on Matthew 14:22-31

Check it out if you wish to listen to it.

Posted in * By Kendall, * Christian Life / Church Life, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Lent, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Sermons & Teachings, Soteriology, Theology, Theology: Scripture

Robinson Calvalcanti his wife Miriam have died–Please pray

It is with deep sadness that the Anglican Church ”“ Diocese of Recife communicates the tragic death of the Right Reverend Bishop Edward Robinson de Barros Cavalcanti and of his wife Miriam Cavalcanti, which occurred this Sunday 26/02/2012 at around 10pm in the city of Olinda, Brazil.
The diocesan family give thanks to God for the dedicated ministry of its father in God, our pastor, teacher and friend, a true prophet and present day martyr, who fought for the cause of the Gospel of Christ, for the Church and for the Anglican Communion, and who always depended on his wife, a faithful co-servant who supported him throughout his years in ministry.
They exit unto Eternity, leaving a legacy of service, love and doctrinal faithfulness, to which the Diocese will continue to adhere.
We will presently inform the date of their burial.

Bishop Evilásio Tenório ”“ Bispo Suffragan Elect
Bishop Flávio Adair ”“ Bishop Suffragan Elect
Rev. Márcio Simões ”“ President of the Diocesan Council

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Death / Burial / Funerals, Parish Ministry

An Interview with Richard Holloway, writer, broadcaster and former Episcopal Bishop of Edinburgh

The implication is clear: to Holloway, the certainties of organised religion have little meaning other than, perhaps, as metaphor or poetry. If anyone derives spiritual consolation from them, that’s fine. He doesn’t ”“ and no longer having to defend things he doesn’t believe in is one of the great joys of his later life ”“ but he doesn’t want to cut himself off from Christianity altogether. Indeed, he still goes to church on average a couple of times a month ”“ usually to Old St Paul’s in Edinburgh, where he was rector from 1968-1980, in what he says, looking back, was the happiest time of his life. Occasionally, he even preaches there. “I’m like a member of the family who doesn’t support everything the family stands for but still wants to be associated with it. At my stage in life, it’s quite difficult to give up emotional allegiances.”

It was only several years after he had become Bishop of Edinburgh in 1986 that the tensions between being expected to uphold the orthodoxies of faith and his growing disbelief in the certainties of the system became too great. The last straw came over the refusal of the Lambeth Conference of 1998 to countenance the ordination of [non-celibate] gay ministers.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Scottish Episcopal Church

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard–Spanish revolt brews as national economic rearmament begins in Europe

…[Italian Prime Minister Mario] Monti’s joint letter with twelve EU states last week calling for an end to self-defeating contraction marks a key moment in this crisis. If Francois Hollande is elected French president in May, the shift in Europe’s balance of power will be complete. Germany will lose its stifling grip on EU policy machinery. The EMU bloc will start to tilt towards reflation at long last.

Whether it can come soon enough to avert a social explosion across Europe’s arc of depression remains to be seen. Nor can such stimulus overcome the fundamental flaws of EMU since Germany is at an entirely place in the deform structure, with unemployment at 20-year lows of 5.5pc.

What is needed to save the South must endanger the North. Germany would overheat, pushing its inflation to 4pc or 5pc until Bild Zeitung erupts in Teutonic fury. It is impossible to reconcile the conflicting imperatives.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --European Sovereign Debt Crisis of 2010, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Credit Markets, Currency Markets, Economy, Euro, Europe, European Central Bank, Foreign Relations, Housing/Real Estate Market, Politics in General, Spain, The Banking System/Sector, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

(NPR) Athena's Library, The Quirky Pillar Of Providence, Rhode Island

With a bit of reverence, librarians carefully wind an antique library clock near the circulation desk in a temple of learning called the Providence Athenaeum.

This is one of the oldest libraries in the United States, a 19th-century library with the soul of a 21st-century rave party. In fact, the Rhode Island institution has been called a national model for civic engagement….

Read (or better listen to) it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Art, Books, History, Urban/City Life and Issues

”˜The Artist’ wins best picture; Streep takes home third career Oscar

Meryl Streep knew what you were thinking Sunday when they called her name at the 84th annual Academy Awards:

“ ”˜Awwww, come on, her again?!?’ ” she joked, accepting a historic third career Oscar for her portrayal of Margaret Thatcher in “The Iron Lady….”

“The Artist” swept the competition, winning five awards, including best picture, best directing for Michel Hazanavicius, and best actor for Jean Dujardin. It may be the quirkiest feature in years to find favor with the showbiz establishment here ”” black-and-white, French, and did we mention it’s a silent movie? But the charming tribute to Hollywood’s early days had scooped up so many other awards this year it was considered a lock for the Oscar.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Movies & Television

A Prayer for the Feast Day of George Herbert

Our God and King, who didst call thy servant George Herbert from the pursuit of worldly honors to be a pastor of souls, a poet, and a priest in thy temple: Give unto us the grace, we beseech thee, joyfully to perform the tasks thou givest us to do, knowing that nothing is menial or common that is done for thy sake; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Church History, Poetry & Literature, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer to Begin the Day

We confess to thee, O heavenly Father, as thy children, our hardness, indifference, and impenitence; our grievous failures in pure and holy living; our trust in self, and misuse of thy gifts; our timorousness as thy witnesses before the world; and the sin and bitterness that every man knoweth in his own heart. Give us, O Father, contrition and meekness of soul; grace to amend our sinful life; and the holy comfort of thy Spirit to overcome and heal all our evils; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

Paul, called by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and our brother Sos’thenes, To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I give thanks to God always for you because of the grace of God which was given you in Christ Jesus, that in every way you were enriched in him with all speech and all knowledge– even as the testimony to Christ was confirmed among you– so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift, as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ; who will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

–1 Corinthians 1:1-8

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(BBC) Nigeria unrest: Suicide bomb targets church in Jos

A suicide car bomber has killed at least three people at a church in the troubled central Nigerian city of Jos, sparking reprisals by Christian youths.

Witnesses said the suicide bomber drove his car into the prominent Church of Christ during morning prayers.

The radical Islamist sect Boko Haram later said that it carried out the attack.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Africa, Islam, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Muslim-Christian relations, Nigeria, Other Faiths, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Violence

Letters in Response to the Observer Editorial on Faith and Reason

Read them all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, England / UK, Religion & Culture

The Observer Editorial–Let's avoid a clash of faith and reason

The reaction to the [recent] ruling [on local Council prayer] has been equally overblown and peevish. The Muslim minister Baroness Warsi said that “a militant secularisation”¦ that”¦ demonstrates similar traits to totalitarian regimes” is taking hold in Britain. George Carey, former Archbishop of Canterbury, has claimed that “there are deep forces in western society, hollowing out the values of Christianity and driving them back to the margins”.

Well, not really. One could argue that steadily declining congregations and a crisis in vocations are already performing that task perfectly adequately. But how then to explain the fury of atheist scientist Richard Dawkins? The UK branch of the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science recently commissioned a poll from Ipsos Mori, which examined in detail the beliefs of the 72% of respondents who said in the 2001 census they were Christian. Dawkins thought that number too high. His pollsters discovered that when directly questioned the number of Christians dropped to 54%. Of that diminished percentage, many never read the Bible, went to church regularly or knew the name of the first book of the New Testament (Matthew).

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, England / UK, Religion & Culture

Andrew McCarthy on Afghanistan–Have we Officially lost our Minds?

The facts are that the Korans were seized at a jail because jihadists imprisoned there were using them not for prayer but to communicate incendiary messages. The soldiers dispatched to burn refuse from the jail were not the officials who had seized the books, had no idea they were burning Korans, and tried desperately to retrieve the books when the situation was brought to their attention.

Of course, these facts may not become widely known, because no one is supposed to mention the main significance of what has happened here. First, as usual, Muslims ”” not al-Qaeda terrorists, but ordinary, mainstream Muslims ”” are rioting and murdering over the burning (indeed, the inadvertent burning) of a book…

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Afghanistan, America/U.S.A., Asia, Books, Defense, National Security, Military, Foreign Relations, Islam, Office of the President, Other Faiths, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Religion & Culture, Violence, War in Afghanistan

Laura Story tells the Story of her Remarkable Song "Blessings"

The album that I did three to four years ago happened right after my husband went through surgery for a brain tumor. So a lot of the ideas that I was writing about then were just very fresh, about how do we worship in the midst of trials. So fast forwarding a few years later, a lot of things have changed. A lot of things have gotten better with his health, and a lot of things have not. We pray for God to bless us, but what does it look like when I spend four or so years praying for healing for my husband that never comes? I feel like we’ve kind of gotten to a place of having to make a choice. Are we going to judge God based on our circumstances that we don’t understand, or are we going to choose to judge our circumstances based on what we know to be true about God? Not that I choose the right thing every day, but I’m learning that every morning when I wake up to choose to trust God.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Evangelicals, Health & Medicine, Music, Other Churches, Religion & Culture

Sunday Afternoon Music–Laura Story's "Blessings"

I don’t think much of a lot of contemporary Christian music, but this song is a glaring exception. I thought of it in part because it was done during the offertory at worship this morning where I serve (Christ Saint Paul’s, Yonges Island, S.C.) Take the time to listen to it all and to take in some of the circumstances that led to the writing of the song–KSH.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Evangelicals, Health & Medicine, Marriage & Family, Music, Other Churches, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Stress

Thomas Friedman on America, Oil, the Economy and the Environment

….Bloomberg News reported last week that “the U.S. is the closest it has been in almost 20 years to achieving energy self-sufficiency. … Domestic oil output is the highest in eight years. The U.S. is producing so much natural gas that, where the government warned four years ago of a critical need to boost imports, it now may approve an export terminal.” As a result, “the U.S. has reversed a two-decade-long decline in energy independence, increasing the proportion of demand met from domestic sources over the last six years to an estimated 81 percent through the first 10 months of 2011.” This transformation could make the U.S. the world’s top energy producer by 2020, raise more tax revenue, free us from worrying about the Middle East, and, if we’re smart, build a bridge to a much cleaner energy future.

All of this is good news, but it will come true at scale only if these oil and gas resources can be extracted in an environmentally sustainable manner. This can be done right, but we need a deal between environmentalists and the oil and gas industry to lock it in ”” now.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Energy, Natural Resources, Foreign Relations, House of Representatives, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Senate

PBS' Religion and Ethics Newsweekly–Religion, Spirituality, and the Movies

Read and watch it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Movies & Television, Religion & Culture