Daily Archives: November 1, 2013

A Prayer for All Saints Day (III)

We thank thee, O God, for the saints of all ages; for those who in times of darkness kept the lamp of faith burning; for the great souls who saw visions of larger truths and dared to declare them; for the multitude of quiet and gracious souls whose presence has purified and sanctified the world; and for those known and loved by us, who have passed from this earthly fellowship into the fuller life with thee. Accept this our thanksgiving through Jesus Christ, our Mediator and Redeemer, to whom be praise and dominion for ever.

–Fellowship Litanies

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Spirituality/Prayer

(Guardian) Iran Lawmakers Pass Bill Allowing Men to Marry Adopted Daughters at Ages as young as 13

Parliamentarians in Iran have passed a bill to protect the rights of children which includes a clause that allows a man to marry his adopted daughter and while she is as young as 13 years.

Activists have expressed alarm that the bill, approved by parliament on Sunday, opens the door for the caretaker of a family to marry his or her adopted child if a court rules it is in the interests of the individual child.

Read it all (from September and from the queue of should-have-already-been-posted).

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Children, Ethics / Moral Theology, Iran, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Middle East, Theology

(WSJ) Sarah Pulliam Bailey: A Note of Caution on Christian Adoptions

International adoption is full of ethical and financial challenges, largely because adoptive children are coming from poor countries with opaque bureaucracies, and agencies stand to gain thousands of dollars per child. “The movement has ignored and minimized those challenges,” says David Smolin, director for the Center for Children, Law, and Ethics, at Cumberland School of Law in Birmingham, Ala.

Mr. Smolin, who describes himself as an evangelical, is the father of six biological children and two girls adopted from India. Fifteen years ago, he and his wife discovered that their adopted daughters had been stolen from their birth parents. “We went through a horrible learning experience,” Mr. Smolin says. “It’s very frustrating to me that the movement arose while these problems still existed.” He thinks evangelical groups need to “emphasize other kinds of interventions,” including finding extended family to care for the child in his or her home country.

Read it all.

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

(Church Times) GAFCON to be ”˜an Anglican province’ in all but name

The Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) will effectively provide for Anglican traditionalists the fellowship and support that provinces give to dioceses, Dr Peter Jensen, a former Archbishop of Sydney, Australia, told the Church Times at the close of the GAFCON conference in Nairobi last week….

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, GAFCON II 2013, Global South Churches & Primates

Bishop Jack Iker Offers some Thoughts on Gafcon II

I am grateful to God for my recent experiences as a participant in the second Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON2), which met October 21-26 in Nairobi, Kenya. With nearly 1400 delegates from around the world, it was the largest conference of faithful Anglicans in history! Over 330 Bishops attended (30 of whom were Archbishops), and they brought with them priests and laity from almost 40 different countries. They embodied the richly diverse constituency of the global Anglican Communion. No other international gathering has represented so many Anglicans.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, GAFCON II 2013, Global South Churches & Primates

(Pew Research Center) Is Divorce Contagious?

As if married people don’t have enough to worry about, a new study suggests that the divorce of a friend or close relative dramatically increases the chances that you too will divorce.

A research team headed by Rose McDermott of Brown University analyzed three decades of data on marriage, divorce and remarriage collected from thousands of residents of Framingham, Massachusetts.

McDermott and her colleagues found that study participants were 75% more likely to become divorced if a friend is divorced and 33% more likely to end their marriage if a friend of a friend is divorced.

Read it all.

Posted in Uncategorized

Beeson Divinity School offering a Certificate of Anglican Studies

The Certificate of Anglican Studies aims to help the student deepen in the knowledge of Anglican belief, practice, worship, and spirituality.

This certificate is only awarded with the successful completion of either the M.Div. or M.A.T.S. degree through Beeson Divinity School. Certain courses completed within those degree programs also count towards the C.A.S and are outlined below. Some of the courses that satisfy the requirements are taught exclusively in January and Summer terms.

Read it all.

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

Bishop Mark Lawrence's sermon at the dedication of Chr/St. Paul's new Building, All Saints Day 2008

“..the Christian life is a team sport…” Good stuff.

Listen to it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Theology

Our Best Wishes to Bishop Geoffrey Rowell who retires on All Saints Day 2013

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Europe

A Prayer for All Saints Day (II)

Almighty and Everlasting God,
who dost enkindle the flame of Thy love in the hearts of the saints,
grant unto us the same faith and power of love;
that, as we rejoice in their triumphs
we may profit by their examples, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer for All Saints Day (I)

Almighty God,
who hast knit together thine elect
in one communion and fellowship
in the mystical body of Your Son, Christ our Lord:
Give us grace so to follow Your blessed saints
in all virtuous and godly living,
that we may come
to those ineffable joys
that thou hast prepared for those
who unfeignedly love thee;
through the same Jesus Christ our Lord,
who with thee and the Holy Spirit liveth and reigneth,
one God, in glory everlasting. Amen

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Bible Readings

When he opened the sixth seal, I looked, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth, the full moon became like blood, and the stars of the sky fell to the earth as the fig tree sheds its winter fruit when shaken by a gale; the sky vanished like a scroll that is rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place. Then the kings of the earth and the great men and the generals and the rich and the strong, and every one, slave and free, hid in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains, calling to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand before it?”

After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth, that no wind might blow on earth or sea or against any tree. Then I saw another angel ascend from the rising of the sun, with the seal of the living God, and he called with a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm earth and sea, saying, “Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God upon their foreheads.” And I heard the number of the sealed, a hundred and forty-four thousand sealed, out of every tribe of the sons of Israel….

–Revelation 6:12-7:4

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(RNS) Fewer home-school families cite religion as their main motivation for the endeavor

When Jennifer Pedersen-Giles started to home-school her son Westen six years ago, it was because he needed a more hands-on environment than what public schools could offer. Now the eighth-grader studies writing, music, art, geometry, literature and world religions from his home in Arizona.

Religion, in other words, had nothing to do with his mother’s decision.

She’s not alone. According to the federally funded National Center for Education Statistics, the share of parents who cited “religious or moral instruction” as their primary motivation for home-schooling has dropped from 36 percent in 2007 to just 16 percent during the 2011-12 school year.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Children, Education, Marriage & Family, Religion & Culture, Theology

(CNN Belief Blog) For some Wiccans, Halloween involves being a real Witch

Like lots of people, when October 31 rolls around, Trey Capnerhurst dons a pointy hat and doles out candy to children who darken the door of her cottage in Alberta.

But she’s not celebrating Halloween. In fact, she kind of hates it.

Capnerhurst says she’s a real, flesh-and-blood witch, and Halloween stereotypes of witches as broom-riding hags drive her a bit batty.

“Witches are not fictional creatures,” the 45-year-old wrote in a recent article….

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Canada, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Theology, Wicca / paganism

Happy Reformation Day to All Blog Readers

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Church History

(Family Studies) Life Before Marriage: Does What Happens in Vegas Stay in Vegas?

In the late 1990s, I heard sociologist David Popenoe make a brilliant observation out of a few obvious facts. He noted that there was an increasingly long period of time in human development between when people mature sexually and when they marry. This growing period of time would, he observed, provide the average American young person with a lot of practice at being non-monogamous (or, at best, serious experience with serial monogamy). He suggested that this would undermine success in marriage.

If the average person can have sex and even make a baby by age 14, and the average person marries at age 27, we’re talking a 13-year period with a lot of independence and (for many) relatively few responsibilities. That’s Vegas.

So does what happens in Vegas stay in Vegas? Most of the time, no. What happens in romantic and sexual relationships before one settles down can negatively impact the options one will have moving forward in life. But many people do not believe that, as it runs counter to the tide of messages, media, and culture that support the Vegas Syndrome.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Men, Psychology, Sexuality, Sociology, Theology, Women, Young Adults