Daily Archives: April 15, 2012

Patrick Allen's Sermon on Easter from Holy Communion, Charleston

The Resurrection of Jesus is “the collapse of all that is familiar and well known.” Well, Professor [James] Alison is a scholar-theologian. I’m just a simple curate, and I’ll put it this way: Easter means that Jesus is alive and normal is dead. Nothing, not even death, is certain, and in fact death is defeated, has met its match in Love Himself.

The tomb is empty ”“ empty as in vacant; empty as in powerless. Death ”“ life’s great certainty; the most normal, expected, routine, trustworthy thing going, in fact a sure thing, has come untrue in Christ.

And now anything can happen, and love is the winning bet. That stone that lay across the tomb is pushed aside, and so the great rock of despair is blown to bits by the great Yes of the Living God who has given himself to us and for us in Jesus Christ.

Read it all and please note the audio is available here.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * South Carolina, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Easter, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics

(CEN) Vicars get lessons in Tweeting

Vicars and other church leaders in Leeds are being taught to Tweet and use other social networking systems as part of a campaign to improve communications between the clergy and congregations.

A free training programme designed to up-date vicars on new media communications has been launched by a Christian media organisation in a bid to bring clergy into the digital age.

Read it all (requires subscription).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, --Social Networking, Anglican Provinces, Blogging & the Internet, Church of England (CoE), Media, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry

Hungary's Ambassador Says their New Constitution Can Promote a 'Christian Renaissance' in Europe

Hungary’s Ambassador to the Holy See is rather perplexed by the negative reaction of some European figures and institutions to his country’s new Constitution — a document he sees as offering a possible impetus to a “Christian renaissance” in Europe.

“We think it’s a little bit strange to hear such voices,” Ambassador Gábor GyÅ‘riványi told ZENIT March 27th. “The real founding fathers of the European Union planned to base the Union on Christian values, and expressed the notion that European democracy can only be viable if constructed on the Christian basis.”

The preamble of the new Constitution, or “Fundamental Law,” which came into force Jan. 1, contains references to God, Christianity, and traditional family values. It further stipulates that the life of a fetus be protected from the moment of conception (abortion remains legal, however, in cases where the mother’s health is threatened).

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Europe, Hungary, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

(CEN) Evangelicals in uproar over Southwark liberal appointments

The numerous liberal Catholic appointments in the diocese of Southwark are causing increasing concern for evangelicals, in a row that is threatening to split the diocese. The Bishop of Southwark, the Rt Rev Christopher Chessun, has appointed liberals to the last seven senior vacancies in the diocese, including the Cathedral Dean and Bishop’s Chaplain.

Attending a meeting of the Southwark Diocesan Evangelical Union (DEU) last Monday, many felt he failed to satisfy the concerns of the 100 people in attendance. The Rev Stephen Kuhrt later said: “He has been politically naïve,” and called the situation an ”˜absolute gaffe’. The vicar, who chairs Fulcrum, did not doubt Bishop Christopher’s integrity, but claimed he had been very badly advised. Fulcrum, while a more moderate evangelical Anglican group, joined Reform in the condemnation of the appointments, claiming the views of evangelicals were not being heard.

Read it all. Also, please peruse the Church Times article there as well.

Posted in Uncategorized

(Church Times) Baroness Cox calls for ”˜robust’ response to Sudan conflict

Crimes against humanity in Sudan and South Sudan must be stopped ”” or the British Government will be guilty of allowing the horrors of Rwandan-style genocide to be repeated, Baroness Cox has warned.

In the wake of reports of ethnic cleansing in the Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile regions of Sudan, Lady Cox told the House of Lords on Mon­day of last week that the Gov­ern­ment must take a more robust approach.

“After Rwanda, the British Gov­ernment famously said that they will never condone another genocide, but this is precisely what they are now perceived to be doing.” The “powerful intervention” by Britain into Libya raised questions about whether its foreign policy was influ­enced by racism, she said.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --North Sudan, --South Sudan, Africa, England / UK, Foreign Relations, Politics in General, Sudan, Violence

([Sunday London] Times) Can a minority faith with an odd history provide the next US president?

Not the least of the church’s problems now is the growing number of highly educated, formerly prominent Mormons who have left the LDS and are only too ready to tell the world exactly why.

As a molecular biologist studying forest trees in Brisbane, Australia, Simon Southerton was in many ways a Mormon role model. He was 10 years old when his parents joined the church and he was baptised into the faith in 1970. He rose steadily through the ranks and became a bishop to his flock. Over the years he was vaguely aware that some of the historical events described by the Book of Mormon did not match the archeological or scientific record. “But I hadn’t dwelt on it,” he said. He loved his church for its emphasis on families and the sense of community it fostered.
Yet there was one key aspect of church doctrine that began to trouble him. The Book of Mormon describes a migration of Israelite clans across the Atlantic to America long before Columbus. The notion of a New Jerusalem, founded on American soil by the ancient forefathers of Mormonism, is one of the faith’s key tenets. Yet Southerton, familiar with the use of DNA to chart early human migrations, began to worry about the sheer weight of scientific evidence undermining the Book of Mormon’s account.

“Once I started looking at it seriously, it didn’t take me very long at all to realise that the Book of Mormon wasn’t real history,” he said. According to Mormon doctrine, Native Americans are descended from one of the Israelite clans. “But there’s been no serious mainstream belief in anything other than Asian origin for Native Americans for much of the last century,” Southerton added.

Read it all (requires subscription).

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., History, Mormons, Office of the President, Other Faiths, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

ACNA Assembly 2012

Posted in Top Banner

(6 April 2012 CEN) Rwanda and AMiA to go their separate ways

Please note this older article predates the news about the Congo and AMIA which broke late this week; it nevertheless has important details not found elsewhere–KSH.

The split has fractured the AMiA’s 150 congregations. While no numbers have been released by the AMiA, a majority of its congregations appear to have left Bishop Murphy’s oversight””including Bishop Murphy’s former parish and the AMiA’s headquarters, All Saints Church in Pawleys Island, South Carolina.

One faction appears set to join the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), a second group has pledged its loyalty to the Church of Rwanda but will seek to operate under the oversight of the ACNA, while a third remains with Bishop Murphy and his bishops. Negotiations to find an accommodation are currently underway between the Murphy faction and the ACNA, however the terms publicly set by Archbishop Duncan include reconciliation between Rwanda and the [Chuck] Murphy group.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Church of Kenya, Anglican Provinces, Church of Rwanda, Ecclesiology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Other Churches, TEC Conflicts, TEC Departing Parishes, Theology

(Sunday Telegraph) Traditionalist Leaders to meet over Anglican Faith and Order 'crisis’

(Please note that we first covered this upcoming meeting back in March.–KSH)

Bishop [Michael] Nazir-Ali said the manifesto was now “the only game in town” to prevent the fragmentation of the Communion.

“The Covenant has gone, the primates have been unable to gather, Lambeth had a significant number of bishops missing, a large number of leaders from the Global South have resigned from the main Anglican committees ”“ so that causes us all a great deal of concern,” he said.

He added: “The Jerusalem Declaration is not perfect by any means and no doubt can be improved, but at the moment it seems to be the only thing that a large number of people could subscribe to in good conscience.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Covenant, Anglican Primates, Archbishop of Canterbury, England / UK, GAFCON I 2008, Global South Churches & Primates, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)

(Christianity Today Editorial) How Pastors' Ponzis Affect Our Gospel Witness

Prosecutors have uncovered more financial fraud in church networks than they ever imagined. “It took the financial downturn. Money was drying up””the new investors were not coming in, so Ponzi schemes collapsed,” IRS Special Agent in Charge for Criminal Investigations Ken Hines told Christianity Today.

Hines, based in Seattle, has helped expose Ponzis for more than 20 years. He has seen first-hand how the church environment has proven to be an ideal context for affinity fraud. “When you go to church, you don’t expect to get lied to or deceived or manipulated into losing your life’s savings….”

The sickening net effect of fraud puts a dark cloud over pastors and other leaders in local churches….If a faithful church member cannot trust his or her own pastor, whom can they trust?

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Credit Markets, Currency Markets, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Personal Finance, Stewardship, Stock Market, Theology

This Week's Wonderful Story of a Boy and A CardBoard Arcade

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Watch it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Blogging & the Internet, Children, Science & Technology

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Almighty God, who broughtest again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the glorious Prince of Salvation, with everlasting victory over sin and the grave: Grant us power, we beseech thee, to rise with him to newness of life, that we may overcome the world with the victory of faith, and have part at last in the resurrection of the just; through the merits of the same risen Saviour, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, ever one God, world without end.

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon and touched with our hands, concerning the word of life– the life was made manifest, and we saw it, and testify to it, and proclaim to you the eternal life which was with the Father and was made manifest to us– that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you may have fellowship with us; and our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. And we are writing this that our joy may be complete. This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light and in him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not live according to the truth; but if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.

–1 John 1:1-7

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

One of the Many Small Facets of the Titanic Tragedy–one Boat was Close but Didn't Discern Distress

The other was the Californian, a small steamer that had stopped about ten miles from the Titanic””unlike the doomed ship, it had heeded the ice warnings””and sat there all through that terrible night, disregarding the Titanic’s frantic signalling, by wireless, Morse lamp, and, finally, rockets. Not all of this was as inexplicable as it seems: the Californian didn’t have a nighttime wireless operator. (All passenger ships were subsequently required by law to have round-the-clock wireless.) But no one has ever sufficiently explained why the Californian’s captain, officers, and crew failed to respond to what seemed like obvious signs of distress. The second officer merely thought it strange that a ship would be firing rockets at night. If Lord had been given to large interpretations, he might have seen in the one ship a symbol of the urgent force of human striving and, in the other, the immovable resistance of sheer stupidity.

Read it all (especially if you missed it last time).

Posted in * Culture-Watch, History

The New York Times Front Page on the Sinking of the Titanic, April 16th, 1912

Take a careful look.

The full text of the front page top left article may be read there.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, History, Media, Science & Technology

(SHNS) Terry Mattingly–Taking a look back at Titanic sermons from 100 years ago

For the preachers of 1912, Titanic was the ultimate symbol ”” not of the past, but of modernity and the dawn of a century in which ambitious tycoons and scientists would solve most, if not all, of humanity’s thorniest problems.

The liner was, in other words, a triumph of Darwinian logic and the march of progress. Its sinking was a dream-shattering tragedy of biblical proportions.

The events of April 14-15, 1912, are the “closest thing that we have to a modern-day Bible story,” according to Douglas Phillips of TitanicSociety.com, in an essay saluting those who went down with the ship. “Everything about Titanic was larger-than-life: her conception, her launch, her sins, her heroes and her judgment. …

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Anthropology, Church History, Eschatology, History, Media, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Religion & Culture, Theology

(Christian Today) A new dream in Belfast's historic Titanic Quarter

At 11:40pm on Saturday night, the exact time the Titanic struck the iceberg that led to its sinking less than three hours later, Rev Chris [Bennett] will lead a vigil that will feature a virtual choir, a reading of Titanic’s SOS messages and a reading aloud of the names of those who were lost.

“Lips may wobble,” he admitted.

“This city will truly, properly pay a profound and heartfelt tribute to that tragic moment which shook so many lives, echoed around the world and [which] still resounds down through the decades.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Church History, England / UK, History, Ireland, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture