Daily Archives: December 6, 2014

A.S Haley on The Episcopal Church–A Church that Sues Itself Is a Church?

Oh, you may think you see ECUSA far oftener than that, for if you follow lawsuits, ECUSA is perpetually in the news. Every time you see or hear of ECUSA in that sense, it is as the plaintiff in yet another lawsuit against one of its own churches, or dioceses.

But the ECUSA who files suit as a “plaintiff” is not the real ECUSA that the Rev. Dr. William White and others formed in 1789. It is simply the Presiding Bishop and her personal attorneys.

Apparently, they have allowed matters to get out of hand — to the point where this Anglican Curmudgeon must duly report that one arm of ECUSA has agreed to pay money to another arm of ECUSA so that the two arms can dismiss the lawsuits they filed against each other.

Enough about “arms”: let us name names. One branch of ECUSA involved in this imbroglio is what ECUSA was forced by the South Carolina courts to call “the Episcopal Church in South Carolina”, or ECSC for short.

ECSC has quite a speckled history. Thanks to the machinations of the Presiding Bishop and her enablers, it came into formal existence only at the end of January in 2013 — but its roots go back much farther than that, as I detailed in this earlier post, in this one, and in this one.

Read it all and follow all the links.

Posted in * South Carolina, Ethics / Moral Theology, Theology

London Times on Archbishop Welby (II)–A full interview with Michael Binyon

He had not been surprised by the differences he found, which mostly arose from the diversity of very different cultures. He admitted that he disagreed “profoundly” with some of their views. The Church of Nigeria and the Episcopal Church in the United States are polar opposites, and the Archbishop was circumspect in speaking of both. He voiced his respect for the way that the Nigerians were coping with the pressures they were facing, especially the challenges of violence and corruption. They, and also the church in Pakistan, faced issues that would “buckle any other church”.

And although the church in America almost provoked an open schism with the consecration of an openly gay bishop, Gene Robinson, in 2003, Welby said his visit had been something of a breakthrough. “It was a real gift in terms of communication. At least there was understanding why we disagreed with each other when we disagreed, rather than simply disagreeing and not understanding each other.” But he added: “The situation there is complicated, to put it mildly.”

Learning to disagree without hatred has been a theme of the Archbishop’s ministry. He argues that “good disagreement” is vital (although some churches did not accept that). He did not want to see the same level of bitterness that had characterised some disputes in the past. There had been a danger, he admitted, of parts of the Anglican Communion drifting into that.

Read it all (requires subscription)

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Justin Welby, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of Nigeria, Ecclesiology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Pastoral Theology, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Conflicts, Theology, Theology: Scripture

London Times on Archbishop Welby (I)–Conflict may force church to split, Welby says

The Most Rev Justin Welby, in his frankest remarks on the subject to date, said that there could be “a sort of temporary separation”.

The archbishop, who has visited all of the fractious union’s 38 provinces over the past 18 months, said he found himself disagreeing “profoundly” with views espoused by some of them.

“I think, realistically, we’ve got to say that despite all efforts there is a possibility that we will not hold together, or not hold together for a while,” he told The Times. “I could see circumstances in which there could be people moving apart and then coming back together, depending on what else happens.”

Read it all (requires subscription)

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury

A.A.R. Setting Aside a Scholarly Get-Together, for the Planet’s Sake

If the bioethicist Laurie Zoloth, the president of the American Academy of Religion, has her way, she’ll be remembered as the woman who canceled her organization’s conference, which every year attracts a city’s worth of religion scholars.

Two weeks ago, at her organization’s gathering, which is held jointly with the Society for Biblical Literature and this year drew 9,900 scholars, Dr. Zoloth used her presidential address to call on her colleagues to plan a sabbatical year, a year in which they would cancel their conference. In her vision, they would all refrain from flying across the country, saving money and carbon. It could be a year, Dr. Zoloth argued, in which they would sacrifice each other’s company for the sake of the environment, and instead would turn toward their neighborhoods and hometowns.

“We could create an A.A.R. Sabbatical Year,” she told the crowd in a ballroom at the San Diego Convention Center. “We could choose to not meet at a huge annual meeting in which we take over a city. Every year, each participant going to the meeting uses a quantum of carbon that is more than considerable. Air travel, staying in hotels, all of this creates a way of living on the earth that is carbon intensive. It could be otherwise.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Education, Energy, Natural Resources, Ethics / Moral Theology, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Stewardship, Theology, Travel

St Mark's Journal–“Vanishing Church? : Seeking the Right Perspective as Opposition Grows”

Among the entries:

–Cheerful Confidence after Christendom

–How to Survive a Cultural Crisis

–Is Christianity in Britain in Terminal Decline?

Read it all (yes, really).

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

Timothy Egan–History, Sexual Standards, and Mormonism then and now

Considering that it took the Mormon Church more than a century to acknowledge what scholars have long known to be true, it may take another hundred years for the elders in Salt Lake City to proclaim that the prophet, seer, revelator and founder of their religion was the kind of guy who would have to register with the police today before moving into a neighborhood.

Still, for all its painful equivocating, the Mormon Church has done a fine thing in opening up about its past. For too long, the Mormons have tried to airbrush an extraordinary chapter in the history of the American West. Here was a sect, though persecuted and ridiculed, determined to institutionalize in the New World something that Islamic patriarchs and Old Testament graybeards practiced in the old.

Sir Richard Burton, the 19th-century sex enthusiast, traveled to the Great Basin to witness this experiment in the Americas. Mark Twain, after visiting the social frontier of the Mormon kingdom, called it “a fairyland to us, for all intents and purposes ”” a land of enchantment and awful mystery.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Mormons, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Theology

(BBC) Ebola crisis: Nigerian medics deploying to Sierra Leone

About 100 Nigerian medical workers are expected to arrive in Sierra Leone to help with the response to the outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus.

The workers, who include doctors, scientists and hygienists, have been trained by the medical aid agency, MSF.

It came a day after residents in the Guinean capital, Conakry, protested about the construction of an Ebola treatment clinic in their district.

The Ebola outbreak has killed more than 6,000 people in West Africa this year.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Health & Medicine, Nigeria, Sierra Leone

Uber driver 1st in Charleston, South Carolina, area to be found guilty of violating local rules

Uber this week flunked its first test drive around Charleston’s legal system.

Taft Navarro, the first known Uber driver to be cited in the region for violating local or state transportation rules, was found guilty Thursday in a Charleston County courtroom. He was required to pay the full fine of $437 for operating a ride-for-hire service at Charleston International Airport without the necessary permit.

Chief Magistrate David Coker’s ruling might set something of a precedent for how similar violations will be handled at the airport in the future, Navarro said.

Read it all from the front page of today’s local paper.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, City Government, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, Theology, Travel

Music for Advent–Come Thou Long-Expected Jesus from Red Mountain Music

The music is by Rowland H. Prichard and the lyrics are by Charles Wesley.

Listen to it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Advent, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Liturgy, Music, Worship

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Saint Nicholas

Almighty God, who in thy love didst give to thy servant Nicholas of Myra a perpetual name for deeds of kindness on land and sea: Grant, we pray thee, that thy Church may never cease to work for the happiness of children, the safety of sailors, the relief of the poor, and the help of those tossed by tempests of doubt or grief; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

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

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Almighty and everlasting God, who orderest all things in heaven and on earth: We give thee thanks and praise that thou didst make all ages a preparation for the coming of thy Son, our blessed Redeemer. Prepare us for the coming of him whom thou dost send, and grant that of his fullness we may all receive; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

Some boast of chariots, and some of horses; but we boast of the name of the LORD our God. They will collapse and fall; but we shall rise and stand upright. Give victory to the king, O LORD; answer us when we call.

–Psalm 20:7-9

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(CSM) Kenyan raid exposes hive of cybercrime

A deadly fire is all that betrayed a suspected Chinese hacker group in Kenya believed to be trying to infiltrate banks, mobile money transfer networks, and ATMs.

So far, police have arrested and charged 77 Chinese nationals in connection with activities in an upscale Nairobi suburb. During the raids, police found soundproof rooms fashioned like military dorms that were full of computer equipment and outfitted with high-speed Internet connections, which is uncommon in Kenya.

The discovery of what police call a cybercrime command center comes as Kenya is experiencing a wave of computer crime, with criminal hackers carrying out phishing campaigns to extort money from citizens and launching attacks on banks. The arrests are a fortunate break for a police force struggling to contain the problem.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anthropology, Asia, Blogging & the Internet, China, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Defense, National Security, Military, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Kenya, Law & Legal Issues, Police/Fire, Politics in General, Science & Technology, Theology

(WSJ) Economy on Track to Record Strongest Year of Job Creation in 15 Years

The U.S. economy is on track for its strongest year of job creation since 1999, as employers last month ramped up hiring and wage growth posted a small””but potentially significant””pickup.

Nonfarm payrolls rose a seasonally adjusted 321,000 in November, the strongest month of hiring since January 2012, the Labor Department said Friday. Hiring was broad across industries, led by gains in the professional and business-services sector.

“The economy may not yet be a big mean jobs machine but it is just about there,” Joel Naroff, president and chief economist at Naroff Economic Advisors Inc., said in a note to clients.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Anthropology, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, The U.S. Government, Theology

Anglican Standing Committe Meeting Report, Days 2 to 4

Mr Lyon then shared the preliminary plans for ACC-16. He stressed that there had been some thinking around how to ensure every participant, regardless of their background, to had a common understanding of what the Anglican Consultative Council meeting is and is for.

This prompted a discussion among the Standing Committee about the future of the Instruments of Communion in relation to other Anglican Communion gatherings that might be more relational, conversational and perhaps missional in nature.

Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori mentioned that at a recent meeting between the Episcopal Church and several senior bishops from across Africa [read more], there had been “significant energy” behind the idea of an Anglican ”˜gathering’ of some kind, above and beyond the Instruments of Communion.

Archbishop Bernard Ntahoturi said, “The Toronto Congress created the language of mutual responsibility and interdependence. Now there’s a feeling that again we need that [another chance to meet in this kind of way]. A wider gathering of Christians””Anglicans and Episcopalians, lay and ordained””coming together to see and discuss and share and build relationships.

“The Instruments of Communion, they have a 10-year schedule or three-year schedule. In the present world of instant communications, that’s becoming a long time. What happens between those meetings? If communion is really communion then we want something new [over and above the Instruments].”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Primary Source, -- Reports & Communiques, Ecclesiology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Instruments of Unity, Presiding Bishop, Theology

Anglican Standing Committe Meeting Report, Day 1

The Standing Committee’s annual meeting, originally scheduled for April 2015, was moved forward to this weekend because of the need for members to consider the question of a successor to the current Secretary General.

The short notice of the meeting meant that neither all Committee members, nor all the requisite alternates were able to attend. Attendance on Day 1 included:

The Rt Revd James Tengatenga (Chair)
Canon Elizabeth Paver (Vice Chair)
The Most Revd David Chillingworth
The Most Revd Katharine Jefferts Schori
The Rt Revd Eraste Bigirimana
Mrs Helen Biggin
Mr Samuel N Mukunya
Ms Louisa Mojela

The following members will be in attendance on subsequent days:

The Most Revd Justin Welby (President)
The Rt Revd Ian Douglas
The Most Revd Bernard Ntahoturi (Alternate for The Most Revd Daniel Deng Bul Yak)

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Primary Source, -- Reports & Communiques

Archbishop Justin Welby's House of Lords soft power debate – opening speech

First, the report makes it clear that there is no avoiding the need for the exercise of soft power, and in fact the exercise of hard power (from sanctions to the use of violence) is itself only effective as an addition to the impact of soft power. It is soft power in its many ramifications that makes it possible for this country to exert a benevolent and beneficial influence in the world around.

I saw an example of that when at the degree awards ceremony for Coventry University some two or three weeks ago, one of the best modern universities: 60 per cent of students were from overseas; they are a powerful source of earnings, and they will return home with a brilliant education and an exceptional experience of the UK, in most cases they will be our friends for life.

Secondly, the report points especially to the rapid increase in complexity and what it calls hypersensitivity in the modern world. There has been an introduction of information technology, with more than five billion mobile telephones around the world; we have the growth of access to the world-wide web, which means you can sit in Kaduna and look at what is happening in London, you can look at the shops in New York, you have access to cultural influences of the most extraordinary kind; and the possibilities of this both for governments and for non-state actors are ever more powerful with the advent of the sophistication of modern computers.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Blogging & the Internet, Defense, National Security, Military, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Globalization, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology, Theology