Daily Archives: July 22, 2013

Southwestern Virginia's new TEC Bishop consecrated

[Mark] Bourlakas met with media outlets and friends of the Episcopal Church on Friday to discuss his goals as bishop. He previously served as dean of Christ Church Cathedral in Louisville, Ky.

“I think that we are going to have to get used to moving beyond that establishment place where we decide who’s included and try to ask where we might be included,” Bourlakas said. “I think it’s going to be millennials and the culture around us that’s going to decide whether we’re included or not.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops

Pinawa Christian Fellowship in Winnipeg–One church, many faiths

They sing from the United Church hymnbook, practise communion according to Anglican traditions, organize themselves according to Mennonite sensibilities and are served by a Presbyterian minister.
For half a century, the folks at Pinawa Christian Fellowship — PCF for short — have been happily multidenominational, and they have no plans to change their ecumenical ways.

“It works this way because we’ve done it for 50 years,” says retired scientist Roger Dutton, an Anglican member of PCF for 45 years.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Canada, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

Church of England rolls out a course for worship leaders and musicians nationally this week

Worship4Today – a course for worship leaders and musicians, successfully tried and tested in the Diocese of Sheffield over several years – is being rolled out nationally from this week.

Compiled by Helen Bent and Liz Tipple, Worship4Today: Part 1: Laying a Firm Foundation tackles the priorities identified in the Liturgical Commission’s Consultation of Evangelical Anglicans: a need for theological training for songwriters and worship leaders in local churches, and for musical training and effective formation in worship leading for ordinands. Trialed in 100 churches, it has already been the catalyst for new church services, a new congregation and two new children’s choirs, and provided an essential boost for many flagging choirs and music groups.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Seminary / Theological Education, Theology

(BBC) Archbishop of Canterbury Welby warns of bankers 'lynch mob'

The Archbishop of Canterbury has described the naming and shaming of bankers in the wake of the financial crisis as “lynch mobbish”.

The Most Reverend Justin Welby admitted sympathy for former bankers when hearing evidence as a member of the Banking Standards Commission.

He admitted “thinking, ‘I’m not sure I would have been very different,’ rather than thinking how bad they were”.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --Justin Welby, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), Economy, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, The Banking System/Sector, Theology

(NZ Herald) Unitarian Minister Steps in after Anglican Church says no to same sex wedding

[The] Reverend Dr Matt Tittle of the Auckland Unitarian Church in Ponsonby will officiate at the wedding of the couple that wins ZM’s Fabulous Gay Wedding competition.

The broadcaster had hoped to hold the event – on August 19, the day legislation allowing same sex marriage comes into force – at St Matthew-in-the-City parish in central Auckland.

But St Matthew’s vicar, [the] Reverend Glynn Cardy, said he was unable to oblige because Anglican officials will not solemnise gay weddings. The parish had offered to host a blessing after the legal ceremony was held elsewhere.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, Anglican Provinces, Australia / NZ, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Marriage & Family, Other Faiths, Parish Ministry, Sexuality

(CP) Pastor Rick Warren to Return to Pulpit With New Sermon Series After Son's Death

Pastor Rick Warren is scheduled to preach at Saddleback Church in Southern California next weekend, marking his return to the pulpit about three months after he lost his 27-year-old son.

Warren will preach at the Lake Forest campus at 4.30 pm PT on Saturday, with online streaming available on the church’s website.

According to a spokesperson, Pastor Warren will start a series of sermons titled, “How to Get Through What You’re Going Through.”

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Evangelicals, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics

David Leonhardt–In Climbing the American Income Ladder, Location Matters

Climbing the income ladder occurs less often in the Southeast and industrial Midwest, the data shows, with the odds notably low in Atlanta, Charlotte, Memphis, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Cincinnati and Columbus. By contrast, some of the highest rates occur in the Northeast, Great Plains and West, including in New York, Boston, Salt Lake City, Pittsburgh, Seattle and large swaths of California and Minnesota.

“Where you grow up matters,” said Nathaniel Hendren, a Harvard economist and one of the study’s authors. “There is tremendous variation across the U.S. in the extent to which kids can rise out of poverty.”

That variation does not stem simply from the fact that some areas have higher average incomes: upward mobility rates, Mr. Hendren added, often differ sharply in areas where average income is similar, like Atlanta and Seattle.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Children, Economy, Housing/Real Estate Market, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Marriage & Family, Personal Finance, Poverty

(ESPN) Phil Mickelson plays the round of his life to win the British Open

Breakfast with the Mickelsons isn’t like ours.

What we say during Sunday breakfast: “Pass the flapjacks, will ya?”

What Phil Mickelson says during Sunday breakfast: “I’m gonna go out and get a Claret Jug today.”

What his wife Amy is thinking as her husband says he’s going to win the Open Championship: He’s five back and it’s soooooo hard…..

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, England / UK, Men, Scotland, Sports

(Washington Post) NSA growth fueled by need to target terrorists

Since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, its civilian and military workforce has grown by one-third, to about 33,000, according to the NSA. Its budget has roughly doubled, and the number of private companies it depends on has more than tripled, from 150 to close to 500, according to a 2010 Washington Post count.

The hiring, construction and contracting boom is symbolic of the hidden fact that in the years after the Sept. 11 attacks, the NSA became the single most important intelligence agency in finding al-Qaeda and other enemies overseas, according to current and former counterterrorism officials and experts. “We Track ’Em, You Whack ’Em” became a motto for one NSA unit, a former senior agency official said.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Defense, National Security, Military, Science & Technology, Terrorism

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Saint Mary Magdalene

Almighty God, whose blessed Son restored Mary Magdalene to health of body and mind, and called her to be a witness of his resurrection: Mercifully grant that by thy grace we may be healed of all our infirmities and know thee in the power of his endless life; who with thee and the Holy Spirit liveth and reigneth, one God, now and for ever.

Posted in Uncategorized

A Prayer to Begin the Day

My God, my Father and Preserver, who of thy goodness hast watched over me during the past night, and brought me to this day, grant also that I may spend it wholly in the worship and service of thy most holy deity. Let me not think, or say, or do a single thing which tends not to thy service and submission to thy will, that thus all my actions may aim at thy glory and the salvation of my brethren, while they are taught by my example to serve thee. And as thou art giving light to this world for the purposes of external life by the rays of the sun, so enlighten my mind by the effulgence of thy Spirit, that he may guide me in the way of thy righteousness. To whatever purpose I apply my mind, may the end which I ever propose to myself be thy honour and service. May I expect all happiness from thy grace and goodness only. Let me not attempt any thing whatever that is not pleasing to thee.

Grant also, that while I labour for the maintenance of this life, and care for the things which pertain to food and raiment, I may raise my mind above them to the blessed and heavenly life which thou hast promised to thy children. Be pleased also, in manifesting thyself to me as the protector of my soul as well as my body, to strengthen and fortify me against all the assaults of the devil, and deliver me from all the dangers which continually beset us in this life. But seeing it is a small thing to have begun, unless I also persevere, I therefore entreat of thee, O Lord, not only to be my guide and director for this day, but to keep me under thy protection to the very end of life, that thus my whole course may be performed under thy superintendence. As I ought to make progress, do thou add daily more and more to the gifts of thy grace until I wholly adhere to thy Son Jesus Christ, whom we justly regard as the true Sun, shining constantly in our minds. In order to my obtaining of thee these great and manifold blessings, forget, and out of thy infinite mercy, forgive my offences, as thou hast promised that thou wilt do to those who call upon thee in sincerity.

(Ps. 143:8.)””Grant that I may hear thy voice in the morning since I have hoped in thee. Show me the way in which I should walk, since I have lifted up my soul unto thee. Deliver me from my enemies, O Lord, I have fled unto thee. Teach me to do thy will, for thou art my God. Let thy good Spirit conduct me to the land of uprightness.

–John Calvin (1509-1564)

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

And he said to them, “Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables? The sower sows the word. And these are the ones along the path, where the word is sown; when they hear, Satan immediately comes and takes away the word which is sown in them. And these in like manner are the ones sown upon rocky ground, who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy; and they have no root in themselves, but endure for a while; then, when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately they fall away. And others are the ones sown among thorns; they are those who hear the word, but the cares of the world, and the delight in riches, and the desire for other things, enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. But those that were sown upon the good soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.”

–Mark 4:13-20

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Jean Paul Samputu practices forgiveness ”“ even for his father's killer

Forgive your father’s murderer? Unlikely, right? Probably impossible? Unless, like Rwandan peace activist and renowned musician Jean Paul Samputu, you want to save your own life from self-destruction, misery, and pain.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Music, Religion & Culture, Rwanda, Violence

Steven Hayward–A Church That Still Believes in God?

One of my favorite “Yes, Prime Minister” episodes is “The Bishop’s Gambit,” where Prime Minister Hacker has to select a new bishop for the diocese of Bury St. Edmunds, and wonders naively whether the ideal candidate should believe in God or not. From the script:

“The bench of bishops should have a proper balance between those who believe in God and those who don’t.”

“Bishops tend to live a long time, perhaps because the Almighty is not all that keen for them to join him….”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Episcopal Church (TEC), Movies & Television, Religion & Culture

Peter Leithart–Maybe Declining Denominationalism could produce a more catholic church

It seems that denominationalism has had its day. A 2009 Barna survey found that denominational commitments have gone squishy in mainline Protestant churches, and Evangelicals don’t fare much better than the rest. After a similar survey, Ron Sellers of what was then Ellison Research said that Protestants are as “loyal to their denominations as they are to their toothpaste.” Denominationalism may recover, but its diseases look terminal. This toothpaste isn’t ready to return to the tube.

Like most everything, this development has its pluses and minuses. Denominations were born of a catholic spirit. They enabled believers to maintain their distinctive beliefs without de-churching the rest of the Christian world. It would be tragic if the decline of denominations left the church less catholic. Plus, without thick denominational loyalties, Christians abandon their churches at the first shimmy of trouble. Once upon a time, Anglicans stuck it out because even an incompetent pastor and an ugly carpet were preferable to joining the Lutherans. Today Lutheranism is a live option. And the Barna survey found that low denominational loyalty often expressed a weak adherence to Christianity itself. Slightly less than half of the respondents were “absolutely” committed to Christianity, and most might be enticed to explore other religions.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Religion & Culture

(LA Times) Pope of the people has eyes on reform

As he prepares for his first overseas trip as pope, starting Monday, Francis has earned praise for his jovial manner, his evident love of people, his simple lifestyle, his commitment to the downtrodden and his determination to put a personal stamp on the papacy.

He routinely packs St. Peter’s Square for his weekly appearance. Hundreds of thousands of devotees, perhaps millions, are expected to turn out to see Francis, the first Latin American pontiff, during his trip to Brazil, the world’s most populous Roman Catholic nation.

But many of his toughest decisions are to come as he seeks to set the Roman Catholic Church on a new path and to shake up the scandal-plagued, faction-ridden Vatican. Building a reservoir of public support and improving the church’s image outside the Vatican should serve him well in that mission.

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

(RNS) Five questions for transgender chaplain Cameron Partridge

She graduated from all-female Bryn Mawr College in 1995, where she came out as gay and also as a woman called to the priesthood. After college, she graduated from Harvard Divinity School, married her girlfriend, became an Episcopal priest, changed her name ”” and changed her gender.

Today the Rev. Cameron Partridge, a religion scholar at Harvard Divinity School and Episcopal chaplain at Boston University, is living outside Boston with his wife and two young children in what looks, to those who don’t know them, like a typical heterosexual marriage.

We talk to Partridge about his transgender and spiritual journeys, his discomfort with simplistic views of male and female, and feeling at home in Anglicanism. Some answers have been edited for length and clarity.

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I will take comments on this submitted by email only to KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Anthropology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Men, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Theology, Women

(CSM Editorial) A dubious drive to legalize online gambling

Everyday Americans are not banging on the doors of Congress asking it to legalize online gambling. The country is already awash with casinos and state lotteries. Yet much of the gambling industry, a few gambling-dependent states like Nevada, and a handful of lawmakers seem eager to find any excuse to reverse a federal ban set down in 2006.

The latest example was a Senate hearing Wednesday. It was titled “The Expansion of Internet Gambling: Assessing Consumer Protection Concerns.” The hearing was cloaked to look at the alleged need for Washington to regulate Internet gambling ”“ even before it is legalized nationwide.

Lawmakers expressed concern over the few states that are moving to allow online wagers for only their residents. Such intrastate gambling was allowed by the Obama administration based on its 2011 re-interpretation of the 1961 Wire Act….

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Blogging & the Internet, Gambling