Daily Archives: July 25, 2012

[Church of England General Synod] Women in the Episcopate ”“ the Final Legislative Lap

A consultation/discussion paper from William Fittall, General Secretary
2. The House of Bishops will meet on 12 September to reconsider that provision. The possibilities available to the House will be to:
+ Retain clause 5(1)(c)
+ Amend the draft Measure by removing clause 5(1)(c)
+ Amend the draft Measure by replacing clause 5(1)(c) with a different provision.
9. The main purpose of this discussion paper is to explore the possible approaches that the House could adopt. Of these it is the one that involves replacing clause 5(1)(c) with a new provision that requires the most innovative thinking at this stage.

10. This paper, therefore, offers and analyses as a basis for discussion – and without commending any of them ”“ five initial possibilities, agreed with Standing Counsel to the Synod, for replacing clause 5(1)(c) with a new provision.

11. The hope is that these possibilities will stimulate further suggestions. At this stage it is more important to have proposals for possible elements of a new provision, and the objectives which they are designed to achieve, than detailed drafting suggestions.

12. Clearly the most important objective will be to identify an approach which can command a wide degree of support. But, above all, since it will form part of a statute, the effect of any new provision must be clear. It must also have a clear rationale, capable of being explained ”“including to the Ecclesiastical Committee of Parliament.

13. So, the starting point needs to be some analysis of what the present clause 5(1)(c), and any replacement of it, add to the rest of the Measure. Any new wording will, in the usual way, need to be agreed by Standing Counsel.

Read it all if you can be bothered and answers on an epostcard by August 24th. Thinking Anglicans have a stab at explaining it all here and there is comment on Anglican Mainstream here

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

Bishop John Bauerschmidt: no plans to authorize same sex blessings in the Diocese of Tennessee

I know these actions will be a source of joy for some and of grief for others. I hope you will not be surprised that I argued against authorization of this rite, and I refer you to my brief remarks from the floor of the House of Bishops posted elsewhere for my theological reasoning. Along with some others I have signed a statement of dissent. I have no plans to authorize use of these liturgical rites in our diocese, which I know is a source of sadness to a number of our members. I know that in difficult times in our church I do not bear the most heavy load. I also know that this conversation will continue in The Episcopal Church, in our diocese, and most significantly in the society in which we live. It is most important that we remain together and not retreat into our separate corners as in times past. I am encouraged to think that we will not do so.

From here

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Gen. Con. 2012, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention

Bishop Duncan Gray: Same-sex blessings not to be held in the Diocese of Mississippi

h/t Stand Firm
Bishop Gray has indicated that he will not authorize the use of the liturgy
within the diocese.

From here and there is a news report here. There will be a Diocesan Day on August 11th

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Gen. Con. 2012, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention

[Lent & Beyond] A Prayer for the Diocese of South Carolina

With thanks to Jill Woodliff at Lent & Beyond for this call to prayer
Bp Mark Lawrence met with his clergy on 25th July 2012, in regards to the actions of General Convention.

St. Patrick’s Breastplate, pronouns modified

We bind unto the clergy of the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina today
The strong Name of the Trinity,
By invocation of the same
The Three in One and One in Three.

We bind this day to them forever
By power of faith, Christ’s incarnation;
His baptism in Jordan river,
His death on Cross for our salvation;
…Please pray it all

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Gen. Con. 2012, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention

Why the Federal Reserve might act (in one chart)

One bad jobs report is a blip. Three’s a trend. And the United States has now seen three weak jobs reports in a row. Through the first quarter of 2012, the U.S. economy was creating an average of 226,000 jobs per month. In the second quarter? Just 75,000 jobs per month.

So what can be done about the sputtering economy? Congress could try to pass more stimulus. But Congress is deadlocked ”” Republicans are opposed to further action. That puts the spotlight on the Federal Reserve and Ben Bernanke. Right now, unemployment is falling more slowly than the Fed expected when it issued its forecasts back in April. Here’s the chart, courtesy of the Council on Foreign Relations….

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Federal Reserve, Housing/Real Estate Market, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, The U.S. Government

Reports of Forced Abortions Fuel Push to End Chinese Law

Recent reports of women being coerced into late-term abortions by local officials have thrust China’s population control policy into the spotlight and ignited an outcry among policy advisers and scholars who are seeking to push central officials to fundamentally change or repeal a law that penalizes families for having more than one child. Pressure to alter the policy is building on other fronts as well, as economists say that China’s aging population and dwindling pool of young, cheap labor will be a significant factor in slowing the nation’s economic growth rate.

“An aging working population is resulting in a labor shortage, a less innovative and less energetic economy, and a more difficult path to industrial upgrading,” said He Yafu, a demographics analyst. China’s population of 1.3 billion is the world’s largest, and the central government still seems focused on limiting that number through the one-child policy, Mr. He said. Abolishing the one-child policy, though, might not be enough to bring the birthrate up to a “healthy” level because of other factors, he said.

Read it all and make sure you have perused this earlier article also.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Asia, China, Foreign Relations, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Life Ethics, Marriage & Family, Politics in General, Science & Technology, Women

Bishop Jake Owensby reports to the Diocese of Western Louisiana on General Convention

Finally, General Convention approved provisional rites for the blessing of same-sex unions with the permission of the diocesan bishop. As your bishop I do not authorize use of these rites in this diocese. However, I do not make this decision from a posture of condemnation. Many of us have beloved gay and lesbian friends and relatives, and there are many gay and lesbian individuals and couples in our congregations. Their devotion to our Lord is sincere and their ministries enrich our church. I encourage us all to welcome everyone in the Name of the merciful Lord Jesus Christ.

Although I am only newly seated as your bishop, the Holy Spirit has already filled my heart to bursting with love for you. I give thanks to God for each of you and the faith he has poured out to you. I can hardly wait to meet and get to know each and every one of you. Please know that I am always open to hear from you and seek to serve you in any way that I can. In Christ’s love,

Read it all on Page 2

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Gen. Con. 2012, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention

The Bishop of Kansas on the WSJ and General Convention 2012

How could anyone attend General Convention, where soaring worship, beautiful music and uplifting preaching marked daily worship, and note only the size of the Presiding Bishop’s crozier? And to pick two pieces of legislation out of more than 400 pieces presented (and then to mischaracterize one of them) is grossly unfair.

At this convention we decided to embark upon significant changes in our Church’s structure, agreed to trial use of a same-sex blessing policy and passed substantive resolutions in a variety of areas of our common life. Failing to address any of these key topics is to have missed the lede.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, - Anglican: Commentary, --Gen. Con. 2012, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention, Religion & Culture, TEC Bishops

Akma on the aftermath of General Convention 2012–Come Now, Let Us Reason Together

…as a Christian theologian, I believe that the soundness of theological teaching does indeed manifest itself over the long run. That doesn’t imply that the churches should teach only what has been handed down from long ago; the church has changed its mind, and the church has erred, not only in their living and manner of ceremonies, but also in matters of faith. There is no way to guarantee that you’re not off-base. On the other and, if you adhere to what millennia of the saints have taught and believed, you’re a least somewhat less likely to be found in error than if you decide that you’re going to think it all up on your own, taking as fundamental a set of political and philosophical ideas developed over the last couple hundred years. The Enlightenment wasn’t A Bad Thing, but neither was it the dawning of the messianic era. If there’s something you want to identify with Jesus, or Christianity, then your argument is stronger if you can actually give numerous reasons for making that identification; and the more such reasons that you can provide, the stronger the theological argument. And if you want to repudiate a great deal of what is plausibly associated with Jesus and Christianity, it’s not unreasonable for people to question the extent to which your enterprise is still ”˜Christian’.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Commentary, --Gen. Con. 2012, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention

(Telegraph) Europe is sleepwalking towards imminent disaster, warn top economists

The euro has completely broken down as a workable system and faces collapse with “incalculable economic losses and human suffering” unless there is a drastic change of course, according to a group of leading economists.

Europe is “sleepwalking towards disaster”, according to the 17 experts, who warned that over the past few weeks “the situation in the debtor countries has deteriorated dramatically”.
“The sense of a neverending crisis, with one domino falling after another, must be reversed. The last domino, Spain, is days away from a liquidity crisis,” said the economists. They include two members of Germany’s Council of Economic Experts and leading euro specialists at the London of School of Economics, all euro supporters.

“This dramatic situation is the result of a eurozone system which, as currently constructed, is thoroughly broken. The cause is a systemic failure. It is the responsibility of all European nations that were parties to its flawed design, construction and implementation to contribute to a solution. Absent this collective response, the euro will disintegrate,” they added in a co-signed report for the Institute for New Economic Thinking.

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, The Banking System/Sector, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

Sam Lloyd–Can Christianity be revived?

Douthat rightly acknowledges the social contributions that liberal Christianity has made in the 20th century, from women’s suffrage, to fair labor laws, to civil rights. It has been doing the same for the rights of gays and lesbians. And he cites historian Gary Dorrien in reminding us that leaders of those earlier social movements had “deep grounding in Bible study, family devotions, personal prayer and worship.” The Christianity that is emerging from this time of transition promises to embrace just this holy union””of love of God and service to humanity and the world.

Controversies over social issues and theological conviction will persist. But the hunger is real for a way of being Christian that recognizes that understandings of scripture and church teaching must evolve over time, and that to be a Christian is to have an inquiring mind and a discerning heart.

Read it all.

Posted in Uncategorized

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Saint James the Apostle

O gracious God, we remember before thee this day thy servant and apostle James, first among the Twelve to suffer martyrdom for the Name of Jesus Christ; and we pray that thou wilt pour out upon the leaders of thy Church that spirit of self-denying service by which alone they may have true authority among thy people; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

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

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O Lord, take thou full possession of my heart, raise there thy throne, and command there as thou dost in heaven. Being created by thee, let me live to thee. Being created for thee, let me ever act for thy glory. Being redeemed by thee, let me render to thee what is thine, and let my spirit ever cleave to thee alone; for thy name’s sake.

–John Wesley (1703-1791)

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

Then let us no more pass judgment on one another, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother. I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself; but it is unclean for any one who thinks it unclean. If your brother is being injured by what you eat, you are no longer walking in love. Do not let what you eat cause the ruin of one for whom Christ died. So do not let your good be spoken of as evil. For the kingdom of God is not food and drink but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit; he who thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. Let us then pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding. Do not, for the sake of food, destroy the work of God. Everything is indeed clean, but it is wrong for any one to make others fall by what he eats; it is right not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that makes your brother stumble. The faith that you have, keep between yourself and God; happy is he who has no reason to judge himself for what he approves. But he who has doubts is condemned, if he eats, because he does not act from faith; for whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.

–Romans 14:13-23 (my emphasis)

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Proms 2012: Pastoral Symphony

Listen to it all here if you wish [select Lo or High bandwidth]

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Music

Eric Metaxas–A Mainline Collapse: The Twilight of Liberal Christianity?

Earlier generations of liberal Christianity, according to Gary Dorrien at Union Theological Seminary, were led by men who had a “deep grounding in Bible study, family devotions, personal prayer and worship.” Their calls for reform were made in the context of a belief in “a personal transcendent God . . . the divinity of Christ, the need of personal redemption and the importance of Christian missions.”

That’s the liberal Christianity that helped produce the civil rights movement, for example. We owe this tradition a debt.

So what are we – especially we evangelicals – to make of the decline of the mainline churches? Dr. Timothy George, Chairman of the Board here at the Colson Center and Dean at Beeson Divinity School, has written an excellent article about this and we have it for you at BreakPoint.org. He issues a powerful call to spiritual vitality, theological integrity, humilty, and most of all, prayer.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, - Anglican: Commentary, America/U.S.A., Church History, Episcopal Church (TEC), Religion & Culture