Daily Archives: June 14, 2015

(KaleidoScot) Scottish Episcopal Church commits to same-sex marriage

In agreeing to debate the options for canonical change, the church made it clear that it has rejected the status quo on marriage. However, it considered three key options on how to proceed: for the Canon to be silent on the question of doctrine of marriage, for a gender-neutral definition of marriage, or for two expressions of marriage ”“ “one that it is between two people of the opposite sex and one that it is between two people irrespective of gender”. The Synod also considered a “conscience clause”, to potentially preclude clerics from any obligation to solemnise a marriage against their consciences.

The Very Rev Kelvin Holdworth, the openly gay Rector of St Mary’s Cathedral in Glasgow, stated: “if we are going to build a church in which everyone can thrive”¦we don’t settle on a definition of marriage that some people can’t agree with. Are there really only two definitions of marriage in this room? It isn’t something that you can define”¦that’s the end of the story”¦it’s lived, not defined. What I would like is a statement from the church that affirms the lives of people like me, as a gay man.

“I ask you to vote for a church where we do not try to define what each other believes about marriage.”

The Synod passed the motion with a significant majority in favour of change, and also supported the adoption of a conscience clause.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Children, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Religion & Culture, Scotland, Scottish Episcopal Church, Sexuality, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(Wash. Post) In Europe, creating a post-gender world one small rule at a time

Caitlyn Jenner may have given Americans a crash course in transgender acceptance. But progressive pockets of Europe are moving toward an even higher plane ”” embracing what advocates describe as a post-gender world that critics say is leaving no room for women to be women and men to be men.

In Berlin, for instance, fresh rules for billboard ads in a district of the liberal German capital read like a new constitution for a land without gender identity. Girls in pink “with dolls” are basically out, as are boys in blue playing “with technical toys.” In ads showing both adult women and men, females cannot be depicted as “hysterical,” “stupid” or “naive” alongside men presented as “technically skilled,” “strong” or “business savvy.”

Adult women ”” featured alone or otherwise ”” must not be shown “occupied in the household with pleasure.” And in one stipulation pounced upon by critics, the equal-opportunity board of Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg ”” home to Checkpoint Charlie and remnants of the Berlin Wall ”” no longer wants to see images of women “smiling for no reason.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Europe, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Men, Other Faiths, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Secularism, Sexuality, Theology, Women

(CT) As Church Plants Grow, Southern Baptists Disappear

There are now more Southern Baptist churches than ever before: 46,449 as of last year.

And more than 200,000 extra spaces in the pews.

As the nation’s largest Protestant group prepares to meet in Columbus next week, it reported its largest annual decline in more than 130 years””a loss of 236,467 members.

With just under 15.5 million members, the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) remains the largest Protestant group in the United States. But it has lost about 800,000 members since 2003, when membership peaked at about 16.3 million.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Baptists, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

Breda O’Brien–”˜Consent, personal autonomy+choice are the new' trinity of modern mores

Consent is obviously vital. Having sex when someone is incapable of true consent, or resorting to force or pressure is wrong and abusive.

But is consent enough? Consent, personal autonomy, and choice are the new holy trinity of modern mores. But they neglect bigger questions, such as whether having sex with someone you have just met is a good idea, even if you are sober enough to walk along a two by four suspended four feet above the ground.

It neglects completely the possibility that you might give consent and then regret it.

As cultural values around sexuality have changed, online and traditional media have amplified and exaggerated the changes, thereby reinforcing and accelerating the pace of change.

Read it all from the Irish Times.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Anthropology, Education, Ethics / Moral Theology, Men, Sexuality, Sociology, Theology, Women, Young Adults

(Deseret News) Episcopal Church in Utah has ministered since its humble beginnings in 1867

Within five years of …[Bishop Daneil Tuttle’s] arrival, the Episcopal Church started the first non-Mormon school in Utah, commenced construction of the Cathedral Church of St. Mark and launched St. Mark’s Hospital.

Throughout his years as bishop, The Right Rev. Tuttle was on the road, traveling by horse and buggy to the far reaches of Montana and Idaho to minister to the needs of Episcopalians there, each baptism, wedding and funeral carefully logged in his meticulously neat handwritten journal.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Church History, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops

(World Magazine) Church, Inc: Mainline denominations with empty buildings enter the real estate Bus

The Church of the Intercession is a beautiful stone building constructed in 1915, with vaulted ceilings, large stained glass windows, and a nave that could seat several hundred. It now needs $1 million in repairs, and its members face difficult choices.

Outside this Episcopal church in Harlem is its sweeping cemetery that includes the grave of naturalist John Audubon. Inside on a Sunday only 42 worshippers, including the choir, were present. Almost everyone was elderly. There were three canes, one walker, and one child.

Those 42 seemed a megachurch in comparison with the congregation across the street in North Presbyterian Church (PCUSA). In its historic stone building Pastor Carmen Mason-Browne preached to an audience of six women in a room with space for several hundred. The women weren’t even sitting together, but spaced like strangers on an empty train.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Economy, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Lutheran, Methodist, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Presbyterian, Religion & Culture, Stewardship, Theology, United Church of Christ

(Local Paper) Summerville, S.C. soup kitchen on wheels feeds homeless, working poor

The homeless and working poor of Summerville have a reliable source of dinner at least two nights a week, thanks to the Expanding the Table food truck serving as the city’s mobile soup kitchen.

When Ashley Ridge Church’s Outreach Director Marty Thomas found himself looking for a way to donate the church’s outreach fund last fall, Jenn Williams, the pastor of Ashley Ridge, urged him to look for something that would be more long-lasting than just a check.

“We wanted a tangible outreach,” Williams said. “We started having conversations with One80 Place to see what was out there and what gaps there were in Summerville.”

Read it all.

Posted in Uncategorized

A Prayer to Begin the Day from William Knight

Most loving Father, who willest us to give thanks for all things, to dread nothing but the loss of thee, and to cast all our care on thee who carest for us: Preserve us from faithless fears and worldly anxieties, and grant that no clouds of this mortal life may hide from us the light of that love which is immortal, and which thou hast manifested unto us in thy Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

Mightier than the thunders of many waters, mightier than the waves of the sea, the LORD on high is mighty! Thy decrees are very sure; holiness befits thy house, O LORD, for evermore.

–Psalm 93:4-5

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(First Things) Carl Trueman on Tony Campolo's Latest–A Day Late, A Dollar Short

The saddest part of Campolo’s change of mind, however, is that it will not be enough, as early responses from the gay community already indicate. Even a moment’s reflection on the Bruce Jenner affair or a casual conversation with a teenager would reveal to him that the gay issue is, as far as the secular world is considered, done and dusted. All Campolo has done as an evangelical is modify his sexual ethics to conform to the comfortable, safe, middle-class tastes of modern America. He will shock no-one but evangelicals””and, I might add, only evangelicals unfamiliar with his other work.

As the ever lengthening DNA chain of the LGBTQQIAAP lobby indicates, Campolo is just the latest example of a perennial evangelical tendency on matters of culture: He is a day late and a dollar short. And the people whose community he now chooses to serve will not be satisfied with that. One wonders if even he will be satisfied with it in the long run.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Politics in General, Psychology, Sexuality, Theology, Theology: Scripture

7 years ago today on TitusOneNine – Tim Russert RIP

Read it all as well as the comments. He is gone but not fogotten.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Death / Burial / Funerals, Health & Medicine, History, Media, Men, Parish Ministry, Politics in General

(NY Times Magazine) The Child Preachers of Brazil

Among charismatic denominations, competition to produce fantastic miracles and emotional release is fierce. Startling stories of redemption ”” from former prostitutes, for example, or drug dealers or murderers ”” are prized. (One famous preacher, Aldidudima Salles, is the former head of the Red Command, a drug-trafficking gang in Rio, and claims he was so depraved before he converted that he broke into tombs and ate human flesh.) Child preachers fill a special niche: They embody the charisma and showmanship of older preachers, but filtered through a child’s inherent innocence. As Andrew Chesnut, a professor of religious studies at Virginia Commonwealth University and the author of “Born Again in Brazil,” explains it: “These child preachers are something that Assemblies of God have found that sets them apart.”

The phenomenon is controversial, earning scorn from other Pentecostal denominations and even criticism from within Assemblies of God. Silas Malafaia, a high-profile Brazilian Pentecostal pastor whose TV show airs internationally and who has preached at American megachurches, says that children who are preaching are being exploited. “It’s absurd,” Malafaia says. “These are commercial interests on behalf of the parents in receiving donations and selling DVDs. It is not about God, and I am firmly against this.”

But the Internet and social media have helped young preachers find wide, sometimes international audiences. Today Brazil’s most successful child preachers work nearly every day and travel extensively.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Brazil, Children, Religion & Culture, South America

Great ABC Nightline Piece on 'Inside Out': Exploring Pixar's Latest Adventure

They worked fror 5 years on this movie–3 years on the the storytelling alone. Watch it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Children, Movies & Television, Psychology, Women