Daily Archives: October 17, 2013

(Anglican Taonga) New Zealand Church leaders back Anglican Bishop's Penal Reform cause

Leaders from two of New Zealand’s largest churches showed their solidarity for Wellington Bishop Justin Duckworth and his vigil for penal reform today.

Archbishop John Dew, the head of the Roman Catholic community, and Archbishop Philip Richardson, who shares leadership of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, talked with Bishop Justin after he’d celebrated midday Eucharist.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, Anglican Provinces, Australia / NZ, Prison/Prison Ministry, Religion & Culture

(CNA) Ordinariate Use Unites Anglican Tradition to Catholic Church

The introduction of a new ordinariate-use liturgy for groups of former Anglicans is uniting some of their old traditions to the fullness of the Catholic Church.

The Vatican office responsible for adapting parts of the Anglican liturgy for use in the Catholic Church “has had the task of the scribe, trained for the Kingdom of heaven, the householder who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old,” said Msgr. Andrew Burnham.

The monsignor serves as assistant to the ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Ecumenical Relations, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic

(Telegraph) Archbishop Justin Welby joins Instagram

It has long been a favourite among publicity-seeking celebrities wanting to post “selfies” online but now the Archbishop of Canterbury has joined the photo sharing site Instagram in his drive to spread the Christian message.

In a first for the Church of England, Justin Welby has joined the app’s 150 million users worldwide with an opening message urging churches and communities to support their local credit union.

His statement came as bishops across England and Scotland prepared to mark International Credit Union Day today.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, * International News & Commentary, --Justin Welby, --Social Networking, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Blogging & the Internet, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Photos/Photography, Religion & Culture

(Independent) Anglican Church to investigate reasons for surge in food banks

The Church of England is investigating the reasons for the dramatic spread of food banks, and will examine the impact of benefits cuts on their use.

The move emerged as David Cameron was questioned in the Commons over the soaring numbers of families requesting emergency help from the banks.

The Independent reported this week that food bank use had more than tripled over the last year. Shrinking pay packets, as well as the benefits squeeze and the rising cost of basic groceries, have been cited as reasons for the increase.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, --Justin Welby, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), Dieting/Food/Nutrition, England / UK, Poverty

(AP) Amid New Attacks, Egypt's Copts Preserve Tehir Heritage

Locked inside a 6th century church in a desert monastery are some of the jewels of early Christianity ”” ancient murals in vivid pinks, greens and reds depicting saints, angels and the Virgin Mary with a baby Jesus, hidden for centuries under a blanket of black soot.

Italian and Egyptian restorers are meticulously uncovering the paintings, some of the earliest surviving and most complete examples of early Coptic Christian art. But the work, in the final stages more than a decade after it started, is done quietly to avoid drawing attention ”” and there’s no plan to try to attract visitors, at least not now.

“This is our heritage and we must protect it,” said Father Antonius, abbot of the Red Monastery where the Anba Bishay Church is located. He takes it as a personal mission to protect it. The church’s heavy wooden door has only two keys. He keeps one and a young monk he trusts keeps the other.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Church History, Coptic Church, Egypt, Middle East, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Violence

(FT) Analysts see US crisis deferred not solved

Standard & Poor’s is only raising half a cheer at the deal:

“We believe that to date, the shutdown has shaved at least 0.6 per cent off of annualised fourth-quarter 2013 GDP growth, or taken $24bn out of the economy.

“The short turnround for politicians to negotiate some sort of lasting deal will probably weigh on consumer confidence, especially among government workers that were furloughed. If people are afraid that the government policy brinkmanship will resurface again, and with it the risk of another shutdown or worse, they’ll remain afraid to open up their cheque books. That points to another Humbug holiday season.”

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

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Aging / the Elderly, Budget, Economy, Health & Medicine, House of Representatives, Medicaid, Medicare, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Senate, Social Security, Taxes, The National Deficit, The U.S. Government, The United States Currency (Dollar etc)

(CSM) US debt showdown: In the eyes of the world, the damage is already done

Is the US dollar’s position as the reserve currency of the world imperiled as a result of the debt limit showdown in Washington?

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Budget, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Currency Markets, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Globalization, House of Representatives, Office of the President, Politics in General, Senate, The National Deficit, The U.S. Government, Theology

Notable and Quotable–Senator Lindsey Graham on the most recent Washington Drama and Debacle

“We took some bread crumbs and left an entire meal on the table,” said Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina. “This has been a really bad two weeks for the Republican Party”–From the online version of last night’s New York Times

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

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, --The 2009 American Health Care Reform Debate, Budget, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, House of Representatives, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Senate, The National Deficit, The U.S. Government, Theology

(Gafcon II PR) Anglican leaders gather in Kenya

The second Global Anglican Future Conference will get underway in Kenya on Monday 21st October, following a meeting of the Primates Council, comprising leaders of some of the world’s largest Anglican churches.

1200 delegates, clergy and laity, men and women from across of the Anglican Communion will gather in Nairobi for a week-long meeting.

Among them will be victims of religious persecution in various parts of the world who will tell their story.

The programme includes ”˜mini-conferences’ on topics such as gospel proclamation and culture, theological education, economic empowerment and the church, marriage, family and sexuality, and engaging with Islam.

The gathering is the second conference since the landmark GAFCON meeting in Jerusalem in 2008.

The Archbishop of Canterbury will make a flying visit to Nairobi just before the start of the conference to talk to the Primates. Delegates will gather at All Saints Cathedral on Monday for the opening session.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anglican Church of Kenya, Anglican Provinces, GAFCON II 2013, Global South Churches & Primates, Kenya, Theology

(CT) A Major provider of church health benefits takes on federal government for the first time

The massive retirement and health benefits arm of the Southern Baptist Convention, GuideStone Financial Services, has made good on its threat to pivot from advocacy to litigation in defending beleaguered church health plans.

In its first-ever federal lawsuit, GuideStone has partnered with The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty and Locke Lord LLP to file a class-action lawsuit against what Becket described as “the federal government’s mandate that [GuideStone clients] provide employees with free access to abortion-inducing drugs and devices.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, --The 2009 American Health Care Reform Debate, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, The U.S. Government

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Ignatius of Antioch

Almighty God, we praise thy name for thy bishop and martyr Ignatius of Antioch, who offered himself as grain to be ground by the teeth of wild beasts that he might present unto thee the pure bread of sacrifice. Accept, we pray thee, the willing tribute of our lives, and give us a share in the pure and spotless offering of thy Son Jesus Christ; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

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

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Almighty and merciful God, the fountain of all goodness, who knowest the thoughts of our hearts: We confess that we have sinned against thee, and done evil in thy sight. Wash us, we beseech thee, from the stains of our past sins, and give us grace and power to put away all hurtful things; that, being delivered from the bondage of sin, we may bring forth fruits worthy of repentance, and at last enter into thy promised joy; through the mercy of thy blessed Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

–Alcuin of York (c. 735–804)

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David the servant of the LORD, who addressed the words of this song to the LORD on the day when the LORD delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul. He said: I love thee, O LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies.

–Psalm 18:1-3

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(Sightings) Martin Marty on Moody Bible Institute's Decision to Drop Its Alcohol Ban

A couple of cynical commentators maintain that schools like the Institute have to adapt to today’s culture “because otherwise they cannot recruit enough top-notch staff.” Non-cynically, one can relate this and other change to fresh Biblical scholarship, studies of evangelical hermeneutics, recognition of internal diversity among conservative evangelicals, and awareness that strictures like the old ban often caused embarrassment to many of the most conscientious and able employees, including faculty. It might be most useful to try to assess where compromises like the Institute’s register among adjustments to contemporary culture(s) in general.

Whoever is of temperate disposition and conscientious commitment and has weathered weekend-night drinking-orgies on many kinds of campuses might look with envy for the peace and quiet””not always dullness””in colleges where self-restraint has endured. Still, many who have nothing against, or who favor, the relaxation of rules like the wine-ban can sympathize with leadership caught in the conflict between old restrictions and new experiments with freedom.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Alcohol/Drinking, Education, Evangelicals, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Young Adults

(Chr. Post) Student Saved From Abortion by Christian Adoption Agency is Auburn's Homecoming Queen

A 22-year-old woman whose life was spared with the help of a Christian adoption agency after her biological mother was raped has been voted Auburn University’s 100th homecoming queen and she is now using her inspiring story to encourage people to adopt.

The young woman, Molly Anne Dutton, was elected homecoming queen by the nation’s most conservative student body over the weekend after running on a platform advocating adoption, according to a Yellowhammer News report.

Dutton shared the inspiring story of her biological mother who became pregnant after she was raped while living with her husband in California. Her mother’s husband threatened to divorce her if she didn’t abort Molly but the brave woman chose a different path.

She chose to get help from Birmingham-based Christian adoption agency Lifeline Children’s Services and gave birth to Molly and put her up for adoption.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Anthropology, Children, Education, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Life Ethics, Marriage & Family, Religion & Culture, Theology, Women, Young Adults

The Anglican bishops in Quebec urge the province to drop the 'end-of-life care' bill

The Anglican bishops in Quebec have urged the provincial government to withdraw its controversial “medical aid in dying” bill saying it could present risks for the vulnerable, including the elderly, people suffering from clinical depression and those with disabilities.

Bishops Dennis Drainville (Diocese of Quebec) and Barry Clarke (Diocese of Montreal) acknowledged, “the emotional and challenging circumstances that have led the government to consider the legalization of physician-assisted suicide.”

However, they said, “we share, with other members of society, concern for the protection of human persons from chronic pain and respect for human dignity.”

Read it all and follow the link to the Bishop’s full open letter.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Canada, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Life Ethics, Religion & Culture, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(Good News) Steve Beard –8 Reasons Most Churches Never Break the 200 Attendance Mark

Carey Nieuwhof is not a United Methodist. Nope, he’s the pastor of Connexus Community Church in Ontario, Canada which is part of a network of churches that have been influenced by Andy Stanley’s North Point Ministries. And yet, he’s a voice we should be listening to because again and again Carey posts pithy articles on church leadership and evangelism that are worth thinking about. Today (which you have have already read) he unpacked the 8 reasons most churches never break the 200 in attendance mark:

You know why most churches still don’t push past the 200 mark in attendance?
You ready?
They organize, behave, lead and manage like a small organization.
Think about it.
There’s a world of difference between how you organize a corner store and how you organize a larger supermarket.

Read it all.

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

(Living Church) John Martin–Archbishop Gitari’s Legacy

Even in death, the Most Rev. David Mukuba Gitari was a focus of division among his country’s political elite. Government and opposition politicians are reported to have jostled one another while attending his burial in his home district of Kirinyaga.

Gitari, the third Anglican archbishop of Kenya, died September 30 at 76. All Saints Cathedral in Nairobi overflowed October 10 as a congregation of nearly 10,000 turned out for a funeral that lasted more than three hours.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anglican Church of Kenya, Anglican Provinces, Church History, Death / Burial / Funerals, Kenya, Parish Ministry