Daily Archives: December 19, 2014

(NPR) At An Isolated Camp, Iraqi Police Prep For A Showdown With ISIS

They are angry at the loss, frustrated that the battle for Mosul is on hold and that Baghdad has failed to support them. In the meantime, they have backing from the Americans who have visited this camp and offered to start training soon.

“Maybe in the next week. Maybe,” says Hamdani. But the Americans have made no promises to provide the weapons Hamdani says he needs. “The weapons come from Baghdad.”

So far, Baghdad has delivered one small shipment of 1,000 Kalashnikov rifles and 30 heavy machine guns. It’s not nearly enough, says Hamdani, against a dangerous enemy that is well-armed with U.S. weapons seized in Mosul when the Iraqi army collapsed in June. The fleeing Iraqi army left behind millions of dollars worth of U.S. armaments.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Defense, National Security, Military, Foreign Relations, Iraq, Middle East, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Terrorism, Violence

(WSJ) Charlotte Allen–Filmmaker Ridley Scott makes an ”˜Exodus’ Not Found in the Bible

Director Ridley Scott ’s $140 million “Exodus: Gods and Kings” isn’t exactly drowning in a red sea, but its $24.1 million opening box office last weekend wasn’t spectacular, either””nearly $20 million below that for March’s “Noah,” another expensive biblical epic. Like “Noah,” this movie had a director who couldn’t bring himself to believe in the story he was telling.

Mr. Scott is famously hostile to faith. The “biggest source of evil is of course religion,” he told Esquire in 2012. Theoretically, that shouldn’t make a difference to his moviemaking.[…but it has].

Mr. Scott’s Moses (Christian Bale) not only can’t match Charlton Heston; his job is not to try. This Moses is a 21st-century skeptic who, instead of becoming the instrument of God in freeing the Israelites from Egyptian bondage, sits back and calls God “cruel” and “inhumane” for visiting plagues upon Egypt. Gone is the rhythmic narration in the Book of Exodus (and DeMille’s movie) in which Moses travels again and again to the pharaoh to demand, “Let my people go” (not uttered in the new movie). God, for his part, is depicted as a vengeful 11-year-old brat ( Isaac Andrews ) who resembles no one so much as Joffrey, the nasty child-tyrant in HBO’s “Game of Thrones.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Episcopal Church (TEC), History, Movies & Television, Religion & Culture, Theology, Theology: Scripture

Canon J John with reflections on the Magi for Advent

Listen to it all (a little over 3 1/2 minutes).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Advent, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Theology, Theology: Scripture

Wyoming Episcopal Church Parish ordains a new Priest

[Deb] Adams, who has lived in Teton Valley for the past 30 years, said she’s been attending St. Francis since it started just over 20 years ago. For the past 10, she’s been studying in the hours off from her job as executive director of the Teton County Library in Jackson, Wyoming.

“This is something I’ve been drawn to for a really long time,” Adams said. “A lot of it comes from the modeling of my parents who were all about service.”

Service, Adams said, was the environment she grew up in. And now, besides delivering sermons and counseling with parishioners, she’ll be able to officiate in the church’s sacraments, which include celebrating communion and performing weddings.

Instead of taking an alternate route of studying at a theological seminary, Adams enrolled in online classes through Church Divinity School of the Pacific and took additional courses and workshops at the Episcopal Church in Idaho Falls.

Read it all and the parish website is there.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Blogging & the Internet, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Seminary / Theological Education, TEC Parishes, Theology

Law and Religion UK–Lords Spiritual (Women) bill published

Currently, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York and the Bishops of Durham, London and Winchester automatically take seats in the House of Lords. The remaining 21 seats are occupied by Bishops in order of seniority (length of service). Under the current system, it would be many years before women bishops were represented in the Lords.

The Government’s Bill, which is supported by the Church of England, proposes a modification of this rule for the next ten years….

Read it all.

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, Women

(BBC) Women bishops to be fast-tracked into the House of Lords

Women bishops would be fast-tracked into the House of Lords, under government proposals set out… [yesterday].

Ministers want to change the law to allow female bishops to take up the “spiritual” seats in the Lords, when they become available.

Usually they are allocated to the most senior or longest-serving bishops.

On Wednesday, Reverend Libby Lane was announced as the first female bishop for the Church of England – a month after a historic change to canon law.

The general synod voted to back plans for female bishops in July and formally adopted legislation on 17 November.

Read it all.

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

Inaccurate art. on New Episcopal Church Diocese forming new parish in Mt Pleasant

Readers are asked carefully to note the legal and historical fiction in the article in which it is claimed the 224th annual Convention of the Episcopal Church in South Carolina was held. That cannot be true legally or historically since no entity of that name existed until the last few years when TEC founded the new diocese–KSH.

Read it all.

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

Archbishop Justin Welby–The Green Report: A Response

There is an old saying that, ”˜Delegation without preparation is abdication’. When someone responds to the call to take up a senior post there is a pressing need and responsibility to prepare them for the demands of the ministry entrusted to them.

This is true especially for diocesan bishops, but also for all other aspects of the episcopacy, for deans, for leaders of large churches and great churches, in theological colleges and so forth. The Green report sets out a process which enables proper preparation for wider responsibility to be held within a clear Christian context of development of personal spirituality and prayer in order to be equipped and also to be dependent on the grace that we receive through the gift of the Spirit. Not to undertake this seriously is to put unreasonable stress on those in positions of leadership, neglecting to love them as we are called to do. In the midst of any vocational call there remains the constant need to remember the sacredness of the human person….

The Church, gathered and dispersed, stands as a holy nation, a royal priesthood, and God’s own people. The Green report is one of a portfolio of reforms being proposed cover the whole range of ministry, or to be accurate, will do once they are fully rolled out over a period of years. They will be introduced at General Synod in February and there will be opportunities for people to engage with and comment on the proposals. The reforms are rooted in a love for the whole people of God. They begin with the recognition that we can’t simply go on as we are if we are to flourish and grow as the Church of England. Our call is not to manage decline.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, England / UK, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

(Church Times) Chester wins race for C of E’s first woman bishop

A parish priest, the Revd Libby Lane, is to be the first woman bishop in the Church of England, it was announced on Wednesday, one month to the day after the passing of legislation to enable women’s consecration.

Ms Lane, Vicar of St Peter’s, Hale, and St Elizabeth’s, Ashley, will become the Bishop of Stockport, a suffragan post in the diocese of Chester, when she is consecrated in York Minister on 26 January.

“This is unexpected and very exciting,” she said, after the announcement was made in Stockport Town Hall. “I am very conscious of all those who have gone before me, women and men, who for decades have looked forward to this moment. But most of all I am thankful to God.”

The Archbishop of Canterbury said that he was “absolutely delighted. . . Her Christ-centred life, calmness, and clear determination to serve the Church and the community make her a wonderful choice.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Women

(CSM Editorial) When children stand up to terror

The terrorist attack on a Pakistani school Tuesday continues to evoke a global outcry. Even the Taliban in Afghanistan has condemned the Taliban group in Pakistan that took credit for slaughtering 148 people, of whom 132 were children. In Pakistan, tens of thousands of people held candlelight vigils nationwide, holding up signs saying “Enough!”

But the most touching and perhaps meaningful reaction took place in India, Pakistan’s longtime adversary and a victim itself of Pakistani-led terror over a territorial dispute between the two countries.

On Wednesday, Indian students in thousands of schools and colleges observed two minutes of silence or wrote messages in their scrapbooks for the young victims. “We also prayed for the quick recovery of the injured students and the grieving family members,” one school official told The Times of India.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Asia, Children, Education, Globalization, India, Pakistan, Violence

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Lillian Trasher

God, whose everlasting arms support the universe: We offer thanks for moving the heart of Lillian Trasher to heroic hospitality on behalf of orphaned children in great need, and we pray that we also may find our hearts awakened and our compassion stirred to care for thy little ones, through the example of our Savior Jesus Christ and by the energy of thy Holy Spirit, who broodest over the world as a mother over her children; for they live and reign with thee, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * International News & Commentary, Church History, Egypt, Middle East, Missions, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Almighty Father, Whose blessed Son at His coming amongst us brought redemption unto His people and peace to men of goodwill: grant that, when He shall come again in glory to judge the world and to make all things new, we may be found ready to receive Him, and enter into His joy; through the same our Lord Jesus Christ.

–The Pastor’s Prayerbook

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

Now when John heard in prison about the deeds of the Christ, he sent word by his disciples and said to him, “Are you he who is to come, or shall we look for another?” And Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them. And blessed is he who takes no offense at me.”
As they went away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds concerning John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to behold? A reed shaken by the wind? Why then did you go out? To see a man clothed in soft raiment? Behold, those who wear soft raiment are in kings’ houses. Why then did you go out? To see a prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is he of whom it is written,

”˜Behold, I send my messenger before thy face,
who shall prepare thy way before thee.’

Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has risen no one greater than John the Baptist; yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and men of violence take it by force. For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John; and if you are willing to accept it, he is Eli”²jah who is to come. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.

–Matthew 11:2-15

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Glenn Stanton–10 Things I Wish Everyone Knew About the Christian View of Sexuality

I’ ve worked up a good lather in the so-called “culture war” around homosexuality and same-sex marriage for about two decades now. And I’m just as committed to the Christian view on sexuality as I am to engaging the issue in spirited and civil debate. However, to debate the issue seriously and truthfully, we must seek an honest picture of what our opponents actually believe ”” working from what we think they believe is neither helpful nor respectful.

While there are people of many diverse beliefs and convictions ”” including gay and lesbian people ”” who oppose same-sex marriage, here are 10 foundational truths that inform the traditional, orthodox Christian belief.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anthropology, Children, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Theology, Theology: Scripture

They Got Abortions When the Test Said Their Baby Would be Disabled, But The Tests Were Wrong

The pro-life movement has been raising the ugly specter of abortions on babies with disabilities for years and now a new article in the Boston Globe confirms that the tests supposedly showing a baby having a mild or sever disability may be wrong.

Calling unborn babies defective if they are prenatally diagnosed with genetic conditions foreshadows a dangerous path toward eugenics. The problem of a society that is prone to abort babies at a rate of 60, 70 or even 80 percent for those diagnosed with Down Syndrome is bad enough. A disability is certainly no reason to have an abortion.

Read it all from Lifesite news.

Posted in Uncategorized

The Latest Edition of the Diocese of South Carolina Enewsletter

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * South Carolina, Parish Ministry

The Turning of the Tide: A Call to the Church for Truer and Bolder Evangelism

(Please note you need to guess the speaker and the date before clicking the link–KSH).

These three leading present-day scholars and writers give their testimony clearly and definitely for the Christian Faith, and the notable thing is that they represent a distinct movement. A large number of influential writers are giving the same testimony; poets and writers such as T. S. Eliot, W. H. Auden, Dorothy Sayers, Charles Williams, Richardson Wright, and Jacques Maritain. And it should be noted that the writers here mentioned are all of them laymen, that four of them, including C. S. Lewis, were formerly avowed secularists, and that they turned from secularism not to a humanistic and “non-miraculous” Christianity, but to the Christian Gospel as Revealed, and as declared by the Church and the Scriptures. The influence of secularism in our life is still widespread and powerful. As Mr. Lewis says, the 19th century materialist philosophy still permeates the popular mind. Naturalistic assumptions still “meet us on every side–even from the pens of clergymen.” But the tide is turning. There have been evidences of this for some time…but the movement is now clear and unmistakable, and it is especially evident on the highest levels of thought and knowledge.

This turning of the tide, the turning of men such as those above named from Secularism to full and definite Christian belief is of great significance, and it brings a clear call to us as a Church. It tells us that we need in the Church today a great renewal of evangelical faith and power. It tells us that if the Church is to do her work for God, and for the help of men, she must stand fearlessly and uncompromisingly for the reality and truth and glory of the supernatural. It calls us to make our present campaign of Evangelism a bolder and clearer call to men for full belief in Christ and His Gospel. This is the very meaning of evangelism. Evangelism is bringing men and women personally to the knowledge and the love of Jesus Christ, and so to repentance, faith, and “newness of life.” Archbishop William Temple’s Commission told us that “To evangelize is so to present Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Ghost that men shall come to put their trust in God through Him, to accept Him as their Saviour, and to follow Him as their King, in the fellowship of His Church.”

The vital question in the life of the Church today is not whether we are called “high church” or “low church,”…not whether we use certain ritual forms and acts, but whether we believe in Jesus Christ as “God manifest in the flesh,” the Second Person of the Eternal Trinity, the Christ of the Scriptures Who has “all power in heaven and in earth” and Who is Saviour, Lord, and God. It is the full, clear teaching of the Christian Faith that is needed, and it is this to which men are now turning.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Christology, Church History, Episcopal Church (TEC), Evangelism and Church Growth, Parish Ministry, Soteriology, TEC Bishops, Theology, Theology: Scripture