Daily Archives: June 20, 2012

South Carolina Standing Committee Releases Statement Regarding General Convention

2. Of greatest concern is not that a blessing of same-gender unions contravenes specific verses of Scripture, though that is unacceptable ”“ of greatest concern is the theology which underlies this rite, set forth in the 82 page I Will Bless You document, which patently redefines the Christian faith, subverting the doctrines of creation and baptism, the nature of sin and salvation, and the grace of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

3. We have compassion for those who struggle with and act upon same-gender attraction, and we urge equal treatment for all men and women in the church. Our Lord calls us all, equally, to repent of sin that we might receive forgiveness and cleansing through the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, restoration to the Body of Christ, and transformation through the power of the Holy Spirit.

4. We hereby repudiate, denounce and reject any action of the Episcopal Church which purports to bless what our Lord clearly does not bless….

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Anthropology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, General Convention, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology, Theology: Scripture

(RNS) Religious groups vie for Internet domain names

Religious groups have long vied for prime parcels of land, planting churches on town squares and monasteries amid isolated mountains. But now they’re targeting real estate in a less tangible sphere: cyberspace.

For the first time in its history, the international nonprofit that doles out generic Internet domain names such as “.com” and “.edu” will allow more specific web address extensions like “.church.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Blogging & the Internet, Religion & Culture

(CNS) In Rio, Roman Catholic leaders agree: People must be at center of policies

Archbishop [ Francis] Chullikatt said if a new economic model is to be created at Rio+20, then it must be based on such principles as responsible production and consumption; promotion and sharing of the common good; access to primary goods (food, water, sanitation, education, health care); and the unity of the family.

“Now is the time for governments to recognize that sustainable development starts with truly putting the human person at the forefront of our efforts,” the archbishop said. “Maybe then, in 20 years’ time, if there is another Rio conference, we will see true progress in the creation of a more just and equitable world for all.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Ecumenical Relations, Ethics / Moral Theology, Globalization, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Theology

Terry Mattingly–That Anglican timeline thing, again (with apologies)

In many ways, the event that kicked the entire controversy into overdrive was the dismissal of the charges against Bishop Righter in 1996. At that point, the issue was pretty much settled for anyone with eyes to see what was happening. Thus, the Global South revolt against the Episcopal Church openly began in 2000.

Is 1996 “recent”? Is 2000 “recent”?

Once again, it is easy for reporters to simply note that the conflict has been raging for a quarter of a century, or thereabouts, and that there was a major escalation in the dispute in 2003, with the consecration of the openly gay and non-celibate Bishop V. Gene Robinson in New Hampshire. Now that you think of it, is 2003 “recent”?

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention, Media, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)

(Christian Post) Rick Warren repackages Purpose Driven for another generation

The cover for What on Earth Am I Here For? The Purpose Driven Life features a tree, but unlike the original life-like, two-toned design, it has brightly coloured leaves on a white background.

“Some of the titles that appealed to us most were the ones where the title and the subtitle seemed to kind of be a dialogue, a question and answer,” Zondervan marketing executive Rich Tatum told The Christian Post.

“It seemed like that makes more sense with this generation ”“ leading with the question and the answer is the ‘Purpose Driven Life’ rather than leading with the answer and then subtitling it with the question.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Books, Evangelicals, Other Churches, Parish Ministry

2012 State and Local Government spending Tumbles

State and local governments are keeping the tightest lid on spending in three decades, even though tax revenue is rising again and powerful interest groups are asking for more money.

he tight budget controls represent a sharp reversal from several years ago when states struggled to control spending, despite a drop in tax collections, and got a $250 billion bailout from the federal government. Today, both Republicans and Democrats are rejecting spending requests even from traditional allies — police, businesses, teachers, doctors and others — and keeping budgets balanced as federal aid recedes.

“We’re seeing some incredibly significant examples of groups not getting what they want,” says Scott Pattison, head of the National Association of State Budget Officers. “There doesn’t appear to be that much pushback. Maybe there’s an acceptance that cuts have to occur.”

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, City Government, Economy, Politics in General, State Government, Taxes, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

New Vatican Working Document Published on New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Faith

The Christian faith is not simply teachings, wise sayings, a code of morality or a tradition. The Christian faith is a true encounter and relationship with Jesus Christ. Transmitting the faith means to create in every place and time the conditions which lead to this encounter between the person and Jesus Christ. The goal of all evangelization is to create the possibility for this encounter, which is, at one and the same time, intimate, personal, public and communal. Pope Benedict XVI stated: “Being Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the encounter with an event, a person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction. […] Since God has first loved us (cf. 1 Jn 4:10), love is now no longer a mere ‘command’; it is the response to the gift of love with which God draws near to us.” In the Christian faith, the encounter with Christ and the relationship with him takes place “in accordance to the Scriptures” (1 Cor 15:3, 4). The Church is formed precisely through the grace of this relationship.

This encounter with Jesus, through his Spirit, is the Father’s great gift to humanity. We are prepared for this encounter through the action of grace in us. In such an encounter, we feel an attraction which leads to our transformation, causing us to see new dimensions to who we are and making us partakers of divine life (cf. 2 Pt 1:4). After this encounter, everything is different as a result of metanoia, that is, the state of conversion strongly urged by Jesus himself (cf. Mk 1:15). In a personal encounter with Jesus Christ, faith takes the form of a relationship with him and in remembrance of him, especially in the Eucharist and the Word of God, and creates in us the mind of Christ, through the Spirit, a mentality which makes us recognize our brothers and sisters, gathered by the Spirit in his Church, and, in turn, see ourselves as witnesses and heralds of this Gospel. This encounter equips us to do new things and witness to the transformation of our lives in the works of conversion as announced by the prophets

Read it all (official version) or there (plain text and for some easier usage).

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Christology, Evangelism and Church Growth, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic, Theology, Theology: Scripture

Northern Leaders Have Case to Answer On Boko Haram – Iwuanyanwu

An event or ganised in honour of the retiring Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Dahiru Musdapher, in Abuja, Tuesday, took a different dimension, after a member of the Board of Trustees, BoT, of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and publisher of Champions Newspaper Ltd, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, urged the Federal Government to hold northern leaders responsible for the increasing spate of violence by the Boko Haram Islamist sect.

Iwuanyanwu, who presided over the presentation of a book entitled Tit-Bits of Advocacy, dedicated to Justice Musdapher by the Imo Law Publishers, in his speech, said: “Boko Haram problem cannot be solved by killing or shooting people. It can only be solved by the leaders in the areas where they operate.

“The massive killings must stop. Nigerians must feel free to travel to various parts of the country without fear. Nigerians must worship their God according to their faith without fear of being killed or bombed in their places of worship.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Africa, Islam, Law & Legal Issues, Muslim-Christian relations, Nigeria, Other Faiths, Police/Fire, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Terrorism, Violence

World Council of Churches forum focuses on poverty, wealth and ecology

More than one hundred international participants, including representatives of churches and civil society, have gathered in Bogor, Indonesia for the Global Forum on Poverty, Wealth and Ecology. On 19 June, they spoke together about poverty eradication and the concepts of economic and ecological justice lying at the heart of Christian ethics.

The forum will continue till 22 June and will conclude the AGAPE (Alternative to Economic Globalization Addressing Peoples and Earth) study process initiated by the World Council of Churches (WCC) in 2006 at its 9th Assembly in Porto Alegre, Brazil.

The AGAPE studies have focused on the relations between poverty, wealth and ecology, undertaken in Africa in 2007, Latin America and the Caribbean in 2008, Asia and the Pacific in 2009, Europe in 2010 and North America in 2011.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Ecumenical Relations, Energy, Natural Resources, Ethics / Moral Theology, Globalization, Poverty, Religion & Culture, Theology

(BP) New SBC President Fred Luter's trailblazing life has been rich with trials as well as blessings

Leaving the hospital three months [after an accident]…he soon walked on crutches down the aisle of Greater Mt. Carmel and committed himself to the Lord.

“I immediately started a street ministry because … I was so shocked by my relationship with Christ, I wanted everybody in my neighborhood, all my partners … to know the God that I knew,” Luter said. “So every Saturday at 12 noon I’d be preaching on different streets of the Lower Ninth Ward and sharing Christ. And that’s how, as they say, that’s how it all began.”

The first African American president of the Southern Baptist Convention is amazed at how God has blessed his ministry, opening doors previously closed to those from Luter’s side of town.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Baptists, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Theology

(ENS) Bishop, priest convicted of trespassing in Occupy demonstration

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Economy, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, TEC Bishops, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

Fleming Rutledge–Thinking about funerals (what funerals?)

An Episcopal clergyman told me recently that in his 6 years in office, he had never seen the pall used in his parish church. What does that mean? It means that the traditional Anglican funeral, with the coffin present and covered by the pall, has almost ceased to exist. How has this happened? The “new” (1979) Book of Common Prayer clearly calls for the body to be present in the church — the rubrics (italicized instructions) assume it, with instructions such as “The coffin is to be closed before the service.” There is even a special set of prayers to be said (p. 466) as the body is brought into the church to repose before the service.

What has happened in the 30+ intervening years to cause this to change so totally? We now have the ubiquitous memorial service, which as far as I know scarcely existed at all thirty years ago….

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Death / Burial / Funerals, Episcopal Church (TEC), Eschatology, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Other Faiths, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Secularism, Theology

Poetry for a Wednesday Morning– David Whyte's Loaves and Fishes

From here:

This is not
the age of information.

This is not
the age of information.

Forget the news,
and the radio,
and the blurred screen.

This is the time
of loaves
and fishes.

People are hungry
and one good word is bread
for a thousand.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Poetry & Literature

David Cameron's Europe veto cost Britain credibility, the Church of England claims

David Cameron’s historic European Union veto made Britain look “unreliable” and “without credibility” among fellow nations, the Church of England has said.

In an unusual intervention, the Church urged Britain’s leaders to take a more “constructive and positive” attitude towards Brussels because splitting from the EU would be a “travesty”.

It warns that the UK is heading for an exit from the EU unless the Government “finds friends in Europe” and makes more effort to win round eurosceptics.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Economy, England / UK, Euro, Europe, Foreign Relations, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

Anglican Bishop ready for new challenges in Calgary

Right Rev. Gregory Kerr-Wilson has been elected the ninth bishop in the Anglican Diocese of Calgary.

Kerr-Wilson, currently the bishop of Qu’Appelle, a diocese that covers southern Saskatchewan, was voted the new bishop by members of the clergy and laity from each of Calgary’s Anglican congregations on Saturday.

“I’m looking forward to being there, being with the people and getting on with the work,” he told the Herald on Monday.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Almighty God, who hast ordained that a man and a woman should leave their parents, cleave to one another and become one flesh; and hast taught us that what God has joined together no man should put asunder: Deliver our nation at this time from all corrupting influences. May marriage be held in honour among us all, and the gift of sex be acknowledged as a sacred trust from thee. Grant to both young and old the grace of self-control. Beautify our homes with thy presence, that husband and wife, parents and children, may love one another as thou hast loved us; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

–John R. W. Stott (1921-2011)

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Marriage & Family, Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Bible Readings

At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them, and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me; but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened round his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea. “Woe to the world for temptations to sin! For it is necessary that temptations come, but woe to the man by whom the temptation comes! And if your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away; it is better for you to enter life maimed or lame than with two hands or two feet to be thrown into the eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and throw it away; it is better for you to enter life with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into the hell of fire.

–Matthew 18:1-9

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(New Vision) Anglican Bishops to elect new Archbishop

Church of Uganda Bishops are converging at Lweza conference center in Lweza along Entebbe road for a week long retreat to elect a new Archbishop.

The New Archbishop will replace the outgoing Archbishop Church of Uganda the Right Rev. Henry Luke Orombi .

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anglican Provinces, Church of Uganda, Religion & Culture, Uganda

(CEN) David Goodhew–Startling academic research shows widespread Church growth in Britain

An international team of leading researchers, based at Cranmer Hall, Durham, have just published a study entitled Church Growth in Britain from 1980 to the Present. Here are just a few of the extraordinary statistics that have been unearthed:

– There are 500,000 Christians in black majority churches in Britain. Sixty years ago there were hardly any

– At least 5,000 new churches have been started in Britain since 1980 ”“ and this is an undercount. The true figure is probably higher

– There are one million Christians in Britain from black, Asian and other minority ethnic communities

– The adult membership of the Anglican Diocese of London has risen by over 70 per cent since 1990.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Religion & Culture

(NPR) A Single Dad And His Unlikely Bowdoin College Roommate, His 1 year old Daughter

Wil [Smith] graduated from Bowdoin in 2000. He eventually became the school’s associate dean of multicultural student programs, a post he kept for 10 years.

“My graduation day from Bowdoin is a day I’ll never forget,” he says. “You know, all of my classmates, they stood up and gave me the only standing ovation. ”

“I remember walking up with you and having my head on your shoulder,” Olivia says with a laugh.

Read (or much better listen to) it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Children, Education, Marriage & Family, Young Adults

Diocese of Connecticut P.R. on U.S. Supreme Court declining review of the Bishop Seabury case

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