Daily Archives: February 11, 2015

Archbishop Justin Welby: I’m often embarrassed by Church’s failures over anti-Semitism

The Archbishop of Canterbury said he was “often deeply embarrassed” by some failings of the Church of England in tackling anti-Semitism,

Justin Welby said people should be shocked by the rise in anti-Semitism and described it as “blasphemy”, as he hosted the launch of the All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry into Anti-Semitism at Lambeth Palace.

The Archbishop said the spike in anti-Semitic incidents in the UK and the Paris terror attack on a Jewish supermarket had made the report more timely. “The need for increased police patrolling of Jewish neighbourhoods in response to security concerns was a “peculiar and remarkable obscenity when we are in the midst of commemorating the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz”, he said.
The problem of anti-Semitism was “deeply embedded in our history and the culture of Western Europe”, the Archbishop acknowledged as he praised the all-party group for highlighting “the stark reality of rising anti-Semitism in this country and the key responses necessary to counter it”.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, --Justin Welby, --Social Networking, Archbishop of Canterbury, Blogging & the Internet, Inter-Faith Relations, Judaism, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Faiths, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Theology

(AP) Boko Haram kidnaps hundreds, tells stories of Chibok girls

When Islamic extremists snatched more than 270 girls from the Chibok boarding school in Nigeria in the dead of night, protests broke out worldwide. The U.S. pledged to help find them, and the #BringBackOurGirls hashtag was born.

Some 10 months later, most are still missing. The Boko Haram extremist group sees the mass kidnapping as a shining symbol of success, and has abducted hundreds of other girls, boys and women. The militants brag to their new captives about the surrender of the Chibok girls, their conversion to Islam and their marriage to fighters.

“They told me the Chibok girls have a new life where they learn to fight,” says Abigail John, 15, who was held by Boko Haram for more than four weeks before escaping. “They said we should be like them and accept Islam.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Africa, Defense, National Security, Military, Ethics / Moral Theology, Islam, Nigeria, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Teens / Youth, Terrorism, Theology, Violence, Women

(Economist Erasmus Blog) Christians in Iraq: Peace or a sword?

What do the ancient Christian communities of the Middle East, many of them threatened with extinction in lands where they have survived since the dawn of their faith’s existence, most need from their co-religionists in the West? Some want more military support, but others take a different view. That difference emerged during a visit to London by Archbishop Bashar Warda, the top Catholic cleric in Erbil, the only Iraqi city where Christians live in significant numbers.

At a meeting yesterday in the House of Lords, co-organised by the Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need, the archbishop reminded people of the hard realities facing his flock. As of a result of last year’s onslaught by Islamic State, perhaps 400,000 people fled their homes in Mosul and the neighbouring Nineveh Plain and many sought refuge in the adjacent area controlled by the Kurdish regional government. The displaced include Christians, Yazidis and other religious minorities. Of the 300,000 or so Christians who remain in Iraq (down from 1.4m a couple of decades ago), the great majority now live in Kurdistan, of which Erbil is the capital.

Iraqi Christians are practical, energetic sorts, the archbishop told his British hosts, and they are not sitting around bemoaning their fate. Huge efforts are being made to get the displaced families, who are now holed up in tents, portakabins and half-built shopping centres, into better accommodation where they can become economically active and their children can pursue studies. The archbishop is working hard to start, by next autumn, a new university which will be Catholic in inspiration but open to all faiths.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Defense, National Security, Military, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Iraq, Islam, Middle East, Other Churches, Other Faiths, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Terrorism, Theology, Violence

TEC Presiding Bishop further restricts the ministry of Bishop Heather Cook

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Alcohol/Drinking, Alcoholism, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Pastoral Theology, Presiding Bishop, TEC Bishops, Theology

Fort Worth Bishop Jack Iker Issues Pastoral Letter on South Carolina Court Decision

Dear Friends in Christ,

We were all greatly encouraged by the court ruling that came out of South Carolina last week, where the historic Diocese prevailed in its lawsuit against The Episcopal Church. Circuit Court Judge Diane S. Goodstein ruled that Bishop Mark Lawrence and his Diocese, under neutral principles of law, had legitimately withdrawn from TEC in 2012 and were entitled to retain all their buildings, assets, and intellectual property (name, identity, seal, etc.)

South Carolina’s Supreme Court had previously ruled that the Dennis Canon (that claims all church property is held in trust for TEC) was invalid in that State, and the Texas Supreme Court has made the same determination here in Texas. Under neutral principles of law governing property, trusts, and corporations in Texas, we believe we should prevail in the hearing before Judge Chupp on Friday, Feb. 20, here in Fort Worth.
The same conclusion was also reached recently in the appellate court system in Illinois, where the Court of Appeals upheld a lower court ruling that there is nothing in the Constitution and Canons of TEC that prevents a Diocese from withdrawing, with its property and assets. The right to associate includes the right to dissociate. The Illinois Supreme Court denied an appeal from TEC attempting to reverse that ruling. And though TEC will be making a similar appeal in the South Carolina decision, it is expected that they will reach the same result.

In coming months, we expect TEC will once again be taking their losses in Illinois, South Carolina, and Texas to the United States Supreme Court, seeking reversals. We do not believe such efforts will succeed. Needless to say, all of this is a very expensive undertaking, costing both sides millions of dollars in legal fees and court costs that instead should be going for ministry and outreach in the world.

Continue to pray for our legal team as we prepare for the summary judgment hearing on the 20th and for clarity and insight for Judge Chupp in his ruling.

Thank you all for your continued faithfulness and for your witness to the Truth.

Faithfully in Christ,

–The Rt. Rev. Jack Leo Iker, Bishop of Fort Worth

(Found here).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Church History, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Stewardship, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Fort Worth, Theology

Recent Featured Entries on South Carolina Legal Ruling

Updated 2 March 2015

Here are links to entries that were recently featured (stickied at the top of the blog) regarding the Diocese of South Carolina Legal Ruling.

Last two weeks:
South Carolina Dorchester County Judge Diane Goodstein Reaffirms Ruling Against TEC (Feb 23)
A S Haley on TEC reconsideration motion””Judge Goodstein: “We, not You, Get to Say What Is Ours” (Feb 14)

Slightly older entries::
Circuit Court Judge Diane Goodstein rules in favor of Dio. of South Carolina in case vs TEC/TECSC (Feb 3)
South Carolina Circuit Court Rules Diocese Keeps Historic Property (Feb 3)
A S Haley’s Analysis of the recent South Carolina Legal Ruling””“A Full Vindication”¦” (Feb 5)
Grateful: Bishop Lawrence Writes the Diocese Following Ruling (Feb 6)

Other related entries:

(CP) SC Judge Rejects Episcopal Church’s Attempt to Take Over one of its Founding Dioceses (Feb 27)

A.S Haley””South Carolina Court Makes Short Shrift of ECUSA’s Motion (Feb 24)

(Local paper) Judge denies motion to reconsider ruling against Episcopal Church (Feb 24)

(Local Paper) Local families worshiped at parishes for centuries, long before Episcopal split (Feb 15)

Jim Lewis””What it Means: Understanding Judge Goodstein’s Ruling in South Carolina (Feb 14)

(Not another Episcopal Blog) On the strange Radio Silence in Upper SC abt the Dio. of SC (Feb 14)

The New Episcopal Church Diocese in S Carolina files a motion for Reconsideration in recent ruling (Feb 14)

Robert Munday, former Dean of Nashotah House-will The Episcopal Church “come to grips with reality”? (Feb 10)

New Episcopal Church Diocese, Original SC Diocese steer ahead into complex legal waters (Feb 8)

A Charleston, S.C. Regional Business Journal Article on this week’s Court Decision (Feb 6)

(Charisma News) Episcopal Church Loses Big in Landmark South Carolina Court Decision (Feb 6)

Rift among S.C. Lowcountry Episcopalians widens as fight continues over properties, name (Feb 6)

New Episcopal Church Diocese in SC’s Decides to Appeal this week’s Court decision against them (Feb 6)

A Pastoral letter from the Bp of the New Episcopal Church Diocese in South Carolina (Feb 5)

Reminder””Timeline of Events in the Diocese of South Carolina leading up to latest legal ruling (Feb 4)

The Local Paper Article on the Ruling in favor of the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina (Feb 4)

(AP) South Carolina court rules Episcopal diocese, churches can keep property (Feb 4)

You can find all stories related to the TEC legal conflict in SC here.

Posted in * Admin, * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, - Anglican: Latest News, Episcopal Church (TEC), Featured (Sticky), Law & Legal Issues, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: South Carolina

(NPR) New Report Examines Lynchings And Their Legacy In The United States

Nearly 4,000 blacks were lynched in the American South between the end of the Civil War and World War II, according to a new report by the Equal Justice Initiative.

The report, Lynching in America: Confronting the Legacy of Racial Terror, says that the number of victims in the 12 southern states was more than 20 percent higher than previously reported.

Lynchings were part of a system of racial terror designed to subjugate a people, says the Alabama-based nonprofit’s executive director, Bryan Stevenson.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Death / Burial / Funerals, History, Parish Ministry, Race/Race Relations

Archbishop Michael Miller–Canada’s Supreme Court Instructs Doctors: Thou Shalt Kill

As we ponder this momentous ruling of our nation’s highest court, let us pray that the gifts of the Holy Spirit will guide all of us in our response: Above all, that the gifts of wisdom, right judgment and courage will flourish among us.

Moreover, we cannot fail to proclaim the gospel of life with both vigor and joy: that every life has an inherent God-given dignity from the moment of conception until life’s natural end. And let the words of St. Paul we heard in today’s second reading ring out in our minds and hearts: “If I proclaim the Gospel, this gives me no ground for boasting, for an obligation is laid on me, and woe to me if I do not proclaim the Gospel” (1 Corinthians 9:16).

The mission ahead of us is not committed only to a few. Rather, it is mine; it is yours; it is ours.

With God’s help, which he offers in this Eucharist, may we fulfill this obligation to proclaim the Gospel for the welfare of all our brothers and sisters.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Aging / the Elderly, Anthropology, Canada, Children, Death / Burial / Funerals, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Life Ethics, Marriage & Family, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Theology

(FaithStreet) Curtis Farr–Why the Secular Age Is Good for the Church

,,,a more secularized society might just be a great gift to the Body of Christ. While I suppose the same might be true for other traditions, Christianity has had a particular brand of dominance in the United States that was likely never intended. And now that affiliation with Christianity is on the decline, it’s like the Church is liberated from the burden of garments that were never ours to begin with. Stripping these off even may allow us to remember what makes us the Body of Christ.

Maybe people would stop confusing “church” as being a place rather than a community if we stopped treating our buildings like our purpose for existing.

We can empty our pockets of squandered simoleons and remember how clearly Jesus speaks about riches. Seriously, he was super clear about money, and we’re rarely good about living up to his standards.

We can remove our penny loafers and don walking shoes for a journey that takes church out of elaborate facilities (and some not-so-elaborate ones) into the rest of the world. Maybe people would stop confusing “church” as being a place rather than a community if we stopped treating our buildings like our purpose for existing.

And finally, we can exchange our power suits for some solidari-tees. Seriously, outreach has its limits ”” we’ve got to engage beyond (but including) food and clothing collection.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., History, Religion & Culture

(ABC Aus.) Religion and Ethics Report–How do you solve a problem like Boko Haram?

The Islamist insurgent group Boko Haram continues to strengthen its hold over Nigeria’s Muslim-majority north-eastern states, and the Nigerian government seems to be permanently on the back foot.

This week, the government announced it has decided to postpone the Presidential election that was due to be held on February 14th, saying that it needs more time to wrest control from Boko Haram, and ensure a safe and secure poll.

Boko Haram’s stated aim is to establish an Islamic Caliphate in the north of Nigeria, and ultimately to impose sharia law across the whole country. But the religious agenda doesn’t tell the whole story.

Listen to it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Africa, Defense, National Security, Military, Ethics / Moral Theology, Islam, Nigeria, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Terrorism, Theology, Violence

(Telegraph) Personal chauffeurs and episcopal mansions–life for C of England’s good shepherds

According to information disclosed by the Church Commissioners, which is responsible for its property portfolio, six out of 10 bishops live in a large official residence.

The details of the comfort afforded to members of the episcopate emerged an official question and answer session to the Synod which is meeting in London.

Andreas Whittam Smith, the First Church Estates Commissioner, outlined details of spending on bishops’ living arrangements in response to a question by Sam Margrave, a Labour councillor and lay member of the Synod from Coventry.

He disclosed that the Commissioners spend just over £207,000 a year providing drivers for 11 of the Church’s 42 diocesan bishops.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Theology

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Deliver us, O God, from injustice, envy, hatred and malice; give us grace to pardon all who have offended us, and to bear with one another even as thou, Lord, dost bear with us, in thy patience and great loving-kindness.

— Rydal School Hymnal

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

But when Jesus saw it he was indignant, and said to them, “Let the children come to me, do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands upon them.

–Mark 10:14-16

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

A Statement from the Canadian Primate on the Supreme Court’s Ruling on Physician-Assisted Dying

The recent ruling of the Supreme Court of Canada, striking down the long held ban on physician-assisted dying is cause for celebration among many Canadians and cause for great concern among many others.

For those who have long advocated for a person’s right, in the face of immense and intolerable suffering, to end their life with medical assistance the ruling is a victory. For those who hold to the conviction that our life is something larger than any individual person’s “ownership” of it, and is not simply ours to “discard” the ruling is deeply troubling.

Whatever one’s perspective, serious attention needs to be given to the court ruling’s intent and application. While enabling legislation may not be imminent, we know consideration of any new laws will be a matter of intense public interest and debate within Canadian society at large, within the country’s medical community, and certainly within and among the churches, including ours.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Aging / the Elderly, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Death / Burial / Funerals, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Life Ethics, Parish Ministry, Theology, Theology: Scripture

Lent and Beyond: Prayer for the Church of England Synod

General Synod is on February 10-12 in London

Our Father in heaven,

May You inhabit the praises of Your people at the General Synod.

O Lord, may those who worship in the chapels and environs of the Synod surrender their burdens to You as they come into Your presence. Descend upon them, Holy Spirit, and stir their hearts to confess their sins. Father, in Your tender mercy, forgive them their sins and cover them with the Blood of the Lamb. May they come into Your presence with clean hands and pure hearts, in humility and truth.

May Your priests who minister there teach Your people the difference between the holy and the common, the pure and the profane, the clean and the unclean. May they follow Your laws and keep Your Sabbaths holy. May they honor Your appointed days of feast and fast.

May Jesus be their bread and Your word be their clean, sweet water.

May those who minister there speak Your word in the full confidence that it will not return to You empty, but accomplish what You desire and achieve the purpose for which You have sent it. May the angels, excelling in strength, bless You, do Your commandments, and hearken to the spoken voice of Your word in this place. May the heavenly hosts descend upon General Synod and do Your pleasure. Amen.

Ezekiel 44:17-30, John 6:35, Ephesians 5:25-27, Psalm 19:9-10, 22:3, 103:20-21, 119:103, Isaiah 55:11

Please pray it all

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