Photographer Charlie Phillips talks to Dan Damon about the rituals and fashions of Afro-Caribbean funerals in London. Starting with the Windrush generation in the 1950s to today. Charlie’s work will be published in the book ‘How Great Thou Art’. The title for this book is borrowed from the popular hymn sung at funerals.
Daily Archives: October 13, 2014
Waiting for your midlife crisis? Relax. It’s probably not coming.
According to a growing body of research, midlife upheavals are more fiction than fact.
“Despite its popularity in the popular culture, there isn’t much evidence for a midlife crisis,” says Susan Krauss Whitbourne, a professor of psychology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She is conducting a continuing study of more than 450 people who graduated from college between 1965 and 2006. The study’s latest installment is scheduled for publication in 2015.
Using strikingly open language, an interim report of a Vatican synod on modern family life says the church needs to welcome and appreciate gays, and offers a solution for divorced and remarried Catholics who want to receive Communion.
At a press conference to present the report, Cardinal Tagle of the Philippines said the most discussed topics at the Synod so far were the impact of poverty, war and immigration on families.
But one veteran Vatican journalist called the newly proposed language on gays and civil marriages a “pastoral earthquake.”
“Regarding homosexuals, it went so far as to pose the question whether the church could accept and value their sexual orientation without compromising Catholic doctrine,” said John Thavis, a former Rome bureau chief for Catholic News Service.
Can be watched here from 2:22:54 to 2:28:56
Archbishop Foley ”“ I bring warm greetings, congratulations and good wishes to you at this very special moment, and our prayers and thoughts to your wife and family too:
Firstly from the Executive of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans in the United Kingdom, that is Wales, Scotland and England ”“ and Ireland too. [laughter] They are not part of the United Kingdom – Northern Ireland is ”“ my wife is Northern Irish. The Primates of the Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans recognises this regional body as the expression of orthodox Anglicanism in the United Kingdom and Ireland.
I have been asked Secondly to bring the greetings and prayers of the Executive of the Church of England Evangelical Council, whose existence owed much to the late Dr John Stott.
And Thirdly the recent ReNew Conference of Anglican clergy and leaders, consisting of members of three organisations: the Anglican Mission in England, which is the mission society of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans UK and Ireland, Reform and Church Society. They also wanted me to convey their good wishes at this key moment in the life of the province. You and fellow members of this province of the Anglican Church of North America should be in no doubt that you have many friends in the Church of England who admire and respect your costly, courageous and principled stand in recent years.
You have taught us valuable lessons as we respond to the challenges of a collapsing culture in the United Kingdom both within and outside the Church…
Outside the Church the redefinition of marriage by a government without a manifesto commitment or mandate caused a great shock, not only within the Christian community, but wider nationally.
Within the Church of England the Pilling Report recently submitted to General Synod of which I am a member, recommended that the subject of sexuality be addressed through facilitated discussions. However it states that it has not found the arguments from Scripture, theology, science or social trends to be conclusive, either for or against the Church’s current teaching.
In his minority dissenting report, the Bishop of Birkenhead, Keith Sinclair who sends his personal greetings to you too today records that as far as the Report is concerned the jury is still out. But he wrote:
“that is a conclusion and a rationale and basis for further discussion which I do not share. No one who reads the signs of the times will be reassured that the foundations are secure as the tectonic plates are already shifting.”
We have learnt at least two valuable lessons from you:
In particular, ”˜united we stand, divided we fall’. We can spend a great deal of wasted effort focussing on where we disagree. It is Satan’s best weapon. You are here today because you have worked so hard on maintaining unity. I am encouraged that I have come with greetings from a number of bodies from the United Kingdom which demonstrates a greater understanding of our need for unity at this time.
The second lesson: ”˜make the main thing the main thing’. Guarding the Gospel is a priority, but its twin is Proclaiming the Gospel. We note how urgent you are in mission and discipleship, and recognise that we must follow your lead.
But this is a moment of celebration, and we rejoice with you and thank God that He has brought you safely thus far. Never think for a moment that you don’t have many friends and admirers in the Church of England who hugely respect your integrity in the face of provocation and persecution.
This year marks the Centenary of the beginning of the First World War and I am reminded of the remark by Marshall Foch to Marshall Joffre during the first battle of the Marne in September 1914:
“My center is giving way, my right is retreating, situation excellent ”“ I am attacking”
[laughter and applause]
Our attack, if it be so called, is the message of the transforming love of God in Jesus Christ, and nothing and no one can defeat it. Archbishop Foley, may that be your constant inspiration and we will pray for you but we also ask you to pray for us.
May God bless you all. [Applause]
The Reverend Prebendary Charles Marnham is Vicar of St Michael’s Chester Square in London, member of General Synod and the originator of the Alpha Course.
In a state where legal marijuana seemingly is everywhere, Colorado public health officials have taken an unusual approach to warning teenagers about the dangers of the drug: likening young pot smokers to laboratory animals.
Concerned about a potential jump in youth marijuana use now that the state has legalized the drug for adults, Colorado is displaying three human-size cages in various communities with signs that bear provocative messages about the drug’s pitfalls, as part of its “Don’t Be A Lab Rat” campaign.
“Does Marijuana really cause schizophrenia in teenagers? Smoke and find out,” one sign says. “Subjects needed. Must be a teenager. Must smoke weed. Must have 8 IQ points to spare,” reads another.
If Christians are to accept…so-called [same-sex] marriage, they must accept that our liturgies and our services, our pastors and priests, our forefathers and foremothers have been for centuries wrong about the meaning of marriage. What they heard, what the pastor read, what their grandparents knew to be true was wrong as rain. And not just a little wrong, but fundamentally mistaken about the most essential elements of marriage. If… [same-sex] marriage is right, then there is almost nothing in the old Book of Common Prayer that is right.
You may find the audio link here if you wish to make your way 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”).
The first reported case in the Ebola outbreak ravaging west Africa dates back to December 2013, in GuÃ©ckÃ©dou, a forested area of Guinea near the border with Liberia and Sierra Leone. Travellers took it across the border: by late March, Liberia had reported eight suspected cases and Sierra Leone six. By the end of June 759 people had been infected and 467 people had died from the disease, making this the worst ever Ebola outbreak. The numbers do not just keep climbing, they are accelerating. As of October 8th, 8,399 cases and 4,033 deaths had been reported worldwide, the vast majority of them in these same three countries. Many suspect these estimates are badly undercooked.
Archbishop Glenn Davies has announced a new bishop for the Georges River region, a new director of ministry training and proposed a new Diocesan Mission in a packed Presidential Address to Synod.
Synod gathered in the Wesley Theatre in Pitt Street after an opening service in St Andrew’s Cathedral, to hear the Archbishop outline a vision which includes boosting the number of newcomers at Sydney Anglican churches…
“Our vision for the next five years is to see Christ honoured as Lord in every community. That is, we want to penetrate every part of our society, every ethnic group, every tribe and tongue with the gospel of Jesus so that more and more from every part of our diocese come to put their trust in Jesus as Lord and Saviour. We have a mission, which is a matter of life and death.”
Take from us, O Lord God, all pride and vanity, all boasting and self-assertion, and give us the true courage that shows itself in gentleness; the true wisdom that shows itself in simplicity; and the true power that shows itself in modesty; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.
I have a problem with Aaron, number two in the great and glorious epic that recounts the liberation of the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt. He is a man of peace. He succeeds at everything. Everyone admires, even loves him. Whether great or small, they need him, his understanding and his mediation. Whatever he does, he is well regarded.
But is it possible that Aaron is without fault? Like all biblical characters, he must be imperfect. He too has his moments of weakness and his crises. But in those he is forgiven.
His younger brother Moses must overcome obstacles and dangers. More than once, Moses’ life has been threatened and his reputation questioned. But not Aaron, who passes through difficulties unscathed. Moses is often torn between two passions, two obligations: the demands of God and those of his people. But not Aaron….
A Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital health care worker in Dallas who had “extensive contact” with the first Ebola patient to die in the United States has contracted the disease.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta confirmed the news Sunday afternoon after an official test.
The infected person detected a fever Friday night and drove herself to the Presbyterian emergency room, where she was placed in isolation 90 minutes later. A blood sample sent to the state health lab in Austin confirmed Saturday night that she had Ebola ”” the first person to contract the disease in the United States.
The director for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Sunday that the infection in the health care worker, who was not on the organization’s watch list for people who had contact with Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan, resulted from a “breach in protocol.”
One can contextualize the message of the Gospel well or poorly, and it is important to know not only the need for contextualization but also how to engage in the process appropriately. Paul Hiebert has helpfully suggested that there are four levels of contextualization: no contextualization, minimal contextualization, uncritical contextualization, and critical contextualization. The no contextualization approach understands the Christian faith as something that is not a part of human culture; it rejects the notion that culture shapes how one receives and practices Christianity. The minimal contextualization approach acknowledges that differences exist between cultures, but it tries to limit cultural adaptation as much as possible. Under this model, missionaries might translate the Bible into a foreign language but will likely arrange new church plants in a fashion similar to the churches in their home country. Uncritical contextualization tends to prioritize culture over the Gospel. It minimizes the eternal truths found in Scripture in order to emphasize cultural convictions and practices.
Critical contextualization seeks a balanced approach. In the words of Hiebert, in critical contextualization the Bible is seen as divine revelation, not simply as humanly constructed beliefs. In contextualization the heart of the gospel must be kept as it is encoded in forms that are understood by the people, without making the gospel captive to the contexts. This is an ongoing process of embodying the gospel in an ever-changing world. Here cultures are seen as both good and evil, not simply as neutral vehicles for understanding the world. No culture is absolute or privileged. We are all relativized by the gospel….
Out of all of these approaches, contemporary Christians should prefer critical contextualization.