Daily Archives: January 23, 2013

(NY Times Fashion and Style) The End of Courtship?

Maybe it was because they had met on OkCupid. But when the dark-eyed musician with artfully disheveled hair asked Shani Silver, a social media and blog manager in Philadelphia, out on a “date” Friday night, she was expecting at least a drink, one on one.

“At 10 p.m., I hadn’t heard from him,” said Ms. Silver, 30, who wore her favorite skinny black jeans. Finally, at 10:30, he sent a text message. “Hey, I’m at Pub & Kitchen, want to meet up for a drink or whatever?” he wrote, before adding, “I’m here with a bunch of friends from college.”

Turned off, she fired back a text message, politely declining. But in retrospect, she might have adjusted her expectations. “The word ”˜date’ should almost be stricken from the dictionary,” Ms. Silver said. “Dating culture has evolved to a cycle of text messages, each one requiring the code-breaking skills of a cold war spy to interpret.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, --Social Networking, Blogging & the Internet, History, Marriage & Family, Men, Psychology, Science & Technology, Women, Young Adults

Saint Andrews, Mount Pleasant, S.C., Writes about the recent Lawsuit by S.C. Against TEC

22 January 2013

Beloved in Christ,

The Apostle Paul teaches us that we must not expect to pursue our mission for the glory of Christ and the evangelization of the world without opposition. Since our separation from the Episcopal Church three years ago, we have enjoyed serving Christ together largely free from the unnecessary distractions that had come to characterize life within the Episcopal Church. We have planted and revitalized churches and even facilitated the creation of a new diocese.

But no servant of Christ can expect such tranquility to last forever. Recently, the Episcopal Church took hostile actions against the Diocese of South Carolina, removing its Bishop (+Mark Lawrence) from ministry and threatening to aggressively litigate for property. The Diocese of South Carolina has filed a request for a declaratory judgment in Dorchester County, S.C. that seeks relief from such actions. As of Jan 21, the vestry of St. Andrew’s Church Mount Pleasant voted unanimously to join in this request for declaratory judgment.
Two words of clarification are in order. In this action we are not seeking anything from Episcopal Church other than our peace. The legal vehicle of a declaratory judgment action filed by the diocese offers us the opportunity to gain clarity and, in turn, peace from the threats voiced by the Episcopal Church against us. We have appealed to the court system, as Paul appealed to Caesar (Acts 25.11) asking the courts to prevent the Episcopal Church from acting in a manner for which they have no claim. Second, and more importantly, we will refuse to be consumed by this process ”“ keeping the “main thing” the main thing ”“ and encourage all involved to do likewise. No servant of Christ can expect to go through this life without opposition, but no servant of Christ can use opposition as an excuse to become distracted from the mission. At St. Andrew’s we exist to “Connect people to the presence and power of Jesus Christ.” By God’s grace, we will continue to do so.

Friends, in your thoughts, prayers, and actions think on Christ and how He may be glorified, maintaining your focus on Him who holds all things in His mighty providence. In these things we have the victory.


The Rt. Rev’d Steve Wood, Rector
Mary Graham, Senior Warden
Andy Breaux, Junior Warden
Forrest Foshee, Secretary
Robyn Frampton, Treasurer
Angie Clarke
Marilyn Hendrix
Kyu Lee
Caroline Lesesne
Mikell Murray
Martha Senf
Bruce Wallace
Tim Winkler

(Emphasis is theirs–KSH).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Church History, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Presiding Bishop, TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: South Carolina, TEC Polity & Canons, Theology

(Anglican Ink) 15 more parishes join South Carolina lawsuit against the Episcopal Church

A spokesman for the presiding bishop on 18 Jan told Anglican Ink the national church had no comment to make about the litigation. However, Executive Council member, the Rev. Canon Mark Harris noted on his blog the “proposition that people who leave The Episcopal Church have a right to take the property and stuff with them” was false. The Episcopal Church was “hierarchical enough so that when you give something to The Episcopal Church (locally St. SaltyBottom in the Swamp) it stays with The Episcopal Church (on the most local level possible).”

The diocese, however, argues the belief the Episcopal Church is hierarchical body with the dioceses subordinate to the national church was historically false and legally suspect. “In fact, the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina helped to create the Episcopal Church in 1789 as a confederation of sovereign dioceses,” the diocesan statement said.

“The Diocese chose to disassociate from The Episcopal Church, but we did not leave behind more than $500 million in intellectual, personal or real property that was paid for by members of the Diocese through the 228 years of our existence,” Canon Lewis said.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Church History, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Presiding Bishop, TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: South Carolina, TEC Polity & Canons, Theology

(Local Paper) Mere Anglicanism Conference convenes in Charleston, S.C., this week

“The Diocese of South Carolina created this annual conference eight years ago as a way to bring together Anglicans from around the world to explore ways to keep our faith vibrant,” said the Rev. Jeffrey Miller, chairman of this year’s conference and Rector of the Parish Church of St. Helena in Beaufort. “We provide world-renowned scholars who help attendees become informed, sound believers who are capable of thinking and acting biblically.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Christology, Theology

The Pope App–A Sign of the Times?

Check it out.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Globalization, Media, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Science & Technology

Another Great Australian Open Tournament–Tsongas-Federer on Serve, 5th Set

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Australia / NZ, Men, Sports

Deborah Mitchell–Why I Raise My Children Without God

When my son was around 3 years old, he used to ask me a lot of questions about heaven. Where is it? How do people walk without a body? How will I find you? You know the questions that kids ask.

For over a year, I lied to him and made up stories that I didn’t believe about heaven. Like most parents, I love my child so much that I didn’t want him to be scared. I wanted him to feel safe and loved and full of hope. But the trade-off was that I would have to make stuff up, and I would have to brainwash him into believing stories that didn’t make sense, stories that I didn’t believe either.

One day he would know this, and he would not trust my judgment. He would know that I built an elaborate tale””not unlike the one we tell children about Santa””to explain the inconsistent and illogical legend of God.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Atheism, Children, Marriage & Family, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture

A Look Back to Anglican History in 1864

“On one occasion I was travelling with the late lamented Bishop Weeks, then a simple minister. I went with him on a visit to a friend in the country. While I was in the railway carriage with him, a gentleman attacked him, knowing that he was a friend of missions. The gentleman said, ‘What are the missionaries doing abroad? We don’t know anything about their movements. We pay them well, but we don’t hear anything about them. I suppose they are sitting down quietly and making themselves comfortable.’ Mr. Weeks did not say anything in reply, I having made a sign to him not to do so. After the gentleman had exhausted what he had to say, I said to him, ‘Well, sir, I beg to present myself to you as a result of the labours of the missionaries which you have just been depreciating;’ and I pointed to Mr. Weeks as the means of my having become a Christian, and having been brought to this country as a Christian minister. The gentleman was so startled that he had nothing more to say in the way of objection, and the subsequent conversation between him and Mr. Weeks turned upon missionary topics. On the banks of the Niger, where we have not been privileged to be ushered in by European missionaries, native teachers have maintained their footing among their own people. Their countrymen look upon them as very much superior to themselves in knowledge and in every other respect, and listen to them with very great attention when they preach to them the Gospel of our salvation.”

On St. Peter’s Day, 1864, perhaps the most important event of his life took place, when in Canterbury Cathedral Samuel Crowther was consecrated as the first Bishop of the Niger. The scene was a memorable one, and is not likely to be forgotten by those who stood in the vast crowd which filled every aisle of the grand cathedral that day. The license of Her Majesty had been duly promulgated in these terms:–

“We do by this our license under our royal signet and sign manual authorise and empower you the said Reverend Samuel Adjai Crowther to be Bishop of the United Church of England and Ireland in the said countries in Western Africa beyond the limits of our dominions.”
When the service began it was an impressive sight to see the Archbishop of Canterbury, attended by live other Bishops, enter the choir; and following them the three Bishops to receive the solemn rite of consecration, viz: the new Bishop of Peterborough, the new Bishop of Tasmania, and the new Bishop of the Niger. Remembering, as doubtless many did, the touching history of his childhood and early struggles as a slave, not a, few in that vast building were moved to tears as [118/119] the African clergyman humbly knelt in God’s glorious house to receive the seals of the high office of Shepherd in His earthly fold. Most of all must one heart have been affected, that of Airs. Weeks, the missionary’s wife, at whose knee he received his first lessons in the way of the Lord.

No one could fail to see how God had called forth this native from the degradation of a boyhood of slavery, to become a chosen vessel in His service. He had proved himself as a true-hearted standard-bearer of the Cross in much toil and patient endurance, and it was meet that to him should be committed the spiritual interests of the district in which he had spent hitherto nearly the whole of his life since he became a Christian.

On his immediate return to the Niger, the work began afresh with renewed energy. Special attention was given to the Delta, for King Pepple, having been on a visit to England, made an application to the Bishop of London to send missionaries to his dominions. A more degraded district was not to be found in Africa. Although its trade was very flourishing, being one of the chief markets for palm oil, the people were sunk in the lowest vices and superstitions. At the time of which we speak, when Bishop Crowther was forming the Christian Church there, the shocking practice of cannibalism was not yet wholly given up, and the people were entirely under the power of the priests of the Juju or fetish worship. As in Dahomey, no regard for human life seems to have existed; men were sacrificed at every high festival, and at the burial of any of their chief men a number of poor creatures would be slaughtered. The ghastly spectacle of their temple, paved and elaborately decorated with human bones, showed the ferocity of their religion.

In the midst of this awful darkness came Bishop Crowther and his fellow-helpers, bearing the light of the Gospel, and in due time many believed and were saved. It was as in the early Church of the first centuries, the adherents of the new religion were mostly slaves, and to escape their persecutors had to meet for worship and counsel in retired places.

–Jesse Page, Samuel Crowther: The Slave Boy Who Became Bishop of the Niger (London, 1892), Chapter Ten (emphasis mine)

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Archbishop of Canterbury, Christology, Church History, Church of England (CoE), Church of Nigeria, CoE Bishops, Evangelism and Church Growth, Missions, Parish Ministry, Soteriology, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(Bloomberg) Suicide of Minister Turns Focus on Crash Taking Toll in Ireland

On Christmas Eve, Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny paid a graveside tribute to an ally who helped bring him to power amid the worst economic crisis in Ireland’s modern history.

Shane McEntee was a “true friend and confidante, who listened to other people’s problems and made them his own,” Kenny said in his speech, after 3,000 people attended the funeral of the food minister. Three days earlier, McEntee had taken his own life. He was 56 with four children.

While financial hardship has led to a spate of suicides in parts of austerity-hit Europe, the deaths of McEntee and the son of well-known restaurant owners less than a week later have turned the national spotlight onto the issue in Ireland.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Death / Burial / Funerals, Economy, England / UK, Ireland, Parish Ministry, Politics in General, Psychology, Suicide, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

(Christianity Today Editorial) Mark Galli–The Troubled State of Christian Preaching

It’s interesting that our culture is rarely scandalized by this preaching of the Cross. That’s probably because it is a rare theme of Christian preaching these days. Instead we have been smitten with practical preaching that helps people become successful in life and business, and with ethical preaching that tells people how to live better. This is done for the noblest of reasons””to show the gospel relevant to people’s daily needs, but one can see where this has gotten us. When the Cross is preached, it is often preached in a way that falls on deaf ears. It’s seen as a theme for theologians to wax eloquent about with strange words like propitiation and justification, or something comforting to guilt-ridden religious types””but meaningless to regular human beings.

Need-driven preaching””even of the highest order, that is, our search for significance””communicates that Jesus is just another way to solve our problems. It is no wonder that the culture looks at us, pats us on the head, and says, “But we’ve found other, equally valid ways to solve our problems, thank you.” We tend to think that postmoderns have brought relativism down upon us, but it seems, we Christians have been the culprits the more we make our message about meeting people’s needs.
The most needful and difficult task of the church today is to again preach the message of the Cross, and to do so in a way that alarms, surprises, scandalizes, challenges, invigorates, and inspires a 21st century world. What that would look like exactly is hard to say; our theologians and pastors need to help us here. In the most general terms, it has to be about Christ first and last. It has to be about the Christ who came into the world not to improve generally good people, but to resurrect the dead, not to bolster our self-esteem but to forgive us, not to make people successful but to make them loving, not to win the culture but to establish a kingdom without end.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Christology, Office of the President, Parish Ministry, Politics in General, Preaching / Homiletics, President Barack Obama, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Soteriology, Theology

(Yearn for God) 30 Things You Might Not Know About CS Lewis

Here is one:

25. He wrote to Kathy Keller. Kathy Keller is Tim Keller’s wife. She wrote to Lewis when she was 12. There are four letters from him to her in Letters To Children and volume three of Letters of C.S. Lewis.

Read them all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Apologetics, Books, Church History, England / UK, Ireland, Religion & Culture, Theology

Russell Moore–Sexual Iconoclasm: A plea for Honesty About the Harm of Fornication

Fornication, quite simply, isn’t merely “premarital sex.” It isn’t only a matter of impatience. It is not simply the marital act misfired at the wrong time, a kind of, as it were, premature ejaculation. Yes, it is true that the sexual act in fornication is, or at least can be, the same sort of physical activity as wedded sexuality. And it’s true that, in fornication, the couple involved may be doing that which they would be qualified to do if they were a married couple (which would distinguish fornication from, say, sodomy or incest). But fornication is, both spiritually and typologically, a different sort of act from the marital act, and is indeed a parody of it.

Sexual union is not an arbitrary expression of the will of God (much less of random Darwinian processes). It is instead an icon of God’s purposes for the universe in the gospel of Christ. Paul’s classic text on the one-flesh union of marriage from Ephesians 5 makes no sense if it is presented as it is too often preached: as a set of tips for a healthier, “hotter” marriage. Instead, this passage is part of an ongoing argument about the cosmic mystery of Christ, a mystery “which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit” (Eph. 3:5).

The Genesis 2 mandate to leave father and mother, to cleave to one another, and to become one flesh is a “mystery” and “refers to Christ and the Church” (Eph. 5:31”“32).

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Pastoral Theology, Sexuality, Sexuality Debate (Other denominations and faiths), Theology, Theology: Scripture

Phillips Brooks on Phillips Brooks Feast Day

Courage…is the indispensable requisite of any true ministry…. If you are afraid of men and a slave to their opinion, go and do something else. Go make shoes to fit them. Go even and paint pictures you know are bad but will suit their bad taste. But do not keep on all of your life preaching sermons which shall not say what God sent you to declare, but what they hire you to say. Be courageous. Be independent.

—-Phillips Brooks, Lectures on Preaching, the 1877 Yale Lectures (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1969), p. 59

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Church History, Episcopal Church (TEC), Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, TEC Bishops

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Phillips Brooks

O everlasting God, who didst reveal truth to thy servant Phillips Brooks, and didst so form and mold his mind and heart that he was able to mediate that truth with grace and power: Grant, we pray, that all whom thou dost call to preach the Gospel may steep themselves in thy word, and conform their lives to thy will; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Church History, Episcopal Church (TEC), Spirituality/Prayer, TEC Bishops

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Lord, increase our faith; that relying on thee as thy children, we may trust where we cannot see, and hope where all seems doubtful, ever looking unto thee as our Father who ordereth all things well; according to the word of thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

–George Dawson

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. But fornication and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is fitting among saints. Let there be no filthiness, nor silly talk, nor levity, which are not fitting; but instead let there be thanksgiving. Be sure of this, that no fornicator or impure man, or one who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for it is because of these things that the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not associate with them, for once you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is a shame even to speak of the things that they do in secret; but when anything is exposed by the light it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it is said, “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give you light.”

–Ephesians 5:1-14

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Another 15 South Carol. Parishes Join the Diocese Suit to Block TEC from Seizing Local Property

This post is ‘Sticky’ at the head of the page – new posts are below.
Support increased dramatically today for a lawsuit to prevent The Episcopal Church (TEC) from hijacking local property as 15 more parishes joined the suit in an amended complaint filed with the South Carolina Circuit Court, bringing the total number of congregations in the litigation to 31.

The suit, originally filed on January 4 by the Diocese of South Carolina, the Trustees of the Diocese and 16 congregations, seeks to protect the Diocese’s real, personal and intellectual property and that of its parishes. An additional 13 congregations have decided to stay in the Diocese of South Carolina and are considering their own participation in joining the litigation at a later time. The Episcopal Church has eight parishes and eight missions that have elected to stay with them. Nine missions and two parishes are undecided.

One of the parishes joining the amended suit today, Trinity Church of Edisto Island, SC, is one of the oldest continuously operating churches in the United States and was among the parishes that founded the Diocese of South Carolina. Trinity Church was formed in 1774.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: South Carolina

(RNS) Episcopalians battle over aid to Israel

A group of prominent Episcopalians is criticizing their church’s stand on Israel, urging it to join 15 other denominations who call for an accounting of U.S. aid to Israel.

The public letter released on Friday (Jan. 18) notes that leaders of 15 religious groups, including Lutherans, Presbyterians and Methodists, asked Congress to take that step last October, and that the “voice of the Episcopal Church is woefully missing.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Executive Council, Foreign Relations, Israel, Middle East, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, The Palestinian/Israeli Struggle, Theology

Group Releases Statement on Middle East to TEC Executive Council

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Executive Council, Foreign Relations, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Middle East, Politics in General, The Palestinian/Israeli Struggle, Theology

Funeral Industry Trend is Clear–More Cremations

Every year in America, 2.5 million people die. In 2011, the last year for which numbers are available, 42 percent were cremated, according to the funeral directors association. That’s double the rate of just 15 years ago. In some states, largely in the West, the cremation rate tops 70 percent. In Washington, it’s 72 percent; in Nevada, almost 74 percent. (The lowest rate of cremation… is Mississippi’s, at 15.7 percent.)

So why the big jump in cremations? There are lots of reasons. One is the softening of the Catholic church’s views of the practice. For centuries – until 1963, in fact – the church outlawed it. The church’s laws still express a preference for burial. But the outright ban is a thing of the past and now, under some circumstances, bishops can permit a funeral mass with cremated remains present.

Another reason for the rise in cremations is the decline in nuclear families. As more and more Americans live far from hometowns and parents, and as family burial plots have waned in popularity and accessibility, millions have turned to cremation as a practical and cost-effective way to care for a loved one’s remains.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Children, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Death / Burial / Funerals, Economy, Eschatology, Marriage & Family, Other Faiths, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Secularism, Theology