Daily Archives: May 4, 2014

Albert Mohler Talks to [Professor Emeritus of Theological Ethics at Duke] Stanley Hauerwas

[Mohler:]…as an evangelical concerned with many of the same things, I just want to come back and ask: When you look at evangelicalism and you look at evangelical churches, what do you see as the particular moment that now presents us with a completely different set of challenges? In other words, be a prophet for a moment. You can do that. In other words, where is evangelicalism going to be given the increasing secularization and the hyper-modernity of our culture?

Hauerwas: I think evangelicalism is destined to die of its own success and it will go the way of mainstream Protestantism because there’s just””it depends far too much on charismatic pastors, and charisma will only take you so far. Evangelicalism is constantly under the burden of re-inventing the wheel and you just get tired. For example, I’m a big advocate of Morning Prayer. I love Morning Prayer. We do the same thing every morning. We don’t have to make it up. We know we’re going to say these prayers. We know we’re going to join in reading of the psalm. We’re going to have these Scripture readings. I mean, there’s much to be said for Christianity as repetition and I think evangelicalism doesn’t have enough repetition in a way that will form Christians to survive in a world that constantly tempts us to always think we have to do something new.

Read it all (dated but still relevant).

Posted in Uncategorized

(BBC) Cheltenham's St Philip and St James church in leak fix appeal

…[The] church has started an appeal to raise £160,000 for repairs following the winter storms.

St Phillip and St James in Leckhampton is 130 years old and grade-II listed but is no longer wind and watertight.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * General Interest, Parish Ministry, Stewardship, Weather

Robert Cottrill–Today in 1865–Peace, Troubled Soul sung

This hymn, written by Samuel Ecking, was performed by a 250 member choir on this date at the State House in Springfield, Illinois. The body of assassinated president Abraham Lincoln lay in state, and the song was sung just before the casket was closed and taken to the cemetery.

There is a thoughtful message in the words that applies to all our times of distress and sorrow.

Read the lyrics carefully.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Church History, Liturgy, Music, Worship

(AP) Nigeria President: 'Everything must be done' to free 276 girls held captive by extremists

Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan met through the night with security, school and state officials and issued a new directive that “everything must be done” to free the 276 girls held captive by Islamic extremists, one of his advisers said Sunday.

It was the first time the president met with all stakeholders, including the principal of the Chibok Government Girls Secondary School in northeastern Nigeria where the girls and young women were kidnapped in a pre-dawn raid April 15, presidential adviser Reuben Abati told reporters.

Nigerians’ outrage at the failure to rescue the students and protest marches last week in major Nigerian cities as well as New York City have spurred to action Jonathan’s government, which many see as uncaring of the girls’ plight.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Defense, National Security, Military, Law & Legal Issues, Nigeria, Police/Fire, Politics in General, Teens / Youth, Violence, Women

(Church Times) A celebration for 20 years of women's priesthood

Amassed on the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral, they stood smiling and waving in glorious sunshine, as friends, husbands, children and grandchildren strained to spot their own in the Class of 1994.

The twentieth anniversary of the first priesting of women in the Church of England on Saturday was, the Archbishop of Canterbury confirmed, “party time”. Around 700 of those ordained in 1994 attended the service at St Paul’s, with many arriving after taking part in a walk of witness from Westminster Abbey.

For fifteen minutes, as they processed into the Cathedral through the West doors, the congregation applauded.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Women

NSS criticise Archbp Justin Welby criticised over his remarks on faith schools

The Archbishop of Canterbury’s view that the UK is “a deeply Christian country” is a “self-serving claim” and his church is “banging the religious drum” , according to a secular campaign group.

The comments come after the Most Rev Justin Welby defended faith schools, pointing out they are often in the poorest parts of the country.

But the National Secular Society (NSS) said Church of England schools “prioritise evangelisation over serving the population who are steadily abandoning his pews”.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, --Justin Welby, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Children, Church of England (CoE), Education, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Secularism, Theology

(UM Reporter) Charlie Baber–Clergy Excellence, oh my!

This one’s in honor of everyone finishing up seminary exams or recovering from the Holy Week ministry binge. I don’t know how YOUR denomination do, but mine is all over some “clergy excellence,” and we have all these reports and numbers we have to keep to prove that our church isn’t dying. It’s set up to combat the fact that the mainline denominations really are not growing. It’s also set up to combat lazy or crappy pastoring. The problem is that we have to be more perfect than Jesus, and the pressure to always grow and do great things can really be overwhelming. I find myself pouring more energy into excellent programming, and not enough time in real discipleship formation.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Methodist, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Seminary / Theological Education, Theology

(RNS) TEC's Gene Robinson announces Divorce from his Same-Sex Partner

Bishop Gene Robinson, whose 2003 election as the first openly gay Episcopal bishop rocked Anglican Communion, has announced his divorce from his longtime partner and husband.

Robinson, who retired in 2013 as the Bishop of New Hampshire, and his partner of 25 years, Mark Andrew, were married in a private civil union in 2008. The announcement was made public Saturday (May 3) in a statement to the Diocese of New Hampshire.

“As you can imagine, this is a difficult time for us ”” not a decision entered into lightly or without much counseling,” Robinson wrote in a letter. “We ask for your prayers, that the love and care for each other that has characterized our relationship for a quarter century will continue in the difficult days ahead.”

Read it all.

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

Posted in Uncategorized

(BBC) Archbishop of Canterbury defends faith schools

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has defended faith schools, saying they provide education for some of the poorest children in the UK.

Archbishop Welby acknowledged the potential danger of fundamentalists attempting to take control of schools.

However, in a BBC interview he said Church of England schools continued to “love and serve”, as they “have done for hundreds of years”

The archbishop repeated his view that the UK is “a deeply Christian country”.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Children, Church of England (CoE), Education, England / UK, Religion & Culture

Morning Easter praise

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for all who believe in Him; to whom with thee, O Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, be ascribed all honour and glory, dominion and power, now and for evermore.

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord from the heavens,
praise him in the heights!
Praise him, all his angels,
praise him, all his host!

Praise him, sun and moon,
praise him, all you shining stars!
Praise him, you highest heavens,
and you waters above the heavens!

Let them praise the name of the Lord!
For he commanded and they were created.
And he established them for ever and ever;
he fixed their bounds which cannot be passed.

–Psalm 148:1-3

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(CT) Ed Stetzer–"Fresh Expressions" of Church in the UK

There are at least 20 different recognizable types of “Fresh Expressions of Church (fxC): Messy Church, child-focused church, and Café Church are the most common types. Most of these church gatherings are made up of an average of about 44 people.

The typical team size sent to begin these fxCs is 3-12 people. They occur in all kinds of social contexts, are begun by all traditions in the Church of England. They meet in all manner of venues and across a wide variety of days” (6).

Here are some of the key stats reported by the organization who conducted the study, the C Church of England’s Church Army’s Research Unit:

Read it all.

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

(World Vision Blog) Paige Ferrari–Mothers and the magic of number 5

Five is a magic number.

When a child is born, the first thing the parents do is check: 5 fingers on each hand. 5 toes on each foot. For some reason there is such perfection within the number 5.

Unfortunately, every day 18,000 children around the world will die before seeing their fifth birthday and 800 women will loose their life in childbirth daily. This bond between mother and child is something that can only be divinely created. But like all things that grow, it must be nourished and sustained.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, Children, Globalization, Health & Medicine, Marriage & Family, Poverty, Women