Daily Archives: September 26, 2013

(NH Register) At Yale, the President of Croatia outlines the role of religion

The president of Croatia told a Yale University audience Monday that his country’s social and economic future depend, in part, on the religious tolerance of its people.

Ivo Josipovic, himself an avowed agnostic, has made religious dialogue a hallmark of reform efforts in Croatia. It is central to his international dealings, as well.

“The nature of religion is always trying to push us to do something good. That’s very important to me,” Josipovic said during a speech at Yale Divinity School. “I always think that religion can be (a) bridge between different people and different states.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Croatia, Europe, Religion & Culture

First Female Representatives to House of Bishops Elected

The results of the first elections for female representatives to attend the House of Bishops have been announced. At its meeting of 7 February 2013 the House of Bishops decided that eight senior women clergy, elected regionally, will participate in all meetings of the House until such time as there are six female Bishops who will sit as of right.

Read it all.

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

Recent blog entries on TEC lawsuits and legal matters, etc.

This post is sticky – look below for new entries.

South Carolina links are here

Below are links to some of the recent entries that had been “stickied” at the top of the page:

Judge Denies TEC Request to Expand South Carolina Lawsuit

Diocese of South Carolina””The real story behind our withdrawal from The Episcopal Church

Crucial Documentation available to Readers””TEC’s so called “Expert” under Fire from the Quincy Case

A.S. Haley on the Latest South Carolina TEC Legal Maneuver to Appeal Judge Houck’s Decision

Flashback Bishop Jefferts Schori Supported the Authority of Diocesan Bishop

ACI – Affidavit of Mark McCall on The Episcopal Church’s Polity

A.S. Haley””Decision in Quincy: ECUSA Has no Rule against Dioceses Withdrawing

[Allan Haley] Bishop Iker and Church of the Good Shepherd win in Texas

Federal Judge Dismisses Case Against Bishop Mark Lawrence

You can find other entries related to TEC Conflicts and lawsuits, legal issues and TEC Polity here:

TEC Conflicts
Lawsuits and Legal Issues
TEC Polity & Canons

Posted in * Admin, * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Featured (Sticky), Law & Legal Issues, TEC Conflicts, TEC Polity & Canons

David Plant, Youth Ministries Director at Redeemer NYC, on Integrating Students into Parish Life

Watch it all, and note the participation of Cameron Cole, director of student ministries at Cathedral Church of the Advent in Birmingham, Alabama.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Education, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Teens / Youth, Young Adults, Youth Ministry

(RNS) Jonathan Merritt–Evangelical adoption movement attacked”¦again

At the heart of [all these]…critiques is the work of Kathryn Joyce, the self-described “secular, feminist journalist” and author of The Child Catchers, who is again decrying the evangelical adoption movement, this time in the pages of “The New York Times.”

In her article, Joyce again paints the picture of evangelical adoption as a well-intentioned, but misguided, movement that exacerbates corruption and harms children around the world. It is a perspective I was first introduced to after reading Joyce’s “Mother Jones” article (“Orphan Fever: The Evangelical Movement’s Adoption Obsession”). I responded to her article at “On Faith and Culture”:

“In the end, Kathryn Joyce curses the darkness without lighting a candle. She attempts to pour cold water on the Christian adoption movement, but her ideas for actually solving the orphan crisis that now affects more than 100 million children are more than lacking; they’re non-existent. We should expect more from even an unashamedly partisan publication like Mother Jones. Not to mention a writer who recently published a 352-page book on the subject. “

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Children, Ethics / Moral Theology, Evangelicals, Globalization, Marriage & Family, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Theology

(Bloomberg) The Affordable Care Act's $3,000 Health-Law Premiums Test Limits of Affordability

Health insurance under Obamacare will cost individuals at least $2,988 a year on average, a price that Republican opponents may target as out-of-reach for many Americans who don’t qualify for U.S. subsidies.

While the $249 monthly payment is intended to be discounted through tax credits, less than half of people now buying insurance on their own may get that help….

The law’s long-term success “will depend on the changes that are made over the next couple of years to address the affordability issue,” said Brian Wright, an insurance analyst at Monness Crespi Hardt & Co. in New York. “If you have modifications that can help address those issues, then it will ultimately be successful. If not, then it’s an open question.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, --The 2009 American Health Care Reform Debate, Consumer/consumer spending, Economy, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Personal Finance

(SMH) Desmond Tutu: UN owes it to Syria's children to act

Since the war started in Syria, the country has slowly disintegrated. More than one-third of hospitals have been destroyed, according to the World Health Organisation. According to Save the Children, 3900 schools have been destroyed, damaged or are occupied for non-educational purposes since the start of the conflict.

Syria today is no place for a child and, outrageously, more than 1 million have already been forced to flee with their families to camps and host communities in neighbouring countries. Those are the lucky ones – thousands upon thousands have already been killed. Where is the outrage?

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Church of Southern Africa, Anglican Provinces, Children, Foreign Relations, Globalization, Middle East, Politics in General, Poverty, Syria, Violence

(Telegraph) Christians now suffering mass martyrdom, says Archbishop of Canterbury

The Most Rev Justin Welby said that there had been more than 80 Christian “martyrs” in the last few days alone.

He was speaking about the bombing of All Saints Anglican church in Peshawar, Pakistan, in which 85 were killed and more than 200 injured.

But he said that Christians were also being singled out for violence in a string of other countries.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Globalization, Religion & Culture, Violence

(UMNS) Methodist Top court to look at rulings on non-celibate same-sex relationships

Rulings on recent actions by United Methodist annual (regional) conferences regarding church law on homosexuality issues will be considered by the denomination’s top court this fall.

Those decisions of law by bishops are among the 17 docket items on the United Methodist Judicial Council’s agenda when it meets Oct. 23-26 at the Sheraton City Center in Baltimore. No oral hearings are scheduled for this meeting.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Methodist, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Sexuality Debate (Other denominations and faiths), Theology, Theology: Scripture

(Barna) The Rise of the @Pastor

It seems not a month goes by without a social media brouhaha involving a high-profile Christian leader.

Such was the case when a prominent pastor tweeted about the recent Oklahoma tornado in a manner that seemed to connect the deadly storm to an act of God’s judgment. In between such controversies, insightful blog posts or “retweetable” phrases also go viral. Social media is creating a new class of religious influencers. If you want to watch the modern Christian conversation unfold, just log onto Twitter or check your Facebook feed. The Christian community’s voice has become a substantial one in the social, digital space.

A new Barna study shows that, in the last two years, there has been a significant leap in the number of pastors and churches engaging social media. More than one in five American pastors (21%) say their churches use Twitter, up from only 14% in 2011. Facebook usage in churches has likewise jumped from just over half (57%) to a full seven in 10. Pastors themselves are also engaged in online communication, with nearly one-quarter (23%) who use Twitter, well over six in 10 (66%) who are on Facebook, and over one in five (22%) who have a personal blog.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, --Social Networking, America/U.S.A., Blogging & the Internet, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

Ed Stetzer–Some Reflections on the Fastest Growing and Largest U.S. Churches

As we come to these lists each year, we look for three things: a characteristic trending across the church spectrum; something that stands out as unique; and something that may fly a bit under the radar and yet is surprisingly influential among growing churches.

This year, as my team processed the data, we saw something that excites me and is thoroughly biblical. What’s more, it’s something in which every church can engage. Something in which every church must engage if it wants to reflect the character of God as a church body: self-sacrifice.

Growing churches are showing a great commitment to multiplying themselves, as we see in the discussion about multiple campuses, and this commitment to multiplication often creates a need for sacrifice. Sacrifice is inherent to the experience of every growing believer””and every growing church.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Evangelism and Church Growth, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

Lancelot Andrewes for his Feast Day–Defiled by the 1st Adam…by the 2nd cleansed and set right

This sure is matter of love; but came there any good to us by it? There did. For our conception being the root as it were, the very groundsill of our nature; that He might go to the root and repair of our nature from the very foundation, thither He went; that what had been there defiled and decayed by the first Adam, might by the Second be cleansed and set right again. That had our conception been stained, by Him therefore, primum ante omnia,to be restored again. He was not idle all the time He was an embyro all the nine months He was in the womb; but then and there He even ate out the core of corruption that cleft to our nature and us, and made both us and it an unpleasing object in the sight of God.

And what came of this? We who were abhorred by God, filii irae was our title, were by this means made beloved in Him. He cannot, we may be sure, account evil of that nature, that is now become the nature of His own SonNHis now no less than ours. Nay farther, given this privilege to the children of such as are in Him, though but of one parent believing, that they are not as the seed of two infidels, but are in a degree holy, eo ipso; and have a farther right to the laver of regeneration, to sanctify them throughout by the renewing of the Holy Ghost. This honour is to us by the dishonour of Him; this the good by Christ an embyro.

–From a sermon preached before King James, at Whitehall, on Sunday, the Twenty-fifth of December, 1614

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Provinces, Church History, Church of England (CoE), Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Lancelot Andrewes

Almighty God, who gavest thy servant Lancelot Andrewes the gift of thy holy Spirit and made him a man of prayer and a faithful pastor of thy people: Perfect in us what is lacking of thy gifts, of faith, to increase it, of hope, to establish it, of love, to kindle it, that we may live in the life of thy grace and glory; through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the same Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

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

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Make us to remember, O God, that every day is Thy gift, to be used according to Thy command.

–The Pastor’s Prayerbook

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles. The LORD is near to the brokenhearted, and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous; but the LORD delivers him out of them all. He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken. Evil shall slay the wicked; and those who hate the righteous will be condemned. The LORD redeems the life of his servants; none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.

–Psalm 34:17-22

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

TEC House of Bishops Fall 2013 meeting: Daily Account for Yesterday

Read it all.

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

Peshawar Christians ”˜crying out’ for justice, says Archbishop Justin Welby

The Archbishop of Canterbury has drawn attention to the fact that Christians in Peshawar were talking of forgiveness immediately after suicide bombers attacked All Saints Church on Sunday.
But he added that Christians in Peshawar are also ”˜crying out vigorously’ for justice and protection following the worst attack on Christians in Pakistan’s history.
The attack, which was launched as people were leaving Sunday Mass, killed 85 people and injured more than 120.
Speaking on Radio 4’s World at One today, the Archbishop described the bombing as ”˜an absolutely appalling attack’ and called on Pakistan’s government to ensure that minority citizens are given proper protection and that all people are treated equally under its law.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Asia, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, India, Islam, Muslim-Christian relations, Other Faiths, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Theology, Violence

Ed West–The silence of our friends ”“ the extinction of Christianity in the Middle East

The night ended with historian Tom Holland declaring sadly that we are now seeing the extinction of Christianity and other minority faiths in the Middle East. As he pointed out, it’s the culmination of the long process that began in the Balkans in the late 19th century, reached its horrific European climax in 1939-1945, and continued with the Greeks of Alexandria, the Mizrahi Jews and most recently the Chaldo-Assyrian Christians of Iraq. The Copts may have the numbers to hold on, Holland said, and the Jews of Israel, but can anyone else?

Without a state (and army) of their own, minorities are merely leaseholders. The question is whether we can do anything to prevent extinction, and whether British foreign policy can be directed towards helping Christian interests rather than, as currently seems to be the case, the Saudis.

The saddest audience question was from a young man who I’m guessing was Egyptian-British. He asked: ”˜Where was world Christianity when this happened?…’

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, History, Inter-Faith Relations, Islam, Muslim-Christian relations, Other Faiths, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Theology, Women

(Telegraph) Nairobi shopping mall attack: Islamist terror is now a hi-tech global brand

if the initial reports of the investigation into the latest atrocity are anything to go by, taking retaliatory action against the culprits will not be as straightforward as it was back in the Nineties.

Al-Qaeda has come a long way since its early days, when groups of fanatical jihadi fighters hatched desperate plots to attack the West from remote caves hidden away in the Hindu Kush. These days, as the Kenyan authorities are discovering, al-Qaeda has developed into a truly global brand, a multinational terror force that is just as capable of drawing recruits from the prosperous mid-West of the United States as the slums of downtown Mogadishu.

While al-Shabaab (“the youth”), the Somali-based al-Qaeda affiliate, has claimed responsibility for the shopping mall atrocity, Kenyan investigators have been alarmed to discover the cosmopolitan character of those involved in the killings. Apart from the Somalis who took part, the 15 terrorists who stormed the mall at noon last Saturday are said to have included extremists from the US, Britain, Canada, Sweden, Syria, Finland, Russia, Dagestan and Kenya.

Read it all from Con Coughlin.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Kenya, Somalia, Terrorism, Violence

(ACNS) Church of South India elects first woman bishop

The Church of South India has today appointed its first woman bishop.

The Revd Eggoni Pushpalalitha was ordained in 1983 and has most recently been a priest in the Diocese of Nadyal in Andhra Pradesh.

Her appointment comes only days after the Church of Ireland elected its first woman bishop, the Revd Pat (Patricia) Storey as the new Bishop of Meath and Kildare.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, Asia, India