Daily Archives: September 14, 2013

Berkeley Divinity School at Yale in search for new Dean

The position carries two titles: President and Dean of Berkeley and Associate Dean of Yale Divinity School. As such, states Rev. Carlsen, “We believe this represents an extraordinary ”˜both/and’ leadership opportunity. On the one hand, to lead a highly respected Episcopal divinity school, and on the other, to be part of the leadership of YDS with its ecumenical perspective, superb academic resources, global reach and reputation within one of the word’s finest research universities.”

Carl Anderson, Chair of the Berkeley Board of Trustees, in a letter to the Berkeley community, expressed his gratitude for Dean Britton’s eleven years with the seminary and appreciation for the Dean’s many and important contributions”¦ “to the life of the school, the quality and qualifications of our graduates, and Berkeley’s stature and standing within YDS, Yale University and The Episcopal Church.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Seminary / Theological Education, Theology

A Statement by Forward in Faith on The Church in Wales' Decision on Women Bishops

From here:

Forward in Faith regrets the decision of the Governing Body of the Church in Wales to authorize the ordination of women as bishops without first agreeing arrangements for those who, for theological reasons, will not be able to receive episcopal ministry from them.

We cannot see how a female bishop could be what a diocesan bishop should be ”“ a Father in God and a focus of unity for all within his diocese. This vote therefore makes the question of the provision of episcopal ministry for those who continue to uphold catholic faith and order in the Church in Wales even more pressing.

Experience in Wales and elsewhere does not give us confidence that the promised ”˜code of practice’ could offer the level of assurance that would encourage growth and flourishing ”“ so sorely needed in Wales ”“ or the degree of certainty that would remove the possibility of damaging and distracting disputes.

Our brothers and sisters in Credo Cymru will seek to enter into dialogue with the Welsh bishops. We can only hope that their representations will be met with the generosity of spirit that ought to be the hallmark of Christian episcopacy. Meanwhile, we continue to pray for and with our Welsh sisters and brothers, encouraging them to follow St David in being joyful and keeping the faith.


The Rt Revd Jonathan Baker, Bishop of Fulham, Chairman

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Ecclesiology, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Sacramental Theology, Theology, Theology: Scripture, Wales, Women

(CT) Karen Prior–The Prodigal in All of Us

At some point in their lives, one of every three Americans will leave Christianity, according to a 2011 study in the Journal of Religion and Society. Called “leavers,” “deconverts,” or “ex-Christians,” they are targets of fresh concern among church denominations watching their numbers shrink. Pollsters and bloggers tick off reasons why so many are leaving, such as intellectual hurdles to belief, immoral or intolerant church leaders, and profound suffering. But the leavers phenomenon is nothing new. It goes back at least to the parable of the Prodigal Son, told by Jesus and recorded in Luke 15:11”“32.

What about the people whom the prodigals leave behind? The ones who love the leavers? The ones left to hold down the forts of remaining families and faith communities? Few theological and practical resources exist for the two out of every three Christians who remain with the Father while they watch their “younger brother” leave.

The biblical parable centers on the relationship between a father and his two sons. But the essence of the story remains the same, whether the prodigal is a child, sibling, spouse, parent, or friend. This is why P. C. Ennis Jr. argues in the Journal for Preachers that “it is crucial that periodically we preach on the Prodigal Son. . . . Like the Easter story and the Christmas story, it bears repeating, for the story of the Prodigal Son is the gospel in capsule.”

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Anthropology, Children, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Care, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Soteriology, Teens / Youth, Theology, Young Adults

(Public Discourse) Andrew Walker–Marriage, Community, & Kinship

Humans are social animals. Although we exist as individuals, we do not live in isolation. The need for community is woven into our being: to be human is to be part of a community of individuals. We do not reproduce asexually, but by means of the sexual union of two individuals, male and female, which generates the gift of new humanity. Our marriages are not lone, solitary institutions: we may enter marriage as individuals, but marriage finds its truest expression in the “one-flesh union” that unites a man and a woman as one.

The promise of marriage is the communal benefit it offers society. Where questions arise that purportedly imply exceptions to the conjugal definition of marriage, the tacit assumption behind many such questions is a latent and false conception of individuality””that men and women within a marriage are lone actors who unite for the purpose of marriage, fulfill an act of social obligation, and continue on in singular, non-generative roles as the participants in marriage mature. This version of marriage””one where individuals within a marriage itself define marriage””misses the forest for the trees.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anthropology, Children, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Politics in General, Psychology, Sociology, Theology

West. Mass. Episcopal bishop backs lawsuit on gambling ballot question

Bishop Douglas J. Fisher of the Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts said he backs a civil suit filed this week that challenges state Attorney General Martha Coakley’s decision to disqualify a ballot initiative that might repeal a 2011 Massachusetts law that allows up to three casinos and a slots parlor in the Bay State.

The group “Repeal the Casino Deal,”on Tuesday, sought an injunction in Suffolk Superior Court that would overturn the AG’s decision.

John Ribeiro, who heads the RCD group, said Massachusetts residents should be allowed to vote on whether casino and slots gaming operations should be allowed in the state.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Episcopal Church (TEC), Gambling, Politics in General, TEC Bishops

Anglican youth leaders from Southern Africa–the Church Adapts Too Slowly to Youth Ministry

“The Church has been too slow in terms of putting structures in place,” said Youth Co-ordinator for the Church of the Province of Central Africa, Fr Robert Sihubwa. “While we acknowledge the verbal commitment, the lack of funding commitments indicates slow movement.”

Tony Lawrence is the Provincial Youth Co-ordinator for the Anglican Church of Southern Africa. He told ACNS, “Changing our approaches and actively focusing on the ministry to children and young people is critical for the growth and survival of the Church.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anglican Church of Southern Africa, Anglican Provinces, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, South Africa, Teens / Youth, Youth Ministry

(BP) Gregory Tomlin–Pledge of Allegiance's 'under God' phrase faces Mass. court scrutiny

A case challenging the words “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance is being weighed by the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts where state law requires schoolchildren to recite the pledge daily as a patriotic exercise.

The case before the court stems from a lawsuit filed in 2010 by the American Humanist Association on behalf of atheist parents of schoolchildren in the Acton-Boxborough School District.

Attorneys for the humanist plaintiffs avoided claiming that the pledge represents a state establishment of religion, as most of the pledge cases have in the past. Instead, attorneys argued in Doe v. Acton-Boxborough Regional School District that reciting the pledge, which requires atheists to say the words “under God,” is discriminatory and violates the state’s equal protection laws.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Law & Legal Issues, Religion & Culture

A Florida Girl’s Suicide Points to Rise in Apps Used by Cyberbullies

In jumping, Rebecca [Ann Sedwick] became one of the youngest members of a growing list of children and teenagers apparently driven to suicide, at least in part, after being maligned, threatened and taunted online, mostly through a new collection of texting and photo-sharing cellphone applications. Her suicide raises new questions about the proliferation and popularity of these applications and Web sites among children and the ability of parents to keep up with their children’s online relationships.

For more than a year, Rebecca, pretty and smart, was cyberbullied by a coterie of 15 middle-school children who urged her to kill herself, her mother said. The Polk County sheriff’s office is investigating the role of cyberbullying in the suicide and considering filing charges against the middle-school students who apparently barraged Rebecca with hostile text messages. Florida passed a law this year making it easier to bring felony charges in online bullying cases.

Rebecca was “absolutely terrorized on social media,” Sheriff Grady Judd of Polk County said at a news conference this week.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, --Social Networking, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Blogging & the Internet, Ethics / Moral Theology, Psychology, Science & Technology, Suicide, Teens / Youth, Theology

([London] Times) CofE left isolated as Wales votes to ordain women bishops

The Church of England was left isolated in the UK in its opposition to women bishops after the Church in Wales voted yesterday to ordain women bishops.

The first woman could be consecrated in Wales in just over a year.

The bill was passed by a two-thirds majority in the houses of laity, clergy and bishops. A code of practice will now be drawn up to safeguard the place of traditionalists. The Archbishop of Wales, Dr Barry Morgan, said that it made “no theological sense” not to ordain women as bishops when the Church already ordained them as deacons…

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Church of Wales, CoE Bishops, England / UK, Theology, Wales, Women

(Washington Post) U.S., Russia reach agreement on seizure of Syrian chemical weapons arsenal

The United States and Russia agreed Saturday on an outline for the identification and seizure of Syrian chemical weapons and said Syria must turn over an accounting of its arsenal within a week.

The agreement will be backed by a U.N. Security Council resolution that could allow for sanctions or other consequences if Syria fails to comply, Secretary of State John F. Kerry said.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Europe, Foreign Relations, Middle East, Politics in General, Russia, Syria, Violence

A Prayer for the Feast of the Holy Cross

O God, who by the passion of thy blessed Son didst make an instrument of shameful death to be unto us the means of life and peace: Grant us so to glory in the cross of Christ, that we may gladly suffer shame and loss for the sake of thy Son our Savior Jesus Christ; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Posted in Uncategorized

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Let us remember the presence of God with us now, and lift up our hearts to:
God the Father, to whom we pray;
God the Son, through whom we pray;
God the Holy Spirit, in whom we pray.

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let all men know your forbearance. The Lord is at hand. Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

–Philippians 4:4-7

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(Telegraph) Doctors who performed gender based abortions may face private prosecution

The Christian Legal Centre, which provides legal advice to its supporters, said it was preparing for a private prosecution against two doctors who were exposed in an undercover investigation by this newspaper. Christian Concern, a campaign group, is supporting the action.

Andrea Williams, the chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre, said she was waiting for Keir Starmer, the outgoing Director of Public Prosecutions, to make a further statement before deciding how to proceed.

“We are preparing for a private prosecution or judicial review, but we may do both,” said Mrs Williams. “We will not let the matter go.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, History, Law & Legal Issues, Life Ethics, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology, Sexuality, Theology

Over 85 Clergy Gather for Diocese of South Carolina Clergy Day

“What a great clergy day,” said the Very Rev. David Thurlow, Rector of St. Matthias in Summerton, SC at the end of the gathering of clergy of the Diocese of South Carolina on September 12, 2013. Over 85 clergy of the Diocese gathered at St. Paul’s in Summerville for the once-yearly event.

“The legal update was clear and understandable,” said Thurlow, “the questions asked and answered were insightful and helpful. Alan Runyan’s personal testimony and witness to God’s work was incredible and powerful. Bishop Lawrence did great in setting before us an updated picture of where we are and giving us vision, hope and encouragement as we journey on together. All in all the day could not have been better!”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Anthropology, Apologetics, Ethics / Moral Theology, Evangelism and Church Growth, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology, Theology, Theology: Scripture