Daily Archives: June 2, 2014

Greg Goebel–A Review of The Anglican Way by Thomas McKenzie

The sections on Sunday worship, the sacraments, and the church year are of most interest to me personally. These sections will guide people into a basic, mostly descriptive, understanding of these areas. Very few of us know how to explain worship and sacraments without unintentionally removing the sense of mystery, or accidentally becoming overly theoretical. Thomas shows his pastoral side here, but undergirding it is a broad knowledge of the tradition and of basic Christian sacramental theology. Many new Anglicans reading this will want to do further study, and some will feel that they’ve received enough explanation”“but all will be inspired to actually receive the sacraments reverently as a mystery and to focus on God and his presence in worship.

Some readers will wonder why Thomas doesn’t spend a lot of time on inter-Anglican wars and controversies. He doesn’t have three chapters devoted to the Instruments of Communion or various views on women’s ordination (although they are discussed briefly). Instead, he chooses to focus on what’s really important: our faith in Christ, our worship of God, and our life together. Some will wish he had more material on these arguments, but I think he made the right choice. Its time for us to move forward, not as an opposition group, but as a Christian communion. Thomas doesn’t ignore the reality of a fractured Communion, but he doesn’t unnecessarily focus us on it.

What are my gripes?

First, Anglicanism is not “a protestant denomination” except as a comparative descriptor. Use a sharpie to cross out that phrase on the two pages where it exists. Then write in “a Christian communion” instead. But don’t burn the book over this. We’ll create an online petition to change it for the second edition.

Second, I have to admit that I want the Sunday worship service at the front.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Books, Theology

(NPR) Pregnancy Hormone May Reduce Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms

For decades, women with multiple sclerosis have noticed that they tend to do better while they are pregnant. That has led to an experimental drug for the disease that’s based on a hormone associated with pregnancy.

The hormone is a form of estrogen called estriol. It’s abundant in a woman’s body only when she is pregnant. Adding estriol to treatment with an existing MS drug cut relapses by 47 percent in a of 158 women presented at the American Academy of Neurology meeting in April.

The result is “quite remarkable,” says , an author of the study and a neurologist at the University of California, Los Angeles. It suggests that estriol could greatly enhance the effectiveness of current MS drugs, Voskuhl says. Those drugs, which are designed to modulate the immune system, can cost up to $60,000 a year.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Children, Health & Medicine, Science & Technology, Theology, Women

(Law and Religion UK) HS2, burial grounds, the Church of England and hybrid bills

the Church has made it clear that it is not opposing HS2 per se: what it is asking for is a technical change to the Bill.

In response, a Department for Transport spokesman was quoted as saying that

“Though the affected burial sites at Euston, Stoke Mandeville and Birmingham have not been in use for more than 100 years, HS2 Ltd will ensure that the affected remains are treated with dignity, respect and care”.

The High Speed Rail (London ”“ West Midlands) Bill is a hybrid bill ”“ which means that, though it is a public bill introduced by the Government it has the features of a private bill; and those “injuriously affected” by its provisions have a right to petition against its provisions.

A petition against a hybrid bill is the first step in a fairly complex process. Petitions are heard by the committee on the bill in a quasi-judicial procedure which involves evidence from the petitioners as to why the bill should be amended and argument by counsel for the promoters of the bill and its opponents.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), Death / Burial / Funerals, England / UK, Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

Archbishops’ Council submits petition on HS2 Bill to Parliament

The Archbishops’ Council has submitted a petition on the HS2 Bill to Parliament, regarding treatment of burial grounds and human remains.

A Church of England spokesperson said “In terms of ‘opposition’ the C of E is not opposing HS2 per se, rather we are petitioning for a technical change to the Bill, ie we are opposing the Bill in its present, in our view technically deficient, form. It is simply a matter of re-instating a clause which can be found in other legislation relating to development and has been left out of this Bill.”

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

(AAC) Phil Ashey–Will the Anglican Church in North America survive?

During our time together, I was approached by a number of clergy who had been reading some of the blogs which are deeply critical of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA). They came to me with this question: “Will we survive?” Their concern, even anxiety, has to do with the season of transition that is upon us as we prepare for the Provincial Assembly in June and the election of a new Archbishop.

And it was an epiphany to be able to realize, with them, that the same heart and skill set we have been seeking to impart to them as “change leaders” in their local churches ”“ the very same principles ”“ apply exactly to the transitions we are facing in the ACNA:
– Staying focused on Jesus and his Great Commission (Matt. 28:16-20).
– Clear line of sight from the present reality to the God-given vision of “What God wants to do through my church in this community at this time.”
– Not personalizing inevitable resistances and conflicts but staying calm and maintaining a non-anxious presence.
– Above all, leading as Jesus would if he were in my shoes.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, - Anglican: Commentary, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Blogging & the Internet, Theology

TEC priest Mickey Richaud retiring after 13 years at Trinity Episcopal in Clarksville, Tennessee

When Mickey Richaud accepted the appointment as rector ”“ or senior pastor ”“ at Trinity Episcopal Parish, he knew he was coming into an unusual situation and one unlike what most new Episcopal rectors encounter. But he was ready.

The Rev. R.H. Richaud, or “Mickey” as he prefers to be called, arrived at Trinity in December 2001, less than two years after the tornado of 1999 had all but destroyed Trinity’s sanctuary and parish hall. Construction of the new sanctuary was complete, but church offices were still housed in the basement of nearby Bank of America. Not the ideal setting for a new rector anywhere, but then, Trinity was not just an “anywhere” place.

Just over a year after the tornado, as the church was being rebuilt, Trinity’s then-rector the Rev. David Murray died.

By the time Richaud arrived, the people of Trinity had been through a great ordeal.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry

(Arizona Republic) Group of Arizona clergy backs Modern Marriage redefinition

Clergy members from several Valley churches and church groups say marriage equality is a basic tenet of their beliefs, contradicting the vocal opposition to same-sex marriage by numerous religious groups.

They met Tuesday in Phoenix to illustrate that numerous religious leaders support marriage equality, as opposed to vocal opposition from the Roman Catholic Church and others.

The gathering, put together by Why Marriage Matters Arizona, a group attempting to promote marriage equality in the state, took place at the office of the United Church of Christ, the first Christian denomination to permit gay clergy and marriages in states where it is allowed.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Children, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

(Lambeth) Consultation of Anglican Bishops in Dialogue pledges to 'journey towards reconciliation'

Read it all and note the Archbishop’s tweet about it here:

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

(Tennesseean) Nashville Roman Catholic Diocese taking over former megachurch property

The Fellowship at Two Rivers divested itself Sunday of a Donelson campus exponentially larger than the former megachurch needs, voting to sell its 220,000-square-foot building and 37.5-acre grounds to the Catholic Diocese of Nashville.

The diocese will pay $12.5 million and move operations from the Catholic Center at 2400 21st Ave. S., spokesman Rick Musacchio said. He said the relatively small center has forced the diocese to spread programs among locations across the city.

The vote, taken after a morning sermon stressing that every Christian ”” not just the biblical “superheroes” ”” has the power to enact change, was nearly unanimous. Only one obvious “no” hand went up.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Baptists, Economy, Housing/Real Estate Market, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Stewardship, Theology, Urban/City Life and Issues

Nigerian Anglican Archbishop Friday Imaekhai Warns Politicians Against Past Mistakes

As Nigeria celebrates 15 years of uninterrupted democracy, Anglican Archbishop, Most Rev’d Friday Imaekhai has cautioned politicians to be wary of pit-falls that truncated previous democracies in the country.

Imaekhai who is the Archbishop of Bendel Province, advised politicians to refrain from utterances and acts with potentials of creating serious crisis in the polity, adding that they must understand the environment under which democracy could thrive.

According to him, Nigeria being a multi-ethnic and multi-religious nation, required its citizens to respect the sanctity of human life by avoiding violence, while upholding the tenets of the Rule of Law.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anglican Provinces, Church of Nigeria, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Law & Legal Issues, Nigeria, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Theology

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O Almighty God, who by thy holy apostle hast taught us to set our affection on things above: Grant us so to labour in this life as ever to be mindful of our citizenship in those heavenly places whither our Saviour Christ is gone before; to whom with thee, O Father, and thee, O Holy Ghost, be all honour and glory, world without end.

–South African Prayer Book

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

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Blandina and Her Companions

Grant, O Lord, we beseech thee, that we who keep the feast of the holy martyrs Blandina and her companions may be rooted and grounded in love of thee, and may endure the sufferings of this life for the glory that shall be revealed in us; 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

From the Morning Bible Readings

For this reason I, Paul, a prisoner for Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles”” assuming that you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace that was given to me for you, how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have written briefly. When you read this you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; that is, how the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.
Of this gospel I was made a minister according to the gift of God’s grace which was given me by the working of his power. To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to make all men see what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things; that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places. This was according to the eternal purpose which he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and confidence of access through our faith in him. So I ask you not to lose heart over what I am suffering for you, which is your glory.

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(America) Kevin Clarke–Stark Choices Confront the Central African Republic

It is hard to overestimate the need and the complexity of the problems challenging the Central African Republic. Even before the current crisis, the republic was essentially a failed state. The landlocked nation ranks 180 out of 187 nations on the U.N.’s Human Development Index, and Transparency International scores it as among the world’s most corrupt nations. These dismal assessments will likely become even worse next year as the disorder and violence continue. Now the nation’s transitional government is threatened not only by a potential resurgence of the Seleka but by the continuing interest of the ousted Bozizé in a return to power.

The Central African Republic has become a nation of people in flight. The United Nations reports that 570,000 are internally displaced and another 356,000 have fled as refugees into neighboring countries. Altogether somewhere in the vicinity of 2.6 million people in the republic are in need of immediate humanitarian assistance. These are remarkable figures for a nation of no more than 4.6 million people.

Worse yet, that humanitarian aid will have to be delivered in the coming weeks during the rainy season””when bush trails to the most vulnerable hamlets will become largely impassable””and during a time when the once-routed Seleka rebels seem ready to launch a new bid for power.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Central African Republic, Ethics / Moral Theology, Theology, Violence

USA Soccer Team Pre World Cup friendly Produces 2-1 win over Turkey

Some glimmers of offensive flair, but many worries about defense. I enjoyed the first half especially–KSH.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Globalization, Men, Sports

(BBC) Northern Nigeria bomb blast 'kills football spectators'

At least 14 people have been killed in a bomb attack on a bar that was screening a televised football match in north-eastern Nigeria, police say.

The attack place in the town of Mubi in Adamawa state, close to the border with Cameroon.

Adamawa is one of three states that have been placed under emergency rule because of an insurgency waged by Islamist Boko Haram militants.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Nigeria, Terrorism, Violence

(Comment is Free) Giles Fraser–In Sweden, human darkness is confronted by the arts not the church

The takeaway message is this: no one needs churches to be nice or tasteful. If churches have a future, it’s in addressing our existential darkness: sin and death. Progressive politics is important, but it doesn’t do any deep religious work. And liberals in the church will have to rediscover this after we have won our culture wars. What other religion has such a dark image at its centre? And yet my own brand of liberal Christianity too often seeks salvation through a few gentle verses of All Things Bright and Beautiful or lots of self-important dressing up and wandering around in fancy churches. Devoted atheists are never going to be persuaded by a theology of the cross. But no one whatsoever is going to be persuaded by a theology of nice.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Europe, Movies & Television, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Secularism, Sweden, Theology, Wicca / paganism

Brian McGreevy followed God's call along winding career path to become Anglican priest

ust a few weeks ago, Brian McGreevy donned a golden stole for the first time to give his inaugural sermon as a priest, standing before the historic St. Philip’s Church congregation that was his own.

Freshly ordained at 57, he spoke of the Easter road that Jesus’ disciples traveled to Emmaus while mourning the traumatic death of their messiah. A strange man joined them.

They didn’t recognize the resurrected Christ right away.

“Sometimes things seem impossible that are possible,” McGreevy explained.

This he knows.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * South Carolina, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Seminary / Theological Education, Theology