Daily Archives: November 12, 2013

C of E hits back at Secular Society in row over ditching religion from Remembrance Day ceremony

The Church of England has criticised the National Secular Society’s call for Christian ritual to have no role in the Remembrance Day ceremony at the Cenotaph, dismissing the organisation as “rather sad”.

In the lead up to today’s commemoration service, Norman Bonney, a director of the National Secular Society, argued that the Cenotaph was created as a secular memorial and should be treated as such.

But the Church’s director of communications, Rev Arun Arora has hit back at Bonney’s proposal. He said: “It is both misjudged and misguided for the National Secular Society to attempt to politicise Remembrance Sunday for their own ends.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Secularism

Bishop Lawrence Writes to the Diocese of S.C. on his recent journey to Marsabit, Northern Kenya

While the Imam’s call to prayer sounded earlier just below my full consciousness, it was the buzzing of a thick-bodied Wood Boring Bee that finally awakened me and ushered me into the various morning sounds of Marsabit””bird songs, cock crows, the wind in the trees outside my window, a faint voice or two from the town in the distance, and the ringing of the church bell. Six o’clock. I get up and freshen myself, make a cup of instant coffee and say Morning Prayer in the quietness of the house. How I’ve missed this time alone with You, Lord, this past week [while at GAFCON].

Now after a pleasant breakfast with Bishop Rob, his wife, Sue, and Allison, I sit out on their porch enjoying the garden and the cool late morning breeze and scrawl a few sentences in this journal. A white breasted Pie Crow caws from a tall thin-leafed tree where I notice a nest in the upper branches and a slightly moving head of a mother bird apparently brooding over her eggs or young. Is this emblematic of Your Holy Spirit this morning brooding over us””I wonder? The red bougainvillea beside the yellow-green flax, the cane brake, and the purple and white Inpatients against the red earth might just as well be the Southwestern United States””but, “No”, I tell myself, “this is Northern Kenya” and the tall, colorfully beaded women I saw yesterday at worship in Archers Post Anglican Church, stunning in their vibrant song and dance; the six various tribes and tongues represented in the small yet crowded church; the young African children delighting in our presence and reaching out their hands to greet us””even laughing as Allison put her white arm parallel with their black ones; the long arduous drive on the dirt road, the Land Rover jostling us about for hours; the herds of sheep, cattle and camels we passed along the way with the young African boys shepherding them, and the occasional warrior in colorful fabrics and feathers, dramatic against their lean bare black shoulders and chests, walking in stately stride with their weapon of choice at their side; all somewhat dream-like in my memory, yet calling me back to gratitude and prayer.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Anglican Church of Kenya, Anglican Provinces

(RealClRel) M. Anthony Mills–Our Cultural Recession

…the crisis in the humanities is no more reducible to low enrollments in the humanities at a subset of schools than the 2008 economic crisis was reducible to the risky behavior of a few financial firms. Rather, the devaluing of the humanities — even if it is only at the “top” — is a symptom and cause of a crisis in our public sphere: a cultural recession.

Like our current economic one, this recession has not meted out punishment fairly. The Great Recession did not herald the end of haute couture and multimillion-dollar condos — even though consumer spending plummeted and the housing bubble burst. So too the cultural recession does not entail the end of our culture of letters and its institutions.

There still are, and will remain, elite institutions and publications, and hence kinds of discourse prerequisite for participation in various cultural and political spheres. And there are, and will remain, readers and writers willing and able to participate in them. But participation is no longer part and parcel of being an informed citizen. The requisite skills and a common knowledge base can no longer be taken for granted.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Economy, Education, History, Philosophy, Politics in General

A Serious Prayer request for the South Carolina Clergy/Clergy Spouse Conference This week

I do not often do this but regular blog readers know there is a lot going on in the diocese and I mean it when I say it is a heartfelt request–KSH.

You may find information about it here.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Marriage & Family, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Spirituality/Prayer

Diocese of South Carolina New Church Plant–Grace Parish, North Myrtle Beach

Bishop Mark J. Lawrence, the 14th Bishop of the Diocese of South Carolina [was]… in North Myrtle Beach on Sunday, November 10 for the official launching of a new church.

Grace Parish is the newest congregation in the Diocese of South Carolina. Bishop Lawrence, will commission the church plant team and perform a service of confirmation at 3 p.m. at the J. Bryan Floyd Community Center at 1030 Possum Trot Road in North Myrtle Beach.

“We may be small,” says Vicar Linda Manuel, who leads the parish locally, “But our God is big, and we believe that small things done with great love will change the world!”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * South Carolina, Parish Ministry

Paul Carr: Are the Priorities and Concerns of Charles Simeon Relevant for Today?

In closing, permit me to highlight three areas of Simeon’s ministry which have greatly challenged me in my reflections and which, if we were to follow them, would have the potential to rejuvenate our ministry.

1 Giving priority to an effective devotional lifestyle, with a commitment to spending ”˜quality’ time in Bible study and prayer.

2 A commitment to living a holy life, recognizing the need of the renewing and cleansing power of the Holy Spirit in our daily lives.

3 That, along with Simeon, our understanding of the purpose of our preaching would be: ”˜Sir, we would see Jesus’ (John 12:21).

Read it all.

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

Albert Mohler on Charles Simeon Day: How Will They Hear Without a Preacher?

England, of course, is the nation that once gave us preachers the likes of Charles Simeon, Charles Spurgeon, and Martyn Lloyd-Jones. Now, with the rare and blessed exception of some faithful evangelical churches, preaching has fallen on desperate times.

Some observers of British life now estimate that in any given week Muslim attendance at mosques outnumbers Christian attendance at churches. That means that there are probably now in Britain more people who listen to imams than to preachers.

This raises an interesting question: Is the marginalization of biblical preaching in so many churches a cause or a result of the nation’s retreat from Christianity? In truth, it must be both cause and effect. In any event, there is no hope for a recovery of biblical Christianity without a preceding recovery of biblical preaching. That means preaching that is expository, textual, evangelistic, and doctrinal. In other words, preaching that will take a lot longer than ten minutes and will not masquerade as a form of entertainment.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church History, Church of England (CoE), Evangelicals, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Preaching / Homiletics, Theology, Theology: Scripture

Charles Simeon–Evangelical Mentor and Model

When Simeon moved to put benches in the aisles, the church wardens threw them out. He battled with discouragement and at one point wrote out his resignation.

“When I was an object of much contempt and derision in the university,” he later wrote, “I strolled forth one day, buffeted and afflicted, with my little Testament in my hand ”¦ The first text which caught my eye was this: ‘They found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name; him they compelled to bear his cross.'”

Slowly the pews began to open up and fill, not primarily with townspeople but with students. Then Simeon did what was unthinkable at the time: he introduced an evening service. He invited students to his home on Sundays and Friday evening for “conversation parties” to teach them how to preach. By the time he died, it is estimated that one-third of all the Anglican ministers in the country had sat under his teaching at one time or another.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church History, Church of England (CoE), Evangelicals, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry

Charles Simeon on Temptation on his Feast Day

The agency of Satan in the affairs of man cannot be doubted by any one who really believes the representations given us in this inspired volume. His great employment from the very first has been to seduce men to sin.

—-Charles Simeon, Horae Homileticae MCCLXXVI

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Evangelicals, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Theology

John Piper on Charles Simeon: We Must Not Mind a Little Suffering

He grew downward in humiliation before God, and he grew upward in his adoration of Christ.

Handley Moule captures the essence of Simeon’s secret of longevity in this sentence: “‘Before honor is humility,’ and he had been ‘growing downwards’ year by year under the stern discipline of difficulty met in the right way, the way of close and adoring communion with God” (Moule, 64). Those two things were the heartbeat of Simeon’s inner life: growing downward in humility and growing upward in adoring communion with God.

But the remarkable thing about humiliation and adoration in the heart of Charles Simeon is that they were inseparable. Simeon was utterly unlike most of us today who think that we should get rid once and for all of feelings of vileness and unworthiness as soon as we can. For him, adoration only grew in the freshly plowed soil of humiliation for sin. So he actually labored to know his true sinfulness and his remaining corruption as a Christian.

I have continually had such a sense of my sinfulness as would sink me into utter despair, if I had not an assured view of the sufficiency and willingness of Christ to save me to the uttermost. And at the same time I had such a sense of my acceptance through Christ as would overset my little bark, if I had not ballast at the bottom sufficient to sink a vessel of no ordinary size. (Moule 134f.)

He never lost sight of the need for the heavy ballast of his own humiliation. After he had been a Christian forty years he wrote,

With this sweet hope of ultimate acceptance with God, I have always enjoyed much cheerfulness before men; but I have at the same time laboured incessantly to cultivate the deepest humiliation before God. I have never thought that the circumstance of God’s having forgiven me was any reason why I should forgive myself; on the contrary, I have always judged it better to loathe myself the more, in proportion as I was assured that God was pacified towards me (Ezekiel 16:63). . . . There are but two objects that I have ever desired for these forty years to behold; the one is my own vileness; and the other is, the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ: and I have always thought that they should be viewed together; just as Aaron confessed all the sins of all Israel whilst he put them on the head of the scapegoat. The disease did not keep him from applying to the remedy, nor did the remedy keep him from feeling the disease. By this I seek to be, not only humbled and thankful, but humbled in thankfulness, before my God and Saviour continually. (Carus, 518f.)

Please do read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church History, Church of England (CoE), Evangelicals, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Theology

Charles Simeon as described by (Bishop of Calcutta) Daniel Wilson

He stood for many years alone””he was long opposed, ridiculed, shunned””his doctrines were misrepresented””his little peculiarities of voice and manner were satirized””disturbances were frequently raised in his church or he was a person not taken into account, nor considered in the light of a regular clergyman in the church.

–as quoted in William Carus, Memoirs of the Life of the Rev. Charles Simeon (New York: Robert Carter, 1848), p.39

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church History, Church of England (CoE), Evangelicals, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Charles Simeon

O loving God, who orderest all things by thine unerring wisdom and unbounded love: Grant us in all things to see thy hand; that, following the example and teaching of thy servant Charles Simeon, we may walk with Christ in all simplicity, and serve thee with a quiet and contented mind; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

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

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Look upon our lives, O Lord our God, and make them thine in Lithe power of thy Holy Spirit; that we may walk in thy way, faithfully believing thy Word, and faithfully doing thy commandments; faithfully serving thee, and faithfully serving our neighbour; to the furtherance of thy glorious kingdom, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings from of old,

things that we have heard and known, that our fathers have told us.

We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the LORD, and his might, and the wonders which he has wrought.

He established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers to teach to their children;

that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children,

so that they should set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments….

–Psalm 78:2-7

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(USA Today) In Pictures–Veterans Day across the USA

Do take the time to look at all of them (and note that the arrow to go to the next picture is the dark one nearest the picture not the white one outside the picture [which will take you to another story in the paper]). My personal favorites were the Vietnam Memorial with the wonderful fall colors behind it, and the 93 year old veteran in Texas singing the national anthem–KSH.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, History, Military / Armed Forces, Photos/Photography

(Globe and Mail) Rick Hansen–The thing about veterans: They make a difference

Remembrance Day is one of the most important days we have on our national calendar ”“ a time, as the leaves fall and take us into winter, to reflect back on the men and women who have given it all for their country, community, family and friends.

It’s a tribute to a simple truth in life: Ordinary men and women are what make a difference in the world, in big and small ways.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Canada, Death / Burial / Funerals, History, Military / Armed Forces, Parish Ministry

Local Paper Editorial–Honoring America’s veterans

The shadows are lengthening for me. The twilight is here. My days of old have vanished ”“ tone and tint. They have gone glimmering through the dream of things that were. Their memory is one of wondrous beauty, watered by tears and coaxed and caressed by the smiles of yesterday. I listen vainly, but with thirsty ear, for the witching melody of faint bugles blowing reveille, of far drums beating the long roll.

In my dreams I hear again the crash of guns, the rattle of musketry, the strange, mournful mutter of the battlefield. But in the evening of my memory always I come back to West Point. Always there echoes and re-echoes: Duty, honor, country.”

”” General of the Army Douglas MacArthur, at the U.S. Military Academy, May 12, 1962

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, History, Media, Military / Armed Forces

A Personal Challenge to Blog readers on Veterans Day 2013: Listen to a War Letter some time Today

There is a fabulous resource for this courtesy of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. There are many themes from which to choose, and various letters to see the text of and listen to. Take a moment a drink at least one in, and, if you have a moment, tell us your thoughts in the comments.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, History, Military / Armed Forces

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

”“Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)

In thanksgiving for all those who gave their lives for this country in years past, and for those who continue to serve”“KSH.

P.S. The circumstances which led to this remarkable poem are well worth remembering:

It is a lasting legacy of the terrible battle in the Ypres salient in the spring of 1915 and to the war in general. McCrea had spent seventeen days treating injured men — Canadians, British, French, and Germans in the Ypres salient. McCrae later wrote: “I wish I could embody on paper some of the varied sensations of that seventeen days… Seventeen days of Hades! At the end of the first day if anyone had told us we had to spend seventeen days there, we would have folded our hands and said it could not have been done.” The next day McCrae witnessed the burial of a good friend, Lieut. Alexis Helmer. Later that day, sitting on the back of an ambulance parked near the field dressing station, McCrea composed the poem. A young NCO, delivering mail, watched him write it. When McCrae finished writing, he took his mail from the soldier and, without saying a word, handed his pad to the Sergeant-major. Cyril Allinson was moved by what he read: “The poem was exactly an exact description of the scene in front of us both. He used the word blow in that line because the poppies actually were being blown that morning by a gentle east wind. It never occurred to me at that time that it would ever be published. It seemed to me just an exact description of the scene.” Colonel McCrae was dissatisfied with the poem, and tossed it away. A fellow officer retrieved it and sent it to newspapers in England. The Spectator, in London, rejected it, but Punch published it on 8 December 1915. For his contributions as a surgeon, the main street in Wimereaux is named “Rue McCrae”.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Death / Burial / Funerals, Defense, National Security, Military, Eschatology, Military / Armed Forces, Parish Ministry, Poetry & Literature, Theology

Notable and Quotable for Veteran's Day 2013

“When You Go Home, Tell Them Of Us And Say, For Their Tomorrow, We Gave Our Today”

— On many memorials to the dead in war worldwide, as for example that for the British 2nd Division at Kohima, India; there is a debate about its precise origins in terms of who first penned the lines

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Death / Burial / Funerals, History, Military / Armed Forces, Parish Ministry

My Favorite Veteran's Story of the last Few Years–An ESPN piece on the Saratoga WarHorse Program

Warrior and Warhorse from The Seventh Movement on Vimeo.

Saratoga Springs, N.Y., famous for its historic racetrack, is among the most idyllic places in America. But on a recent fall weekend, not far from the track, horses were serving a different mission: retired thoroughbreds were recruited to help returning veterans at Song Hill Farm. A group from the US Army 2nd Battalion, 135th infantry, united in grief over the death of a fellow solider, gathered for the first time in five years to be part of Saratoga Warhorse, a three-day program that pairs veterans with horses. Tom Rinaldi reports the emotional story of the veterans, paired with their horses, undergoing a rebirth of trust and taking a first step toward healing.

Watch it all, and, yes, you will likely need kleenex–KSH.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * General Interest, Animals, Anthropology, Health & Medicine, Iraq War, Pastoral Theology, Psychology, Theology, War in Afghanistan

Veteran's Day Music–Fifty Thousand Names Carved In The Wall ~ George Jones

Listen to it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Defense, National Security, Military, History, Music

A Profile of Rita Brock–A Minister Tending to Veterans’ Afflictions of the Soul

The personal and the pastoral…both inform Ms. [Rita] Brock’s work. She writes about her father in her recent book “Soul Repair: Recovering from Moral Injury after War.” Her co-author, Gabriella Lettini, is a theologian whose extended family includes veterans emotionally damaged by wartime experience. In the Soul Repair Center, Ms. Brock collaborates with the Rev. Herman Keizer Jr., who was an Army chaplain for 40 years.

Over the past three years, Ms. Brock and Ms. Lettini have spoken about moral injury and soul repair at the American Academy of Religion’s annual meeting and at denominational gatherings of Presbyterians and Unitarian Universalists.

Now, with a $650,000 two-year grant from the Lilly Endowment and the formal support of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), the Soul Repair Center is beginning to teach congregational leaders how to address moral injury in veterans. The first such training session will take place in early February.

Read it all, a story worth revisiting today from January.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anthropology, Defense, National Security, Military, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Iraq War, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Theology, War in Afghanistan

Remembering Them in the UK

Concert and Two Minutes Silence from Trafalgar Square this morning

Matins and Act of Remembrance from Trinity College Cambridge [click second item ‘Liturgy’ to play]

Faure’s Requiem and Communion from Trinity College, Cambridge

Remembrance Service held in Camp Bastion

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Military / Armed Forces