Daily Archives: December 7, 2013

Episcopal Diocese under Bishop Iker files response motion with TX Supreme Court

As planned, the Diocese filed a motion today in response to the TEC parties’ petition for rehearing before the state Supreme Court. Our response was submitted at the request of the Court. You may read it [at the link provided when you click below].

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Fort Worth

(RNS) Tobin Grant–The number one target for religious lobbyists isn’t what you think

Which bill in Congress affects the deficit, abortion funding, gay rights, religious liberty, peace, nuclear arms, Israel, and even homeschooling? The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

We reviewed the lobbying activity of over 300 religious interest groups. Of the over 500 bills that these interest groups lobbied on over the past two years, the annual defense spending bills were, by far, the biggest target of their advocacy.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Defense, National Security, Military, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

Machester United Lose…Again

They just don’t have the spark so far this season, the sole exception being the game against Arsenal.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, England / UK, Sports

(First Things) Dana Gioia–Encouraging Catholic writers to renovate and reoccupy their own tradition

(Dana Gioia is one of my favorite living poets, please make sure to read, if you have not, the two previous posts both here and [especially] there)–KSH.

Roman Catholicism now ranks overwhelmingly as the largest religious denomination in the United States, with more than sixty-eight million members. (By contrast, the second largest group, Southern Baptists, has sixteen million members.) Representing almost one-quarter of the American population, Catholics also constitute the largest cultural minority in the nation. Supporting its historical claim of being the “universal” church, American Catholicism displays vast ethnic, national, linguistic, and social diversity. (In my first parish in Washington, D.C., it was not unusual at Mass to see congressional staffers, Central American immigrants, and urban homeless share the same pew.) While most Protestant churches continue to decline, Catholicism has grown steadily for the past two hundred years through a combination of immigration, births, and conversions. On purely demographic grounds, one would expect to see a huge and growing Catholic presence in the American fine arts.

If one asked an arts journalist to identify a major living painter or sculptor, playwright or choreographer, composer or poet, who was a practicing Catholic, the critic, I suspect, would be unable to offer a single name. He or she could surely identify a few ex-Catholics, such as Andres Serrano, Terrence McNally, or Mark Adamo, who use religious subject matter for satire, censure, or shock value. Catholic exposé is now a mainstream literary genre, from the farcical (Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All for You) to the tendentious (The Gospel of Mary Magdalene). If the question were expanded to include novelists””the most sociological of major art forms””a well-informed literary critic might offer a few names such as Ron Hansen or Alice McDermott, authors whose subject matter is often overtly Catholic. Those few figures would account for most of the Catholic artists visible in our culture. The journalist’s immediate reaction, however, would be to consider the question itself naive or silly.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Other Churches, Poetry & Literature, Roman Catholic

(Washington Post) Paul Taylor–Nelson Mandela knew how to deploy the moral high ground

When, after 27 years, Nelson Mandela was finally released from prison, the world marveled at his generous spirit, even temperament, genteel manners, disarming wit, ready smile and lack of bitterness.

Admirable as they were, those saintly virtues don’t begin to explain his political genius. Mandela was also cunning, iron-willed, bull-headed, contemptuous ”” and more embittered than he let on. He needed all of his traits ”” soft and hard ”” to engineer a political miracle: persuading a sitting government to negotiate its own abdication by yielding power to the very people it had ruthlessly oppressed.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Death / Burial / Funerals, History, Parish Ministry, Politics in General, Race/Race Relations, South Africa, Violence

Former President Bill Clinton speaks to NBC's Brian Williams about Nelson Mandela

What’s the most indelible time of all the personal time– and you had some intense personal time with him? Is there any one you can separate out?

Watch it all to hear Bill Clinton’s answer (just under 2 3/4 minutes).

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anthropology, Death / Burial / Funerals, Ethics / Moral Theology, Office of the President, Parish Ministry, Politics in General, South Africa, Theology

(BBC) Colin Powell remembers 'the real Nelson Mandela'

Mr Powell said that Mr Mandela was a guide to him when he became the first black US secretary of state:

What I liked telling people was I was the first secretary of state who happened to be black, and I put that descriptor behind the title. We have to get beyond these labels depending upon your gender or your colour or your background. I’m proud of being black, and I’m proud of being an immigrant of British subjects, but at the same time I want to be seen as an American. And I think Nelson Mandela was able to create that kind of an image within South Africa. We are not black South Africans or white South Africans, we are South Africans who happen to be black or white. We are one family, one nation, one people.

Read it all and watch the whole video clip (approximately 3 1/4 minutes).

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Death / Burial / Funerals, Defense, National Security, Military, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, History, Parish Ministry, Politics in General, Race/Race Relations, Theology

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Saint Ambrose

O God, who didst give to thy servant Ambrose grace eloquently to declare thy righteousness in the great congregation, and fearlessly to bear reproach for the honor of thy Name: Mercifully grant to all bishops and pastors such excellency in preaching, and fidelity in ministering thy Word, that thy people may be partakers with them of the glory that shall be revealed; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

Posted in Uncategorized

Archbishop Wabukala: GAFCON Chairman’s Advent Letter

..The Church of England has just released what is known as the Pilling Report, the conclusions of a Working Group commissioned by the House of Bishops to report and make recommendations on issues of human sexuality. I am sorry to say that it is very flawed. If this report is accepted I have no doubt that the Church of England, the Mother Church of the Communion, will have made a fateful decision. It will have chosen the same path as The Episcopal Church of the United States and the Anglican Church of Canada with all the heartbreak and division that will bring.

The problem is not simply that the Report proposes that parish churches should be free to hold public services for the blessing of homosexual relationships, but the way it justifies this proposal. Against the principle of Anglican teaching, right up to and beyond the Lambeth Conference of 1998, it questions the possibility that the Church can speak confidently on the basis of biblical authority and sees its teaching as essentially provisional. So Resolution 1.10 of the 1998 Lambeth conference, which affirmed that homosexual practice was ”˜incompatible with Scripture’ and said it could ”˜not advise the legitimisation or blessing of same sex relationships’, is undermined both in practice and in principle.

The proposal to allow public services for the blessing of same sex relationships is seen as a provisional measure and the Report recommends a two-year process of ”˜facilitated conversation’ throughout the Church of England which is likened to the ”˜Continuing Indaba’ project. This should be a warning to us because it highlights that the unspoken assumption of Anglican Indaba is that the voice of Scripture is not clear. This amounts to a rejection of the conviction expressed in the Thirty-nine Articles that the Bible as ”˜God’s Word written’ is a clear and effective standard for faith and conduct.

As a matter of conscience, one member of the Working Group, the Rt Rev’d Keith Sinclair, Bishop of Birkenhead, was unable to sign the Report. He issued a dissenting statement which I strongly endorse as an alternative way forward which honours the authority of Scripture and expresses a deep pastoral concern for the transforming power of the gospel in a society which is moving into ever greater confusion about sexual morality and identity.

We should pray earnestly that the English House of Bishops steps back from endorsing this Report, but the developing situation in the Church of England, the historic Mother Church of the Communion, underlines the need for our Global Fellowship to build on the success of GAFCON 2013 and implement our commitments. As we noted in the Nairobi Communiqué, the GFCA is becoming an ”˜ important and effective instrument of Communion during a period in which other instruments of Communion have failed both to uphold gospel priorities in the Church, and to heal the divisions among us.’

Read it all

Posted in * Admin, * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Featured (Sticky)

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O God, Father of mercies, who didst so love the world that thou didst give thine only begotten Son to take our nature upon him for us men and for our salvation: Grant to us who by his first coming have been called into thy kingdom of grace, that we may always abide in him, and be found watching and ready when he shall come again to call us to thy kingdom of glory; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.

–The Rev. Henry Stobart (1824-1895)

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

Some boast of chariots, and some of horses; but we boast of the name of the LORD our God. They will collapse and fall; but we shall rise and stand upright. Give victory to the king, O LORD; answer us when we call.

–Psalm 20:7-9

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

A Prayer for the Church of England

Note: The CofE House of Bishops consider the Pilling Report at their meeting on Tuesday, December 10th. Please pray for Christ’s Church of England.

A prayer by R. Samuel, received via email”“
Almighty God,
we repent of our sins
and ask for saving grace
to rescue us from impending

In every imaginable way
we have strayed from your
paths; gone to bed with Satan
and allowed the Spirit of Babel
to deceive us.

Deliver us from false cries of “revelance”;
disperse the darkness with your fiery light.
Let the evil one taste
afresh the blade of your Word.
Let Christ’s truth strengthen
us, especially the brethren in
the COE. Stir hearts and raise
a mighty intercession for your
Holy Bride in the UK.

Grant wisdom to your Bishops
as they deliberate over the report
and give them, especially the ones
who love your Word, the courage
to stand firm and to
testify to the Truth. Bind them
close to yourself, as they
speak the truth in love. Let
Holy resolve prevail in this dark

We pray in Jesus Name! Amén

From Lent and Beyond

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE)

(RNS) Shaped by Methodists, Mandela paid tribute to the role of religion

Nelson Mandela, the former South African president who died Thursday (Dec. 5), had a deep connection with religious institutions.

Mandela was educated, first at Clarkebury and then at Healdtown, Methodist boarding schools that provided a Christian liberal arts education.

“Both were important influences on his life,” said Presiding Bishop Zipho Siwa of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa. “Indeed, after his time at Clarkebury, the young Mandela said his horizons had been broadened.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Africa, History, Methodist, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, South Africa

***Fantastic Video Tribute to Nelson Mandela Narrated by Morgan Freeman on ESPN***

Nelson Mandela was honored with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the 2009 ESPY’s. Morgan Freeman pays tribute to Mandela’s actions at the 1995 Rugby World Cup.

Watch it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Death / Burial / Funerals, Parish Ministry, South Africa, Sports