Daily Archives: October 23, 2012

The Rector of Saint Michael's Charleston, S.C., writes his Parish About recent Developments

For many years there has been a split coming in the Episcopal Church over the core issue of the authority of Scripture. Do we have the freedom to re-write the Bible to fit social trends, or do we re-write our hearts according to the changeless word of God in Scripture? That has been the tension between our Diocese of South Carolina that says the Word is the Word and cannot be re-written, and the national church. The National Episcopal Church is changing Scripture according to social norms and in doing so has changed the core of the Christian faith, including:

The uniqueness of Jesus Christ
The meaning of marriage
The reason for mission
The nature of what it means to be human

Our Bishop, the Rt. Rev. Mark Lawrence follows generations of South Carolina Bishops who have not wavered in holding fast to the Biblical anchor of Christian faith. That holding fast has resulted in a charge that Bishop Lawrence has abandoned the national church.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * South Carolina, Anthropology, Christology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: South Carolina, Theology

Archbishop Rowan Williams' Tribute to Jerusalem's Armenian Patriarch

His Beatitude the late Patriarch Torkom Manougian was an exceptional figure both in the Armenian Church and in the wider Christian world, within and beyond the Holy Land.

An intellectual, scholar, musician and poet, he was also a skilled statesman who represented all the most impressive aspects of the Armenian character and the Armenian tradition.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, --Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, Ecumenical Relations, Israel, Middle East, Orthodox Church, Other Churches

San Francisco Giants Complete Amazing Comeback by Beating Cardinals in Game 7 to Make World Series

As rain pounded the field in the ninth inning, second baseman Marco Scutaro spread his arms and looked to the heavens. As the water soaked his face, he beamed a 100,000-watt smile.

Moments later, he looked up again. This time his ticket to the World Series, a Matt Holliday popup, was falling his way. As Sergio Romo bounced on the mound like a kid on a pogo stick, Scutaro squeezed his glove and the Giants had a most improbable pennant.

Down three games to one in the National League Championship Series, they dominated the Cardinals over the final three games and bulldozed the defending World Series champions 9-0 Monday night.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Men, Sports

(Vatican Radio) Witness to Vatican II: Cardinal Leo Joseph Suenens

Veronica Scarisbrick continues in her series focusing on some of those to have taken part in the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council fifty years on since that first session back on the 11th October 1962.

A Council which in terms of numbers and representation worldwide was the largest and most ecumenical council in the history of the church.

As Jesuit, Professor Norman Tanner writes in his Short History of “The Councils of the Church”: ” The equilibrium, however, was less balanced than the worldwide representation suggests. The principal initiative in rejecting the draft decrees of the preparatory commmission and in composing the decrees that were eventually approved came from a relatively small group of prelates and theologians mostly from northwestern Europe”..

Among those we, here at Vatican Radio, interviewed from this group was the late Belgian Cardinal Leo Joseph Suenens….

Listen to it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Belgium, Church History, Europe, Other Churches, Roman Catholic

(Politico) 2012: The battle for 7 states–Ohio, Iowa, Colorado, Virginia, New H., Florida and Wisc.

The two presidential campaigns are sounding sharply different notes about how they can get to 270 electoral votes, but beneath the post-debate bravado from both sides there is a rough consensus about the shape of the race in its final two weeks.

Top strategists for both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney flooded the media center following the third and final presidential debate here Monday night, and made clear they will be primarily fighting over seven states and will spend most of their time and money in them between now and Nov. 6.

Read it all. As of this morning, President Obama was at 61.0 on Intrade.

I will take comments on this submitted by email only to at KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Politics in General, US Presidential Election 2012

(ThisisHampshire) A Church of England breakaway group launches

A Winchester church is hosting the launch of a local breakaway group from the Church of England over plans for women bishops.

The General Synod ”“ the Church of England’s ruling body ”“ is due to vote on the ordination of women bishops next month (Nov).

Just days before the crunch-vote, Holy Trinity Church in Upper Brook Street is setting-up a Winchester diocesan branch of the “Mission Society of St Wilfred and St Hilda” on Saturday November 16 with the blessing of the Bishop of Richborough.

Read it all.

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

Church of England Evangelical Council Releases Statement on Women Bishops

“a majority of the Council believes that the current measure does not make adequate provision for the substantial number of the Church of England who cannot support this development”
CEEC Chairman, the Venerable Michael Lawson has added a comment on the background to the Statement:

Many evangelicals, both supporters and non-supporters of the ordination of women to the episcopate, are deeply concerned about provision for those who in good conscience cannot accept women bishops. We believe it is a matter not just of justice but of godliness to treat well this minority of those with whom God has joined us together in fellowship and mission. In all this we have to remember we are God’s people, and behave as such, and not slip into the ungodliness of warring political factions’

Read it all.

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

(Guardian) An interview w/Hillsborough panel chairman Bishop James Jones

He knew what he was taking on, [Bishop James] Jones says. He was inducted into Hillsborough, and the bereaved families’ campaign against what they complained was a grievous injustice and a South Yorkshire police cover-up, in his early days as Liverpool’s bishop. In 1999, a year into his post, the Hillsborough Family Support Group asked him to preside at the memorial service for the disaster’s 10th anniversary, and they explained their continuing agonies.

So he knew the panel would be examining the actions of the police and other powerful people and organisations, none of whom had been held legally accountable, taken responsibility or at that stage apologised for the failings that caused 96 people to die. The panel’s report removed 23 years’ distortion of the truth about what happened on 15 April 1989 at Liverpool’s FA Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest.

“I was aware,” he tells the Guardian, in his first major interview since the panel reported, “that MPs, the police, the media, the judiciary, possibly the government of the day, were in the frame. People might think we in the church are naive; we’re not. We know exactly what we are engaging with.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Death / Burial / Funerals, England / UK, History, Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Police/Fire, Religion & Culture, Sports

Local Paper Front Page–Retirement worries grow; 30-somethings most uneasy

Americans in their late 30s are now the group most likely to doubt they will be financially secure after retirement, a major shift from three years ago when baby boomers nearing retirement age expressed the greatest worry.

The survey findings by the Pew Research Center, released Monday, reflect the impact of a weak economic recovery beginning in 2009 that has shown stock market gains while housing values remain decimated….

“My biggest fear is not being able to retire,” [37 year old Nicole] Gilliard said as she came out of the courthouse on Meeting Street after work Monday. “I have a 5-year-old, and my biggest fear is that I’m going to have to keep working to put her through school.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Economy, Pensions, Personal Finance, Psychology, Social Security, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, The U.S. Government

(Telegraph) Church of England to overhaul weddings

The Church of England has set out radical plans to transform the way in which it conducts weddings.

A package of reforms will modernise the marriage service, offering couples the chance to replace traditional aspects with personalised touches.

It will give the go-ahead for glitzy “Posh and Becks”-style ceremonies in churches, with Mendelssohn’s Wedding March being replaced by songs such as Girls by the Sugababes or the theme from Test Match Special.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Marriage & Family, Religion & Culture

(Yorkshire Post) A generation gap in support as baby boomers face old age

Baby Boomers were the first generation to enjoy the concept of being a teenager, and also the first of the last century to enjoy a prolonged period of national prosperity in which they were encouraged to “have it all”, with widespread home ownership, increasing numbers taking holidays abroad and enjoying the burgeoning consumer economy.

That group of post-war babies are now approaching older age, relinquishing the habits of working life and finding themselves with decades still to live in which they might stay fit and healthy or become increasingly dependent on ”¨help and care from those around them. They ”“ and all of us ”“ are mostly in the dark about when we might crumble physically or mentally.

For many who are retired or ”¨who are facing retirement soon, the huge questions of how long their health will last, who will care from them and how they finance their care are a colossal and persistent worry….

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Aging / the Elderly, Economy, England / UK, Health & Medicine, Middle Age, Politics in General, Psychology

(Christianity Today) John Koessler–Why It's Hard to Imagine that Heaven Is Real

For one thing, heaven is hard to put into words. It contains that which no eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has conceived (1 Cor. 2:9). Earth is the only frame of reference we have this side of eternity. If we cannot understand heaven in terms of earth then we cannot understand it at all. It is not surprising, then, that we would try to imagine heaven in earthly terms. What is more, there is some biblical warrant for doing so. The Bible itself often uses earthly analogies to describe heavenly realities. The old clichés which characterize heaven as a place where the streets are paved with gold and the city walls are made of jewels come from biblical descriptions of the New Jerusalem (Rev. 21:10”“21).

There are good theological reasons for seeing heaven through the lens of earth. Heaven is not the earth, but there is continuity between the two. Jesus distinguished heaven from earth when he taught the church to pray for God’s will to be done in the Lord’s Prayer (Matt. 6:10). At the same time, his petition clearly acknowledges that both heaven and earth are the rightful domain of God. To use the imagery of Scripture, heaven is where God’s “throne” is and the earth is his “footstool” (Ps. 123:1; Isa. 66:1).

Does this mean that there is literally a chair in heaven where God sits? This may actually be true for Christ, who now resides in bodily form in heaven. But in general it seems better to understand such language as a reference to divine power and authority rather than a description of the furniture of heaven.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Eschatology, Religion & Culture, Theology

(Zenit) Archbishop Longley of Birmingham calls for "A New Pentecost for the Whole Church"

The New Evangelization is not a strategy or program, but an invitation to an encounter and life-long relationship with Jesus Christ and his Church. It involves falling in love with the person of Jesus Christ and his bride, the Catholic Church. This encounter with Christ takes place in and through the Church so as not to foster a false dichotomy between spirituality and religion. Encounters with Christ in the Church help the faithful to understand the need for salvation and forgiveness from sin. Following the initial encounter with Christ, the faithful desire to spend time with the beloved in prayer, sacrament and to contemplate the face of God (Novo Millennio Ineunte).

Hence, the Synod Fathers might propose a lifelong accompaniment of each Catholic on their journey of faith modeled on Christ’s walk with the two disciples on the Road to Emmaus. The faithful need the continued work of systematic, comprehensive and lifelong catechesis. Evangelization and catechesis should help the faithful know, understand, live and share the faith. A catechesis for youth and adults that is age-appropriate and presented in an appealing and apologetic manner that answers the genuine questions of those participating in their formation would enhance the New Evangelization. This basic presentation of the fundamentals of our faith, as found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, in an attractive and appealing manner, for example at World Youth Day, will help to revive a confidence in the faith and a greater ability to share it with others.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Adult Education, England / UK, Evangelism and Church Growth, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

(Busines Week) Spain has a modern Day Robin Hood?

For 33 years, Sánchez Gordillo has been mayor of Marinaleda, pop. 2,700, another farming settlement about 100 miles west of Jódar. Like Jódar, Marinaleda is mostly inhabited by jornaleros. Over the decades, Sánchez Gordillo has transformed the poor village into an islet of social justice and relative prosperity, with almost full employment through communal farming, low taxes, a salary of €1,200 ($1,572), food and housing considered as rights, and “direct democracy” exercised through frequent general assemblies. Sánchez Gordillo and his townsmen launched their movement to build what he calls “a communist utopia” after the death of general and dictator Francisco Franco in 1975, occupying land owned by a member of the royal family and distributing it for communal ownership as well as taking over local airports.

His efforts in Marinaleda long ago earned him a regional following, but Sánchez Gordillo and his lieutenant, the 57-year-old Diego Cañamero, the SAT union’s national spokesman, have gained renown in recent months with a series of controversial protests against the austerity measures embraced by Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and the Spanish government. On Aug. 7, the two led union members on raids on Carrefour (CA) and Mercadona supermarkets, leaving the stores with shopping carts full of “expropriated” food they gave away to the hungry poor.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Credit Markets, Currency Markets, Economy, Euro, Europe, European Central Bank, Housing/Real Estate Market, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, Poverty, Spain, The Banking System/Sector, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Saint James of Jerusalem

Grant, we beseech thee, O God, that after the example of thy servant James the Just, brother of our Lord, thy Church may give itself continually to prayer and to the reconciliation of all who are at variance and enmity; through the same our Lord Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and ever.

Posted in Uncategorized

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Almighty God, in whose presence is fullness of joy, and whose power is made perfect in our weakness: Grant us so to dwell in thy presence, that we may ever be glad of heart; and so to rest on thy strength, that we may have victory over evil; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

After this the Lord appointed seventy others, and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to come. And he said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. Go your way; behold, I send you out as lambs in the midst of wolves.

–Luke 10:1-3

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Serving Needy Schools, Brothers and Sisters of the 21st Century

On the Sunday night before his ninth week as a teacher, Daniel Ranschaert sat down to a communal dinner of tortilla casserole with his housemates. All eight of them had come to this desert city after finishing college in the Midwest. They share a rented home, modest paychecks and a commitment to educate the poor, the struggling and the striving in Tucson’s Catholic schools.

Before eating, the young teachers made the sign of the cross, clasped hands and said grace. Then, as they dug into the casserole, they talked about the test on Mesopotamia, the lesson on root words, all the things Monday morning would bring in their various classrooms. Because that day would also be Columbus Day, they slid into a conversation about the Spanish explorers and conquistadors, a tender subject in schools filled with Latino and American Indian children.

For a time, as he was finishing his studies at Wabash College in Indiana, Mr. Ranschaert had thought about going into business. He kept hearing, though, about a program created nearby at the University of Notre Dame called the Alliance for Catholic Education, which put idealistic young teachers in especially needy schools. And he recalled what his own Catholic education had meant as a bulwark in a childhood marked by his parents’ divorce and his brother’s nearly fatal liver disease….

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Education, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Young Adults

Archbishop John Sentamu–Funding Social Care – 'A Moral Crossroads'

Over the years, the amount of money spent on adult social care initially stagnated and then decreased. It cannot be right that at a time when the numbers of older and disabled people are growing, there is a smaller pot of money to share amongst the growing need.

More older people are now having to face spiralling care costs just to be able to live with dignity. The generation that saved for their old age, and paid their dues, now often see all that they worked for is sucked into a vortex of social care costs.

My concern is that even when people give up all their life’s assets, achieved after a lifetime of hard work and diligence, there is no guarantee even that the quality of care they receive is assured.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Aging / the Elderly, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Church of England (CoE), Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Religion & Culture, Theology

(CNA) Archbishop of Canterbury Pushes for Universal Anglican Acceptance of Women Bishops

Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, the leading cleric in the Worldwide Anglican Communion, is trying to persuade members of the Church of England’s upcoming General Synod to support the ordination of women as Anglican bishops.

In an article published in the Anglican newspaper The Church Times, Archbishop Williams said the church legislation “will shape the future of the Church of England for generations.” He contended that a vote against the proposal “risks committing us to a period of continued and perhaps intensified internal conflict with no clearly guaranteed outcome.”

Read it all.

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