Daily Archives: October 16, 2014

(TLC) George Sumner–Wesley and Anglican Mission

Here is a thesis: that the dynamic “x-factor,” the key to the upsurge of Anglican mission in the modern era, and its common feature still today, may be found in the lineage of Wesleyanism. Wesley’s ministry had a shape that has been repeated and reappropriated over and over again. In mission, we are all Methodists now, at least in our root assumptions and many of our strategies. To understand what I mean, we need to consider the particular pattern of Methodist mission and ministry. It was focused on inwardness, conversion, the heart, and yet it was lived out in small groups, “class meetings,” in which the converted held each other to account. In those groups members could confess their failings, be exhorted and encouraged by their peers, and pray for one another. The leaders and the impetus were lay.

The gospel has to be presented to all so as to be received freely in faith. It sounds simple, but with Wesley this reality came to the fore anew. Thus he felt impelled to go to those who had not heard. Shockingly for this time, he went to the openings of mines to preach to the miners at dawn. The sermons were in fact long, dry, and learned, and yet their effect was electric. His earnestness and willingness to go out to people were paramount.

Soon there were numerous converts, and as a result services were held in the open air, where they would sing. Methodism was in large measure a musical movement. Many of the hymns by the Wesley brothers were for devotions preparatory to Holy Communion, or as the congregation waited while the long lines went up for the sacrament. The movement was at once deeply evangelical and eucharistic. And it had spinoffs: lives of the converted changed, drinking was curtailed, family life improved, trades were learned, and money was saved. Social change and conversion were intertwined.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church History, Church of England (CoE), Methodist, Missions, Other Churches, Theology

(Diocese of Manchester) The Actress, the Bishop… and Credit Unions.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Personal Finance, Religion & Culture, The Banking System/Sector, Theology

(CT) Mark Driscoll Resigns from Mars Hill

After nearly 20 years as lead pastor of Seattle’s Mars Hill Church, Mark Driscoll has resigned. Driscoll, 44, had faced mounting criticism over church leadership and discipline within Mars Hill and how he wrote and promoted his popular books.

The decision came less than two months after Driscoll stepped down from leadership while the church investigated charges against him. Earlier in August, he had been removed from the church planting network he founded, Acts 29.

In a statement, the church’s board of overseers accepted his resignation, but emphasized that they had not asked Driscoll to resign and were surprised to receive his letter.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Ethics / Moral Theology, Evangelicals, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Theology

(M Star news) Sudanese Air Force Bombs Ep. Church in Sudan Complex in Nuba Mountains

The Sudanese Air Force dropped four bombs on an Episcopal Church of Sudan (ECS) complex in the Nuba Mountains on Friday (Oct. 10), church leaders said.

“The bombs have completely destroyed our church compound in Tabolo,” the Rev. Youhana Yaqoub of the ECS in Al Atmor, near the Tabolo area in South Kordofan state, told Morning Star News. “A family living at the church compound miraculously escaped the attack, although their whole house and property were destroyed.”

Kamal Adam and his family thanked God for their safety as they watched their house burn from the bombing, he said.

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

(Law and Religion UK) Lords debate women in the episcopate

Although Hansard now records the ABC’s response to Lady Howe’s Q4, in view of the nature of the debate[1] and his non-governmental position, such assurances carry different weight from those made by a government minister at the dispatch box and subsequently relied upon under Pepper v Hart.

With regard to the application of the Equality Act, the Archbishop’s specification of “parochial appointments” implicitly acknowledges that the House of Bishops considers other appointments differently, i.e. hospital chaplains. With regard to remarriage after divorce, this dispensation is not strictly within the gift of the bishops, as clergy are provided a “conscience clause” directly through s8(2) Matrimonial Causes Act 1965.

On Monday 20 October, the House of Commons will consider the Motion: “To approve a Church of England Measure relating to women bishops”. Following the expected vote in favour, the Measure will be presented to the monarch for Royal Assent after which it becomes part of the law of the land.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

(Vat Radio) An Anglican 'outsider'-Bp Paul Butler-shares insights at the Synod on the Family

Among the 253 participants in the Synod on the Family which will conclude here in the Vatican on Sunday are eight delegates from different Christian Churches who are sharing insights from their own communities and traditions. Among them is the Anglican Bishop of Durham Paul Butler who has specialised in children and family ministry within the Church of England. As a husband and father of four children, Bishop Butler also brought his own experience to the Synod and especially to those working in one of the English language groups this week.

Bishop Butler sat down with Philippa Hitchen to talk about his impressions of the two-week meeting and about the struggle within the Anglican world of reaching out to people in same-sex relationships while upholding the Church’s teaching on marriage and family life

Read and listen to it all (about 8 1/3 minutes).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Children, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Ecumenical Relations, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Other Churches, Pope Francis, Psychology, Roman Catholic, Sexuality, Theology

(Chr Post) Hong Kong Anglican Archbishop Calls for 'Dialogue' to Resolve Political Crisis

The leader of the Anglican Church of Hong Kong has issued a statement calling for “dialogue” between pro-democracy protestors and government officials.

Archbishop Paul Kwong issued the statement Tuesday where he said that he was “saddened and distressed by the increasing social conflict.”

“In order to engage in real dialogue, we need to develop greater trust in one another. However this is not yet happening,” stated Kwong.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Asia, China, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Law & Legal Issues, Pastoral Theology, Police/Fire, Politics in General, Theology, Urban/City Life and Issues, Violence

(NYT) Experts Offer Steps for Avoiding Public Hysteria, a Different Contagious Threat

Experts who study public psychology say the next few weeks will be crucial to containing mounting anxiety. “Officials will have to be very, very careful,” said Paul Slovic, president of Decision Research, a nonprofit that studies public health and perceptions of threat. “Once trust starts to erode, the next time they tell you not to worry ”” you worry.”

The risk of Ebola infection remains vanishingly small in this country. The virus is not airborne, not able to travel in the way that, say, measles or the SARS virus can. Close contact with a patient is required for transmission. Just one death from Ebola has occurred here, and medical care is light-years from that available in West Africa, where more than 4,400 people have died in the latest outbreak.

By contrast, in some years, the flu kills more than 30,000 people in the United States. Yet this causes little anxiety: Millions of people who could benefit from a flu shot do not get one.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Globalization, Health & Medicine, Pastoral Theology, Politics in General, Psychology, Theology

Archbishop Philip Freier's Address to the 51st Synod of the Diocese of Melbourne

At its heart seeking to be mission-shaped is about the truth that the Good News of Christ is as necessary for the people who are not in our churches, or any church, as it is for those who freely acknowledge Jesus as the Lord of their life. It is to believe that God intends the renewed relationship that is made possible through Jesus to be available to people everywhere….

Becoming more attuned to our mission as God’s people is not just a matter for our leaders, or for those specially charged and equipped to the various callings. It is a matter for all of us, all Anglicans in every parish. We together are the body and as St Paul tells us, God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired. To paraphrase Bishop Tom Wright, the beatitudes are the agenda for the Kingdom people Jesus hascalled together as his church; or to quote him: “They are about the way in which Jesus wants to rule the world. He wants to do it through this sort of people.”

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

(Prospect) Archbp Justin Welby: what should we do about ISIS?

This struggle is not simply a religious conflict, but a terrible mix of ethnicity, economics, social unrest, injustice between rich and poor, limited access to resources, historic hatreds, post-colonial conflict and more. It is impossible to simplify accurately. We cannot tolerate the complexities and so we seek to hang the whole confusion on the hook of religious conflict. And because even to do that on a global scale is complicated, we focus on one area, at present Iraq and Syria, while others””Sudan, Nigeria and most recently Israel and Gaza””are forgotten. Or, equally dangerously, we deny it is religious, in the illusion that religion makes it unfixable.

The clear religious and ideological aspects of the conflicts have to be tackled ideologically, including through the leadership of those who see the world in religious terms. Religious leaders must up their game and engage jihadism in religious, philosophical and ethical space. Religious justifications of violence must be robustly refuted. That is, in part, a theological task, as well as being a task that recognises the false stimulation, evil sense of purpose and illusory fulfilment that deceive young men and women into becoming religious warriors. As we have seen recently, many religious leaders have the necessary (and very great) moral and physical courage to see the need for an effective response to something that they have condemned. It is essential that Christians are clear about the aim of peace and the need for joint working and that Muslim leaders continue explicitly to reject extremism, violent and otherwise. Any response must bring together all those capable of responding to the challenge.

It is hard to exaggerate this point, and it is one that was picked up recently by Richard Dannatt, former Chief of the General Staff of the British army. We should be quite hesitant about considering this only as a war of self-defence. The justification for our use of military force rests principally in the extreme humanitarian need of the local communities.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Defense, National Security, Military, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Islam, Other Faiths, Politics in General, Terrorism, Theology, Violence

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Hugh Latimer and Nicholas Ridley

Keep us, O Lord, constant in faith and zealous in witness, after the examples of thy servants Hugh Latimer, Nicholas Ridley, and Thomas Cranmer; that we may live in thy fear, die in thy favor, and rest in thy peace; for the sake of Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

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

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O Lord God, keep ever in our remembrance the life and death of our Saviour Jesus Christ. Make the thought of his love powerful to win us from evil. As he toiled and sorrowed and suffered for us, in fighting against sin, so may we endure constantly and labour diligently, as his soldiers and servants, looking ever unto him and counting it all joy to be partakers with him in his conflict, his cross and his victory; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.

—-C. J. Vaughan

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

I love thee, O Lord, my strength.
The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer,
my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge,
my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised,
and I am saved from my enemies.

The cords of death encompassed me,
the torrents of perdition assailed me;
the cords of Sheol entangled me,
the snares of death confronted me.

In my distress I called upon the Lord;
to my God I cried for help.
From his temple he heard my voice,
and my cry to him reached his ears.
hen the earth reeled and rocked;
the foundations also of the mountains trembled
and quaked, because he was angry.
Smoke went up from his nostrils,
and devouring fire from his mouth;
glowing coals flamed forth from him.
He bowed the heavens, and came down;
thick darkness was under his feet.
He rode on a cherub, and flew;
he came swiftly upon the wings of the wind.
He made darkness his covering around him,
his canopy thick clouds dark with water.
Out of the brightness before him
there broke through his clouds
hailstones and coals of fire.
The Lord also thundered in the heavens,
and the Most High uttered his voice,
hailstones and coals of fire.
And he sent out his arrows, and scattered them;
he flashed forth lightnings, and routed them.
Then the channels of the sea were seen,
and the foundations of the world were laid bare,
at thy rebuke, O Lord,
at the blast of the breath of thy nostrils.

He reached from on high, he took me,
he drew me out of many waters.
He delivered me from my strong enemy,
and from those who hated me;
for they were too mighty for me.
They came upon me in the day of my calamity;
but the Lord was my stay.
He brought me forth into a broad place;
he delivered me, because he delighted in me.

The Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness;
according to the cleanness of my hands he recompensed me.

–Psalm 18:1-20

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(Brookings) Andrew Cherlin–The Best Family Planning Method: A Job

Births outside of marriage are increasing most among those without college degrees and in cohabiting couples ”“ as well as for those in their twenties, as Isabel Sawhill and Joanna Venator correctly note. This trend is driven as much by economic as social change, and so requires economic and well as social solutions.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anthropology, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Marriage & Family, Pastoral Theology, Personal Finance, Psychology, Theology, Young Adults

(Sky News) British Ebola Nurse To Return To West Africa

British ebola survivor Will Pooley is preparing to return to West Africa to provide medical support in the fight against the epidemic.

He is among the first wave of volunteers from the NHS and Public Health England who have begun training ahead of possible deployment to Sierra Leone.

The nurse, from Suffolk, said it was “something I need to do”.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, England / UK, Health & Medicine

Churches unite for global day of prayer to end “grave crime” of human trafficking

The Church of England is being urged to pray for victims of human trafficking at services this Sunday.

Freedom Sunday, a global day of prayer, action and worship backed by major Christian denominations in Britain, takes place on October 19.

Organisers have produced a set of resources for churches with prayers, Bible studies, reflections, case studies and sermon notes to help mark the day.

In a foreword to the resources, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Revd Justin Welby, warns that human trafficking is a “grave crime” against humanity.

“It is a form of modern day slavery and a profound violation of the intrinsic dignity of human beings,” he wrote.

“It is intolerable that millions of fellow human beings should be violated in this way, subjected to inhuman exploitation and deprived of their dignity and rights.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Globalization, Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Politics in General, Sexuality, Spirituality/Prayer, Theology

For 6 months, an estimated 219 Nigerian schoolgirls have suffered captivity w/ Islamic militants

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Africa, Children, Defense, National Security, Military, Islam, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Nigeria, Other Faiths, Police/Fire, Religion & Culture, Teens / Youth, Violence, Women