Daily Archives: May 19, 2013

Jonathan Sacks–helping others to Manage without Help

[It is worth noting]… the Talmudic ruling that one of the duties of a parent is to teach your child a craft or trade through which he can earn a living. More pointed still was Maimonides’ famous statement that “The highest degree of charity, exceeded by none, is that of one who assists a poor person by providing him with a gift or a loan or by accepting him into a business partnership or by helping him to find employment ”“ in a word, by putting him where he can dispense with other people’s aid.” The supreme act of welfare is to help people into work so that they no longer need the help of others.

Judaism recognises that unemployment has a psychological as well as economic dimension. Jewish law represents the sustained attempt to create a society that honours human dignity, and an essential part of this is that everyone should have the opportunity to contribute to the common good through their own endeavour. As Psalm 128 says, “When you eat from the labour of your hands, you will be happy and it will be well for you.”

As a matter of religious principle, job creation must be at the centre of any long-term welfare policy. Human dignity requires no less.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, England / UK, Judaism, Other Faiths, Poverty, Religion & Culture

A Profile of Saint Andrews Cathedral in Jackson, Mississippi

With a mission and ministry nearly 175 years old, St. Andrew’s Episcopal Cathedral set a tone architecturally downtown.

Now ‘revitalization’ is the word in this weeks “Faith in Focus”.

The Sunday service on May 12 celebrated baptism but it also welcomed new members to the Episcopal community in Jackson.

“My wife and I are here so we can be confirmed into the Episcopal church,” Michael Boswell said.

“To us I think it comes down to not only a focus on Christ but also just a complete attitude of acceptance and openness and love as well that we have found at this church,” Boswell said.

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Posted in Uncategorized

John Stott on the Spirit-Filled Christian for Pentecost

Our attitude to our fallen nature should be one of ruthless repudiation. For ”˜those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires’ (Gal. 5:24). That is, we have taken this evil, slimy, slippery thing called ”˜the flesh’ and nailed it to the cross. This was our initial repentance. Crucifixion is dramatic imagery for our uncompromising rejection of all known evil. Crucifixion does not lead to a quick or easy death; it is an execution of lingering pain. Yet it is decisive; there is no possibility of escaping from it.
Our attitude to the Holy Spirit, on the other hand, is to be one of unconditional surrender. Paul uses several expressions for this. We are to ”˜live by the Spirit’ (Gal. 5:16, 18. 25). That is, we are to allow him his rightful sovereignty over us, and follow his righteous promptings.

Thus both our repudiation of the flesh and our surrender to the Spirit need to be repeated daily, however decisive our original repudiation and surrender may have been. In Jesus’ words, we are to ”˜take up (our) cross daily’ and follow him (Lk 9:23). We are also to go on being filled with the Spirit (Eph. 5:18), as we open our personality to him daily. Both our repudiation and our surrender are also to be worked out in disciplined habits of life. It is those who ”˜sow to the Spirit’ (Gal. 6:8) who reap the fruit of the Spirit. And to ”˜sow to the Spirit’ means to cultivate the things of the Spirit, for example, by our wise use of the Lord’s Day, the discipline of our daily prayer and Bible reading, our regular worship and attendance at the Lord’s Supper, our Christian friendships and our involvement in Christian service. An inflexible principle of all God’s dealings, both in the material and in the moral realm, is that we reap what we sow. The rule is invariable. It cannot be changed, for ”˜God cannot be mocked’ (Gal. 6:7). We must not therefore be surprised if we do not reap the fruit of the Spirit when all the time we are sowing to the flesh. Did we think we could cheat or fool God?

Authentic Christianity (Nottingham, IVP, 1995)

Posted in Uncategorized

Episcopal Diocese of Western Michigan elects its 9th bishop

The Rev. Whayne Hougland, Jr., was elected at a special electing convention May 18 to be the ninth bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Western Michigan.

Hougland, currently rector of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Salisbury, N.C., was elected on the eighth ballot out of a field of four candidates. To be elected, a candidate must have received a majority of the votes in both the lay order and the clergy order. He received 87 of 139 votes cast in the lay order and 34 of 65 votes cast in the clergy order.

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

A Prayer for Pentecost (II)

O Lord our God, who didst send thy Holy Spirit to abide with thy Church for ever: Renew the same Spirit within us, that our hearts may be cleansed from evil things, and the fruits of love and goodness may abound in our lives; to the glory of our Saviour Jesus Christ.

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

A Prayer for Pentecost (I)

O God, who in the exaltation of thy Son Jesus Christ dost sanctify thy universal Church: Shed abroad in every race and nation the gift of the Holy Spirit; that the work wrought by his power at the first preaching of the gospel may now be extended throughout the whole world; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.

–Gelasian Sacramentary

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him,” God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For what person knows a man’s thoughts except the spirit of the man which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is from God, that we might understand the gifts bestowed on us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who possess the Spirit.

–1 Corinthians 2:9-13

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Newly-Formed Convocation of Anglicans of North America Holds (Eastern) Synod in Wayne, Pennsylvania

“We have common historical and theological roots, since the founder of the Methodist movement, John Wesley, was a life-long Anglican priest,” [Methodist minister the Rev. Joseph F.] DiPaolo said. “We have also done a few cooperative services together, on Ash Wednesday and Holy Thursday, and may collaborate on some other things in the future as well.”

“They are a fine group of folks who are committed to serving our area from a classic Anglican liturgical and theological standpoint, and we are delighted to offer them space and a home here in Wayne, as they seek to establish their congregation,” DiPaolo continued. “We are also honored to host their bishop and their inaugural synod.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, CANA

(Sunday Telegraph) Next coronation to involve other faiths besides Christianity

Church of England leaders have accepted the need to be “hospitable” to other faiths within any future service at Westminster Abbey, in order to reflect the spiritual diversity of modern Britain.

The Church has resisted calls for a multi-faith service in recent years, preferring to stress that the Christian nature of the coronation is preserved by law.

Senior church figures told this newspaper that it was now accepted that other faiths should be recognised within the coronation service for the first time.

It will not, however, be a “multi-faith” service in the sense of a ceremony that treats all faiths as equal.

Read it all and there is more there.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, History, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture

Sandwich, Massachusetts Episcopal priest suspended for plagiarism

One of the Ten Commandments is “thou shall not steal,” but an Episcopal priest has been suspended for allegedly lifting more than a dozen Sunday sermons verbatim from a book.

The Rev. John E. McGinn, 65, who has led the 300-plus families at St. John’s Episcopal Church since 1993, was placed on administrative leave amid allegations that he plagiarized sermons dating back to 2006, said the Rev. Mally Lloyd, canon to the ordinary for the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts, a position equivalent to the bishop’s chief of staff.

As many as 15 sermons have been identified as direct copies, Lloyd said.

They were allegedly taken from a book called “Dynamic Preaching,” which can be accessed only with an online subscription.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Preaching / Homiletics, TEC Bishops, Theology

A Profile piece on the Music at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Sandusky, Michigan

The organ at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Sandusky is the voice of the church, according to Nicholas Schmelter.

“My experience playing on the instrument ”¦ the instrument has a very sweet, unforced, mellow sound that is almost … unheard of these days,” he said.

Schmelter is the dean of the Saginaw Valley Chapter of the American Guild of Organists and director of music ministries at First Congregational Church in Saginaw. He will be playing St. John’s 1898 Moller tracker organ during a special Evensong service at 3 p.m today….

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Episcopal Church (TEC), Liturgy, Music, Worship, TEC Parishes