Daily Archives: May 22, 2014

(Local Paper) Retired Marine from South Carolina receiving Medal of Honor next month

A severely injured Marine now enrolled at the University of South Carolina will receive the Medal of Honor from President Barack Obama next month, the White House announced Monday.

Cpl. William “Kyle” Carpenter, a retired U.S. Marine, will receive the Medal of Honor on June 19 in a ceremony at the White House.

Carpenter is the eighth living recipient to be awarded the medal for actions in Iraq or Afghanistan. He is being recognized after he threw himself onto a grenade to save the life of a friend.

“Over there, each other is all we have,” Carpenter told Katie Couric on Jan. 27 during a television interview.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, Defense, National Security, Military, Young Adults

In Ireland, All Traditions Prepare for First Ecumenical Bible Week

The inaugural Ecumenical Bible Week takes place from June 8 to15, starting on Pentecost Sunday. This new initiative, involving all the main churches, is a different kind of celebration. It is not a congress or an assembly but a series of events which will move around Dublin and the wider area.

With a highly ecumenical engagement, this new initiative has great potential for the coming together of Christians from all backgrounds around the Word of God which we all share.

The Ecumenical Bible Week is a direct fruit of the International Eucharistic Congress of 2012. If it proves a success, it may become an annual event. The churches and movements involved so far are: Scripture Union, the Evangelical Alliance, the Orthodox Church, the Church of Ireland, the Roman Catholic Church, the Methodist Church and the Presbyterian Church.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of Ireland, Ecumenical Relations, England / UK, Ireland, Other Churches, Roman Catholic, Theology, Theology: Scripture

Bishop John Pritchard of Oxford–Church schools equip children to resist extremism

If it isn’t one thing it’s another. Education is always throwing up news stories.

Recently we have seen a playground fight between Coalition partners over the funding of free schools and free school meals. Eventually everyone made up and went back into the classroom.

We have had more leaks about the Trojan Horse enquiry and the threat of “extremist takeovers” in some Birmingham schools. The exact nature of the Horse is still unclear.

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

Nigeria Union of Teachers go on one day strike over abducted girls

Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) will strike on Thursday to demand the prompt release of schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram militants last month and compensation for teachers killed in the restive northeast region so far.

“All schools nationwide shall be closed as Thursday will be our day of protest against the abduction of the Chibok female students and the heartless murder of the 173 teachers,” NUT President Michael Olukoya said in a statement.

The union has directed members to hold processions across the capitals of Nigeria’s states and federal capital Abuja.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Defense, National Security, Military, Education, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Nigeria, Politics in General, Teens / Youth, Terrorism, Theology, Violence, Women

(JE) Bart Gingrich–Theologizers and the Anti-Seminary

Contemporary American Christians are faced with their own creation. Their individualistic and democratic views idealize the religious entrepreneur. Moreover, their distrust of hierarchy and institutions combines with a lack of commitment to organic unity (this is a newer development).

The state of the divinity school doesn’t help matters, either. The seminary, in its classical form, is where one engages in deep, orthodox theological study under the authority and spiritual formation of the Church. Obviously, this classic ideal is increasingly rare in the United States these days. As history has shown, seminaries have abandoned orthodoxy, become hyper-academic without thought to spiritual formation, have been reduced to degree factories, or have removed the Church in favor of the parachurch or nondenominationalism.

Many American seminaries languish. Thus, the streams which should feed and guide the theologically curious are insufficient. Making matter worse, social norms encourage more trust in the internet than in the Bride of Christ. Instead, seekers look to ecclesiastically untethered and academically undisciplined smooth talkers for spiritual guidance and insight. Welcome to the Anti-Seminary.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, --Social Networking, Anthropology, Blogging & the Internet, Consumer/consumer spending, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Evangelicals, Other Churches, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology, Seminary / Theological Education, Theology

St Paul’s Anglican Church in Monaco gears up for worship in the midst of the Grand Prix

St Paul’s Anglican Church in Monaco is getting geared up for a busy few days. On Sunday 25 May normal services of worship are being curtailed as the roads of the Principality will be taken over by the Grand Prix so worshippers are being encouraged to pray early by attending the 8am service on that day.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Sports, Urban/City Life and Issues

Church of Ireland Bishop Pat Storey preaches in Manchester

Manchester Diocese has over 140 women serving as clergy in the Church. Some were among the first to be ordained priest in 1994.

Bishop Pat said: “It is such a privilege to be invited to speak at such an auspicious occasion as this. It is amazing how, twenty years later, we have taken so much for granted, and it is good on occasion to look back and see how far we have come.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Church of Ireland, England / UK, Ireland, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Women

”˜Significant steps’ needed to progress Anglican-Methodist Covenant

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York, together with the President and Vice-President of the Methodist Conference, have today issued a joint statement to their Churches.

The Most Revd Justin Welby, the Most Revd John Sentamu, the Revd Ruth Gee and Dr Daleep Mukarji have issued the statement in response to a report that will be debated by the Methodist Conference and General Synod this year.

The report, entitled The Challenge of the Covenant, recommends that both Churches take action to enhance unity between them, with the work being fully embedded in Church structures. The report also encourages the Church of England to address the question of interchangeability of ordained ministries between the two Churches, and the Methodist Church to consider the possibility of a form of episcopal ministry (such as a ‘president bishop’).

The statement from the Archbishops and Methodist Presidency welcomes the report, stating that:

“The time has now come for our churches to take further, significant steps to achieve that level of reconciliation between us and partnership in the gospel that will enhance our mission together in local communities and our shared witness to the whole of society.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, --Justin Welby, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Church of England (CoE), Ecumenical Relations, England / UK, Methodist, Other Churches

(LA Times) Obama administration devises a little noticed ACA funding plan for health insurer losses

The Obama administration has quietly adjusted key provisions of its signature healthcare law to potentially make billions of additional taxpayer dollars available to the insurance industry if companies providing coverage through the Affordable Care Act lose money.

The move was buried in hundreds of pages of new regulations issued late last week. It comes as part of an intensive administration effort to hold down premium increases for next year, a top priority for the White House as the rates will be announced ahead of this fall’s congressional elections.

Administration officials for months have denied charges by opponents that they plan a “bailout” for insurance companies providing coverage under the healthcare law.

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

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, --The 2009 American Health Care Reform Debate, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, House of Representatives, Office of the President, Personal Finance, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Senate, Theology

(NPR) The 1,000-Year-Old Schism That Pope Francis Seeks To Heal

Pope Francis travels this weekend to the Middle East, the cradle of the three monotheistic religions, and will meet with Catholic, Jewish and Muslim leaders.

But the official purpose of the visit is to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a historic rapprochement between Catholics and Orthodox and to try to restore Christian unity after nearly 1,000 years of estrangement.

Meeting in Jerusalem in 1964, Pope Paul VI and Orthodox Patriarch Athenagoras set a milestone: They started the process of healing the schism between Eastern and Western Christianity of the year 1054.

Moves toward closer understanding followed, but differences remain on issues such as married clergy and the centralized power of the Vatican.

Read or listen to it all.

Posted in * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Ecclesiology, Ecumenical Relations, Inter-Faith Relations, Israel, Middle East, Orthodox Church, Other Churches, Pope Francis, Roman Catholic, Theology

(DC Register) George Weigel–The Anglican Wannabe fallacy

Hard experience should have taught us by now that there is an iron law built into the relationship between Christianity and modernity. Christian communities that know and defend their doctrinal and moral boundaries (while extending the compassion of Christ when we fail to live within those boundaries, as we all do) survive in modernity; some actually flourish and become robustly evangelical. Conversely, Christian communities whose doctrinal and moral boundaries are eroded by the new orthodoxy of political correctness, and become so porous that it becomes impossible to know if one is “in” or “out,” wither and die.

That is the sad state of Anglicanism in the North Atlantic world today: even splendid liturgical smells-and-bells can’t save an Anglicanism hollowed out by the shibboleths of secular modernity. Why British Catholics like Lavinia Byrne can’t see this is one of the mysteries of the 21st-century Church.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Christology, Church of England (CoE), Ethics / Moral Theology, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Theology, Theology: Scripture

Peter Moore–A Fateful Day: March 21, 1554

It was March 21, 1554, and the weather wasn’t particularly good. The sermon the Archbishop was about to hear would have been preached outdoors, but instead it would be preached in Great St. Mary’s, the University Church. The scene is depicted in a famous etching in John Foxe’s book Acts and Monuments, published in 1563.

Dr. Henry Cole, the Provost of Eaton, was the preacher for the occasion, and his message revolved around the theme of repentance and judgment. Cole pointed out that although King David had greatly sinned, and repented, he still needed punishment.

The Archbishop listened carefully to the sermon, with considerable solemnity. After all, he was the Archbishop of Canterbury. He was, furthermore, a very learned scholar and a man who, for nearly thirty years, had spearheaded a major reform within the Church of England. Thomas Cranmer was his name, and he was not in particularly good health at this point. In fact, he was emotionally exhausted from months of questioning by various papal scholars and bishops who did not share his Reformational views. He had spent time in the Tower of London, and then he had been imprisoned in Oxford for several months, most of it in solitary confinement.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * South Carolina, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), Death / Burial / Funerals, Eucharist, Parish Ministry, Sacramental Theology, Theology

John Piper: How to Pray for a Desolate Church

The way to pray for a desolate church is to remember past mercies, and be encouraged that God never changes.

Verse 15: “And now, O Lord our God, who didst bring thy people out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand . . . ” Daniel knew that the reason God saved Israel from Egypt was not because Israel was so good. Psalm 106:7”“8,

Our fathers, when they were in Egypt, did not consider thy wonderful works; they did not remember the abundance of thy steadfast love, but rebelled against the Most High at the Red Sea. Yet he saved them for his name’s sake, that he might make known his mighty power.

Prayer for a desolate church is sustained by the memory of past mercies. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). If God saved a rebellious people once at the Red Sea, he can save them again. So when we pray for a desolate church, we can remember brighter days that the church has known, and darker days from which she was saved.

This is why church history is so valuable. There have been bad days before that God had turned around. The papers this week have been full of statistics of America’s downward spiral into violence and corruption. Church history is a great antidote to despair at times like this. For example, to read about the moral decadence and violence of 18th century England before God sent George Whitefield and John Wesley is like reading today’s newspapers.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Ecclesiology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Preaching / Homiletics, Spirituality/Prayer, Theology

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Teach us, O gracious Lord, to begin our works with fear, to go on with obedience, and to finish them in love, and then to wait patiently in hope, and with cheerful confidence to look up to thee, whose promises are faithful and rewards infinite; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be made worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering”” since indeed God deems it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to grant rest with us to you who are afflicted, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance upon those who do not know God and upon those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They shall suffer the punishment of eternal destruction and exclusion from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might, when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at in all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed. To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his call, and may fulfil every good resolve and work of faith by his power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Thessalonians 1:5-12

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

The Bishop of West Malaysia's Easter Message for 2014–How Much Has Christ Risen In You?

Christ is Risen! The response during Eastertide is “He is Risen indeed!” Often the thought of the presence of the Risen Christ bothers me. Where is the Risen Christ now? This seems to be a silly question. Of course, Christ has ascended and is seated at the right hand of God the Father, as described in Romans 8:34. What I am really interested in is ”˜Does the Risen Christ have a place in our lives?

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Asia, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Easter, Malaysia, The Anglican Church in South East Asia

(CT) Ethnic Violence Kills 10,000””and It Gets Even Worse in South Sudan

South Sudan’s problems…are far from over. Relief experts said famine and disease pose great risk. The rainy season has begun, making delivery of food more difficult in this France-sized nation with few paved roads. Families in some cases have survived by eating leaves. Malnourished children will die of starvation before the end of the year unless relief aid arrives now. Health officials say nine people have died from cholera so far in May.

“We are now in a race against time to prevent the deaths of 50,000 children under the age of five who are already suffering high levels of malnutrition,” said Perry Mansfield, South Sudan National Director, World Vision.

“The numbers of very hungry is staggering. Almost 5 million people are desperately in need of humanitarian assistance. People have fled their homes and so cannot plant their crops. Almost a quarter of a million children will be severely malnourished by the end of the year. But the costs of air dropping and flying in food is more expensive than trucking it in, but delivery options and time are running out.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --South Sudan, Africa, Children, Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Foreign Relations, Politics in General, Poverty, Religion & Culture, Sudan, Violence

(UCA News) Locking horns over 'The Asian Jesus'

Father Michael Amaladoss, one of the most respected theologians in India, is said by some to be under suspicion from the Vatican’s watchdog on doctrinal orthodoxy, the Congregation for Doctrine of the Faith (CDF). He was summoned to Rome for a series of “conversations” with the CDF, although reports differ over how cordial these conversations were.

The scrutiny of Amaladoss stems from a book he wrote, The Asian Jesus, which grapples with an issue that has bedeviled Christians in Asia for centuries: how to present Jesus Christ as a genuine fellow Asian to the millions of our countrymen, who often see him as a white European import.

This is not just a matter of visual iconography, but of theology as well: What has Jesus Christ to say to the world religions of India? This is what Amaladoss tries to answer.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Asia, Books, Christology, India, Other Churches, Roman Catholic, Theology