Daily Archives: June 23, 2014

(Phil. Inquirer) No decision yet on Methodist pastor who officiated at Same Sex Wedding

The Methodist church panel weighing whether to reinstate Frank Schaefer, the Pennsylvania pastor who lost his credentials after officiating his gay son’s wedding, did not announce a decision Saturday, according to Schaefer’s counsel.

The panel, composed of nine lay members and clergy from the church’s northeast jurisdiction, heard Schaefer’s appeal Friday in Baltimore and had been expected to announce its decision Saturday.

No reason was given for the delay. It is not known when the decision will come, but the panel has 28 days to issue a ruling.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Methodist, Other Churches, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Sexuality Debate (Other denominations and faiths), Theology, Theology: Scripture

(CNN) Christian woman Meriam Ibrahim freed after death sentence in Sudan

Meriam Ibrahim following her release today with family and legal team – picture courtesy of Hardwired Global
A Sudanese woman who had been sentenced to death because she declined to renounce her Christian faith has been freed, her lawyer said Monday.

Meriam Yehya Ibrahim, 27, reunited with her husband after getting out of custody, said her lawyer, Mohaned Mustafa El-Nour. An appeals court found that an initial judgment against her was faulty, he said.

He declined to elaborate.

Read it all and see the update with picture and video here

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, --South Sudan, Africa, Law & Legal Issues, Religion & Culture, Sudan, Women

(Local Paper) 'Second punch' of ocean acidification threatens the South Carolina Lowcountry

Slippersnails, olives, periwinkles, tulips – thousands of species of sea snails live in saltwater off the Lowcountry, uncounted millions of creatures.

If they all were wiped out by an ecological catastrophe it would take out the “base line” food of the marine food chain, the food eaten by foraging fish that in turn are eaten by larger fish. It would starve the ocean, the economies and the people who depend on it.

That’s not a dire prediction linked to climate change. It’s already starting to happen as the ocean gets more acidic. And for the Lowcountry, ocean acidification might not even be the real threat. It might be what scientists call the one-two punch of acidification and low oxygen in the estuaries, the nursery for the shellfish we eat – shrimp, oysters, clams.

Read it all.

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

Kendall Harmon's Sermon on Trinity Sunday 2014

The Father is not the Son, the Son is not the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit is not the Father, yet still each is God.

You may find the audio link here if you wish to suffer through it. 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 * By Kendall, * Christian Life / Church Life, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Sermons & Teachings, The Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Theology

Archbishop-elect Foley Beach on leaving TEC

I am forty-five years old and for thirty-four of those years I have been an active participant in the Episcopal Church. I was baptized, confirmed, married, ordained a deacon, and ordained a priest in the Episcopal Church. It has served to shape and form me spiritually and it has taught me tremendous aspects about worshiping Almighty God.

The Church has been a place of stability and refuge, although it has always been in need of reform. But recent actions of the Episcopal Church have taken spiritual depravity to new depth for the modern era.

The Church which taught me the Gospel has now adopted a new Gospel which reduces Jesus to nothing more than one option among many. The Church which introduced me to the Word of God has now rewritten the Word of God to placate cultural and political pressures put upon it by intellectual extremists.

The Church which taught me to confess and repent of my sins has now embraced and endorsed certain sins which have become culturally accepted. The actions of the 2003 General Convention in approving the consecration of a non-celibate homosexual person to be a bishop in the Church, and its approval of a method by which liturgies may be used for same-sex unions in the Church is the presenting issue of a much deeper theological and moral problem within the Church.

While these decisions are clearly in contradiction to the teaching of the Bible, the lessons of Church History and Tradition, and the mind of the world-wide Anglican Communion, they demonstrate a clear obsession with reinterpreting the Scriptures and an amazing disregard to the consequences of their actions on other Christians throughout the world whether Anglican or not.

A revisionist philosophy has overtaken the ethos of the Church which interprets the Scriptures, Church History and Tradition not according to what they actually say, but according to how one is made to feel and in order to be pastorally sensitive. I cannot be a part of such forsaking of Christian teaching and morality.

To remain in the Episcopal Church is on some level affirming the direction the church has taken whether I agree or not. To remain in the Episcopal Church is to pretend that I am not a participant in this abomination before the Lord.

To remain in the Episcopal Church would be to knowingly violate my conscience, and that I cannot do and keep my soul intact. To remain in the Episcopal Church and take communion with those who teach and practice this false teaching would be a clear violation of the Scriptures (For example, 1 Cor. 5). Some say that I must stay and fight for reform and change the direction of the Church. This has been my battle cry for the past 24 years.

I have come to the conclusion that the best way to reform it is to leave it and allow the devastation of embracing sin to run its course. I must be about preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord and teaching the principles of the Word of God. My calling from God is not to lead or participate in an ecclesiastical fight which will evolve to litigation in the secular courts over sacred idols and mammon.

While that may be the call from the Lord for others, my calling is to help people discover the most wonderful gift in the world — a living, dynamic, personal, and saving relationship with Jesus. I cannot do this and be a part of an organizational structure which now at its core denies the very things which I hold dear. The Apostle James wrote that to know the right thing to do and not do it, is sin (James 4:17). For me this is the right thing to do and not to do it would be sin before God.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA)

(NPR) Why TV Drama Is So Obsessed With Pandemics

[NEDA] ULABY: Shows [like many at present] where nearly everyone on the planet sickens and dies appeal to scholar Nancy Tomes.

NANCY TOMES: Oh, I couldn’t be happier.

ULABY: Tomes studies the history of epidemics. She wrote a book called “The Gospel Of Germs.” She says science-fiction and horror often reflect contemporary fears. So during the Cold War, for example, we saw movies about big, scary, nuclear-related monsters. Now she says we worry about our bodies turning against us. In an age of gluten allergies, genetically modified food and mad cow disease.

TOMES: From what you buy in the grocery store, to what you may be breathing when you walk down the street.

ULABY: Not to mention the viral spread of terror cells in viruses attacking our computers.

Read or listen to it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Health & Medicine, History, Movies & Television, Psychology, Science & Technology, Theology

(Wired) The Smart Home of the Future Will Be Realized by ”¦ Pandora?

Nowadays, just about everyone says that everything in our homes will soon be connected to the internet. And some companies, including Google, Apple, and Amazon, are actually making it happen, offering internet-connected televisions, smoke alarms, and thermostats.

But Pandora has been actively pushing this idea even longer than most. Since at least 2006, the company has been working on ways to expand its free online streaming radio service beyond the personal computer. It started with mobile phones, and before long, Pandora was in the car, on the television, and even in the kitchen. In 2011, thanks to a partnership with Samsung, it became the first music service you could use via the refrigerator”“for better or for worse, the abiding symbol of the “smart home.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, --Social Networking, Anthropology, Blogging & the Internet, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Housing/Real Estate Market, Science & Technology, Theology

Sydney Archbishop welcomes new ACNA Primate-elect

Dr [Glenn] Davies attended Evensong with the ACNA bishops in Pennsylvania, where the decision was announced.

“Bishop Foley will be a strong conservative voice within this newly formed province, among the GAFCON Primates and throughout the Anglican Communion. He is a man who has stood firm for the gospel in difficult circumstances, and has not been afraid to contend for the faith once delivered to the saints.” Dr Davies said.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican Provinces

(Vancouver Sun) Canadian surgeons debate ethics of face transplants for children

Canadian surgeons are confident they could soon perform what has never before been attempted anywhere in the world ”” face transplants in children.

The highly complex surgeries, which have so far only been performed in adults, are now “technically feasible” in children and could be life transforming for those with devastating facial deformities and disfigurements for whom no other reconstructive alternatives exist, a team from Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children reports in the journal, Plastic Surgery.

But the risky surgeries are fraught with profound ethical and moral challenges, including issues surrounding personal identity, informed consent and the possibility of “future resentment,” the team writes.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anthropology, Canada, Children, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Psychology, Science & Technology, Theology

(NYT Magazine) It’s Official: The Boomerang Kids Won’t Leave

One in five people in their 20s and early 30s is currently living with his or her parents. And 60 percent of all young adults receive financial support from them. That’s a significant increase from a generation ago, when only one in 10 young adults moved back home and few received financial support. The common explanation for the shift is that people born in the late 1980s and early 1990s came of age amid several unfortunate and overlapping economic trends. Those who graduated college as the housing market and financial system were imploding faced the highest debt burden of any graduating class in history. Nearly 45 percent of 25-year-olds, for instance, have outstanding loans, with an average debt above $20,000. (Kasinecz still has about $60,000 to go.) And more than half of recent college graduates are unemployed or underemployed, meaning they make substandard wages in jobs that don’t require a college degree. According to Lisa B. Kahn, an economist at Yale University, the negative impact of graduating into a recession never fully disappears. Even 20 years later, the people who graduated into the recession of the early ’80s were making substantially less money than people lucky enough to have graduated a few years afterward, when the economy was booming.

Some may hope that the boomerang generation represents an unfortunate but temporary blip ”” that the class of 2015 will be able to land great jobs out of college, and that they’ll reach financial independence soon after reaching the drinking age. But the latest recession was only part of the boomerang generation’s problem. In reality, it simply amplified a trend that had been growing stealthily for more than 30 years. Since 1980, the U.S. economy has been destabilized by a series of systemic changes ”” the growth of foreign trade, rapid advances in technology, changes to the tax code, among others ”” that have affected all workers but particularly those just embarking on their careers. In 1968, for instance, a vast majority of 20-somethings were living independent lives; more than half were married. But over the past 30 years, the onset of sustainable economic independence has been steadily receding. By 2007, before the recession even began, fewer than one in four young adults were married, and 34 percent relied on their parents for rent.

These boomerang kids are not a temporary phenomenon. They appear to be part of a new and permanent life stage.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Children, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Marriage & Family, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, Theology, Young Adults

Greg Anderson elected the 6th Bishop of the the Northern Territory.

Dr Anderson has been the Head of the Department of Mission at Moore Theological College, Sydney since 2007.

He has had a long standing interest in the Aboriginal church and in ministry in the Territory.

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

(Post-Gazette) Anglican church of North America elects a new Archbishop

Bishops of the Anglican Church in North America have elected a Georgia-based bishop to succeed their founding archbishop, Robert Duncan of Pittsburgh, the church announced Sunday.

Bishop Foley Beach of the Diocese of the South, based in suburban Atlanta, was elected at the conclusion of a three-day conclave held by the bishops at St. Vincent Archabbey in Latrobe.

He will officially take office as archbishop after the conclusion of the diocese’s assembly being held this week in Latrobe. His term of office is five years, and he is eligible for re-election. He made his first public appearance as archbishop-elect this afternoon at a vespers service at Church of the Ascension in Oakland.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA)

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Almighty and eternal God, who art able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think: Give us grace to believe that the things which are impossible with men are possible with thee; save us from all doubt of thy goodness and questioning of thy love; and help us to trust in thy wisdom and mercy, that we may be calm and unafraid; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

–James Todd

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

O LORD God of hosts, who is mighty as thou art, O LORD, with thy faithfulness round about thee?

–Psalm 89:9

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

A Look Back to 2004–a Piece from Michael Carreker on Foley Beach, the Windsor Report, and TEC

(Michael Carreker was rector of Saint John’s, Savannah Georgia at the time this was written–KSH).

The workings of God’s good providence are never failing and always glorious, but none more so than the events of these last two weeks. This past weekend we hosted a conference of the Georgia Chapter of the American Anglican Council, followed by the southeastern convocation of the Anglican Communion Network, and this coming weekend is the dedication of our newly refurbished building for Christian education, Cranmer Hall.

In the first instance, it was a joy to sponsor these conferences along with Christ Church. An enormous amount of good will was shared between our parishes: extensive preparation and flawless execution. Mostly responsible for this were Patti Victor of St. John’s and Carol Rodgers Smith of Christ Church. While significant differences distinguish our churches – in a very inadequate way we might refer to us as Anglo-Catholic and to them as Evangelical – we stand together now in solidarity with those who claim the essentials of what it means to be within the Anglican Communion and the Church Catholic.

All of this might not have been possible for our churches, if by God’s good providence, Dr. [Marcus] Robertson [of Christ Church, Savannah at the time] and I had not shared in a theological seminar for a year before the chaos of General Convention 2003. That seminar, as does all proper theological thinking, helped to establish trust, charity, and mutual joy.

The meeting of the Georgia Chapter of the American Anglican Council was very encouraging. There were a number of parishes represented from the Diocese of Georgia, and a few from the Diocese of Atlanta, as well as some from outside Georgia. We also heard from a young, courageous priest (an old friend from North Fulton High School in Atlanta), Dr. Foley Beach. His story of the gradual decline in the Diocese of Atlanta away from the Catholic faith was sobering indeed. But the story of how his faithful parish has come under the pastoral oversight of an orthodox bishop, the Rt. Rev. Frank Lyon of the Diocese of Bolivia, was inspiring and hopeful.
On Monday, at the meeting of the Anglican Communion Network, Dr. Beach’s story was put in a much broader context when the Rt. Rev. Alex Dickson, retired bishop of West Tennessee, recalled for us the history of the past forty years and the gradual doctrinal decline of the Episcopal Church, something we have all come to recognize has come full force with ECUSA’s action in New Hampshire.

But what was most gratifying to me was the evidence of providence again, when we had the Rev’d Canon Michael Green, Senior Research Fellow at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford, preach for us

at Evensong. Lynne and I attended St. Aldate’s Church at Oxford in the late seventies when Canon Green was the rector there. It was the time of Professor Maurice Wiles and the infamous publication of his The Myth of God Incarnate, to which, in a miraculous six weeks, a volume was published refuting Wiles’ book, entitled The Truth of God Incarnate, edited by Michael Green. He was a defender of the faith then and he is now. His sermon and the most exquisite Evensong of the Choir was another glistening of our Lord’s providence.

The rest of the Anglican Communion Network meeting saw a resolve for us to embrace the recommendations of the Windsor Report. The ACN has as its primary goal to be an orthodox Christian fellowship which holds to the supremacy of Holy Scripture, the historic formularies of the Anglican Church, and is in communion with the worldwide Anglican Church.

As for this coming Sunday, we dedicate our newly refurbished Christian education building, Cranmer Hall. I believe this must be seen within the larger context of what St. John’s has been, is, and shall be.

Our church has been devoted first of all to the worship of Almighty God. It is wonderful when you hear, as I did the other night, people speaking of Bible studies and study groups in which they have discerned through the Bible and elsewhere that the first need that they have is the worship of God. That is why St. John’s has not given herself over entirely to practical concerns, but keeps the focus of worship primary.

Cranmer Hall represents now the commitment to educate ourselves and our children more completely in the orthodox Christen faith. Its Rose window is s symbol of what such teaching means.

At its center is the Holy Family, Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, enveloped by the Triune God. From this center, the window moves outward through the symbols of the twelve Apostles to twelve saints and worthies who made a profound influence on the development of Anglican spirituality. It is our intention to live into that heritage more fully and to share and teach it as well.

But more is required. We as a parish must prepare ourselves for greater mission work than in the recent past. We sometimes forget that St. John’s was a mission of Christ Church, and that St. Paul’s (originally St. Matthew’s and later renamed) was a mission undertaken by St. John’s. It is time now for other mission churches to be founded and for greater cooperation with Anglican Churches throughout the wider Communion. The ministry of Elliott House is set and on its way with our fourth theological seminar coming up in January. But now it is important for us to reach out in other ways to establish Christian mission in the Anglican Way. That will not happen unless we live into the theme of the Rose Window, and cultivate our heritage as orthodox Anglican Christians with missionary fervor.

Finally, the work of the Building Committee has now come to a very happy end. We should all be grateful for the many gifts and hours of labor, a labor of love, that the members of the committee have offered to the Lord and to their Church. Our Senior Warden and I have asked George Fawcett to oversee the final interior details of the building, and Martha has graciously consented for him to do so. As George represents a long family history at St. John’s, this too is a remarkable testimony to the good providence of God. And so with our profound thanksgiving, Soli Deo Gloria.

(My emphasis–KSH)

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention, Instruments of Unity, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Georgia, TEC Departing Parishes, TEC Parishes, Theology, Windsor Report / Process

Huge Huge Moment for USA Soccer

Go Team USA go!

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

A Local paper article on the Baha'i Faith in South Carolina

[Alonzo] Twine died in the asylum three years later of a devastating illness caused by malnutrition, stripped of his freedom and the writings of his faith. It looked as if the Baha’i Faith in South Carolina might die with him.

Instead, it grew quietly, spreading through living room “firesides” and prayer groups, under the radar of many.

That’s partly why a recent religion census drew a spate of national media attention to the Palmetto State. It was no surprise that the 2010 Religion Census found Christianity easily dominates here.

But who knew that 100 years after Twine’s death, the Baha’i Faith has become South Carolina’s second-largest religion? Not many people, except maybe the Baha’is themselves.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, * South Carolina, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture