Daily Archives: October 28, 2014

(Scotsman) David Maddox: Lords Spiritual fight for survival

Hanging on by a wing and a prayer, the Lords Spiritual fight for their survival, writes David Maddox

For constitutional geeks the years 1871 and 1920 bear a special significance in terms of reform of that much debated body the House of Lords. The first date was the removal of the Irish Episcopalian bishops from the Upper Chamber, when it was finally accepted that Roman Catholicism and Presbyterian Protestantism were the churches of its peoples. The second was the removal of Welsh bishops, making the Lords Spiritual ”“ as they are collectively known ”“ an English-only body.

It is worth noting that there were never any Scottish bishops given seats in the House of Lords, because of the success of Scotland’s politicians in keeping the Church separate in their negotiations for the 1707 Act of Union.

So with this in mind, Archbishop Justin Welby’s appearance at the Press Gallery lunch yesterday was poignant at a time when political reform, devolution and English votes for English laws are so high on the agenda.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, --Justin Welby, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Other Churches, Politics in General, Presbyterian, Scotland, Theology

William Booth on the chief danger that confronts the coming century

“The chief danger that confronts the coming century will be religion without the Holy Ghost, Christianity without Christ, forgiveness without repentance, salvation without regeneration, politics without God, heaven without hell.”

–just quoted by Bishop Ken Clarke at the South Carolina Clergy Conference

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * General Interest, Church History, Notable & Quotable

South Carolina Clergyman Rick Belser's new book Son and Heir

At the turn of the 20th century in rural South Carolina, a domineering father, still bitter over the loss of the Civil War, drives his son to uphold the family name by relentless personal achievement. The farm boy complies by setting unequaled athletic and academic standards at the state college and by winning a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University. He seeks a life of his own, forming unacceptable friendships with a brilliant Negro farm hand and a politically progressive girl friend. When a shocking accident fragments the young man’s world, the patient friendship of a country pastor and the bold witness of Christian athletes challenge his priorities. The human hunger for accomplishment and the universal longing for grace collide in a midnight raid and high-stakes court battle.

Read ordering information here.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Books, Children, Marriage & Family

(C of E) 31 cathedrals benefit from First World War Centenary Cathedral Repairs Fund

ChurchCare, the buildings division of the Church of England, welcomed the announcement today by Culture Secretary Sajid Javid of £8.3 million in grants for 31 English cathedrals. The money has come from a government-sponsored fund set up to support vital repairs to some of England’s most important historic buildings.

Mr Javid announced that the grants will provide 25 Church of England and six Catholic cathedrals with grants worth between £15k and £600k for repairs ranging from roofs, stonework and structural work through to detailed work on intricate stained glass windows.

The successful applicants will receive £8.3 million of money made available as part of the First World War Centenary Cathedral Repairs Fund. This is the second round of grants from the £20 million Fund, which was announced in the Chancellor’s March budget. The third round with £7 million to award will close on 21 January 2015 and all projects awarded money will be complete by March 2016.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Parish Ministry

(Law and Religion UK) David Pocklington–Seal of confessional: its future in the CofE

Whilst recognizing the well-established place of the ministry of absolution in the life of the CofE, the Council also acknowledged the responsibility of the Church to protect children and vulnerable adults from harm, and the force of the argument that the legal framework of the Church should be such as to enable those who present a risk to children and vulnerable adults to be identified.

The Council therefore decided to commission further theological and legal work to enable it to review, in consultation with the House of Bishops, the purpose and effect of the un-repealed proviso to the Canon of 1603, with a view to enabling the Synod to decide whether it wished to legislate to amend it. At its November meeting, the Council will consider the terms of that review and who should conduct it, with a view to putting their proposals in those respects to the House of Bishops when it meets in December.

On the afternoon of 17 November, General Synod is to debate a motion to take note of the draft Guidelines for the Professional Conduct of the Clergy, (GS 1970). Responsibility for approving any final version will rest with the Convocations following the ”˜take note’ Synod debate.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Care, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Sacramental Theology, Theology

(USA Today) 7 things the middle class can't afford anymore

These debt statistics come from Debt.org:

“More than 160 million Americans have credit cards.””The average credit card holder has at least three cards.””On average, each household with a credit card carries more than $15,000 in credit card debt.”

Not only do we have large amounts of credit card debt, we also have student loans, mortgages, cars, and medical debts. Our debt is growing faster than our income, and many middle class workers have trouble staying afloat. Money-Zine evaluated debt growth and income growth over the past few decades and found that “back in 1980, the consumer credit per person was $1,540, which was 7.3% of the average household income of $21,100. In 2013, consumer debt was $9,800 per person, which was 13.4% of the average household income of $72,600. This means debt increased 70% faster than income from 1980 through 2013.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, Theology

(BBC) Immigration needed in UK, Archbishop of Canterbury says

The UK should not view immigration as a “deep menace”, the Archbishop of Canterbury has warned.

Part of the country’s “strength and brilliance” lay in its long tradition of welcoming foreigners, the Most Reverend Justin Welby said.

But the process of immigration must be managed “prudently” to avoid “over-burdening our communities”, he added.

He also said clergy had noticed a rise in “minor-racist, anti-foreigner, anti-Semitic, anti-Islamic” sentiment.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --Justin Welby, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Immigration, Law & Legal Issues, Theology

(RNS) An eerie calm: Iraqi Christians anxiously ponder their future

Basima al-Safar retouches a picture of Jesus on an easel outside her house overlooking the flat Nineveh plains, 30 miles north of Mosul.

The murals she paints tell the story of her people, Christians in Iraq. But with Islamic State militants nearby, she is worried that life in Alqosh and towns like it could soon come to an end.

The Assyrian Christian town of around 6,000 people sits on a hill below the seventh-century Rabban Hormizd Monastery, temporarily closed because of the security situation. Residents of Alqosh fled this summer ahead of Islamic State militants. Around 70 percent of the town’s residents have since returned. Still, a sense of unease hangs in the air.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Iraq, Islam, Middle East, Muslim-Christian relations, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Terrorism, Theology, Violence

(FT) Fears grow over Quantitative Easing’s toxic legacy

“Bankruptcy? Repossession? Charge-offs? Buy the car YOU deserve,” says the banner at the top of the Washington Auto Credit website. A stock photo of a woman with a beaming smile is overlaid with the promise of “100% guaranteed credit approval”.

On Wall Street they are smiling too, salivating over the prospect of borrowers taking Washington Auto Credit up on its enticing offer of auto financing. Every car loan advanced to a high-risk, subprime borrower can be bundled into bonds that are then sold on to yield-hungry investors.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Federal Reserve, Personal Finance, The Banking System/Sector, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, The U.S. Government, Theology

(Lee Gattis) An Anglican amongst serious Baptists

This week I’ve been enjoying the warm and friendly hospitality of THE Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. It’s the biggest seminary in the world ever, with thousands of students. And it’s well known that some of my best friends in the interdenominational Calvinist cohort are baptists.

The reason I’ve been in the USA for the first time (having previously only crossed the Atlantic to visit Texas) was the conference organised by the inimitable Michael Haykin to celebrate George Whitefield’s 300th birthday.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, Baptists, Other Churches, Seminary / Theological Education, Theology

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Saint Simon and Saint Jude

O God, we thank thee for the glorious company of the apostles, and especially on this day for Simon and Jude; and we pray thee that, as they were faithful and zealous in their mission, so we may with ardent devotion make known the love and mercy of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

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

A Prayer to Begin the Day from Frank Colquhoun

Hear us, O Lord, as we come to thee burdened with our guilt, and bow in faith at thy feet. Speak to us thy word of absolution; say to our souls, Thy sins be forgiven thee; that with good courage we may rise up and go forth to serve thee, now and all our days, to the glory of thy holy name.

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

Your divine throne endures for ever and ever.
Your royal scepter is a scepter of equity;
you love righteousness and hate wickedness.
Therefore God, your God, has anointed you
with the oil of gladness above your fellows;
your robes are all fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia.

–Psalm 45:6-7

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(BI) The 11 Friendliest Cities In The World, According To Travelers

See how many you can guess on a sheet and then go and read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Globalization, Psychology, Travel, Urban/City Life and Issues

(Independent) Survey finds 2% of Anglican priests are not believers

As a prerequisite for the job of being a Church of England priest, it would seem not unreasonable to expect a belief in God to be fairly essential.

But this is not the case, according to a poll of Anglican clergy which found that as many as 16 per cent are unclear about God and two per cent think it is no more than a human construct.

It is 30 years since David Jenkins, then the Bishop of Durham, caused controversy by casting doubt on the resurrection, but it appears that such unorthodox views are widespread amongst Britain’s priests.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Faiths, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Seminary / Theological Education, Theology