Daily Archives: August 3, 2015

Presiding Bishop-Elect Michael Curry – Pentecost Sermon at All Saints, Pasadena

“We Need Your Light to Shine” – sermon by the Right Reverend Michael Curry, Bishop of North Carolina — preached at All Saints Church, Pasadena | Sunday, May 19, 2013

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops

[CP] Jeff Walton: Liberal Clergy Praise Planned Parenthood 'Doing God's Work'

“Our religious traditions call us to offer compassion, not judgment,” the clergy declare. “People who work for Planned Parenthood give care and respect to those in need, doing God’s work. For this we are grateful.”

The Advocacy Board includes clergy from the United Church of Christ, Episcopal Church and American Baptist Churches as well as clergy from Reformed Jewish and Unitarian Universalist congregations.

Among the clergy listed are Episcopal Priest Susan Russell of All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena, California, a prominent lesbian activist within the Episcopal Church who is listed as Vice Chair.

Read it all

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC)

[AI] New president for Forward in Faith – North America

Forward in Faith North America (FiFNA) is pleased to announce the election of the Rev. Canon Lawrence D. Bausch as its new President. Father Bausch succeeds the Rt. Rev. Keith L. Ackerman, who had been FiFNA President since 2005.

Read it all

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Primary Source, -- Statements & Letters: Organizations

[Robert Lundy] As of today: The Planned Parenthood Scandal

Like many of you, I have been shocked and disgusted by the reports on Planned Parenthood’s “cash for fetal parts” scandal. I already knew about the abortion holocaust in the U.S. (over 1 million abortions a year), but learning of the economics and industry behind it compounded the outrage and sorrow. In case you’ve been unable to keep up with the story, I’ll give you a brief recap.

Read it all [note: distressing subject matter]

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Children

(WI) Kathleen Sloan–The Dark Side of Third-Party Reproduction

I’m sure you’ve seen them in the media: attractive, well-off, smiling parents holding adorable infants created by third-party reproduction and assisted reproductive technologies (ART). Of course, the narrative goes, this development is a win-win for all. Who could object to children being created for those who through either infertility or biological sex are unable to reproduce?

But this picture hides the highly profitable fertility industry’s dirty secrets. It ignores what is required to create these children: exploitation, health endangerment, and the commodification of human life. An honest look at the facts and circumstances surrounding third-party reproduction and ART should give any thinking person pause.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anthropology, Children, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Life Ethics, Marriage & Family, Men, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology, Theology, Women

Matthew Harwood–Why Read Christopher Lasch?

Lasch understood that democracy is a fiction when people spend their lives working in conditions over which they exert little or no control, compensated by shoddy consumer goods that bring faint comfort when the things that really matter””such as adequate schooling and homeownership, the last vestige of proprietorship for most people today””are out of reach. These social facts don’t produce citizens capable of self-governance but a people who are ruled over by a remote technocratic elite, as Murray has correctly observed, who make decisions for the masses they know little and care even less about.

Even with President Obama’s recent championing of “middle-class economics” and the Republican Party’s occasional concessions to belief in the social destructiveness of economic inequality, both parties cling to different branches of what Lasch called the ideology of progress, redistribution on the left and “a rising tide lifts all boats” on the right. By contrast, Lasch’s vision of the good life is truly radical yet profoundly conservative; it harkens back to traditions now largely dormant in American life where those who worked for a living wanted to build local communities, in the words of 19th-century labor leader Robert MacFarlane, based upon the now forgotten American ideal of “small but universal ownership” of property, which was the “true foundation of a stable and firm republic.” In other words, independence rooted in both liberty and equality.

This producerist ideology, according to Lasch, “deserves a more attentive hearing, on its own terms, than it has usually received.” It holds the answer to the questions critics like Charles Murray raise””and reveals that too many libertarians and conventional conservatives are confused apologists for a system that produces everything they despise: authoritarianism, centralization, and widespread dependence.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Books, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Marriage & Family, Politics in General, Sociology, Theology

(FT) India launches crackdown on online pornography

India has launched a crackdown on internet pornography, banning access to more than 800 adult websites, including Playboy and Pornhub.
The restrictions followed a ruling from India’s telecoms ministry ordering internet service providers, including international telecoms groups operating in the country such as the UK’s Vodafone, to block 857 such sites.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government provided no public justification for the unexpected ban when it came into effect at the weekend.
However, on Monday India’s telecoms ministry said that the order, issued under India’s Information Technology Act, had been prompted by comments made by a supreme court judge during a hearing in July.

Read it all (another link Read it all).

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Asia, Blogging & the Internet, Globalization, India, Pornography

Should a “transgender” person be allowed a ceremony of “re-baptism” at their local church?

Should a “transgender” person be allowed a ceremony of “re-baptism” at their local church? That is what a parishioner requested from the Rev Chris Newlands, Vicar of Lancaster.

“I said we don’t do that, but we did offer him, and then carry out, a service,” Mr Newlands told the Lancaster Guardian. “He was originally baptised as a baby girl, and to him it was about God knowing him by name.”

Mr Newlands mobilised his Deanery and put a motion on the House of Bishops’ agenda for the General Synod of the Church of England: “That this Synod, recognising the need for transgender people to be welcomed and affirmed in their parish church, call on the House of Bishops to consider whether some nationally commended liturgical materials might be prepared to mark a person’s gender transition.”

That was earlier this year, but such services are already being performed.

Read it all from Christopher Howse at the Telegraph.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Baptism, Church of England (CoE), Ethics / Moral Theology, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Care, Pastoral Theology, Psychology, Sacramental Theology, Sexuality, Theology

(Barrons) Wells Fargo Advisors’ former CEO Danny Ludeman launches efforts to help ex-convicts

For Danny Ludeman, God’s call came in the form of a letter.

In the fall of 2013, Ludeman, then 56, announced he would step down after 15 years as CEO of St. Louis”“based Wells Fargo Advisors. In a subsequent interview with the local press, he mentioned that after leaving Wells, he wanted to spend 100% of his time “helping other people,” perhaps by running a nonprofit organization. As you might expect, his mailbox was flooded with offers. But one in particular caught his eye.

“I don’t know, there was something about the letter, the way it was written, and the case it made””it just called out to me,” he remembers.
The letter came from Candace O’Connor, a professional writer and the volunteer president of Project Cope, a five-person nonprofit group in St. Louis dedicated to helping ex-convicts adapt to life after prison. O’Connor’s letter carried a suggestion: “Why not head a small organization that does tremendous good””on a very lean budget, for an underserved population””and help it move to a larger sphere where it can help even more people?”

Ludeman was intrigued. He felt that working with Project Cope could dovetail nicely with the main activity he planned to pursue after leaving Wells: obtaining a Master of Divinity degree from Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis. “That was very much my retirement plan,” Ludeman says. “Learn to love God with all my heart and soul, and learn to love my neighbor as myself.”

Read it all (or there is another link Read it all.)

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Prison/Prison Ministry, Religion & Culture, Seminary / Theological Education, Theology

(WSJ) Doug Carver–Ministering During Wartime: Honoring the service of military chaplains

I was also reminded of a more somber anniversary coming next month: It will have been five years since Chaplain Capt. Dale Goetz was killed in action, along with five soldiers from his unit, on Aug. 30, 2010, by a roadside bomb in the Arghandab Valley near Kandahar, Afghanistan. He was the first U.S. military chaplain killed in action in 40 years.

The hardest moment during my tenure as Army chief of chaplains was receiving the news that one of our nation’s chaplains had been killed in action. Emails and phone calls began flooding in, attesting to the tremendous spiritual impact he’d had on members of the military and their families.

An airman reported that Chaplain Goetz had led him to a profession of faith. A couple said that his pastoral counseling had saved their marriage. Two young men entered the ministry as a result of his influence on their lives. A soldier who attended Chaplain Goetz’s last chapel service, inspired by his message that we should live with the same compassion we saw in Jesus Christ, said he had been moved to ask God’s forgiveness of those who were “setting the bombs on the road for us to die.”

Such influence on America’s military personnel has been a hallmark of the chaplain corps since the Revolutionary War.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., History, Military / Armed Forces, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

(Wash. Post Op-Ed) George Will–Planned Parenthood and the barbarity of America

Executives of Planned Parenthood’s federally subsidized meat markets ”” your tax dollars at work ”” lack the courage of their convictions. They should drop the pretense of conducting a complex moral calculus about the organs they harvest from the babies they kill.

First came the video showing a salad-nibbling, wine-sipping Planned Parenthood official explaining how “I’m going to basically crush below, I’m going to crush above” whatever organ (“heart, lung, liver”) is being harvested. Then the president of a Planned Parenthood chapter explained the happy side of harvesting: “For a lot of the women participating in the fetal tissue donation program, they’re having a procedure that may be a very difficult decision for them and this is a way for them to feel that something positive is coming from .”‰.”‰. a very difficult time.”

“Having a procedure” ”” stopping the beating of a human heart ”” can indeed be a difficult decision for the woman involved. But it never is difficult for Planned Parenthood’s abortionists administering the “procedure.” The abortion industry’s premise is: At no point in the gestation of a human infant does this living being have a trace of personhood that must be respected. Never does it have a moral standing superior to a tumor or a hamburger in the mother’s stomach.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Children, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Life Ethics, Marriage & Family, Politics in General, Science & Technology, Sexuality, Theology

Music for a Monday Morning–Sing Joyfully, by William Byrd (1540-1623)

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Church History, Liturgy, Music, Worship

A Prayer to Begin the Day from E.B. Pusey

O God, who art faithful to thy people and dost not permit them to be tempted above that they are able, but with the temptation also makest a way of escape that they may be able to bear it: We humbly entreat thee to strengthen us thy servants with thy heavenly aid and keep us with thy continual protection; that we may evermore wait on thee, and never by any temptation be drawn away from thee; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, thou who leadest Joseph like a flock! Thou who art enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth before E’phraim and Benjamin and Manas’seh! Stir up thy might, and come to save us!

–Psalm 80:1-2

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(Australian) Bishop Stuart Robinson–A Pastoral letter concerning the redefinition of marriage

Beloved in Christ,


1. As you know, calls for our Australian government to revisit the Marriage Act by granting full legal recognition to same-sex couples have intensified in recent months. Although our government has not signalled how decisions will be taken on this matter, changing public sentiment and international developments may set the conditions under which the Act is significantly revised.

2. Australian Christians have responded to this debate in a variety of ways. I note that some have attempted to mobilise their members to defend traditional values and prevent what is considered the redefinition of marriage, and some have advised they will stop performing all marriages. On the other hand, others believe that marriage should reflect equality for same-sex couples, and there are those who wait to have their relationships recognised in Christian communities. Most Christians I meet feel genuinely torn by the public debate and confused about what is an appropriate Christian response. Without exception, they desire to love and support their children and friends while being faithful to God and upholding the authority of Scripture.
3. As it happens, the Anglican Church of Australia does have a clear and unambiguous position on marriage. Our nationally authorised and instituted liturgies reflect this unequivocal view ”“ to which I subscribe, as follows:
”˜Marriage is a life-long union in which a man and a woman are called to give themselves in body, mind and spirit, and so to respond, that from their union will grow a deepening knowledge and love of each other’ (A Prayer Book for Australia, p. 647).

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Pastoral Theology, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Theology, Theology: Scripture