Daily Archives: May 12, 2012

Kara Martin reviews Christopher Wright's The God I Don’t Understand

Christopher Wright is a great Old Testament scholar. His work on Old Testament ethics for the people of God has been foundational in my understanding of the character of God through the laws he laid down.

So to have him admit that there are difficult parts of Scripture, for which pat answers will not suffice, is”¦ spirit warming. Some evangelical writers are so adamant in their writing that they leave no room for doubt, no room for mystery, no room for limits in human understanding!

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Australia / NZ, Books, Theodicy, Theology, Theology: Scripture

The Latest Edition of the Diocese of South Carolina Enewsletter

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Episcopal Church (TEC), Media, Parish Ministry, TEC Bishops

NPR–Same Bible, Different Verdict On Same Sex Marriage

…nowhere is this question more fraught than in African-American churches, says Tony Evans. He pastors the 9,000-member Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas. One reason, he says, is cultural.

“The breakdown of the family is the single greatest challenge that we face today,” he says….

“The Bible is clear on…sexual relationships are to be between men and women within the context of marriage,” Evans says. “That’s not only related to the issue of homosexuality, but adultery, or fornication or bestiality. All of that is proscribed in the Bible.”

Read or listen to it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anthropology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Sexuality, Theology, Theology: Scripture

Franklin Graham and TEC minister Murdoch Smith respond to Pres. Obama on Same Sex Marriage

[Graham said marriage] “should not be defined by presidents or polls, governors or the media. The definition was set long ago and changing legislation or policy will never change God’s definition.”

The Rev. Murdoch Smith, pastor of St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Charlotte, challenged Graham’s view, saying “I am always suspect when someone says that they know the mind of God.”

“President Obama stated that his position was evolving because he was open to what all sides had to say on marriage equality,” Smith said Thursday. “That openness ”¦ brought him to the conclusion that God blesses all who commit to one another in his presence.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Episcopal Church (TEC), Marriage & Family, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Sexuality

Muslim Woman Bridges Faiths to Advance Progressive Goals

Faiza N. Ali paced across the plaza outside City Hall in Lower Manhattan, consulting a to-do list and juggling the messages on two BlackBerries. How was the turnout? Were the speakers prepped? One minister had already alerted Ms. Ali that he was running late. Another of her colleagues had gone to Borough Hall in Brooklyn by mistake.

On this blustery morning two weeks ago, Ms. Ali was undergoing one of the first tests of her new job as a community organizer, helping to run a rally in support of proposed legislation encouraging more local investment by banks. And by the time the hundred participants had assembled on the City Hall steps, Ms. Ali, a petite figure in a hijab, was standing beside a Catholic priest, holding the edge of a banner from Brooklyn Congregations United.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Inter-Faith Relations, Islam, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Women

(Telegraph) Ambrose Evans-Pritchard–Europe's nuclear brinkmanship with Greece is a lethal game

The chief danger is not for Greece. It is for the rest of the eurozone. If the German political establishment is unwise enough to force Greece out of EMU on the assumption that the country is a special case, it will be disabused of this illusion very quickly.

Total debt levels are 100pc of GDP higher in Portugal, and the country has roughly the same current account deficit. The only difference is that Portugal began its austerity death cure later and has not yet had time to enter into the full vortex of debt-deflation and collapse. Give it a few more months.

Spain and Italy are 20pc overvalued against northern Europe….

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --European Sovereign Debt Crisis of 2010, Credit Markets, Currency Markets, Economy, Euro, Europe, European Central Bank, Foreign Relations, Germany, Greece, Politics in General, The Banking System/Sector

(Washington Post) J P Morgan losses reignite clash between Wall Street and Washington

That the losses would only dent the quarterly profits at one of the world’s largest banks, and that they were revealed by the bank’s own management, did not diminish the chorus on Capitol Hill for tighter controls. The charismatic and often outspoken Dimon, who has argued rigorously against strict financial regulations, fielded calls Friday from several lawmakers and regulators at the bank’s Midtown Manhattan headquarters.

The biggest blow-up between Wall Street and Washington since 2010, when Congress passed the Dodd-Frank Act to tighten oversight of the financial industry, comes just as regulators are drafting new rules governing banks. A signature feature of the law is the Volcker Rule, a prohibition on banks engaging in speculative bets. The authors of the act say the measure might have prevented JPMorgan’s bad trades had it been in effect.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, House of Representatives, Law & Legal Issues, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Senate, Stock Market, The Banking System/Sector

(WSJ) J.P. Morgan's Efforts to Shield Itself From European Market Fallout Caused Losses

J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. told traders several months ago to make bets aimed at shielding the bank from the market fallout of Europe’s deepening mess. But instead of shrinking the risk, their complicated bets backfired into losses of as much as $200 million a day in late April and early May, people familiar with the situation said.

Regulators in the U.S. and U.K. are examining what went wrong, who is responsible and whether J.P. Morgan should have told investors about the losses sooner, according to people familiar with the matter.

While attention has focused on large positions taken by a trader nicknamed “the London whale,” he and other traders were carrying out instructions from a bank executive, these people said.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --European Sovereign Debt Crisis of 2010, Corporations/Corporate Life, Credit Markets, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Europe, Stock Market, The Banking System/Sector, Theology

(USA Today) How far some parents go to get a job . . . for their kids

Some parents are not content to help pay the bills. They’re going to great lengths to help Junior get a job.

According to Adecco, nearly a third of parents are helping their kids find work, and nearly one in ten are taking them to job interviews.

But that’s not all.

Three percent of recent college grads say their parents have actually sat in with them during interviews, and one percent claim Mom or Dad wrote their thank you notes afterwards.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Children, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Marriage & Family

Article from The State on Same Sex Marriage which includes Quotes from Bishop Andrew Waldo

“There are certainly members of the church and members of the diocese who believe it is a justice issue, but we have as many who believe that it is a theological issue,” [Upper South Carolina Episcopal Bishop Andrew] Waldo said. “The stand that I’ve taken for a long time is that when Jesus called the disciples to love one another, he also called the disciples to give themselves up for each other.

“The question that I’m asking is, ”˜What are we willing to give up for the sake of each other?’”

At the national convention of the Episcopal Church in July, Waldo and other bishops will take up the issue of the blessing of same-sex unions, although Waldo said “there is not going to be a vote that says here is what the church is going to do. It will be for experimentation and contemplation.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Religion & Culture, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Bishops

(USA Today) Mother's Day packs church pews behind Christmas, Easter

Hold the chocolate and flowers. Hold the brunch reservations. What mom may really want for Mother’s Day is for the whole gang to go to church first.

A new survey of 1,000 Protestant pastors finds Mother’s Day ranks right after Easter and Christmas in peak church attendance.

Father’s Day, however, is near the bottom of the poll although both holidays were founded as church events more than a century ago.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Children, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Marriage & Family, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Women

A Prayer to Begin the Day

We beseech thee, O Lord, to give us more love to thee, more joy in our worship, more peace at all times, more longsuffering, more kindness of heart and manner. Grant us the grace of meekness and the power of self-control. May we know something of what it is to be filled with the Holy Ghost; for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord.

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed on and triumph, as it did among you, and that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men; for not all have faith. But the Lord is faithful; he will strengthen you and guard you from evil. And we have confidence in the Lord about you, that you are doing and will do the things which we command. May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ.

–2 Thessalonians 3:1-5

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Update from The Falls Church (Anglican) on Their Future

FALLS CHURCH, Va. (May 10, 2012) – As the result of recent court action, The Falls Church Anglican, a congregation of 4,000 worshippers in Falls Church, Va., will soon move out of its historic home as it continues its ministry. Some in the congregation have worshipped on the church campus for more than 60 years, with the original property dating back almost 300 years. While the cost of leaving the property is great, members of The Falls Church Anglican are celebrating as they stand on their orthodox faith and continue to spread the transforming love of Jesus Christ beyond the church walls.
The Falls Church Anglican is being forced to leave its long-time home on May 15 as the result of a judicial ruling rejecting its request for a suspension (authorization to remain on its property during an appeal) of the January 2012 decision and March 2012 Final Order.

“While we are saddened by leaving this Christ-centered place of worship, we rejoice at the outpouring of encouragement and offers of assistance, including furnishings and building space from Presbyterians, Baptists, Catholics and other friends. Through these many blessings, we are equipped with the knowledge that God has great plans in store for our congregation. Ultimately, our passion for spreading the Gospel and reaching the lost will not wane,” said the Rev. Dr. John Yates, rector of The Falls Church Anglican.

According to the Rev.Yates, the challenge has not hindered the congregation in its ministries and missions. “In spite of the litigation since 2006, we have established thriving, independent ”˜daughter’ churches in Alexandria, Arlington, Vienna and beyond. We hope to plant our seventh daughter church this year in the District of Colombia. Meanwhile, we have more than 2,000 people in worship and fellowship each Sunday. Also, more than 450 teenagers participate in one of the largest youth programs on the East Coast.”

Junior Warden Carol Jackson added, “For several years we have been experiencing the power of healing prayer in our own congregation and recently began a partnership to extend that ministry in the Baileys Crossroads area, with Columbia Baptist Church and St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church. Together, we minister to the poor and the immigrants among us in the Culmore Clinic. People from all walks of life, all faiths, and all economic situations, now have a safe place to ask for and receive prayer and excellent medical treatment.”

Between 2005 and 2007, The Falls Church Anglican and 14 sister Virginia congregations voted by overwhelming majorities to separate from The Episcopal Church and the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia. The move was taken because the congregations determined that The Episcopal Church had drifted so far from orthodox Christianity that they could not in good conscience remain under its spiritual authority.

“The cost to the congregation has been and will be huge. Locating available worship space for a church of our size and office space for over 100 staff and volunteer ministry leaders remains extremely challenging. In spite of this adversity, we remain steadfast in our decision to take a bold stand for the authority of Scripture,” said Senior Warden Sam Thomsen.

The Falls Church Anglican has remained at the forefront in the formation of orthodox Anglican institutions in North America. Members of the parish have been leaders in the creation of the Anglican Church in North America, the fast growing (nearly 1,000 congregations and 100,000 worshippers) national organization, and the Anglican Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic (38 congregations and nearly 6,000 worshippers each Sunday), in Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, and the District of Columbia.

“We leave without resentment or acrimony; we pray only the best for those who will follow us in our historic church, that the transforming Good News of Christ will always be proclaimed in this place,” the Rev. Yates concluded.

On Sunday, May 13, The Falls Church Anglican will hold services at its current location, 115 E. Fairfax Street in Falls Church, Va. Services of praise and thanksgiving will also be held later that evening. All are welcome to attend and are invited to future worship services as well. Please check the church website (www.TFCAnglican.org) for service times and locations.

[The Falls Church Anglican is a member congregation of the newly established Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic, a regional and growing diocese of the Anglican Church in North America dedicated to reaching North America with the transforming love of Jesus Christ. The Diocese consists of 38 member congregations.]

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Departing Parishes

Orange County Superior Court judge rules in Favor of TEC

An Orange County Superior Court judge on Thursday ruled in favor of the Episcopal Church in its long-running legal dispute over the rightful ownership of the properties of two congregations that seceded from the church years ago.

Judge Kim Dunning granted a motion for summary judgment filed by the Episcopal Church in its cases against St. David’s Anglican Church in North Hollywood and All Saints Anglican Church in Long Beach, declaring the church properties were held in trust for the diocese and national church.

St. David’s and All Saints left the six-county Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles and the national church in 2004 because of differences over biblical interpretations and liberal views on homosexuality and other issues.

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Posted in Uncategorized

Tension cited in removal of St. Margaret's Episcopal Church priest in California

The Rev. Brian O’Rourke, who oversaw family ministries, was dismissed from the post Thursday. In an open letter to the congregation, the Rev. James R. Mathes said he had worked for several months “regarding various problems” between the rector, the Rev. Lane Hensley, and O’Rourke.

“This relationship has deteriorated to the point where it can no longer be sustained,” Mathes wrote. “After considerable effort and prayer, I have come to the conclusion that for this reason, it is time to end Brian’s ministry at St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church effective immediately.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Theology