Daily Archives: October 23, 2014

TEC Dio. of Connecticut Sells Avon Property to Farmington Valley American Muslim Center

The Episcopal Church in Connecticut (ECCT) sold its property at 35 Harris Road, Avon, former home to Christ Episcopal Church, to the Farmington Valley American Muslim Center, Inc. (FVAMC).

The sale, for $1.1 million, was completed on October 21, 2014.

The building was vacated after the congregation voted in 2012 to dissolve as a parish and close by the end of that year.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Episcopal Church (TEC), Parish Ministry, Stewardship, TEC Parishes

(Northumberland News) Green burials offered at St. James Anglican Church in Eastern Canada

Perched on a hill overlooking the countryside, a little historic church is going green in a unique way.

The cemetery at St. James Anglican Church is poised to offer green burials in the community thanks to the efforts of parishioner Gerald Beavan, 78. Mr. Beavan, who came to Canada from England in 1974, said his grandparents were buried in simple pine boxes without all the additions of modern funerals. He wants to offer that simple, environmentally friendly type of burial to a community he has called home since 1978. He came up with the idea to create a place in the church’s cemetery for green burials about five years ago, he said.

“The idea is you go back to the old way of burial,” said Mr. Beavan.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Canada, Death / Burial / Funerals, Energy, Natural Resources, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

Lent and Beyond: Prayer for South Carolina on Thursday October 23rd

Awaiting the results of litigation”“
Jeremiah 39:3 Amp
[When Jerusalem was taken] all the princes of the king of Babylon came in and sat in the Middle Gate: Nergal-sharezer, Samgar-nebo, Sarsechim [the Rabsaris] a chief of the eunuchs, and Nergal-sharezer [II, the Rabmag] a chief of the magicians, with all the rest of the officials of the king of Babylon.

Nergal-sharezer”““prince of fire”

This is the only place in Holy Scripture that the ”˜Middle Gate’ is mentioned. The names of the Jerusalem gates in Nehemiah are the valley gate, the gates of the fountain, the sheep gate, the fish gate, the old gate, the dung gate, the water gate, the horse gate, the east gate, the gate of Miphkad, the gate of Ephraim, and the prison gate.

O Father,
We pray that violence shall no more be heard in the Diocese of South Carolina, nor destruction within its borders. Help them to build walls of salvation and gates of praise.
Guard them from compromising Your Truth. No Middle Gate, Lord! Protect the Diocese of South Carolina from the “prince of fire.” Amen.
Isaiah 60:18

Please pray it all and there are more prayers for South Carolina here

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: South Carolina

(NYT) In the West, a Growing List of Attacks Linked to Extremism

Canadian authorities identified the gunman in the deadly shooting Wednesday of a soldier guarding the National War Memorial in Ottawa as Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, a Canadian born in 1982. Mr. Zehaf-Bibeau, who had a criminal record, recently converted to Islam, senior American law enforcement officials said. He was shot and killed in the attack.

The episode was the second deadly assault on a uniformed member of Canada’s armed forces in three days, and the latest in a growing list of attacks in the West against soldiers, and in some cases civilians, by individuals who have professed their affinity for radical Islam or sympathy to militant ideology.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Ethics / Moral Theology, Islam, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Terrorism, Theology, Violence

(BI) Google’s New Inbox App Is Going To Really Annoy Advertisers

Google just announced a new app called “Inbox” that has the potential to transform the way we email. But it also looks like it’s going to seriously annoy advertisers as a result.

One of the key features of the Google Now-like app is “Bundles.” Basically, Inbox automatically bundles together certain kinds of messages like bank statements and purchase receipts so it’s easy to scan through them quickly.

Another feature likely to catch the eye of advertisers is “Highlights” which helps you find key information like flight itineraries and event info, but it also pulls in information from the web that wasn’t in the original email like the real-time status of your flight.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anthropology, Blogging & the Internet, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Media, Science & Technology, Theology

(Ghanaweb) Head of Anglican Church to visit Ghana next week

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby Head of the Anglican Communion and his spouse Mrs Welby, would pay a three- day visit to Ghana, spanning Wednesday, October 29 to Friday, October 31.

The visit would be his first to West Africa, since his enthronement as head of the church in 2012.

Archbishop Welby and his entourage would be met at Kotoka International Airport by Right Reverend Dr Daniel Sylvanus Mensah Torto, Anglican Bishop of Accra and Mr Jon Benjamin, British High Commissioner.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, --Justin Welby, Africa, Archbishop of Canterbury, Ghana

(BP) China: Fewer abortions? But more persecution

China’s newly announced switch to a two-child population control policy does not resolve the coercive nature of the program, pro-life leaders say.

The disclosure of the change came even as the communist government imposes the most severe oppression in four decades, according to a leading advocate for the Chinese church.

Christians face the “worst persecution in China since the Cultural Revolution,” Bob Fu, president of ChinaAid, said in an article by Christian Today on Oct. 9.

That description is justified, Fu explained to BP in written comments in an email interview…[yesterday] (Oct. 22), due to “both the large scale and the severe degree of [the] violent crackdown” against not only the unregistered house churches but against the government-approved Three-Self Patriotic Movement congregations. About 300 churches have either been destroyed or had crosses forcibly removed recently in an ongoing campaign, and various believers have been arrested, Fu said.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Asia, Children, China, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Law & Legal Issues, Life Ethics, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Theology

(Church Times) York Inquiry finds 'systematic failure' over abuse

In 1999, after receiving allegations of sexual abuse by a priest in his province, Lord Hope, then Archbishop of York, wrote a letter of apology, aware that “this whole business will have caused you deep disquiet and distress and a considerable degree of sadness and pain.”

The letter was sent not to the survivor, but to the abusive priest. On Wednesday, it was published as part of a strongly critical report on the Church’s response to allegations of abuse against the priest, the former Dean of Manchester, the late Robert Waddington. It details how the failure to implement policies meant that victims were denied an opportunity to see their abuser brought to justice.

The report is the result of an inquiry commissioned last year by the present Archbishop of York, Dr Sentamu, after a joint investigation by The Times in London and The Australian newspaper in Sydney had revealed allegations against Waddington dating back decades.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Theology

(BBC) Archbishop of York 'wholehearted' apology to abuse victims

The Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu has apologised to victims of sexual abuse by a former cathedral dean.

Dr Sentamu was responding to a report into how abuse allegations against the Very Rev Robert Waddington, formerly dean of Manchester, were handled.

His predecessor was criticised for not acting on allegations in the report, which found “systemic failures” within the Church of England.

At least two men made claims of abuse in 1999 and at sometime in 2003-04.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Theology

Canadian PM Stephen Harper's address following the Ottawa attack

Fellow Canadians, we’ve also been reminded today of the compassionate and courageous nature of so many Canadians like those private citizens and first responders who came to provide aid to Corporal Cirillo as he fought for his life, and of course the members of our security forces in the RCMP, the City of Ottawa Police and in Parliament who came quickly and at great risk to themselves to assist those of us who were close to the attack.

Fellow Canadians, in the days to come, we will learn more about the terrorist and any accomplices he may have had, but this week’s events are a grim reminder that Canada is not immune to the types of terrorist attacks we have seen elsewhere around the world.

We are also reminded that attacks on our security personnel and on our institutions of governance are by their very nature attacks on our country, on our values, on our society, on us Canadians as a free and democratic people who embrace human dignity for all. But let there be no misunderstanding: we will not be intimidated. Canada will never be intimidated.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Canada, Terrorism, Urban/City Life and Issues, Violence

(Ottawa Citizen) Day of chaos in the capital leaves soldier and terrorist dead

The stone halls of Parliament Hill echoed with gunfire and were stained with blood Wednesday as a terrorist struck at the heart of the federal government after gunning down a sentry at the National War Memorial.

The gunman was shot and killed near the Library of Parliament, according to Ottawa police sources, by House of Commons Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers, a former RCMP officer and the man responsible for security on the Hill.

A witness said the gunman, carrying the rifle at his hip, walked deliberately up the west ramp of Centre Block and through the main doors of Parliament as bystanders cowered. It was just before 10 a.m.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Canada, Law & Legal Issues, Terrorism, Urban/City Life and Issues, Violence

(Bloomberg) Attack Drags Canada Into Terror Era as Nation Reels

Terror reached Canada this week when a “radicalized” convert to Islam on Monday ran down and killed a soldier with a car and a gunman yesterday invaded the capital. He murdered a soldier at a war memorial before entering Ottawa’s parliament building where he was shot to death.

Canada had until now dodged a terror attack even as Prime Minister Stephen Harper and others had warned that the nation, whether from Islamist extremists or lone wolves looking to settle some real or imagined grudge, was vulnerable.

“It’s hard to see how this won’t change things,” said Andrew MacDougall, a former director of communications for Harper who’s now a consultant in London at MSLGroup. “To see my former place of work lit up in a blaze of gunfire is shocking, disheartening and worrying.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anthropology, Canada, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, Terrorism, Theology, Urban/City Life and Issues, Violence

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Saint James of Jerusalem

Grant, we beseech thee, O God, that after the example of thy servant James the Just, brother of our Lord, thy Church may give itself continually to prayer and to the reconciliation of all who are at variance and enmity; through the same our Lord Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and ever.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Church History, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Spirituality/Prayer, Theology, Theology: Scripture

A Prayer to Begin the Day from Arthur Robinson

O Eternal God, the fountain of all wisdom and the giver of all grace, who didst send thy Spirit to dwell with our fathers and to lead them into the way of truth: Grant to us that in all our difficulties and dangers we also may be enabled, by the light and power of the same Spirit, to know thy mind and to do thy will, for the glory of thy name and the benefit of thy Church; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

Trust in the Lord, and do good;
so you will dwell in the land, and enjoy security.
Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him, and he will act.

–Psalm 37:3-5

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

[Rev. Stephen Keeble] Fornication in Faith: A New Direction?

An open letter to Bishop Jonathan Baker from a concerned Anglo-Catholic priest.

20 October 2014
Dear Bishop Jonathan,

The Roman Catholic Church has, at its recent Extraordinary Synod on the Family, shown its determination to uphold its traditional understanding of the sanctity of marriage. In the light of recent events it is far from clear where the leadership of Forward in Faith stands on this key matter of Christian faith and practice.

With the proposals for provision for those unable to receive the ministry of women bishops, Anglican Catholics have, it seems, a chance to remain in the Church of England with integrity. But Catholic integrity is not separable from Catholic moral teaching and discipline, and the question of the viability of a continued Catholic presence within the Church of England affiliated to Forward in Faith and the College of Bishops of The Society under the patronage of St Wilfrid and St Hilda is now very acute.
I am deeply disappointed that, as Acting Editor of Forward in Faith’s journal New Directions, you have not allowed me to respond, in time for next month’s National Assembly, to Canon Nicholas Turner’s criticisms of my article ”˜Stewards of Mysteries’ in his ”˜Pro-gay and Pro-matrimony’ (New Directions June). This was subtitled ”˜Nicholas Turner was disturbed by Stephen Keeble’s article and continues to support the Bishops of The Society’. A right of reply is a recognised courtesy. As you know, the text of a response to Nicholas Turner had, after some discussion, been agreed for the July issue between myself and the then Editor Fr Philip Corbett. I was both surprised and puzzled when, without explanation, this did not appear.

Moreover, in July, when the General Synod was passing the legislation introducing women bishops, photographs of Forward in Faith’s Vice-Chairman Dr Lindsay Newcombe at this year’s LGBT ”˜Pride’ festival in London, sporting a ”˜Pride’ sticker, were circulating on the internet with predictably adverse reactions from orthodox Anglicans around the world. This, together with Nicholas Turner’s apparent free rein in New Directions and your unexplained endorsement of the Pilling Report ”“ albeit not in your capacity as Chairman of Forward in Faith ”“ appears to have given rise to the opening words of Forward in Faith, North America’s statement of 18 July: ”˜In the light of recent events in the Church of England and reports regarding Forward in Faith (UK) ”¦’.
Forward in Faith, North America, however, maintains an intelligible, biblical and Catholic position:

Under the authority of holy scripture and tradition of the church, we affirm that sexual activity can only properly take place within the context of holy matrimony between a man and woman. We affirm that any other type of sexual relationship is sinful regardless of context or degree of fidelity, and that the church cannot bless any type of sexual relationship outside of holy matrimony between a man and woman.

I have twice asked you to publish unabridged in New Directions the important statement from Forward in Faith, North America. It comes from faithful Anglo-Catholics who have been willing to suffer for their faith ”“ to the extent of exclusion from their former churches in the United States and Canada. My requests to make the statement available to New Directions readers have been ignored even though the stance of our sister organisation is fully in accord with the Agreed Statement on Communion of 1994, which has a key constitutional role in defining the Objects of Forward in Faith (UK).

The Preamble of the Agreed Statement on Communion says:

We want a Catholic understanding of faith and morals, and the practice of Catholic sacramental discipline to flourish in our Church, for we are convinced that they are essential features in the presentation of the gospel to our nation. Remove these elements and our Church’s witness will be greatly impoverished and weakened.

These elements, following the eclipse of classical Anglican theology which sustained them, are disappearing in the Church of England. But it is the duty of orthodox Anglo-Catholics, and a constitutional duty of the leadership of Forward in Faith, to maintain their combined sanctifying grace. Without both, the substantive legacy of the Oxford Movement in the Church of England will be gone. Would readers of New Directions be allowed to notice?

Read it all and for the background to this see here and here

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE)

Lent and Beyond: Prayer for South Carolina on Wednesday October 22nd

Awaiting the outcome of the South Carolina litigation”“
Exodus 12:13 (KJV)
And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.

Joshua 2:12, 13, 17, 18 (KJV)
Now therefore, I pray you, swear unto me by the LORD, since I have shewed you kindness, that ye will also shew kindness unto my father’s house, and give me a true token: And that ye will save alive my father, and my mother, and my brethren, and my sisters, and all that they have, and deliver our lives from death. . . . And the men said unto her, We will be blameless of this thine oath which thou hast made us swear. Behold, when we come into the land, thou shalt bind this line of scarlet thread in the window which thou didst let us down by: and thou shalt bring thy father, and thy mother, and thy brethren, and all thy father’s household, home unto thee.

God of our Lord Jesus Christ, Father of glory,

We thank You for Your great plan of redemption and for the Blood of the Lamb that washed us clean from our sins. Thank You for the delight in drawing near and knowing You.

May the Diocese of South Carolina ever continue in Your presence that their spiritual understanding may open and unfold and that they will not fail to recognize the hope of Your calling, the riches of Your inheritance, and the greatness of Your power.
You raised Christ Jesus from the dead and set him at Your right hand in heaven, far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, in every dimension and throughout time. You have put all things under his feet and made Him the head of the church.

By faith, Moses kept the passover and the sprinkling of the blood. By faith, Rahab delivered the spies and redeemed her family and their possessions with the scarlet cord. By faith, the people of the Diocese of South Carolina receive the Blood of the Lamb at the altar rail.

By faith, we apply the Blood of the Lamb over the doorposts and lintels, the windows in the wall, and every spiritual portal of this Diocese. By faith, we claim the Blood of the Lamb over her bishop, clergy, and laity.

The Blood of the Lamb says to the angel of death, You must pass over. The Blood of Jesus, our Mediator of a new covenant, speaks a better, nobler, and more gracious message than the blood of Abel, Mercy, not vengeance.

Speak, O precious Blood, speak. Speak the way, the truth, and the life for this Diocese. Speak that they may receive God’s kingdom, a kingdom that is firm and stable and cannot be shaken. Amen.

Please pray it all and there are more prayers for South Carolina here

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: South Carolina

Archbp Fred Hiltz–A Call to Prayer Amidst Violence

With all Canadians my heart is very heavy with the news of the killing of a Canadian soldier, Corporal Nathan Cirillo, while on honour guard duty at the National War Memorial in Ottawa today.

This follows all too soon on the killing of another member of the Canadian Armed Forces in Quebec, Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent, just days ago.

I ask your prayers for these men, for their loved ones stricken with grief, and for the Canadian Armed Forces chaplains who are ministering to them.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Canada, Defense, National Security, Military, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Spirituality/Prayer, Violence

(Globe and Mail) Attack on Ottawa: Dead soldier and gunman identified

Federal sources have identified the suspected shooter as Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, a man in his early 30s who was known to Canadian authorities.

Sources told The Globe and Mail that he was recently designated a “high-risk traveller” by the Canadian government and that his passport had been seized ”“ the same circumstances surrounding the case of Martin Rouleau-Couture, the Quebecker who was shot Monday after running down two Canadian Forces soldiers with his car.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Canada, Judaism, Law & Legal Issues, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Urban/City Life and Issues, Violence

TEC Unveils A Mission Revolution in the Church

Presented October 1 to the Episcopal Business Administrators Conference (EBAC) at the group’s annual gathering in New York, Bishop Sauls details the many ways that the Missionary Society can partner with and support mission and ministry at the local level.

“The fundamental mission of the church is to remember about God,” said Bishop Sauls, who serves as the Chief Operating Officer of The Episcopal Church. “That’s why the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society exists. To help you remind the church about God. That’s why we’re in business ”“ to support the work you do.”

Read it all and note the link to the video presentation.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Episcopal Church (TEC), Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, TEC Bishops, TEC Parishes

David Koyzis–The Death of the Parish: A Motor-driven ecclesiology

Beginning just over a century ago, all this changed. Catholics and Protestants alike have now embraced a new ecclesiology based on the consumer model. Adam Graber tells us that this huge shift was sparked by the invention of the automobile: “How Cars Created the Megachurch and put churchgoers in the driver’s seat.” As recently as the turn of the last century my great-grandparents, who lived in rural southeast Michigan, attended a Friends Church. Not because they were Quakers, but because it was near their farm and thus easily accessible. In their world, a megachurch would have been an impossibility. If you couldn’t walk or ride a horse or horse-drawn vehicle over unpaved country roads, you simply couldn’t get there at all.

Now virtually every family has at least one automobile, and this reality has transformed not only our cities, but also our churches. Here’s Graber:

Cars have made distance less of a factor in our lives. For this reason, church goers can choose from a marketplace of churches. But in order to decide, they have to narrow down the options, and when they do, they (naturally) consider their personal preferences first. They’ll try on different churches and see what “fits.”

Pastors, in reaction, are today forced to account for these new dynamics of affinity. Because church shoppers are exploring their options, area pastors often respond by targeting “felt needs.” For pastors, attracting and retaining church goers often means preaching on the topics people are looking for.

The most important consequence of this trend is that the gathered church””as distinct from the church as corpus Christi, which is all-encompassing””has been reduced to a mere voluntary association of like-minded individuals who can join and quit, or come and go at their discretion. The church, like any other commodity in the marketplace, exists only to serve the needs of its individual members.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Children, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Marriage & Family, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Theology, Travel