Daily Archives: May 8, 2014

(NYT Op-ed) Nicholas Kristof on Honoring the Missing Nigerian Schoolgirls

…here’s a challenge.

Mother’s Day is this Sunday, and, by all means, let’s use it to celebrate the moms in our lives with flowers and brunches. But let’s also use the occasion to honor the girls still missing in Nigeria.

One way is a donation to support girls going to school around Africa through the Campaign for Female Education, Camfed.org; a $40 gift pays for a girl’s school uniform.

Another way to empower women is to support Edna Adan, an extraordinary Somali woman who has started her own maternity hospital, midwife training program and private university, saving lives, providing family planning and fighting female genital mutilation. At EdnaHospital.org, a $50 donation pays for a safe hospital delivery.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --Social Networking, Africa, Blogging & the Internet, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Globalization, Media, Nigeria, Pastoral Theology, Politics in General, Teens / Youth, Terrorism, Theology, Violence, Women

(CMS) Stephen Lubari–Longing for peace, reconciliation and healing in South Sudan

On a recent visit to the CMS offices. Stephen Lubari, education programme manager of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan and Sudan (ECSSS), had a simple message from the world’s newest nation:

“Pray for peace, reconciliation and healing in South Sudan. Pray for those in the internally displaced people (IDP) camps and for those involved in the peace process ”“ including the church which is working with the government and outside agencies to achieve this.”

The most pressing need for the IDPs, according to Stephen, is making sure that enough emergency relief reaches them in the shape of food, water and shelter ”“ especially as April and May is when the rains start. The United Nations humanitarian coordination agency, UNOCHA, said in a situation report on 25 April that as many as 4.9 million people need humanitarian assistance.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --North Sudan, --South Sudan, Africa, Anglican Provinces, Defense, National Security, Military, Episcopal Church of the Sudan, Politics in General, Sudan, Theology, Violence

(BBC) Many Families with children 'struggling with problem debt'

Nearly 2.5 million children are living in families struggling with “problem debt”, according to a report.

The Children’s Society and StepChange debt charity say many families are in an “extremely precarious” position and taking out loans to pay for the basics.

The stress of keeping up with repayments leads to arguments, emotional distress for children and even bullying, the charities say.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Children, Church of England (CoE), Economy, England / UK, Marriage & Family, Personal Finance, Poverty

News from the General Synod of the Church of Ireland

The 2014 General Synod of the Church of Ireland opened in Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin, at 10.00 am today (Thursday May 8) with an act of worship led by the Bishop of Meath and Kildare, the Most Revd Pat Storey. During the worship she prayed for the release of the kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls.

In his presidential address the Most Revd Dr Richard Clarke, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of all Ireland focused on ”˜Freely you have received, freely give’ (Matthew Chapter 10 v.8), speaking of the ”˜Church as an organism that is characterised by its giving nature; its people who are characterised by being giving people’. Archbishop Clarke will also stress that ”˜All life is a gift of God; it is never a commodity’. He said: ”˜”¦one of the aspects of modern culture I most fear is that we have turned all human life into a commodity. The very beginnings of life and the end of life on earth are gift, never to be treated as anything less.’

The Archbishop asked questions about society’s priorities ”“ in relation in particular to poverty and foodbanks and in funding for hospice provision ”“ and also encouraged people to consider fostering children in need and urge church members to consider being blood donors and to sign up for organ transplant at death, ”˜as an opportunity for giving to others’, and as promoted by the Flesh and Blood ”“ ”˜FAB’ ”“ campaign.

Check out all the links there and you can find the speeches here.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of Ireland

Will Vaus has a Conversation with Alister McGrath

Last week I sat down with Alister McGrath in Oxford to discuss his new book, If I Had Lunch with C. S. Lewis.

Listen to it all (about 38 minutes, an MP3).

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Apologetics, Books, Church History, Theology

A.S. Haley Offers Thoughts on recent TEC Court Decisions in Calif. and South Carolina

The litigation agenda of the Episcopal Church (USA) continues to garner victories in California (where a single federal district court was allowed to overturn a constitutional initiative passed by a clear majority of voters). At the same time, ECUSA’s agenda in South Carolina suffered another defeat. Nonetheless, neither decision resolves any of the questions at issue once and for all. Thus, neither side may yet claim “victory”, but only to have reached one more stage in the interminable torture of litigation.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, - Anglican: Analysis, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Stewardship, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: San Joaquin, TEC Conflicts: South Carolina, Theology

(Vat. Radio) Apostolic Nuncio to Great Britain urges Church to oppose assisted suicide bill

In this regard, I cannot fail to express concern about the Assisted Dying Bill which will be discussed in the next few months in the House of Lords. This is a very sensitive issue, which required a serious commitment from us to protect and defend human life as a gift from God. As Pope Francis said in His Message to Catholics in Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales on the occasion of the Day for Life celebrated last year: “Even the weakest and most vulnerable, the sick, the old, the unborn and the poor, are masterpieces of God’s creation, made in his own image, destined to live forever, and deserving of the utmost reverence and respect”.

More recently, in the Pope’s Message to the participants in the General Assembly of the Pontifical Academy for Life, last February, the Holy Father used even stronger words denouncing the “tyrannical dominion of an economic logic that excludes and sometimes kills, and of which so many today are victims, beginning with our elderly”, typical of the societies that Francis calls -in His Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium- “”˜thrown away’ culture” in which the “excluded are not the ”˜exploited’ but the outcast, the ’leftovers’” (n. 53). In this context, -continues the Pope in His Message to the Pontifical Academy for Life- we “clearly” find in our societies the “exclusion of the elderly, especially when he or she is ill, disabled or vulnerable for any reason”. Against this kind of exclusion, the Holy Father affirms that “poor health and disability are never a good reason for excluding or, worse, for eliminating a person”.

Dear brothers, I am glad to see the work that the Department for Christian Responsibility and Citizenship is doing in this regard trying to clarify the “Sense and nonsense on ”˜Assisted Dying’”. I thank Archbishop Peter Smith in a special way. May I encourage them but also each one of you to announce the Gospel of Life among our People, as well as in Society in general, presenting the reality which hides behind the “nice”, “politically correct” and “compassionate” expression “assisted dying”.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Anthropology, Death / Burial / Funerals, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Life Ethics, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Politics in General, Pope Francis, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Theology

(Y Post) The curious case of Yorkshire Dr Alexander Cannon, King Edward VIII's Psychic

His new book, The King’s Psychic, examines this and the alleged plot to oust Edward VIII, as well as Dr Cannon’s role in the early part of the Second World War when he began experimenting in telepathy….

The file in question was Dr Alexander Cannon’s MI5 file. “My dad said ”˜you should have a look at this’ because he remembers Dr Cannon him from the 1950s, by which time he’d become something of a showbiz figure of fun….”

It piqued his curiosity and over the years he pieced together information about Dr Cannon’s links with Edward VIII. “It became my little hobby,” he says.

His research took him to the Church of England archive at Lambeth Palace. “It was here that I found the contact between Edward VIII and Dr Cannon was used by the Archbishop of Canterbury at the time, Dr Cosmo Lang, as one of many levers to persuade him to step down.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Archbishop of Canterbury, Books, Church History, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Other Faiths, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Theology

(Executive Secretary of the UN) Christiana Figueres St Paul’s Cathedral speech on Climate Change

At this moment in history, we have catapulted ourselves to a crossroads of two possible paths for mankind. We have developed the technology and amassed the financial capability to go either way. The direction we take cannot result from inertia but rather intentional choice.

The time for that decision is urgently upon us.

This choice will be informed by our technology, our financial systems and our policy, but it must also be indisputably steered by the overarching moral compass innate to all of us.

The crossroads is defined by science. Since 1988, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change scientists have aggregated peerreviewed evidence of climate change. The latest 5th Assessment Report leaves no room for doubt. Due to human activity, you and I are today breathing air that contains 400 ppm of CO2 for the first time in human history.

Read it all and note that the speech was given last night.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Energy, Natural Resources, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Globalization, Politics in General, Science & Technology, Theology

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby Condemns abduction of Nigerian schoolgirls

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --Justin Welby, Africa, Archbishop of Canterbury, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Globalization, Nigeria, Politics in General, Teens / Youth, Terrorism, Theology, Violence, Women

(F Things) Brad Littlejohn–The Uncertain Future of Protestantism

Most promising for such future conversation was the extent of common ground uncovered. All three interlocutors were willing to grant that the Church of Rome is a part of the body of Christ, a diseased part, perhaps, but still a part of us whose sufferings and triumphs we can share in, and whose healing we desire, not some alien entity to be scorned or ignored.

All three speakers granted that some kind of reunion with Rome (and with Orthodoxy) must be eventual goals for Protestantism, which could not think of itself as the sole bearer of the church’s future. All three insisted therefore that Protestantism should be characterized more by its positive witness than by a negative self-definition over against its enemies. All three also managed to agree that the content of this witness was largely set by the terms of the early Protestant confessions, that the solas of the Reformation constituted fundamental truths that must remain the ground of future Protestant ecumenical engagement. Finally, all agreed that the best forms of ecumenism, for the foreseeable future at least, should be local and ad hoc, involving such small but powerful gestures as learning to pray with and for local Catholic and Orthodox churches.

Before moving on to the inevitable frustrated question, “Well where do they disagree then?” we ought first to marvel at, and take encouragement from, this substantial common ground.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Church History, Ecclesiology, Ecumenical Relations, Evangelicals, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Theology

(Daily Mail) The Rich could pay to have brighter babies, says Lord Robert Winston

Breakthroughs in IVF could ”˜threaten our humanity’ by prompting parents to demand designer babies, Robert Winston has warned.

The fertility pioneer said that he feared a time when the rich could alter the appearance and ability of children by tinkering with their genes.

And he claimed a ”˜toxic’ climate had been created by the desperation of childless couples and the pace of scientific developments in the booming IVF industry.

Warning of a resurgence in eugenics, the broadcaster and Labour peer said there was a ”˜real risk that we could see that kind of attitude in our humanity occurring again’.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anthropology, Children, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Life Ethics, Marriage & Family, Personal Finance, Science & Technology, Theology

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Julian of Norwich

Lord God, who in thy compassion didst grant to the Lady Julian many revelations of thy nurturing and sustaining love: Move our hearts, like hers, to seek thee above all things, for in giving us thyself thou givest us all; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

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

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Lord Jesus, risen from the dead and alive for evermore: Stand in our midst this day as in the upper room; show us thy hands and thy side; speak thy peace to our hearts and minds; and send us forth into the world as thy witnesses; for the glory of thy name.

–John R. W. Stott

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

For I want you to know how greatly I strive for you, and for those at Laodicea, and for all who have not seen my face, that their hearts may be encouraged as they are knit together in love, to have all the riches of assured understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, of Christ, in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I say this in order that no one may delude you with beguiling speech. For though I am absent in body, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the firmness of your faith in Christ.

As therefore you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so live in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.

–Colossians 2:1-7

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(AP) Boko Haram Attack Kills Hundreds In Border Town

Islamic militants who have triggered international outrage over the kidnapping of more than 270 Nigerian schoolgirls opened fire on a busy marketplace, killing hundreds of people in a new spasm of violence in the country’s northeast.

The attack escalates Nigeria’s growing crisis from a campaign of bombings, massacres and abductions being waged by the Boko Haram terrorist network in its campaign to impose an Islamic state on Africa’s most populous nation.

As many as 300 people were killed in the assault late Monday on the town of Gamboru Ngala on Nigeria’s border with Cameroon. The extremists opened fire on a marketplace bustling with shoppers taking advantage of the cooler nighttime temperatures in the semi-desert region, then rampaged through the town for 12 hours, setting houses ablaze and shooting those who tried to escape.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Africa, Ethics / Moral Theology, Islam, Muslim-Christian relations, Nigeria, Other Faiths, Terrorism, Theology, Violence

SC State Supreme Court rejects TEC appeal

Justices’ Decision Clears the Way for Trial to Protect Local Assets From Takeover

The South Carolina Supreme Court has rejected an appeal by The Episcopal Church (TEC) and its local subsidiary, The Episcopal Church in South Carolina (TECSC), ending their latest effort to delay a trial to block the two groups from seizing Diocese of South Carolina property.

The high court’s decision to return the matter to the circuit court means that the issue can now go to trial. TEC and TECSC have filed several state and federal appeals, apparently aimed at delaying the discovery process in advance of the trial that is scheduled to start on July 7.

In the appeal rejected by the Supreme Court, TEC and TECSC had asked the court to force the Diocese of South Carolina to share privileged communications with the denomination. Communications between clients and their attorneys have always been protected by law. The appeal effectively asked the state supreme court to overturn a cornerstone of American law.
“We are grateful that the South Carolina Supreme Court again prevented TEC and TECSC from abusing the judicial system to delay resolution of this case,” said the Rev. Jim Lewis, Canon to the Ordinary of the Diocese. “Their strategy of using legal motions to delay court decisions caused nearly a year to be wasted and untold dollars to be spent on legal wrangling rather than God’s work.”

Judge Diane S. Goodstein, who will preside over the trial, has set the trial date for July 7-18, 2014.

TEC has a long history of dragging out legal battles, apparently in hopes of draining the resources of parishes and dioceses it seeks to punish for leaving the denomination. It has spent more than $40 million on litigation in the past few years. TEC routinely appeals court decisions in hopes of wearing down its opposition ”“ and to intimidate parishes and dioceses that wish to leave the denomination.

The South Carolina Supreme Court took jurisdiction of all appeals in this matter, effectively ensuring that appeals will be considered in an expedited manner to minimize the time wasted.

The Diocese of South Carolina, a member of the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans, disassociated from the Episcopal Church in October 2012 after TEC tried to remove Bishop Lawrence. Following the Diocese’s decision, 49 churches representing 80 percent of the Diocese’s 30,000 members voted to remain in union with the Diocese and not with TEC.

The Diocese has consistently disagreed with TEC’s embrace of what most members of the global Anglican Communion believe to be a radical fringe scriptural interpretation that makes following Christ’s teachings optional for salvation.

(Diocesan PR)

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Stewardship, Theology

(CSM) Jim Sollisch–We talk a lot about weddings ”“ when we should be talking about marriage

There will be 2.3 million weddings this year in the United States. And it seems my wife and I were invited to half of them, not including the three weddings we’ll be attending in the next 18 months as parents of the bride or groom. Yes, three of our five children are engaged.

With the stakes so high ”“ half of marriages still end in divorce ”“ we’ve been thinking a lot about marriage, even though the conversations around us are all about weddings (venues, photographers, invitations).

Just last weekend, we were at a wedding where the minister addressed the married couples in the congregation directly, asking us to consider renewing our vows today, to recommit to each other as we move forward together on our journey.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Marriage & Family

Bishop Lawrence welcomes Bishop Ferran Glenfield of Ireland to the Diocese of SC

Bishop Lawrence welcomed Bishop Ferran Glenfield, of Kilmore, Elphin and Ardaugh (Ireland) to the Diocese of South Carolina recently. Bishop Glenfield has been visiting with The Cross, Bluffton, in their continuing ministry partnership. Bishop Glenfield succeeds Bishop Ken Clarke, who is now Director of SAMS Ireland. From left to right, Bishop Mark Lawrence, the Very Rev. Chuck Owens and Bishop Glenfield.

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