Daily Archives: April 7, 2014

CT Interviews Alan Jacobs–The Book of Common Prayer Is Still a Big Deal

The Book of Common Prayer is nearly 500 years old. Does it still make a difference for how we worship today?

I suppose that would depend on who you mean by “we”””there are millions of Christians worshipping in ways unaffected by the BCP, except insofar as they share common roots in Jewish and early Christian worship. But the reach of the BCP is more extensive than one might think. It has relatively direct connections to Methodist and Lutheran worship. And the liturgical scholarship that, in the early 20th century, went into possible revisions of the Church of England’s 1662 book eventually made its way not only into modern Anglican prayer books but even had an influence on liturgical developments in the Roman Catholic Church, especially when vernacular Masses were approved at Vatican II.

And then, of course, the BCP’s rite for Holy Matrimony has spread throughout the English-speaking world. I was once a groomsman in a Unitarian wedding that used it””though with all Trinitarian references gently excised.

So all in all, the BCP’s influence on Christian worship is kind of a big deal.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, --Book of Common Prayer, Anglican Provinces, Books, Christology, Church History, Church of England (CoE), Liturgy, Music, Worship, Spirituality/Prayer, Theology, Theology: Scripture

Charleston, S.C., Area Hindu temple welcomes first priest with eye on future growth

When Dr. Shashidhar Pai moved to Charleston in 1979, the Holy City had no Hindu priest, not even a temple for prayer and celebrations. He and his family relied on a home shrine instead.

When out and about, he would approach fellow India natives he encountered and invite them to get together, working to build a small but close-knit community.

Today, there are too many for him to approach anymore.

Pai, who arrived in the U.S. in 1972, came to Charleston to join MUSC’s genetics faculty. Since then, he has seen the local Indian community blossom and, with it, the ranks of Hindu faithful, given that most Indians are born into the world’s third-largest religion.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, * South Carolina, Hinduism, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Faiths, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

(Daily Post) Assassins storm Nigerian Anglican church in Ijebu-Ode, kill high chief

An Ijebu chief, Chief Tola Okuneye was shot dead during a church service in Ijebu Igbo, Ogun State, by suspected assassins on Sunday.

Dailypost gathered that the chief was shot dead by ten armed men who stormed St. John African Church, Oke Sopen around 11am while service was ongoing.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Church of Nigeria, Ethics / Moral Theology, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Religion & Culture, Theology, Violence

(NC Rep.) Anglican, Catholic theologians host informal dialogue in England

A group of 16 prominent Anglican and Catholic theologians met for five days last week in Canterbury, England, to continue a set of informal dialogues between the two churches.

Although not officially sanctioned by either denomination, the gathering, known as the “Malines Conversations Group,” has support from both the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Christian Unity and Anglican officials in London.

At one point last week, the 16 were received together at the Anglican church’s London headquarters at Lambeth Palace where they met with both Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury and head of the Anglican Communion, and Vincent Nichols, the cardinal archbishop of the Catholic archdiocese of Westminster.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, Ecumenical Relations, Other Churches, Roman Catholic, Theology

Listen To God: Hear the Poor–Cardinal Vincent Nichols on John 13

On the first day of Archbishop Justin and Cardinal Nichols’s week of prayer for the church’s work serving the poor, watch Cardinal Nichols reflecting on today’s prayer (Psalm 72) and Bible reading (John 13:2b-5, 12-15)

Listen to it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Ecumenical Relations, England / UK, Other Churches, Poverty, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Theology, Theology: Scripture

Service in Belfast tonight to Mark 20th Anniversary of Rwandan Genocide

A service to mark the 20th Anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide will take place on Monday 7 April at 7.30 p.m. in St Anne’s Cathedral Belfast. The speaker will be the Presbyterian Moderator, The Rt Revd Dr Rob Craig.

The Revd Canon Jerome Munyangaju, Rector of Killyleagh, who ”“ along with the Dean of St Anne’s, the Very Revd John Mann ”“ will also participate in the service, said in advance of it: ”˜This year, the 7th of April marks the commemoration of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda. This 20th anniversary is an important occasion on which we remember over a million lives brutally lost in just 100 days. Their cries should have been answered, yet the international community, aware of the desperate situation, chose not to intervene. The country and its people have scarring memories of the violent killings, pain and trauma. Kwibuka (remembering) of our past helps toward the healing of our future….

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Church of Ireland, Church of Rwanda, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Ireland, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Pastoral Theology, Rwanda, Spirituality/Prayer, Theology, Violence

Bishop Mark Lawrence's Sermon on the Sermons of Jesus–Are you Auditing or Taking for Credit

Listen to it all should you wish to and also note that there is an option to download it there (using the button which says “download” underneath the link which says “listen”).

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

(Motherlode Blog) Christin Taylor–Jesus Lives, but Should He Live in My Front Yard?

[My husband and I]…both work in higher education and run in circles that are highly educated and liberal. In our community, intellect is the only viable form of religion, and the fact that I’m a Christian calls into question my intellectual grit. When my colleagues find out, they are hard-pressed to reconcile the bright, open woman they see before them with the stereotypes they understand about evangelicals. You know the ones: judgmental, anti-intellectual, homophobic, which we are not.

We are the types of young adult Christians who love our faith, but who’ve moved slightly left of center. Just enough so that we have to keep our social and political views quiet in our faith communities. On the other hand, we have to tamp down the religious talk in our work and social communities. I am constantly negotiating how much of myself to share in either group.

Nothing embodies the tension I feel around integrating my identity into both these communities like Noelle’s first explorations with faith. She is extroverted and vocal in ways I am not brave enough to be. She is unselfconscious ”” completely unaware of the stereotypes that linger around conservative faith.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Children, Evangelicals, Evangelism and Church Growth, Marriage & Family, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Spirituality/Prayer, Theology

St. Tikhon's Forgiveness Sunday Homily

Unfortunately, brethren, we do not like to acknowledge our transgressions. It would seem natural and easy for a person to know his own self, his own soul and his shortcomings. This, however, is actually not so. We are ready to attend to anything but a deeper understanding of ourselves, an investigation of our sins. We examine various things with curiosity, we attentively study friends and strangers, but when faced with solitude without extraneous preoccupation even for a short while, we immediately become bored and attempt to seek amusement. For example, do we spend much time examining our own conscience even before confession? Perhaps a few minutes, and once a year at that. Casting a cursory glance at our soul, correcting some of its more glaring faults, we immediately cover it over with the veil of oblivion until next year, until our next uncomfortable exercise in boredom.

Yet we love to observe the sins of others. Not considering the beam in our own eye, we take notice of the mote in our brother’s eye. (Matt. 7. 3) Speaking idly to our neighbor’s detriment, mocking and criticizing him are not even often considered sins but rather an innocent and amusing pastime. As if our own sins were so few! As if we had been appointed to judge others!

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Church History, Ministry of the Ordained, Orthodox Church, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics

For St. Tikhon's Feast Day–Terry Mattingly: Walking in St. Tikhon's footsteps

Early in the 20th century, some Orthodox leaders were willing to accept the “validity of Anglican orders,” meaning they believed that Anglican clergy were truly priests and bishops in the ancient, traditional meanings of those words.

“It fell apart. It fell apart on the Anglican side, with the affirmation more of a Protestant identity than a Catholic identity,” said Jonah, at the inaugural assembly of the Anglican Church in North America, held in Bedford, Texas.

“We need to pick up where they left off. The question has been: Does that Anglican church, which came so close to being declared by the other Orthodox churches a fellow Orthodox church, does that still exist?”

A voice in the crowd shouted, “It does!”

“Here, it does,” agreed Jonah, stressing the word “here.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Church History, Episcopal Church (TEC), Orthodox Church, Other Churches, TEC Bishops

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Saint Tikhon

Holy God, holy and mighty, who hast called us together into one communion and fellowship: Open our eyes, we pray thee, as you opened the eyes of thy servant Tikhon, that we may see the faithfulness of others as we strive to be steadfast in the faith delivered unto us, that the world may see and know Thee; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with thee and the Holy Spirit, be glory and praise unto ages of ages. Amen.

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

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Thanks be to thee, O Lord Jesus Christ, for all the benefits which thou hast given us, for all the pains and insults which thou hast borne for us. O most merciful Redeemer, Friend and Brother, may we know thee more clearly, love thee more dearly, and follow thee more nearly, now and for evermore.

–Richard of Chichester

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

But I trust in thee, O LORD, I say, “Thou art my God.” My times are in thy hand; deliver me from the hand of my enemies and persecutors! Let thy face shine on thy servant; save me in thy steadfast love!

–Psalm 31:15-16

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(Pysch Today) Zhana Vrangalova–The telling results of a new survey on menages à trois

Note that the content is not easy here–KSH.

As you can see in the graph below, regardless of the proposed relationship type, very few women showed interest in having a threesome with two men if given the opportunity….

Men’s desires told a different story. In the casual-sex context, men leapt at the opportunity to have a threesome with two women, their desires far surpassing the midpoint of the scale. Although this desire was lower for more involved relationship categories, men’s interest in an FMF (female-male-female) threesome still hovered at or slightly below the mid-point of the scale for both dating and committed relationship partners.

Read it all.

I will take comments on this submitted by email only to KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Canada, Men, Psychology, Sexuality, Women

Andrew Goddard: The Archbishop,Same-sex Marriage and Violence: What are the issues?

Those pressing for change therefore need seriously to attend to these complex realities and questions even though they are not as obvious and pressing for most English Anglicans in their parishes as they are for bishops whose ministry connects them with the wider church. Those of us upholding the current teaching and discipline similarly have seriously to address the complex realities and questions we face here and now with the introduction of same-sex marriage and ask those in other parts of the Communion to understand our context as we seek to understand theirs. If we can honestly and humbly acknowledge and wrestle with these challenges then the forthcoming facilitated conversations could, rather than being a belligerent stand-off, still become fruitful dialogues where we might discern together what it means for us to love God and to love our neighbours, both near and distant.

Read it all from Fulcrum.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, --Justin Welby, Africa, Anthropology, Archbishop of Canterbury, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Globalization, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Theology, Theology: Scripture, Violence

(CSM) Young Afghans speak on the future after the recent election

Afghanistan’s Mitra Hemmat: Retail entrepreneur

Mitra Hemmat has occupied rarefied air since returning from Iran to Afghanistan in 2005, where she quickly achieved status as the nation’s top student, and won a scholarship to study in India.

A doctor who wears a black headscarf with a faux diamond broach, at 28 she accepts few limits, and dreams of giving back to her country “to help my people.” She plans to serve through medicine and one day win election to parliament.

“We just want peace; we don’t want to have to think about who is the president,” says Ms. Hemmat. “If it is bad, if things change [for the worse], I will go to another country,” says Hemmat. “My passport is always in my pocket. I would not stay.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Afghanistan, Asia, History, Politics in General, Young Adults

This Weekend the Funerals Began for those who Died in the Wash. State Mudslide

Family and friends gathered Saturday at the first memorial services for victims of the massive Washington mudslide, as crews continued their search for more than a dozen people still missing.

The funeral services for Summer Raffo, 36, and Linda McPherson, 69, followed a prayer service Friday night honoring the victims, families and rescuers affected by the deadly March 22 mudslide in Oso.

“The number of victims is beyond understanding ”” many are in this room. Even if you didn’t have direct contact with someone involved, we all are victims,” said Chaplain Ralph Fry at the Friday service.

Read it all.

Posted in Uncategorized

(WSJ) Glenn Hubbard–The Unemployment Puzzle: Where Have All the Workers Gone?

A big puzzle looms over the U.S. economy: Friday’s jobs report tells us that the unemployment rate has fallen to 6.7% from a peak of 10% at the height of the Great Recession. But at the same time, only 63.2% of Americans 16 or older are participating in the labor force, which, while up a bit in March, is down substantially since 2000. As recently as the late 1990s, the U.S. was a nation in which employment, job creation and labor force participation went hand in hand. That is no longer the case.

What’s going on? Think of the labor market as a spring bash you’ve been throwing with great success for many years. You’ve sent out the invitations again, but this time the response is much less enthusiastic than at the same point in previous years.

One possibility is that you just need to beat the bushes more, using reminders of past fun as “stimulus” to get people’s attention. Another possibility is that interest has shifted away from your big party to other activities.

Economists are sorting out which of these scenarios best explains the slack numbers on labor-force participation….

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Anthropology, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Politics in General, Theology

(FT) Edward Luce–President Obama’s attention deficit diplomacy

America’s latest “reality check” came last week with the near collapse of the Arab-Israeli peace process. Having bent over backwards to keep it on track and undertaken 12 visits to the region, John Kerry, US secretary of state, is not floundering for lack of effort. Nor, as is often rumoured, has he been hung out to dry by the White House. The truth is that the US has limited sway over either side. Mr Kerry only drew attention to the US’s weak leverage last week with his offer to release Jonathan Pollard, the Israeli spy, in exchange for a minimal commitment by Israel to keep things on track. The notion was quickly booed offstage.

The US’s success as a hegemon has traditionally been about magnifying its power through friendship. Yet its ability to rally existing friends behind it and make new ones to replace them is diminishing. Last month Mr Obama made his first visit to Brussels as president to try to galvanise Europeans following Russian President Vladimir Putin’s annexation of Crimea. His speech was well received, although it was not once interrupted by applause. Yet there is little sign that his visit succeeded in persuading Germany, Britain and others to take a radically tougher line on Russia. The US’s ability to contain Mr Putin will hinge on building a viable government in Ukraine. The odds of that happening remain poor. Nor did Mr Obama’s trip appear to breathe new life into the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership talks, as many expected. If the Russian wolf cannot unify the west, what can?

While its closest allies are getting weaker, the US is finding it hard to replace them with new ones. Mr Obama cannot be faulted for trying. Since taking office, he has made overtures to India, Brazil, Indonesia ”“ and even Russia, during the brief period of Mr Putin playing second fiddle to Dimitri Medvedev, then Russia’s president. In most cases, the US has been either rebutted or ignored.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Globalization, History, Politics in General, Theology

(Vatican Radio) Roman Catholic and Anglican leaders launch week of prayer for social action

English Cardinal Vincent Nichols and the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby are launching a joint initiative on Sunday to encourage Catholics and Anglicans to pray and work together in service of the poorest and most vulnerable people in their parishes.

On April 6th the Catholic and Anglican Church leaders will visit a project in London run by the Catholic Worker Movement, while on Palm Sunday April 13th, they will travel together to Kent on England’s South coast to visit a family care centre supported by the diocese of Canterbury.

Throughout the week, Catholics and Anglicans are encouraged to pray together and to share information about similar initiatives or ecumenical efforts in parishes and dioceses around the country. More details and prayer resources are available on both the website of the Catholic bishops conference of England and Wales and that of the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Read and listen to it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Ecumenical Relations, Other Churches, Roman Catholic, Spirituality/Prayer