Daily Archives: May 20, 2015

24-7 prayer week at St Paul’s Cathedral launched this week

The Bishop of London has launched the Diocese of London’s week of prayer, in the Chapel of St Michael and George, within St Paul’s Cathedral. The prayer room has been set up in association with 24-7 Prayer and will enable London churches to engage in a week of continual prayer.

The Chapel will have various prayer stations this year which reflect a theme of journeys. The first is a rolling visual presentation of the Lord’s Prayer, after which visitors will journey through a series of banners ”“ allowing them to reflect on their faith and pray. As they leave the Chapel, people will be invited to add a small pebble to a jar as they thank God for those who inspired them in their life’s journey and also take a small jenga brick away with them to remind them to pray for those they meet in their daily journeys.

People will also be invited to join in the Diocese of London’s Pray for Seven initiative, which invites each person to pray for seven people and enables them to share the story of their faith.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Parish Ministry, Spirituality/Prayer, Urban/City Life and Issues

(Herald Sun) Andrew Bolt–Churches’ silence on anti-Christian violence just indefensible

It is religious persecution on a horrific scale, involving massacres, bombings, slavery, beheadings and mass rape.

So why don’t our churches protest against this slaughter of their own?

Yes, Christians are now the prime target of unbelievably barbaric attacks in the Middle East and Africa, yet Australia’s bishops, ministers, priests, church “social justice” units and Christian aid groups ”” usually so vocal ”” are now near mute.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Africa, Australia / NZ, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Inter-Faith Relations, Islam, Middle East, Muslim-Christian relations, Nigeria, Other Faiths, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Terrorism, Theology, Violence

(BBC) Canadian youths 'trying to join' ISIS arrested

Ten youths have been arrested by Canadian police on suspicion of planning to travel to Iraq and Syria to join Islamic State.

All 10 had their passports confiscated after they were detained at Montreal’s Trudeau International Airport at the weekend.

Police said in a statement on Tuesday that none of the suspects had been charged, but investigations were ongoing.

Their families have been informed.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Canada, Defense, National Security, Military, Foreign Relations, Globalization, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Teens / Youth, Terrorism, Violence

A Prayer from Saint Alcuin for his Feast Day

Eternal Light, shine into our hearts;

Eternal Goodness, deliver us from evil;

Eternal Power, be our support;

Eternal Wisdom, scatter the darkness of our ignorance;

Eternal Pity, have mercy upon us;

that with all our heart and mind and soul and strength we may seek thy face and be brought by thine infinite mercy to thy holy presence; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Church History, England / UK, History, Religion & Culture, Spirituality/Prayer

(FT) Regulators warn of cyber threat to financial stability

US regulators are increasingly concerned about the threat that cyber attacks pose to financial stability after assaults on Sony Pictures and Target highlighted the proliferating range of techniques used by digital raiders.

In a new report on risks to the financial system, regulators also sounded the alarm on risk-taking by institutions searching for higher investment yields, as well as the threat of rising interest rates triggering market volatility.

On cyber security, the annual report from the Financial Stability Oversight Council said “the prospect of a more destructive incident that could impair financial sector operations” was even more concerning than recent breaches that have compromised financial information.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Blogging & the Internet, Corporations/Corporate Life, Credit Markets, Currency Markets, Defense, National Security, Military, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Globalization, Law & Legal Issues, Science & Technology, Stock Market, Theology

(Belfast Newsletter) Push for conscience bill after verdict against Christian bakery

DUP MLA Paul Givan is consulting on an Assembly bill that would allow people with religious beliefs a limited exemption from certain equality law requirements.

He said his private member’s bill would protect Christians who “do not feel there is space being made for their religious beliefs”.

Following the court ruling, DUP leader Peter Robinson said: “We have been listening to people and I think the term ”˜reasonable accommodation’ is now what we would like to frame some legislation around ”“ recognising that there are rights on both sides and therefore there has to be a reasonable accommodation between the two. So, I think we are not surprised at the outcome, that’s why we had embarked upon the legislative process.”

Mr Givan said his party leader had no apology to make for last year labelling the commission’s support for the court action “bonkers”.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Ireland, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Theology

(Telegraph) Irish legal ruling against a Christian bakery could lead to more difficulties

I have to admit I was surprised by the verdict. For me, the case was not simply one of straightforward homophobia. Refusing to write a message fundamentally at odds with one’s beliefs is different from, say, refusing a couple a bed in a B&B: it is to involve people in an argument rather than simply request that they act as disinterested providers. If Ashers had simply refused to sell any cake at all to Mr Lee or any other LGBT person, then that would be an obvious act of discrimination.

The case is complicated further by the fact that equal marriage is not just a religious issue in Northern Ireland: it is a live political issue. Less than a month ago, the Northern Ireland Assembly voted against the legalisation of equal marriage. We are now in the strange situation where the Equality Commission and the court have both decided that refusing to write an equal marriage slogan on a cake is against equality, while equal marriage itself is illegal.

The court ruled that as Ashers is a commercial organisation rather than a church there can be no exception. This is bound to lead to a wonderful summer of Northern Ireland’s national sport, whataboutery. Already all sorts of scenarios are being dreamt up, from Jews baking Nazi cakes to the somewhat confusing conclusion by loyalist “flags” activist Jamie Bryson that the ruling now means pubs must serve him while wearing his pipe band uniform.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Ireland, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Theology

(BBC) Judge rules vs. Christian bakery who refused to make pro same-sex marriage embroidered cake

A judge has ruled that a Christian-run bakery discriminated against a gay customer by refusing to make a cake with a pro-gay marriage slogan.

Ashers Baking Company, based in County Antrim, was taken to court by gay rights activist Gareth Lee.

A Belfast judge said, as a business, Ashers was not exempt from discrimination law.

The firm’s general manager said they were “extremely disappointed” by the ruling and are considering an appeal.

Damages of £500 were agreed in advance by legal teams on both sides of the dispute.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, England / UK, Ireland, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Religion & Culture

(NP) Father Raymond J. de Souza–Michael Coren converts, Michael Coren complains

The reason for Coren’s conversion and the manner of it are newsworthy. It is significant in terms of religious culture and the profession of commentary.

Coren left Catholicism over homosexuality and gay marriage. In the face of cultural juggernauts, people do change their minds. Coren is following the theological path of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. I wouldn’t have picked the contrarian Coren to join the trendiest cause around, but that’s how cultural trends become trendy; people join them.

Two weeks ago, Coren told our colleague Joseph Brean that he came back to Catholicism (the second time) for the Eucharist. He then left over homosexuality. In the long Christian tradition, sexual morality has never been more important than Eucharistic theology. Coren lambastes those who put sexual morality at the heart of their faith. Yet in choosing his ecclesial allegiance on matters sexual rather than matters liturgical, sacramental and Eucharistic, Coren did just that. The cultural import of his conversion is that it calls attention to exactly the choice facing churches the world over. Around what principles shall a church organize itself? The sexual revolution? Or divine revelation?

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, --Social Networking, Blogging & the Internet, Ethics / Moral Theology, Media, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Theology

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Saint Alcuin

Almighty God, who in a rude and barbarous age didst raise up thy deacon Alcuin to rekindle the light of learning: Illumine our minds, we pray thee, that amid the uncertainties and confusions of our own time we may show forth thine eternal truth, 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 from the Mozarabic Sacramentary

O Christ, the King of Glory, who through the everlasting gates didst ascend to thy Father’s throne, and open the Kingdom of heaven to all believers: Grant that, whilst thou dost reign in heaven, we may not be bowed down to the things of earth, but that our hearts may be lifted up whither thou, our redemption, art gone before; who with the Father and the Holy Spirit livest and reignest, ever one God, world without end.

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

The seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!” And he said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I have given you authority to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy; and nothing shall hurt you. Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you; but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
In that same hour he rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, “I thank thee, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to babes; yea, Father, for such was thy gracious will. All things have been delivered to me by my Father; and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son and any one to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”

Then turning to the disciples he said privately, “Blessed are the eyes which see what you see! For I tell you that many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.”

–Luke 10:17-24

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Bishop of Salisbury to bless 42 young yew trees tomorrow to mark Magna Carta milestone

The Bishop of Salisbury will bless 42 young yew trees on Wednesday at the cathedral.

The Right Reverend Nicholas Holtam ”” the Church of England’s lead bishop for the environment ”” will hold the service as part of a campaign to celebrate the heritage of the nation’s ancient yew trees.

The trees represent the 42 dioceses of the Church of England.

The Conservation Foundation’s ‘We Love Yew’ campaign is being launched to mark the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta, with the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anglican Provinces, Church History, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Energy, Natural Resources, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Religion & Culture, Theology

(Telegraph) East Anglia: damp fens but dry sermons

Congregations in Yorkshire and the Humber region have the most entertaining services, with 80 per cent able to recall laughing at a clerical quip ”“ just ahead of London, where 77 per cent had heard a decent joke in church. London also has some of the fastest growing churches in Britain.

In the East of England barely half (53 per cent) could do so. The news will be a disappointment to one East Anglian cleric, the Bishop of Norwich, who said recently that the Church should provide an alternative voice to Russell Brand.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Religion & Culture

(The Star) Bishop of Sabak says ”˜no’ to same-sex marriages

The Anglican church here will not allow same-sex marriages to take place on its pre­mises, said newly installed Anglican bishop Melter Jiki (pic).

The 50-year-old bishop, who is the first native Kadazan chosen to lead the 90,000-strong Anglican community in the state, said this when asked about the church’s policies and what to expect during his tenure.

“We are totally against the so-called same-sex marriage. We will not allow it in the church,” said the father of four who was installed as the sixth Anglican bishop in Sabah on Tuesday

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Asia, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Malaysia, Marriage & Family, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), The Anglican Church in South East Asia, Theology, Theology: Scripture

Presiding Bishop Tito Zavala Meets with South Carolina Diocesan Council

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * International News & Commentary, * South Carolina, Evangelism and Church Growth, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, South America

Smartphone Use While Driving Grows Beyond Texting to Social Media, Web Surfing

When you see the driver next to you looking at their phone, it’s no longer safe to assume they’re texting. New research1 from AT&T* shows nearly 4-in-10 smartphone users tap into social media while driving. Almost 3-in-10 surf the net. And surprisingly, 1-in-10 video chat.

7-in-10 people engage in smartphone activities while driving. Texting and emailing are still the most prevalent. But other smartphone activity use behind the wheel is now common. Among social platforms, Facebook tops the list, with more than a quarter of those polled using the app while driving. About 1-in-7 said they’re on Twitter behind the wheel.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, --Social Networking, Blogging & the Internet, Science & Technology, Travel