With thanks to Kevin Kallsen at Anglican TV
Daily Archives: January 26, 2013
With thanks to Kevin Kallsen at Anglican TV
…this past week, Sister Rose of the Daughters of St. Paul moved through Park City’s starry firmament as Sister Rose of Sundance, a veteran film critic participating in this year’s edition of the renowned indie festival. By the time Sundance ends on Sunday, she will have seen upward of 20 films, blogging and reviewing most of them for The National Catholic Reporter and joining in panel discussions for students from religious colleges and seminaries.
In all those ways, Sister Rose was serving not as a sentry protecting religious belief from cinematic product, but rather as a mediator helping to explain one to the other. As such, she embodies a departure both from the religious temptation to police popular culture, in the manner of the Roman Catholic Church’s now-defunct Legion of Decency, and the effort in fundamentalist circles to create a parallel universe of theologically safe movies, television and music.
“To paraphrase a Gospel passage, Christ came into the world to redeem the culture, not to condemn it,” Sister Rose, 61, said in an interview here. “It’s a negotiation. You don’t give everything a free pass. Something has to come out of your convictions and values. But what matters isn’t what the movie contains, but what it means.”
By now you’ve heard that the Protestant Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina has left the national body called The Episcopal Church. And you may know that the national Episcopal Church is claiming all the property of all the churches in the Diocese of South Carolina, which has indeed left that national body. But you may not know why. The Episcopal Church wants you to believe that it’s all about sex – or, rather, that it’s all about the supposed closed-mindedness of traditional former Episcopalians here in South Carolina, which prevents us from understanding the needs of homosexual people. The truth is that this conflict has to do with two very different understandings about the Holy Bible. This difference in understanding leads us to two very different perceptions about human beings and the world in which we live.
We traditional, orthodox, “Bible-believing,” “conservative” Christians of the Anglican Communion have always believed that the Bible means what it says. The Bible is literal history, poetry, prophesy, song and revelation. God has put every word there for a reason. We must not add to it, and we must not take away from it. Often, upon the broad base of the literal meaning of the Holy Scriptures, God has also layered metaphorical, allegorical and symbolic meanings, as well. But here is the point: The Bible is the Word of God. It is true. And because God wants to communicate with us clearly and not confuse us, it is usually straightforward and plain in its meaning. Of course, there are parts that cause us to scratch our heads, but God gave us His Word to guide us and to illuminate our lives, and not to befuddle us. When God says something, He means it. His Word is truth. Therefore, for traditional Christians, the Bible directly influences our understandings of ourselves, our world and our world view. Some things are right, and some things are downright wrong.
For non-traditional, heterodox, post-modern, “liberal” Christians, the Bible is a book of inspirational stories and pretty poetry. Some of it is good, and some of it is not. One can pick and choose what one likes and discard the rest. Keep the stories about love, doing good things and being kind to others, and throw out the ones about doing battle with sin, being judged by God and the reality of hell. I’m OK, you’re OK. Everybody goes to heaven, no matter what they’ve done or what they believe. For post-modern “liberal” Christians, their “pick and choose” view of the Bible deeply influences their understanding of themselves, their world and their world view. The world and truth are relative things, depending on your point of view.
In 2000, Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan was asked to identify the biggest change he had seen in his 40-year political career. Moynihan, a man of unusual sagacity, experience, and perspective, responded this way: “The biggest change, in my judgment, is that the family structure has come apart all over the North Atlantic world.” This change has occurred in “an historical instant,” Moynihan said. “Something that was not imaginable 40 years ago has happened.”
I thought about Senator Moynihan’s observation after reading “The President’s Marriage Agenda for the Forgotten Sixty Percent,” which is the centerpiece of the latest State of Our Unions report. This study focused on the nearly 60 percent of Americans who have completed high school but do not have a four-year college degree.
What we’re seeing is a rapid hollowing out of marriage in Middle America”“with 44 percent of the children of moderately-educated mothers born outside of marriage. “We’re at a tipping point with Middle America,” W. Bradford Wilcox, a leading scholar on marriage, told National Review Online’s Kathryn Jean Lopez, “insofar as Middle Americans are on the verge of losing their connection to marriage.”
We are “witnessing a striking exodus from marriage,” according to the study….
As a deputy to the 2006 convention, Mr. [Michael] Rehill helped lead the legislative fight against adoption of the changes. However, he did not attend the 2009 convention in Anaheim where the deputies accepted the reforms based upon assurances it was “pastoral” and “healing” rather than “legal”, and “that it would reduce the number Title IV cases”.
As a result “they voted away virtually all of the canonical rights of Clergy in Title IV matters,” and “unfortunately, the representations of the proponents proved to be wrong, and the results have been devastating for many clergy.”
As an alternate deputy to the 2012 convention in Indianapolis, Mr. Rehill testified in committee hearings seeking to “restore many of those fundamental Clergy rights, and to restore justice as the primary focus of the process,” he said, but noted these “efforts were not successful, in part because of the bureaucratic structure of General Convention and in part because the authors/proponents of the current Title IV were in control of the legislative process.”
Baptists, communion and wine are words rarely used together. But they will be the next four Sundays as First Baptist Church in Dayton, Ohio, hosts an Episcopal parish for worship while the latter’s building undergoes renovations.
The joint services will include Anglican rituals of preparation for the bread and wine used in the Eucharist. Grape juice will be offered at two stations for Baptists.
Rather than eyebrows or complaints, the news instead raised questions in the American Baptist congregation about why grape juice is used in the Lord’s Supper at all, said Pastor Rodney Kennedy, a former Southern Baptist from Louisiana.
Compliance with the court’s order has also been spotty. On Wednesday, Bishop Charles vonRosenberg told Anglican Ink the loyalist group would comply with the court’s order, and a spokesman for the South Carolina steering committee, Holly Behre, told the Associated Press they would honor Judge Goodstein’s ruling and will adopt a name that will comply with the spirit of the court order until the matter is resolved.
However compliance with the order, which went into effect at 5:11 pm on Wednesday has been slow. The group’s website www.episcopalofsc.org did not remove the shield or the claim to be the Episcopal Dicoese of South Carolina until late Thursday.
As of our going to press, the loyalist group’s fundraising site, scstewardship.com, continues to display the diocesan shield (as shown above) and holds itself out to be the true Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina, in apparent disregard of Judge Goodstein’s order…
Shared yesterday at the Mere Anglicanism Conference–check it out.
Primate of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Most Reverend Nicholas Okoh, has warned that Nigeria must fashion a way to rekindle the selfless nature of its citizenry as well as the Christian virtue of humility and sacrifice if the country must survive.
In a sermon he delivered at the funeral of a former Primate of the Church of Nigeria, Most Reverend Abiodun Adetiloye, held at the St. Paul’s Millennium Anglican Church, Odo-Owa in Ijero Local Government Area of Ekiti State, the cleric contended that unless Nigerians repented and returned to the values of God, the country would not make any headway.
Okoh, who took his sermon from 2 Timothy 4: 7 and 8, noted: “We are not here to help Archbishop Adetiloye but to help ourselves to see if we can realign with God and make a meaning of our life.”
Just and merciful God, who in every generation hast raised up prophets, teachers and witnesses to summon the world to honor and praise thy holy Name: We give thanks for the calling of Timothy, Titus and Silas, whose gifts built up thy Church in the power of the Holy Spirit. Grant that we, too, may be living stones built upon the foundation of Jesus Christ our Savior; who with thee and the Holy Spirit liveth and reigneth, one God now and for ever. Amen.
O Lord Jesus, who by thy first miracle didst manifest thy glory, so that thy disciples believed on thee: Give us in our measure that faith which dwelt in them. Fill us with the riches of thy good Spirit; change thou our earthly desires into the image of thine own purity and holiness; and finally give us a place at thy heavenly feast; for the glory of thy holy name.
Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness;
To the end that [my] glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever.
–Psalm 30:11-12 (KJV)
[The] Rev. Canon Jim Lewis, who is part of the diocesan leadership that decided to break away from TEC, told The Christian Post that he has little issue with the process that the Continuing Episcopalians are undertaking. “We have said consistently that The Episcopal Church (TEC) is free to set up a new Diocese here. She has every right to come and be a part of that process,” said Lewis.
“What neither she nor TEC has a right to do is to claim to be us in that process. We remain the same legally incorporated entity that was established in 1785 (four years before TEC was founded). We have disassociated with TEC but we have not ceased to be The Diocese of South Carolina.”
[Roman] Catholic school enrolments in the Maitland-Newcastle diocese are predicted to exceed 18,000 this year for the first time, as families choose Catholic schools over state schools.
There are no kindergarten vacancies in at least nine primary schools across the region, and very limited vacancies at many others.
The director of Catholic schools for the Maitland-Newcastle diocese, Ray Collins, said growth for the past four to five years was steady, with the greatest demand in the Maitland area.
Jefferts Schori said that, in other states, courts have generally ruled property belongs to the larger church, not individual parishes or dioceses.
“Everywhere but in South Carolina where suits like this have taken place, in the ones that have gone to completion, the decisions of the court have said the property is held in trust for the Episcopal Church,” she said. “We believe all the assets of the church are a legacy of generations before us for the mission and the ministry of the Episcopal Church. It’s not our right to give it away for purposes unimagined by the givers.”