Daily Archives: May 24, 2012

(SHNS) Terry Mattingly–Professor Benedict addresses Catholic academia

While it’s easy to focus on this new commencement controversy, Benedict’s address represents another skirmish in more than two decades of conflict between Rome and liberal Catholics entrenched on many college and university campuses. At the heart of the conflict is a 1990 “apostolic constitution” on education issued by Pope John Paul II entitled “Ex Corde Ecclesiae (From the Heart of the Church).”

That document contains numerous statements that trouble American academics, including this one: “Catholic teaching and discipline are to influence all university activities, while the freedom of conscience of each person is to be fully respected. Any official action or commitment of the University is to be in accord with its Catholic identity.”

Read it all and make sure to follow the link to the Pope’s full address if you have not yet read it.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Education, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

Stephen Edmondson's ATR Article on Communion of the Unbaptized

This article, a theologically thick description of opening the eucharistic table to all, is rooted in Aidan Kavanaugh’s conviction that liturgical theology is primarily that “knowledge” of God generated by the encounter of Christian congregations with God in the liturgy. Thus, this work began with a working group of four Open Table Episcopal parishes reflecting together on what they have found of God, Christ, church, and grace within their practice. The vision that emerged from this reflection was centered in a complex theology of grace and response inherent in Christ’s parable of the Prodigal Son. This central commitment was, moreover, structured around intuitions concerning the universal status of all persons as God’s children, the relational character of grace, the communal character of Christ’s presence in the Eucharist, a Christocentric ecclesiology defining the church by the commitments at its center, and a missional understanding of baptism.

Read it all carefully.

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

The Diocese of Eastern Oregon Report Supporting Communion of the Unbaptized

As Christendom was waning, the Episcopal Church ratified a new identity in the 1979 Book of Common Prayer. This new identity brought us to practice baptismal ministry and made the Eucharist the central part of our Sunday worship. Now, after living this theology for over 30 years, we are faced with the growing practice of Open Table in the Episcopal Church. The two are not unrelated. Perhaps we did not anticipate that we would arrive at the place where we are considering the reversal of the traditional order of Sacraments. Yet, as more and more congregations practice Open Table, we are called to confront the incongruity between practice and traditional theological thinking.

Read it all carefully (Word document). [Please note if you have any trouble go there, then go down to resolution C040 and you will see the document link on the far right (you can get it as a pdf if you prefer)].

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Baptism, Episcopal Church (TEC), Eucharist, General Convention, Sacramental Theology, Theology

Euro Zone Crisis Boils as Leaders Fail to Signal New Steps

With Greece’s membership in the euro zone teetering, fears of bank insolvency rising and Europe’s leaders bickering about what to do, the euro crisis is once again intensifying and threatening to undermine fragile growth globally.

At a summit meeting in Brussels on Wednesday, regional leaders failed to signal any significant new steps to stimulate the sputtering regional economy or resolve the competing agendas of President François Hollande of France, who favors stronger action to spur growth, and his German counterpart, Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has opposed aggressive moves to ease the pressure on Europe’s weakest economies.

Yet, the urgency for a solution to the region’s debt crisis, now in its third year, may never have been greater.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * 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, France, Germany, Globalization, Greece, Politics in General, The Banking System/Sector, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

(The Hill) Study: Baby-boomer retirements don’t explain unemployment figures

Baby-boomer retirements are skewing the nation’s unemployment rate, but not enough to disguise a weak economy, according to a new report.

The left-leaning Employment Policy Institute (EPI) says the slow exit of baby boomers is a factor in the declining jobless rate, and its overall conclusion is that the economy is still quite sick.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, Columbia, South Carolina calls Tim Jones to be their new Dean

Dear Fellow Trinity Parishioners,

On behalf of the Vestry and the Search Committee, I am pleased to announce today that Trinity Cathedral Parish has called The Reverend Timothy Jones to serve as our next Dean. This exciting news is the culmination of an extensive search under the guidance of the Search Committee, led by Vance Bettis and Bishop Waldo. Tim accepted the call to Trinity following unanimous decisions by the Search Committee and Vestry last week. He will assume his new position on July 16, 2012.

Since 2005, Tim has served as Senior Associate Rector of St. George’s Episcopal Church in Nashville, Tennessee. St. George’s is comparable to Trinity in both membership and budget, with 3,200 members, 715 in Average Sunday Attendance, and an Operating Fund Budget of $3,400,000. Tim’s emphasis while serving at St. George’s has been on adult formation, newcomers, and mission and outreach….

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * South Carolina, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, TEC Parishes

Ousted after demanding wine for Mass, Charleston County jail chaplain claims rights were violated

For a quarter century, Monsignor Ed Lofton has served as one of 86 volunteer chaplains at the Charleston County jail. Bringing calm to inmates and jailers alike is considered essential to his mission.

That endeavor includes Communion, and for Catholics, wine is a necessary component.

But carrying wine into a facility where alcohol is labeled as contraband hasn’t come without controversy. He has fought and won that battle before….

Read it all from the front page of the local paper.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, * South Carolina, Other Churches, Prison/Prison Ministry, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

Mark Eldredge on Evangelism and Its Consequences

In this true story, Father Eldredge tells how successful efforts at evangelism brought people from all walks in to his church and a relationship with Jesus. One new convert was a former “enforcer” for a “biker gang” who , though well-meaning, sparked a fist fight after Sunday services. Hear how Father Eldredge handled this unexpected consequence of successful evangelism.

Watch it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Evangelism and Church Growth, Parish Ministry, Theology

Forward in Faith UK on the Amendments to draft legislation on Women Bishops

From here:

Forward in Faith welcomes the amendments to the draft legislation on women bishops passed by the House of Bishops on Monday.

The first amendment secures the provision of bishops for traditional catholics and conservative evangelicals who are not simply male, but who share the theological convictions of those to whom they will minister. For traditional catholics, that means bishops ordained into the historic episcopate as we understand it. The draft Measure now recognises that our position is one of legitimate theological conviction for which the Church of England must provide. This principle will be enshrined in law.

The second amendment helpfully clarifies that the charism of episcopal ministry derives from the fact of a bishop’s ordination, and is not by delegation from another bishop.

It was disappointing that the amendment which would have implemented co-ordinate jurisdiction was not passed. The draft Measure stills fails, therefore, to address questions of jurisdiction and authority in the way we need.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Women

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O Glorious Christ, who in thy ascension didst enter into thy kingdom: Remember, we pray thee, the countless millions who have not heard of the redemption which thou hast won for them. Grant that they may learn, through thy Church, of the new and living way which thou hast opened for them. Let them draw near in fullness of faith, to enter with thee into the holy place of the Father’s presence, and receive forgiveness and peace. So may they worship, with the innumerable company of angels and with the spirits of just men made perfect, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, one God, blessed for evermore.

–George Appleton

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

And getting into a boat he crossed over and came to his own city. And behold, they brought to him a paralytic, lying on his bed; and when Jesus saw their faith he said to the paralytic, “Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven.” And behold, some of the scribes said to themselves, “This man is blaspheming.” But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts? For which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins” –he then said to the Paralytic–“rise, take up your bed and go home.” And he rose and went home. When the crowds saw it, they were afraid, and they glorified God, who had given such authority to men.

–Matthew 9:1-8

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(Bloomberg) Southerners Stranded In Sudan Waiting For A Trip Home

Nimuli struggled to rise from a rope bed to greet pastor James Mading Bui at an Episcopal church where she lives in a suburb of Khartoum, Sudan’s capital, waiting to travel back home to the newly independent south.

Nimuli is one of as many as 700,000 South Sudanese who have become regarded as dark-skinned, often Christian outsiders in mainly Arabic Sudan since the oil-rich south seceded in July. Verbally abused as “insects” by some Sudanese on the streets, they have no citizenship or residential rights and no idea when they are going to be able to travel to South Sudan.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, --South Sudan, Africa, Anglican Provinces, Episcopal Church of the Sudan, Sudan

For sale: One Episcopal church with small-town charm in Oakfield, New York

If you’re in the market for a property filled with colorful stained glass windows, decorative mahogany wood, plenty of reading materials and an entertainment center, Steven Metcalfe has got just the thing.

St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, which closed for services in August 2009, is up for sale.

“We would love for somebody to come in and operate a church here. We’re open to whoever can see the possibilities,” the Rev. Metcalfe said Tuesday at the South Main Street site.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Economics, Politics, Economy, Episcopal Church (TEC), Housing/Real Estate Market, TEC Parishes

(NPR) Health Insurance Cutbacks Squeeze The Insured

[Amber] Cooper had a liver transplant when she was 10. She takes a drug twice a day so her body won’t reject her liver.

“Every year my company changes the insurance. And instead of giving us three different choices for insurance plans, they were changing to one, which was a high-deductible plan with no prescription coverage,” she said.

Cooper was stunned. Her anti-rejection medicine costs way more than she could afford on her own ”” more than $1,000 a month.

Read or listen to it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Health & Medicine

Chief of Staff of Diocese of Virginia Expresses "Disappointment" with Falls Church (Anglican)

Over the last few weeks you have received word of a cascade of settlements the Diocese of Virginia and the Episcopal Church have made with six of the seven CANA congregations that remained in the property litigation. In each case, the CANA congregation agreed to return the church property, including personal property and Episcopal funds due the Diocese of Virginia, and to withdraw their appeals. We have sought to be as generous as we can be with these congregations, particularly with regard to items necessary in the very short-term for them to continue in their ministries.

With disappointment, I report to you that we have been unable to reach a final settlement with the CANA congregation now known as the Falls Church Anglican. Their leadership has made it clear that they plan to pursue their appeal before the Supreme Court of Virginia unless the Diocese (with the Episcopal Church’s approval) pays them a significant sum of money; we both are unwilling to do so. As a result, we expect the Falls Church Anglican to file their petition for appeal at the end of this month, asking the Supreme Court of Virginia to hear their case. We must file a responsive brief three weeks later, and the Court will issue its decision on whether to take the case at some point this fall. We remain strongly confident in our legal position.

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: Virginia, TEC Departing Parishes