The Rt. Rev. Mark J. Lawrence, Bishop of the Diocese of South Carolina, received a letter of support, dated December 14, 2012, from the Steering Committee of the Primates of the Global South of the Anglican Communion. The show of support, signed by The Most Revd Dr. Mouneer Hanna Anis, Primate of Jerusalem and the Middle East; The Most Revd Nicholas Okoh, Primate of All Nigeria; The Most Revd Ian Ernest, Primate of the Indian Ocean; The Most Revd Datuk Bolly Lapok, Primate of South East Asia; The Most Revd Stephen Than Myint Oo, Primate of Myanmar; The Most Revd Dr. Eluid Wabukala, Primate of Kenya and The Most Revd Hector “Tito” Zavala, Primate of the Southern Cone recognizes Bishop Lawrence’s Episcopal orders and his legitimate Episcopal oversight of the Diocese of South Carolina within the Anglican Communion.
Daily Archives: December 16, 2012
[The] Rev. Nancy Talbot feels like one of the more blessed female clergy. When the North Vancouver minister looks out on the pews on any given Sunday, she feels fortunate her small congregation is slowly growing and that at least men make up roughly three in 10 of those at worship.
The gender imbalance could be far worse. The minister at Mount Seymour United Church is painfully aware men have been quietly, but in huge numbers, streaming away from many of North America’s Christian churches.
“I don’t think many of us have answers to why it’s happening,” says Talbot, who has led Mount Seymour United for eight years while raising two boys in a same-sex relationship with her partner, Brenda.
There were four of them growing up in Atlanta, four girls close in age, the daughters of an Episcopal priest and his wife….
…today Sarah Ball Damewood and one sister are all who remain with their father in a family robbed of its pieces by physical and mental illness. In 2009, they lost their mother to complications from a stroke.
In 2010, they lost the oldest of the four sisters to breast cancer. She was just 54.
And this year, they lost Caroline, the youngest daughter. They lost Caroline to herself, to the emptiness she had yet to fill.
Leading Anglican campaigners have warned that Government plans to exempt the Church from the new legislation will lead to hundreds of homosexual clergy and worshippers marrying in Quaker and Unitarian services and then returning to the Church.
In a letter to The Sunday Telegraph, dozens of clergy, including Lord Harries, the former Bishop of Oxford, today urge homosexual Anglicans to follow this course of action.
“Until the Church of England allows us to solemnise same-sex marriages in our churches, as a matter of pastoral expediency we will counsel lesbian and gay members of our congregations to marry in those churches willing to celebrate faithful same-sex relationships,” the letter, which is also signed by scores of lay members of the Church, states.
The common desire that Frank [Griswold] and I share is for a strong Anglican Communion, living the faith and sharing it with all.
The reality is however uncomfortable for Anglicans. At the institutional level we have never been as divided as we are today. We look across the world and the evidence of fragmentation is for all to see. We see it in this great land of America with the proliferation of Anglican congregations; we see it internationally with the GAFCON churches and the sharp divisions between the strong provinces of Africa and the structures of the ACC; we see it in England the uneasy stand off between Reformed and traditional catholic congregations and the institutional church. In recent days we have had news that the diocese of South Carolina is ”˜disaffiliating’ from The Episcopal Church over moves to depose its Bishop, Mark Lawrence.
Now, we should state upfront that both Frank Griswold as the former Presiding bishop and myself as the former Archbishop of Canterbury have had key roles that have partly led us to the present predicament. For myself, there has been much criticism in TEC and elsewhere that the Lambeth Conference of 1998 witnessed the overwhelming consensus of bishops in affirming the traditional view of sexuality. For Frank, five years later the Province of the Episcopal Church of the United States affirmed the legitimacy of same sex relationships in the ministry of the Church. Both events have been questioned severely. Lambeth 98 has been censured for creating the crisis and the events leading up to the ordination of bishop Gene Robinson has also come under severe criticism- particularly why TEC went ahead against the wishes of the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Primates Meeting Both events have been discussed ”˜ad nauseum’ and there is no point in going over old ground.
Nevertheless, there are two fundamental questions that have not been satisfactorily dealt with. The first concerns the role of the scriptures in the Church. Where there is deep disagreement concerning interpretation of scripture not only within Provinces but especially between Provinces how does a Communion handle differences that affect our relationships? Where there is no Magisterium to referee disputes, and where our much vaunted Instruments of unity seem unequal to the task, how do the Primates exercise their leadership on behalf of the Communion? To put it more bluntly: where to so many people in the Communion the bible’s teaching on homosexual is so univocal, what justification is there for rejecting it? Indeed, we have to recognize that for many Anglicans around the world what they see as the rejection of scripture by some western churches does indeed separate Christians.
First, we must recognize that this tragedy is just as evil, horrible, and ugly as it appears. Christianity does not deny the reality and power of evil, but instead calls evil by its necessary names ”” murder, massacre, killing, homicide, slaughter. The closer we look at this tragedy, the more it will appear unfathomable and more grotesque than the human imagination can take in.
What else can we say about the murder of children and their teachers? How can we understand the evil of killing little children one by one, forcing them to watch their little friends die and realizing that they were to be next? How can we bear this?
Resisting our instinct toward a coping mechanism, we cannot accept the inevitable claims that this young murderer is to be understood as merely sick….
A picture is worth 1000 words–check it out.
Completely chilling–read it carefully and read it all.
Not even the most determined supporter of the proposal to recognise gay marriage can have been impressed by the way the Government has managed the issue. Like the outcome or not, it is impossible to disagree with the comment of the Archbishops of Westminster and Southwark that the public consultation exercise was “shambolic”.
Even after the consultation had taken place, the Government was amending its own proposals concerning the exemptions to be granted to religious institutions ”“ moving the goalposts, as it were, after the penalty kick had been taken. It is hardly surprising that even those who no longer want marriage confined to heterosexuals were alarmed to discover that the Government was now proposing to enshrine that discrimination, where religious bodies were concerned, in statute law.
Intended as concessions to mollify religious objections, these proposals amount to the reassertion of full parliamentary control in this respect over the worship and doctrine of the Church of England and the (Anglican) Church in Wales, for safeguards granted by Parliament today may be withdrawn by Parliament tomorrow.
Martin Kettle is joining the Church of England’s Mission and Public Affairs (MPA) Division as part of the team of specialists dealing with the wide range of issues which arise in the Church’s engagement with society, politics and ethics.
Martin joins MPA as Adviser on home affairs policy at a time when the Division is reordering its staff team to create more flexible and responsive support for key stake holders such as the Archbishops’ Council, the General Synod and the House of Bishops.
O Lord Jesus Christ, before whose judgment-seat we must all appear and give account of the things done in the body: Grant, we beseech thee, that when the books are opened in that day, the faces of thy servants may not be ashamed; through thy merits, O blessed Saviour, who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end.
For you have not come to what may be touched, a blazing fire, and darkness, and gloom, and a tempest, and the sound of a trumpet, and a voice whose words made the hearers entreat that no further messages be spoken to them. For they could not endure the order that was given, “If even a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned.” Indeed, so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, “I tremble with fear.” But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, and to the assembly of the first-born who are enrolled in heaven, and to a judge who is God of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks more graciously than the blood of Abel. See that you do not refuse him who is speaking. For if they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less shall we escape if we reject him who warns from heaven. His voice then shook the earth; but now he has promised, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heaven.” This phrase, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of what is shaken, as of what has been made, in order that what cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire.
[Dr. H. Wayne Carver II, Connecticut’s chief medical examiner] said that in the seven autopsies he himself had performed, the victims had from 3 to 11 wounds.
With the examinations complete and the families informed, the authorities released the names of those killed.
They ranged in age from 6 to 56. Among the children, there were 12 girls killed and 8 boys. All of the children were in the first grade, officials said, and all were 6 or 7 years old. One little girl had just turned 7 on Tuesday.
We live in a world where Rachel weeps for her children. Where mothers wail and fathers curse because their children are no more. Where friends go mute, and bloodied children stand shocked, and a nation mourns, and a President weeps””for 20 innocent children in Connecticut.
One wants to say, “It will be okay. Order will be restored. We’ll do something about this, so that it will never happen again.” One wants to say this, but we know that it is not okay, that the restored order will be broken again; sadly, it will happen again.
This is why our hearts froze when we heard the news. Not only could it have happened here, but someday it may very well happen here. That’s because we’ve seen it happen so often, going way back. It happened in biblical times at least twice, once after the birth of Moses, and once at the birth of our Lord. Sad to say in this respect, the Bible continues to be a very relevant book.
(Dated–but still highly relevant I think–KSH).
This coming Sunday, we enter into the sacred time of Advent. We do so with renewed vigor as we prepare for the wondrous feast of Christmas. The cards, gifts, and busyness of these weeks can get close to overwhelming. The hymns, however, remind us of the depth of this time, from “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” to the multiple carols echoed throughout the centuries. Beneath it all we are in communion with the One who is Yesterday, Today, and Forever. He brings us to the joy of Christmas with the birth of His Son and continues to sustain us through all the times and seasons.
So the question we must ask ourselves is are we ready for Advent? It is a season of expectation and anticipation. It is a season of preparation and eager longing. It is the season when we look forward. Are you ready? It is a season when we look backward to celebrate the birth of the Son of God in history ”“ in our human history, and we look forward to see him again when he comes in glory at the end of time. Are you ready? Advent clarifies our belief that he will, in fact, come again, and it confirms our desire and longing to see Him. Advent takes all of our prayers and all of our longing for heaven and rolls them up into a single season when it is clearly our desire and our prayer to tell the Lord to hurry up ”“ we’re waiting.”¦ But, ARE WE READY?!
You have said you are an enthusiastic supporter of marriage and that you do not want “gay people to be excluded from a great institution.” Yet I wish respectfully to point out that behind what you say lurks a basic philosophical misconception about the nature of ‘equality.’ Equality can never be an absolute value, only a derivative and relative value. After all, a man cannot be a mother nor a woman a father, and so men and women can never be absolutely equal, only relatively equal, since they are biologically different. So too with marriage. Marriage, ever since the dawn of human history, is a union for life and love between a man and a woman. It is a complementary relationship between two people of the opposite sex, the man and the woman not being the same, but different. They are not, in other words, absolutely equal but relatively equal. This is why gay couples, two men or two women, are not being ”˜excluded’ from marriage; they simply cannot enter marriage.
By enabling gays to ‘marry’ and by equating the union of gay people with marriage, however well-intentioned, you are not only redefining what we mean by marriage but actually undermining the very nature, meaning and purpose of marriage. Marriage, and the home, children and family life it generates, is the foundation and basic building block of our society. If you proceed with your plans, you will gravely damage the value of the family, with catastrophic consequences for the well-being and behaviour of future generations. The 2011 Census shows the parlous state of the institution of marriage which you claim to believe in so strongly, and of family life in general, with one in two teenagers no longer living with their birth parents and over 50% of adults living outside of marriage.
“Every single person who is watching the news today is asking ”˜Where is God when this happens?’” says Max Lucado, a prominent Christian pastor and author based in San Antonio.
Lucado says that pastors everywhere will be scrapping their scheduled Sunday sermons to address the massacre.
“You have to address it – you have to turn everything you had planned upside down on Friday because that’s where people’s hearts are,” Lucado says.
“The challenge here is to avoid the extremes ”“ those who say there are easy answers and those who say there are no answers.”
O’BRIEN: Throwing out DOMA would not require all states to recognize gay marriage, but striking Prop 8 possibly could. A number of mainstream religious groups do not support gay marriage.
JIM GARLOW (Founder, Pastors’ Rapid Response Team): Authentic, biblical, historic, orthodox Christianity has always affirmed marriage being one man and one woman.
O’BRIEN: And the court in New York addressed the religious concerns, distinguishing civil marriage from holy matrimony. Judge Dennis Jacob wrote “the law is not concerned with holy matrimony. A state may enforce and dissolve a couple’s marriage, but it cannot sanctify or bless it. For that, the pair must go next door.” That the country has become more tolerant of homosexuality would seem to be unmistakable, and it may also be irreversible.