Daily Archives: March 28, 2014

(CT) Kay Warren: A Year of Grieving Dangerously

The response to your Facebook post has been staggering. Was it written on the fly or what?

In the last month, there were four instances where I was subtly or not subtly moved along. I was having lunch with a mother younger than I am who was recently bereaved. Her loss was 14 months ago. I said, “Before the one-year mark was up, did you have people telling you, hinting or saying to you that you should move on?” I asked other people who had lost children. I was hearing the same story. It just made me mad. I jotted off that Facebook post and have been completely astounded by the response””3,780,000 views and more than 10,000 comments.

Aren’t most of the comments supportive?

Somebody wrote, “I want to print words around my neck that say, ‘Please just read Kay Warren’s Facebook post.'”

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, --Social Networking, Blogging & the Internet, Children, Ethics / Moral Theology, Evangelicals, Marriage & Family, Mental Illness, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Theology, Young Adults

(WSJ) Religious Groups Split on 'Noah' Film

Even before the rain fell, there were questions.

Would “Noah” the big-budget action movie from Paramount Pictures, alienate the faithful? Would it attract the secular masses it needs to earn back its $125 million production budget? And most importantly, would Hollywood’s splashy return to biblical epics float with key religious leaders?

Already, some of those leaders who have seen it say the movie””which opens Friday and is loaded with special effects””takes liberties with the Bible account. Some Christian leaders argue the film repurposes the book of Genesis as a modern-day environmentalist parable, layered with details not found in scripture.

Three Arab countries are even refusing to release the movie….

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Movies & Television, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Theology, Theology: Scripture

Equality and Human Rights Commission publishes guidance on marriage of same sex couples

The guidance shows that under the new legislation:
Ӣ Same sex couples will be able to get married in England and Wales and those marriages will be recognised in law (subject to meeting legal requirements).
Ӣ Same sex married couples will be treated in the same way as opposite sex married couples in most circumstances.
Ӣ Religious organisations can choose to opt in to conduct marriages for same sex couples. But no one can compel the organisations or their officials to participate in religious marriages of same sex couples if they do not wish to do so. Religious freedom is specifically protected under human rights law.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Religion & Culture, Sexuality

(Law & Religion UK) Same-sex Marriage (Priests) ”“ Church Commissioners’ Qtns

Mr Ben Bradshaw (Exeter) (Lab): What the Church of England’s policy is on priests entering a same-sex marriage; and what guidance has been given on what would happen to a priest who did so.

Sir Tony Baldry: Clergy and ordinands remain free to enter into civil partnerships. The House of Bishops in its pastoral guidance distributed on 15 February said that it was not willing for those in same-sex marriages to be ordained to any of the three orders of ministry””deacon, clergy or bishops””and that

“it would not be appropriate conduct for someone in holy orders to enter into a same-sex marriage, given the need for clergy to model the Church’s teaching in their lives”.

As with any alleged instance of misconduct, each case would have to be considered individually by the local diocesan bishop.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)

Tripadvisor names top Baseball Parks in America, PNC is Pittsburgh is #1

With the start of the baseball season set for this weekend, TripAdvisor has announced its Top 10 Ballparks in America.

Chicago’s Wrigley Field was listed 8th, with PNC Park in Pittsburgh taking the top spot.

1. PNC Park, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Located on Pittsburgh’s North Shore, this ballpark offers stunning views of the Steel City skyline, the Allegheny River, and the Roberto Clemente Bridge. Fans can chow down on local fare including potato pirogues and Primanti Brothers sandwiches stuffed with French fries and coleslaw. One TripAdvisor reviewer commented, “Beautiful city views during the game. Plenty of food options and short lines for the bathrooms – not a bad seat in the stadium!”
2. Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore, Maryland….

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Sports, Urban/City Life and Issues

J.John interviews Justin Welby, the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury

Watch it all (just over one hour).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Justin Welby, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE)

Bp Mark Lawrence's Sermon from last Sunday on the Woman at the Well in John 4

“She was about to make a life changing discovery, indeed she was about to make 3 life changing discoveries…”

Listen to it all (the recording begins with the gospel reading and the sermon itself begins about 5 minutes in) should you wish to and also note that there is an option to download it.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * South Carolina, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(BBC) Sawan Masih: Pakistani Christian gets death penalty for blasphemy

A Pakistani Christian man has been sentenced to death for blasphemy, in a case which sparked fierce rioting in the eastern city of Lahore last March.

Sawan Masih was convicted of using derogatory remarks against the Prophet Mohammed in a row with a Muslim friend.

Hundreds of Muslims attacked the city’s Christian Joseph colony, torching homes, when the allegations surfaced.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Asia, Inter-Faith Relations, Islam, Law & Legal Issues, Muslim-Christian relations, Other Faiths, Pakistan, Religion & Culture, Violence

(Church Times) Graphs may have levelled off, say Anglican statisticians

Official statistics issued last week suggest that attendance at C of E churches may have levelled out after decades of decline.

A report by the Archbishops’ Council, Statistics for Mission 2012, released on Friday last week, suggests that, on an average Sunday in 2012 (the latest year with available data) about 859,000 people attended a C of E church. This compares with 901,000 in 2003.

The average weekly attendance for the Church was higher, at 1.05 million people. About one in five of those who attend a C of E service weekly are reckoned not to attend on a Sunday.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, History, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

A NY Times article on the World Vision/same sex marriage stance and then reversal

World Vision U.S., an evangelical Christian charity known for asking donors to sponsor a hungry child, set off an uproar when it announced this week that it would hire Christians in same-sex marriages.

The charity, the nation’s 10th largest, is based in Washington State, where same-sex marriage is legal, and said it intended to present a symbol of “unity” for Christians in an era when controversy over homosexuality is splintering the church.

Instead of the unity it sought, World Vision’s move was swiftly denounced by some prominent evangelical leaders as a “disaster” and a devil-inspired betrayal of biblical morality. Christians proclaimed online that they had canceled their child sponsorships. Less than 48 hours later, World Vision reversed course, calling the decision “a mistake” and pleading for forgiveness.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, Evangelicals, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Sexuality

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Almighty God, whose Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, was moved with compassion for all who had gone astray, with indignation for all who had suffered wrong: Inflame our hearts with the burning fire of thy love, that we may seek out the lost, have mercy on the fallen, and stand fast for truth and righteousness; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

And when evening came, the boat was out on the sea, and he was alone on the land. And he saw that they were making headway painfully, for the wind was against them. And about the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. He meant to pass by them, but when they saw him walking on the sea they thought it was a ghost, and cried out; for they all saw him, and were terrified. But immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take heart, it is I; have no fear.” And he got into the boat with them and the wind ceased. And they were utterly astounded, for they did not understand about the loaves, but their hearts were hardened.

–Mark 6:47-52

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

David Yeago joins NALS and Trinity School for Ministry for Theology and Ethics

Dr. David Yeago has been appointed to the faculty of the North American Lutheran Seminary and Trinity School for Ministry in Ambridge, Pennsylvania, as Professor of Systematic Theology and Ethics.

“I am honored and delighted to join the faculty at Trinity School for Ministry in partnership with the North American Lutheran Seminary,” said Dr. Yeago. “Trinity’s commitment to the historic Christian faith, focus on Biblical theology, and passion for the mission of the Gospel correspond to my own priorities as a Christian theologian. I look forward to new friendships with new colleagues as we work together to form students for service to Christ and his Gospel in the Church and in the world.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, Lutheran, Other Churches, Seminary / Theological Education, Theology

(Time) Rick Warren: Churches Must Do More to Address Mental Illness

…the church has been caring for the sick, both physically and mentally for 2,000 years longer than any government or agency. Most people are unaware that it was the Church that invented the idea of hospitals. For centuries the Church has been a refuge for the outcast, those on the margins, and anyone enduring societal stigma and shame.

Finally, studies have shown that when families or individuals experience the chaos caused by mental illness, the first place they typically call in a crisis is not a doctor, a law office, the school, or the police, but rather they call or go see their priest or pastor. Anyone who’s served as a receptionist for a church knows that they often are required to do triage in mental illness cases. Why is that? Because people instinctively know that churches are called by God to be places of refuge, comfort, guidance, and practical help for those who suffer.

It’s time to stand with those who are suffering.Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Mental Illness, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Theology

S.C. was home to all 3 of the fastest-growing metro areas on Atlantic Coast in 2013

South Carolina was home to all three of the fastest-growing metropolitan areas on the Atlantic Coast in 2013, new Census Bureau estimates say.

Greater Charleston is the largest of those metro areas, and it has accounted for nearly a third of the state’s population growth since the last census in 2010.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, Census/Census Data, Economy, The U.S. Government, Urban/City Life and Issues