Daily Archives: November 19, 2012

(CNN) Two preaching giants and the 'betrayal' that tore them apart

Andy Stanley walked into his pastor’s office, filled with dread.

The minister sat in a massive chair behind an enormous desk. He spread his arms across the desk as if he were bracing for battle. His secretary scurried out of the office when she saw Andy coming.

The pastor had baptized Andy when he was 6, and groomed him to be his successor. But a private trauma had gone public. And Andy felt compelled to speak.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Children, Evangelicals, Marriage & Family, Other Churches, Pastoral Theology, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Theology

Recent Statistics for the Episcopal Diocese of Missouri

According to the U.S.Census Bureau’s figures, the state of Missouri has grown in population from 5,595,211 in 2000 to 5,988,927 in 2010. This represents a population growth of approximately 6.6% in this time frame. Please note, however, that there are two Episcopal dioceses in Missouri and that this one encompasses the eastern portion of the state and its see city is Saint Louis. According to the U.S.Census Bureau’s figures, Saint Louis as a city went from a population of 348,189 in 2000 to a population of 318,069 in 2010, a decline of about 9.5%.

According to Episcopal Church statistics, the Diocese of Missouri went from Average Sunday Attendance (or ASA) of 5185 in 2000 to 4128 in 2010. This represents a decline of 20.4% during this decade. Doing some historical digging, I noticed that the Average Sunday Attendance (or ASA) in 1994 for Missouri was 5644.

To see a pictorial representation of some of the statistics for the diocese of Missouri you may examine the graph here.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Episcopal Church (TEC), Parish Ministry, TEC Data, TEC Parishes

The Diocesan Convention Address by Missouri Episcopal Bishop Wayne Smith

Let me move to talk about some in-house matters for our Diocese, though important in their own right. First I turn to the matter of same-sex blessings, as approved by the General Convention last summer in Indianapolis. There are about two hundred pages of materials forwarded to the rest of the Church””Bible studies, theological resources, study guides for congregations, pastoral practices, and the rites themselves. The enabling resolution allows the implementation of these rites in a diocese with the bishop’s permission, and under his or her direction. I have decided to permit their use in congregations who are willing to prepare for them, through a season of prayer, study, and discernment. This decision is cause for joy and excitement for many, and consternation or dismay for others. I understand both responses.

Let me tell briefly how my own position on matters of human sexuality has changed. Or rather it is not so much that my position has changed, but the context in which I express my position has shifted markedly. My purpose has been, and still is, to work for the full inclusion of the faithful gay men and lesbians in our Church, while at the same time maintaining the highest degree of communion possible within our common life and with the rest of the Anglican world. That is the constant. We are, I think, at that highest possible degree of communion possible, right now. It is not likely to get much better or much worse.

There was a time, early in my episcopate, when it looked like the choice was either inclusion or communion. It looked binary, with no gradations between these two poles, and it looked as if it might be that way for a long time. The season after General Convention in 2003 was fractious, to say the least. Now, however, it looks like both inclusion and communion are available to us, at least provisionally.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Globalization, Instruments of Unity, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Bishops, TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils, Theology, Windsor Report / Process

Proposed Resolutions for consideration by the Missouri Diocesan Convention

Read it all (pages 7-10).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops, TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils

(WSJ) Investment by U.S. Companies Falls Off a Cliff

U.S. companies are scaling back investment plans at the fastest pace since the recession, signaling more trouble for the economic recovery.

Half of the nation’s 40 biggest publicly traded corporate spenders have announced plans to curtail capital expenditures this year or next, according to a review by The Wall Street Journal of securities filings and conference calls.

Nationwide, business investment in equipment and software””a measure of economic vitality in the corporate sector””stalled in the third quarter for the first time since early 2009. Corporate investment in new buildings has declined.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Globalization, House of Representatives, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Senate, Taxes, The National Deficit, The U.S. Government, US Presidential Election 2012

Pittsburgh Steelers lose to Baltimore Ravens 13-10

The Steelers and Baltimore Ravens slugged it out in typical style Sunday night, and it turned into what is becoming an all too typical ending, a Ravens victory.
Baltimore not only went home with a third straight victory over the Steelers and a third straight in Heinz Field, but also with a near mortal lock on its second straight AFC North Division title.
The Ravens’ 13-10 victory bounced them into a two-game lead over their bitter rivals in the AFC North Division. Baltimore is 8-2, and the Steelers 6-4. The teams meet again in two weeks in Baltimore.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Sports

Ottawa’s homeless moving back into a familiar living room at Saint Alban's Church

Ottawa’s homeless community has a brand new “living room” in the revamped basement of St. Alban’s Anglican Church at 454 King Edward Ave.

Centre 454, which provides a safe space for people in Ottawa who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, started its life in that basement in 1976, but moved to 216 Murray St. in 2000.

Now, after 12 years and more than a million dollars in renovations, the centre ”” and all its services ”” will again be located in St. Alban’s Anglican Church, Ottawa’s oldest surviving church, which was built in 1867 and attended by Sir John A. Macdonald.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Care, Poverty, Urban/City Life and Issues

(NY Times) Church of England Prepares for Vote on Female Bishops

Women currently account for one third of the Anglican clergy and around half of those in training as priests, but the question of female bishops stirs passionate debate among Anglicans, almost one fourth of them in Africa, along with other issues such as the church’s attitude to same-sex marriage and homosexuality.

The vote is also a test of the authority of both the outgoing Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, and his successor, Justin Welby, the Bishop of Durham. Dr. Williams is set to retire at the end of this year. Both he and Bishop Welby have said they will vote in favor of the compromise….

Read it all.

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

(Newsweek) England votes on Female bishops

When [Rowan] Williams began his term in office in 2003, the Anglican communion was reeling from a bitter if recently resolved war over female priests. Williams had supported that step and cautiously supported the next””the ordination of female bishops. But he insisted on concessions to the “conscience” of congregations that disagreed. The latest version of that legislation, on which the church’s General Synod is scheduled to vote on Nov. 20, promises that requests for alternative male bishops will be treated with “respect.” Williams campaigned for the new language, warning of “intensified internal conflict” if it failed.

Williams’s centrist approach doesn’t suit all of his parishioners. Critics to his left have called his desire for unity his “Obama syndrome”””a fanciful belief that the conservative side will come around if given enough time.

Read it all.

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

Alf McCreary–Can the new doctor [Justin Welby] bring order to a divided family?

The outgoing Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, is a world-class theologian, who is good on a one to one interview basis, as I found out at Lambeth Palace.

Unfortunately, his public statements are so carefully layered that the great mass of people have little idea what he is talking about. The Archbishop-elect has major problems to face. The deep schism in the worldwide Anglican Communion over same-sex relationships will not be easily healed.

However he has the advantage already of telling people where exactly he stands on this controversial topic, but he has also emphasised his strong desire to lead an inclusive church.

Read it all.

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

Adrian Hilton–Archbishop Justin Welby will try to be all things to all men

To those who are expecting +Justin to fail or are waiting to find an excuse to be disenchanted, it is worth remembering that the Church of England has a legal and constitutional commitment to nationwide pastoral ministry. To some, it might appear paternalistic, dogmatic and narrow in its worldview. To others, it is weak, illegitimate and compromised. It claims to be Catholic and Reformed, but to each wing it is actually neither sufficiently Roman nor robustly Protestant. It was once remarked that the Church of England is ”˜crucified between two thieves’ ”“ the fanaticism and superstition of ”˜the Puritans and the Papists’ respectively. This may satisfy nobody completely, and yet it is the via media which has sustained its existence over five centuries, perhaps because it expresses something of the English disposition.

Read it all.

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

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Elizabeth of Hungary

Almighty God, by whose grace thy servant Elizabeth of Hungary recognized and honored Jesus in the poor of this world: Grant that we, following her example, may with love and gladness serve those in any need or trouble, in the name and for the sake of Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * International News & Commentary, Church History, Europe, Hungary, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O Lord Jesus Christ, who still today dost tread the busy thoroughfares of life in readiness to heal and save: Open our eyes that we may recognize thy presence; open our hearts that we may trust thy love for us; open our lips that we may joyfully confess thee before men; we ask it for thy dear name’s sake.

–L. E. H. Stephens-Hodge

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

What profit is an idol when its maker has shaped it, a metal image, a teacher of lies? For the workman trusts in his own creation when he makes dumb idols!

Woe to him who says to a wooden thing, Awake; to a dumb stone, Arise! Can this give revelation? Behold, it is overlaid with gold and silver, and there is no breath at all in it.

But the LORD is in his holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before him.

–Habakkuk 2:18-20

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Anglican Network in Canada (ANiC) elects new Co-adjutor Diocesan Bishop

The Anglican Network in Canada (ANiC) synod has elected the Rt Rev Charles Masters as Co-adjutor Diocesan Bishop to succeed our Diocesan Bishop and Moderator the Rt Rev Donald Harvey when he retires in 2014.

The election took place at St Peter and St Paul Anglican Church in Ottawa on November 14 with the Primate of the Anglican Church in North America, the Most Rev Robert Duncan, presiding.

The House of Bishops of the Anglican Church in North America, of which ANiC is a diocese, must approve the election.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Canada

(Economist) France and the euro–The time-bomb at the heart of Europe

The threat of the euro’s collapse has abated for the moment, but putting the single currency right will involve years of pain. The pressure for reform and budget cuts is fiercest in Greece, Portugal, Spain and Italy, which all saw mass strikes and clashes with police this week…. But ahead looms a bigger problem that could dwarf any of these: France.

The country has always been at the heart of the euro, as of the European Union. President François Mitterrand argued for the single currency because he hoped to bolster French influence in an EU that would otherwise fall under the sway of a unified Germany. France has gained from the euro: it is borrowing at record low rates and has avoided the troubles of the Mediterranean. Yet even before May, when François Hollande became the country’s first Socialist president since Mitterrand, France had ceded leadership in the euro crisis to Germany. And now its economy looks increasingly vulnerable as well.

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, Foreign Relations, France, Politics in General, The Banking System/Sector, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

(CNN) Violence a daily reality as world leaders push for Israel-Gaza cease-fire

Another day of loud booms and deadly weaponry plummeting from the sky wracked Israel and Gaza on Sunday, with fresh casualties reported on both sides of a conflict that international leaders scrambled to end.

Rescuers pulled the bloodied bodies of children from the wreckage of a Gaza home Sunday after an Israeli airstrike, which Israel said targeted a top Hamas militant. The Israelis initially said the operative was killed, but they later said he may have survived.

And about 120 rockets were fired from Gaza into Israel on Sunday, the Israel Defense Forces reported. At least 38 were intercepted by Israel’s “Iron Dome” missile-defense system, the IDF said — but one struck a car in the Israeli town of Ofakim, injuring an unspecified number of people, while another hit a woman’s carport while she was inside her house in Ashkelon. Fresh sirens sounded Sunday in Tel Aviv, but the IDF said it had intercepted at least two rockets headed for the city.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, City Government, Defense, National Security, Military, Foreign Relations, Middle East, Politics in General, The Palestinian/Israeli Struggle, Violence

(AP) Nick Knisely ordained as 13th Episcopal bishop in Rhode Island

The newly ordained Episcopal bishop of the Diocese of Rhode Island is helping to bring the church into the 21st century with the use of social media, church officials say.

The Very Rev. W. Nicholas Knisely Jr. is one of only six Episcopal bishops in the country who use Twitter, said Arizona Bishop Kirk Smith. Knisely was ordained Saturday at Dorrance Field House at St. George’s School in Middletown.

Read it all and there is more there.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops

Bishop Martin Field of West Missouri's Report to his November 2012 Diocesan Convention

This is crucial. We, as a Church, need to get leaner (though not necessarily meaner). The days of top heavy corporate-style hierarchies are over. We must be focused on mission, not governance. We must be outward focused at every level of the Church, having enough governance for the marshaling of resources, enough committees for organizing ministry, enough hierarchy for holy decision making . . . but no more!

The Church must be ”” from congregations to General Convention ”” committed to God’s Mission, not our favorite political agenda. God’s Vision for the world; not business as usual.

God has blessed his Episcopal Church with abundant resources, and through the years the Church has tried to be faithful. The time is now upon us to renew faithfulness and be a leaner, more mission-focused Church.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, --Gen. Con. 2012, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention, Parish Ministry, Stewardship, TEC Bishops, TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils, TEC Parishes

Resolutions Passed at the 89th Diocesan Convention of the Diocese of Upper South Carolina

There are 4–read them all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops, TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils

(Independent) Church of England poised to vote for women bishops

A vigil in Westminster Abbey tomorrow morning will mark the start of three days that could change the Anglican church for ever. As the General Synod ”“ the ruling body of the Church of England ”“ meets in London tomorrow ahead of a crucial vote on Tuesday to decide whether women can be consecrated as bishops, the well-wishers in Westminster Abbey will be clasping their hands together in the hope of a smooth and harmonious vote.

But, with Synod insiders already predicting trouble, the prayers are likely to be in vain. Since the announcement of Justin Welby as the future Archbishop of Canterbury ”“ and his use of his maiden speech in the job to throw his support behind women reaching the most senior positions in the church ”“ many are cautiously optimistic that the measure will finally be voted through. But, if it is, it is unlikely to be without a fight. Online and email campaigns have been building grassroots support for a “yes” vote at a rapid rate. A website called Yes2womenbishops, which was set up only two weeks ago, has already had more than 11,000 visitors, and nearly 2,000 parishioners have used it to email their Synod representative.

Read it all.

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