Daily Archives: March 20, 2013

Clergy of the Diocese of South Carolina Renew their Vows

On Tuesday, March 19, 2013 (the Feast of Saint Joseph) over 85 clergy and guests from the Diocese of South Carolina gathered for the annual Clergy Renewal of Vows service. Bishop Lawrence, in his sermon, drew a parallel between Saint Joseph and the clergy illustrating how Joseph, though often overlooked and discounted in the eyes of the world, remained faithful to Jesus Christ and the call of God on his life. Lawrence said that “the priest’s life is a sign of God’s covenant love for the church.”

Read it all and please note the audio link to Bishop Lawrence’s sermon.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Holy Week, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Theology

A Review of 'Archbishop Justin Welby ”“ The Road to Canterbury ”“ an unauthorised biography'

By Canon Chris Sugden
Welby himself reflected on lessons from treasury management for conflict resolution: synthesise a lot of information quickly and under pressure; flexibility in attitude, analytical models, planning and execution; and steely determination towards key goals.

His reconciliation ministry developed six “Rs” for work in conflict situations: Researching ”“ carefully listening to all sides and also identifying ”˜spoilers’ with a vested interest in continuation of the conflict and planning to deal with them; Relating ”“ to people not to an office and not because they are good but because they are there; Relieving ”“ alleviating the socio-economic roots of conflict; Risking ”“ and trusting the sovereignty of God; Reconciling ”“ to enable warring communities to continue to disagree without violence or mutual destruction, a process that cannot be contained simply within the Church; and Resourcing ”“ enabling communities to address their own conflicts without outside assistance. Christ’s shed blood was ”˜the fountain of reconciliation with God , from which all other reconciliation flows’.

From his study of Thiselton’s commentary on 1 Corinthians Welby noticed that although the Corinthians were in error on several major theological issues, the Apostle Paul continued to treat them “as fellow members of the family of God”.

In moving to Liverpool as Dean and then Durham as bishop he focused on risk-taking in decisive leadership interwoven with collegiality and consensus.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury

Flashback to 2008: Bishop James Jones organizes a Debate

This article ‘Making Space for Truth and Grace’ originally appeared on T19 here in 2008. Given the interest in the latest diocesan address by Bishop Jones it gives some background to events in the Diocese of Liverpool in that period
The 1998 Lambeth Conference asked us to be in dialogue with gay and lesbian people and as a result of that in 2001 I invited Professor Ian Markham then Professor of Public Theology at Liverpool Hope University and now Dean of Virginia Theological Seminary to chair a group exploring “A Theology of Friendship”. The group’s membership reflected the diversity of opinion, theological , ethical and ecclesiastical and was inclusive of gender. The group worked for two years with occasional residential consultations and needed all that time to build trust so that honest discussion could take place. Although I was not part of the group my own thinking has been informed by their findings. In particular I have continued to reflect on the biblical material. The quality of the group’s work has set the tone for the debate in the Diocese which is an important contribution to our common life and to the mission of God, for energy is not being sapped by internal strife.

“The Theology of Friendship” Report took me in particular to the relationship between David and Jonathan……
We have had two residential conferences within the tripartite conversation. In April 2005 Liverpool invited Akure and in November 2006 invited both Akure and Virginia. Agreed statements describe the process and the substance of our reflections to which I am not at liberty to add. In each case the conversation was facilitated by Stephen Lyon whose skills added indisputably to the quality of the conversation.

These encounters in England together with my own visits to America and Africa have enabled me to study the Scriptures with greater cultural awareness. I have a deeper and more affectionate understanding of both Africa and America. I can see how the Church of Nigeria’s response to the sexuality debate is contextualised…

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

Andrew Atherstone: Archbishop Welby and the E-Word

Archbishop Welby agrees there are many strengths of the Anglican parish system, but ‘we fish badly’: ‘The church is good at contact and presence but too often poor at bringing people to faith in Jesus. … We are excellent at building bridges into the community and into society and rather less good at getting the gospel across the bridge, and bringing people back. Or to put it another way our net holds many but we land few.’ His evangelistic passion is best encapsulated by a recent address to an Alpha Vision Day in Sheffield, attended by over 700 church leaders from across the north of Britain: ‘We are facing in this country the greatest opportunity that God has given us since the Second World War. … It is a moment of unique opportunity and the challenge that the Spirit is saying to the Church today is, “Will you take this moment and reverse the decline that we have seen for the last 70 or 80 years?”‘ With buoyant confidence in the grace and power of God, the new Archbishop believes that great things are possible in our generation. The task of the church, he insists, is ‘to go out and … to reconvert our land, to transform its society and all that goes with it.’

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury

Pope Francis: Friendship and respect between religious traditions important

Pope Francis today emphasized the importance of the promotion of friendship and respect between men and women of different religious traditions during a meeting with ecumenical and interfaith leaders who had attended his inauguration Mass.

This meeting was preceded by private encounters with the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I, and the Metropolitan Hilarion, the chairman of the Department of External Church Relations for the Patriarchate of Moscow.

Read it all and the full text of his address is here

Posted in * Religion News & Commentary, Other Churches, Pope Francis, Roman Catholic

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Thomas Ken

Almighty God, who didst give to thy servant Thomas Ken grace and courage to bear witness to the truth before rulers and kings: Give us also thy strength that, following his example, we may constantly defend what is right, boldly reprove what is evil, and patiently suffer for the truth’s sake, through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, now and ever.

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

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Holy Father, who hast redeemed us with the precious blood of thy dear Son: Keep us, we beseech thee, steadfast in faith, and enable us no longer to live unto ourselves, but unto him who died for us and rose again, even the same Jesus Christ our Lord.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Lent, Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Bible Readings

But how are men to call upon him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without a preacher? And how can men preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach good news!” 16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel; for Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes by the preaching of Christ. But I ask, have they not heard? Indeed they have; for “Their voice has gone out to all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world.” Again I ask, did Israel not understand? First Moses says, “I will make you jealous of those who are not a nation; with a foolish nation I will make you angry.” Then Isaiah is so bold as to say, “I have been found by those who did not seek me; I have shown myself to those who did not ask for me.” But of Israel he says, “All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and contrary people.”

–Romans 10:14-21

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

N.T. Wright: Those whom he justified, he also glorified

Romans 8.17”“39
a sermon in celebration of the life and ministry of Canon Keith A. A. Weston
On Desert Island Discs you choose a book, but they tell you ”˜You’ve already got the Bible and Shakespeare’. I used to say to clergy, ”˜tell me your two Desert Island texts’ ”“ and I used to add, ”˜And you’ve already got John 20 and Romans 8.’

That sends me for a moment across to John, where we find a graphic personal outworking of Paul’s theme: those whom he justified, he also glorified. In John 21 Jesus meets Peter on the shore after Peter’s disastrous denial. Three times Jesus asks him, ”˜Simon, son of John, do you love me?’ Three times Peter answers with a tentative Yes. The narrative then cries out for a word of forgiveness, but Jesus gives a word of commission. Feed my sheep. And then a word of warning: follow me, all the way to the cross. Those whom he justified, he also glorified: those to whom he gives the word of free forgiveness, to them he also gives the commission to join him in his costly work, to come when he calls, to go where he sends, to do what he tells you. The word of forgiveness and the word of call and commission regularly come together. We are not forgiven in order to sit back and do nothing. We are justified in order that we may also be glorified.

And equally every call and commission in the service of Jesus begins with that free, undeserved, by-grace-alone forgiveness. When I was in Durham a national committee proposed a new ordination service which included lots of creative and exciting things, and to make room they proposed some cuts, including the confession and absolution. My Durham colleagues and I agreed that this was nonsense. All Christian calling and ministry flows from the forgiving grace of God. That’s where Peter started; that’s where we all start. Start anywhere else and you’re building on sand. We thank God today for a life and ministry which was rooted in that forgiving and justifying grace and never grew weary in speaking of it. Those he glorified have already been justified.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Lent