Daily Archives: July 8, 2013

C of E General Synod approves new Diocese of Leeds for West Yorkshire and The Dales

The General Synod has, today, approved a draft reorganisation scheme that will see the creation of a new Diocese of Leeds, serving West Yorkshire and The Dales, and replacing the current Dioceses of Bradford, Ripon and Leeds, and Wakefield.

The new diocese will come into existence on a day to be set by the Archbishop of York after the scheme has been confirmed by Her Majesty the Queen through an Order in Council. Synod also approved a resolution establishing a Vacancy in See Committee for the new diocese so that the process for appointing the first Bishop of Leeds could begin.

Read it all.

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

(NY Times) In Egypt, Islamist Party Backs Out of Negotiations

A party of ultraconservative Islamists that emerged as an unexpected political kingmaker in Egypt after the military’s ouster of President Mohamed Morsi said on Monday that it was suspending its participation in efforts to form an interim government.

A spokesman for the Al Nour party said its decision was a reaction to a “massacre” hours earlier at an officers’ club here in which security officials said more than 30 people had been killed. The decision brought new complexities and unanswered questions to the effort to create a transitional political order.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Egypt, Middle East, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

Ed Stetzer: 5 Reasons I Meet With Strangers (in My Case, via Twitter)

Here are five reasons why:
1. Pastors and leaders need encouragement. Most of the people that follow me on Twitter are pastors, and sometimes I only talk to certain kinds of pastors– I’ve tweeted out “youth pastors,” “small church pastors,” and “church planters.” As I can, I try to encourage and serve them in the time we have (and sometimes after).
2. God can use random connections for greater purpose. Sometimes I tweet if people just want prayer, and I call them. I’ve prayed with a Pentecostal pastor whose wife was dying next to him in a hospital bed. I’ve prayed with a Presbyterian pastor who was fired that night. I firmly believe that those pastors saw that as God providing them the encouragement they needed at just that time….

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry

CofE General Synod Women Bishops Debate

The motion as amended which has just been passed h/t Thinking Anglicans for amended text:

“That this Synod:
(a) reaffirm its commitment to admitting women to the episcopate as a matter of urgency;
(b) instruct the Appointments Committee to appoint this month a Steering Committee to be in charge of the draft legislation required to that end;
(c) instruct the Business Committee to arrange for the First Consideration stage for that draft legislation to be taken at the November 2013 group of sessions, so that the subsequent stages can follow the timetable set out in paragraph 141 of the annex to GS 1886;
(d) instruct the Steering Committee to prepare the draft legislation on the basis described in paragraphs 79-88 of the annex to GS 1886 as ”˜option one’ with the addition of a mandatory grievance procedure for parishes in which diocesan bishops are required to participate, and invite the House of Bishops to bring to the Synod for consideration at the February 2014 group of sessions a draft Act of Synod or draft declaration to be made by the House to accompany the draft legislation; and
(e) urge that the process of facilitated conversations continue to be used at significant points in the formulation and consideration of the draft legislation.”

The motion (as amended) was carried with 319 votes in favour, 84 against and 22 recorded abstentions.

Motion and proposed amendments can be read here and the background paper provided is here. Video of the full debate should be available later.

T/A notes: [Option 1 comprises a measure and amending canon to make made it lawful for women to become bishops, and the repeal of the statutory rights to pass Resolutions A and B under the 1993 Measure, plus the rescinding of the Episcopal Ministry Act of Synod.]

The CofE live stream when in session is available here

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

[Telegraph] The actress and the bishop: Church of England makes drama out its own crisis

…Canon Porter then brought in a 24 professional “facilitators” to chair informal discussions in which every member of Synod, including the bishops and Archbishops, were asked how the defeat of the measure made them “feel”…

Read it all and see also earlier account from a participant, Bathwellschap here and Peter Ould’s comment here

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

(Zenit) Pope Francis–On the Joy of Announcing the Gospel

First of all I would like to share with you the joy of having met, yesterday and today, a special group of pilgrims of the Year of Faith. It was made up of seminarians and novices. I ask you to pray for them that the love for Christ grow more and more in their life and they become true missionaries of the Kingdom of God.

The Gospel of this Sunday (Luke 10:1-12, 17-20) speaks to us precisely of this: the fact that Jesus is not an isolated missionary, he does not wish to carry out his mission alone, but involves his disciples. And today we see that, besides the 12 disciples, he calls another 72, and he sends them to the villages, 2 by 2, to announce that the Kingdom of God is near.

This is so beautiful! Jesus does not want to work alone, he has come to bring God’s love into the world and wants to spread it in communion (“con lo stile della comunione”), in fraternity (“con lo stile della fraternità”). Because of this he immediately forms a community of disciples, which is a missionary community. Immediately he teaches them to be missionaries, to go out.

But, look, the purpose here is not to socialize, to spend time together, no, the purpose is to announce the Kingdom of God, and this is urgent!

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Missions, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic, Theology

Mike Shedlock on the recent Employment Report–Part-Time Jobs +486,000; 326,000 Full-Time Jobs Lost

The official unemployment rate is 7.6%. However, if you start counting all the people who want a job but gave up, all the people with part-time jobs that want a full-time job, all the people who dropped off the unemployment rolls because their unemployment benefits ran out, etc., you get a closer picture of what the unemployment rate is. That number is in the last row labeled U-6.

U-6 is much higher at 14.3% [and note that month over month U-6 ROSE from 13.8% to 14.3%]. Both numbers would be way higher still, were it not for millions dropping out of the labor force over the past few years.

Read it all and he also has more on this today. I have emphasized the importance of U-6 as the best gauge of the employment situation over and over and over again–KSH.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

Poetry to Begin the Day–Flush or Faunus (Flush was Elizabeth Barrett Browning's Cocker Spaniel)

You see this dog. It was but yesterday
I mused, forgetful of his presence here,
Till thought on thought drew downward tear on tear;
When from the pillow, where wet-cheeked I lay,
A head as hairy as Faunus, thrust its way
Right sudden against my face,–two golden-clear
Large eyes astonished mine,–a drooping ear
Did flap me on either cheek, to dry the spray!
I started first, as some Arcadian
Amazed by goatly god in twilight grove:
But as my bearded vision closelier ran
My tears off, I knew Flush, and rose above
Surprise and sadness; thanking the true Pan,
Who, by low creatures, leads to heights of love.

–Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861)

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, Animals, Poetry & Literature

A Look Back to 2001–Richard Neuhaus: Bible Babel

“If I had the authority,” declared the leader of an evangelical parachurch empire, “I’d almost be ready to decree that we go back to the King James.” That in response to my having written here that, if I had the authority, everybody would use the Revised Standard Version. The sorry fact is that English-speaking Christians have largely lost a common biblical vocabulary as a consequence of the proliferation of translations””and of paraphrases passing as translations””over the last forty years. I am told that there are nearly two hundred English translations on the market now, and Bible printers keep churning out new ones, for there seems to be a near insatiable market. There are designer translations for teenagers, mothers, business people, speakers of ebonics (stereotyped black talk), and just about any other market niche or itch that one can imagine.

The result is that little or nothing can be taken for granted when it comes to the recognition of biblical passages or phrases. It is not exactly a matter of biblical illiteracy, for it would seem that millions are regularly reading the Bible, which is a very good thing. But there is little shared biblical language among Christians, and, predictably, ever fewer biblical references in the public culture. The last consequence is not entirely due to the multiplication of versions, of course, but that, one cannot help but believe, is part of it….

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Books, History, Religion & Culture, Theology, Theology: Scripture

Food for Thought from Rick Warren

I find joy in every day, not because life is always good, but because God is.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Christology, Evangelicals, Other Churches, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, The Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Theology

Barton Swain reviews Elesha Coffman's "The Christian Century + the Rise of the Protestant Mainline"

The first known use of the word “mainline” to describe the largest Protestant denominations and distinguish them from their growing evangelical and fundamentalist counterparts appeared in the New York Times in 1960””at the very moment when mainline Protestantism began its rapid decline. You don’t call something “mainline” or “mainstream” unless its supremacy is being disputed (think of the “mainstream media”). And the supremacy of older, more socially prestigious churches within American Protestantism was being directly disputed in the mid-1950s. It’s impossible to speak with precision about what constituted mainline Christianity, but in general the mainline churches de-emphasized doctrinal differences; were Northern and Midwestern rather than Southern; promoted social causes rather than personal conversion or repentance; and virtually always took the liberal line in politics. By 1960, liberal Protestantism enjoyed almost nothing of the authority that had seemed unassailable 15 years earlier.

In “The Christian Century and the Rise of the Protestant Mainline,” Elesha Coffman charts the half-century ascendancy of liberal Protestantism in American society from its beginnings in northern seminaries at the turn of the 20th century to its brief triumphant moment immediately after World War II, when it had no effective rival. She does this through the lens of the magazine that, in the absence of any formal governing body, was effectively this strand of Protestantism’s voice and conscience: the Christian Century.

Read it all (if needed another link is there).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Books, Church History, Episcopal Church (TEC), History, Lutheran, Methodist, Other Churches, Presbyterian, Religion & Culture, United Church of Christ

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Grant us, O Lord, to pass this day in gladness and peace, without stumbling and without stain; that reaching the eventide victorious over all temptation, we may praise thee, the eternal God, who art blessed, and dost govern all things, world without end.

–Mozarabic Liturgy

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.

–Psalm 1:1-3

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture