Daily Archives: October 18, 2013

A BBC Radio Four ”˜In Our Time’ Programme on the Book of Common Prayer

Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the Book of Common Prayer. In 1549, at the height of the English Reformation, a new prayer book was published containing versions of the liturgy in English. Generally believed to have been supervised by Thomas Cranmer, the Book of Common Prayer was at the centre of the decade of religious turmoil that followed, and disputes over its use were one of the major causes of the English Civil War in the 1640s. The book was revised several times before the celebrated final version was published in 1662. It is still in use in many churches today, and remains not just a liturgical text of great importance but a literary work of profound beauty and influence.

The guests are:

Diarmaid MacCulloch
Professor of the History of the Church at the University of Oxford

Alexandra Walsham
Professor of Modern History at the University of Cambridge

Martin Palmer
Director of the International Consultancy on Religion, Education, and Culture

Listen to it all (43 minutes).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, --Book of Common Prayer, Anglican Provinces, Church History, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Religion & Culture

(WSJ) Cardinal Timothy Dolan–Immigration and the Welcoming Church

It’s a familiar sight at the Catholic Center, the archdiocesan headquarters on First Avenue in Manhattan where I work. Dozens of new arrivals to our country line up early in the morning, waiting for our office to open. They know that here they will get the help they need to become citizens, learn English and civics, reunite with their families, and navigate the complex legal immigration system. Our telephone counselors answer 25,000 calls from immigrants each year in 17 different languages.

It isn’t, however, confined to our office. We’ve all seen the men””almost 120,000 of them nationally on any given day””queuing up on the side of the road on hundreds of street corners throughout the U.S., hoping to be hired for the day. In places like Yonkers, N.Y., volunteers from Catholic Charities offer these day laborers coffee and sandwiches and even some employment advice.

The Catholic Church is doing the same things in Los Angeles, Brooklyn, Houston, Newark and Miami. More than 150 Catholic immigration programs across the nation assist immigrants in becoming Americans. Helping the newcomer to our land feel at home is part of our mission, as Christ reminds us in Matthew 25 that “whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Historian Henry Steele Commager wrote that: “The Church was one of the most effective of all agencies for democracy and Americanization.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, History, Immigration, Law & Legal Issues, Other Churches, Pastoral Theology, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(IBD) More Americans are On The Move As Home Prices, Jobs Rise

With U.S. unemployment still high and labor participation at record lows, the nation’s job market faces a long road to full recovery. But worker mobility is picking up as housing recovers, giving economists reason to believe that the underpinnings of a stronger market are taking hold.

Mobility, or workers’ willingness to pull up stakes and move for a new job, advanced in recent years. Some 7.1 million Americans moved across state lines last year, according to the Census Bureau’s latest American Community Survey (ACS), released in September. That is still well below the nearly 8 million pace the country enjoyed before the 2007-08 recession, but it is up considerably from the 2010 trough of 6.7 million.

“It’s a very good signal to see people moving,” said Ernest Goss, a Creighton University economist.

Read it all.

Posted in Uncategorized

Did Archbishop Bernard Longley say that the ban on giving Communion to Anglicans may be relaxed?

Archbishop Longley, wanting to sound positive, says that he could “imagine and foresee one of the fruits of our ecumenical engagement as moving towards a deeper understanding of communion and a deeper sharing between our churches ”¦ which perhaps would lead to a reconsideration of some of the circumstances.” That’s all very well-meaning: but since the chances of prelate-speak of this kind being misunderstood by the secular press are about 100 per cent, it really would have been better not to have said it….Archbishop Longley’s fantastical notion that there has been a “deeper theological understanding of one another’s Churches”, presumably because of the work of ARCIC, requires a little more attention. What theological understanding would that be? The trouble with ARCIC always was (as a former Catholic member of it once explained to me) that on the Catholic side of the table you have a body of men who represent a more or less coherent view, being members of a Church which has established means of knowing and declaring what it believes. On the Anglican side of the table you have a body of men the divisions between whom are just fundamental as, and sometimes a lot more fundamental than, those between any one of them and the Catholic representatives they face: they all represent only themselves.

Read it all from William Oddie in the Catholic Herald (emphasis his).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Ecumenical Relations, Eucharist, Media, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Pope Francis, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Sacramental Theology, Theology

Sydney Anglican Archbishop labels same sex marriage an ”˜unholy matrimony’

Marriage equality advocates have spoken out after Sydney Anglican Archbishop Glenn Davies labelled the prospect of same-sex couples marrying as “unholy matrimony”.

Archbishop Davies (pictured) also referred to “so-called gay marriage” as contrary to God’s law during his first presidential address to the Sydney synod, while warning of consequences for the entire country if Australia “slipped further and further away from the tenets of scriptural authority and biblical morality”. Davies, 62, was elected as Sydney’s new Anglican Archbishop in August.

“Specious arguments for ”˜marriage equality’ and ”˜equal opportunity’ have become the mantra of many, without any serious engagement with the nature of marriage,” the Archbishop said.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Australia / NZ, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(AP) Muslim Brotherhood's Cohesion Is Also Its Pitfall

The Brotherhood was toppled in Egypt in a July military coup, and former president Mohammad Morsi will go on trial in November. The coup is also threatening the 6-year-old rule of its Palestinian branch, Hamas, in neighboring Gaza, because the Egyptian military has closed smuggling tunnels under the Gaza-Egypt border, depriving Hamas of millions of dollars in foreign donations and customs revenue. In several Gulf Arab states, the movement has been targeted in a crackdown, and Tunisia’s Brotherhood-dominated government faces a backlash.

“They fail to make the transition from a closed organization into an open and broad-based transparent government,” Fawaz A. Gerges, director of the Middle East Center of the London School of Economics, said of the Brotherhood. “They behaved, while in government, exactly as they behave internally.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Coptic Church, Egypt, Foreign Relations, History, Inter-Faith Relations, Islam, Middle East, Muslim-Christian relations, Other Churches, Other Faiths, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Violence

Archbishop of the Anglican Church in SE Asia calls recent legal ruling utterly irresponsible

[The Association of Churches Sarawak] ACS chairman Datuk Bolly Lapok, who is also Archbishop of the Anglican Church in South East Asia, said ACS was also concerned about the implication of the decision on the Malay and Iban-speaking Christians who had been using the term to refer to God for centuries.

Expressing his disappointment on the court ruling, Bolly lamented: “For an outsider to say that the use of the word Allah is ”˜not integral to the Christian faith’ is excessive, utterly irresponsible and grossly demeaning, to say the least. The Church does not need an apologist from outside to decree what is integral or not regarding her faith.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Law & Legal Issues, Religion & Culture, The Anglican Church in South East Asia

(Church Times) Join your local credit union, Archbishop and bishops urge

The ledgers of the country’s credit unions enjoyed a boost this week, as dioceses and bishops deposited money, backing up warm words.

In a personal letter that is being sent out to 8000 members of the clergy in mid-November, the Archbishop of Canterbury urges them to support their local credit union: “Our faith in Christ calls us to love the poor and vulnerable with our actions. That is why the Church must be actively involved in supporting the development of real lending alternatives, such as credit unions.”

More than 40 bishops are taking up the call immediately, and at least 11 of them planned to mark International Credit Union Day yesterday by opening accounts.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, --Justin Welby, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Personal Finance, Religion & Culture, The Banking System/Sector

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Saint Luke

Almighty God, who didst inspire thy servant Luke the physician to set forth in the Gospel the love and healing power of thy Son: Graciously continue in thy Church the like love and power to heal, to the praise and glory of thy Name; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Church History, Spirituality/Prayer, Theology, Theology: Scripture

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O Lord, renew our spirits and draw our hearts to thyself, that our work may not be to us a burden but a delight; and give us such a mighty love to thee, who thyself didst work as a craftsman in wood, as may sweeten all our obedience. O let us not serve thee in a spirit of bondage, as slaves, but with cheerfulness and willingness, cooperating with thee in thy work of creation; for the glory of thy holy name.

–Benjamin Jenks

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

I bless the LORD who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me. I keep the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved….Thou dost show me the path of life; in thy presence there is fulness of joy, in thy right hand are pleasures for evermore

Psalm 16: 7-8;11

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Anglican Church in North America Announces the introduction of Texts for Common Prayer

The Anglican Church in North America is pleased to announce the release of Texts for Common Prayer.

Included here are the Offices of Daily Morning and Evening Prayer, and the Holy Communion (Long Form and Short Form), as well as Supplemental Canticles for Worship. These are all the “working” forms approved by the College of Bishops for use in the Province. Also bound with these working texts is The Ordinal which has been adopted and authorized as The Ordinal of the Province.

Read it all and note the link for the FAQ.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry

Christopher Brittain–Welcome to the global parish; Sentimentalising Anglican locality isn't helping

…while Hauerwas (following Kaye) argues that the particularity of Jesus of Nazareth becomes universalised across the globe in particular and local ways, the new challenge confronting Christians is that these different particular expressions of Christianity now sit right next to each other, thanks to a virtual 24-hour news cycle. As Anthony Giddens observes, the intensification of modern trans-national relationships is such that “local happenings are shaped by events occurring many miles away.” Social relations are being “lifted out” out their local contexts and restructured across time and space. Thus a bishop is consecrated in New Hampshire, and immediately an Archbishop in Nigeria responds. An Episcopal election is contested in Tanzania, and bloggers across the globe instantly construct conspiracy theories. When Justin Welby announces that he won’t be attending GAFCON II because he must baptise a new heir to the throne, it quickly becomes an object of scrutiny in Florida.

This reality suggests that the calls to return to a focus on the local parish by Hauerwas and Jensen require considerable modification. When Jensen warns against Christians “talking only to each other and becoming increasingly incomprehensible to those on the outside,” we should imagine this issue not simply as being limited to the Diocese of Sydney and its local community, but recognise that it applies to a much more expansive community “on the outside.” Similarly, when Hauerwas suggests that Christians need to “learn to be where we are,” the image that should come to mind is not of some small country village, but the global village.

If the Anglican Communion is to manage – as Hauerwas (following Kaye) puts it – “to maintain catholicity without Leviathan,” it will only do so after coming to terms with the compression of space and time that has been produced by contemporary patterns of communication and travel.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, - Anglican: Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Church History, Church of England (CoE), Ethics / Moral Theology, Globalization, History, Parish Ministry, Science & Technology, Theology

(CT) Ed Stetzer–New Research: Bad Choices Burden Americans

Regret weighs down many Americans. According to a new study from LifeWay Research, almost half feel the weight of a bad choice from their past, even though a vast majority believe God gives second chances.

When asked to respond to the statement, “I am dealing with the consequences of a bad decision,” 47 percent of respondents agree.

While self-defined Protestant or non-denominational Christians are less likely to agree (42 percent), a majority (51 percent) of those who said they are a born-again, evangelical or fundamentalist Christian agree they are still dealing with a wrong choice from their past.

Recognizing a sizeable percentage of people are suffering consequences from past mistakes allows Christians to show grace, according to Ed Stetzer, president of LifeWay Research.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Theology