Daily Archives: August 13, 2015

[The Press NZ] Anglican Diocese of Christchurch cleared over cathedral funding breach

Christchurch’s Anglican Diocese has avoided censure for incorrectly using funds from an insurance payout to help pay for the transitional cathedral.

A High Court judgment released on Wednesday said it was sufficient for the Church Property Trustees (CPT), which holds property on various trusts for the diocese, to repay the $4 million it used from the quake-damaged Christ Church Cathedral insurance payout to construct the new building near Latimer Square.

The CPT repaid the money with funds diverted from a trust account after an interim High Court judgment in 2012 said the $39m payout for the Christ Church Cathedral could only be utilised for work on the existing structure or its successor in the Square.

The Great Christchurch Buildings Trust ”“ a pressure group led by former MPs Jim Anderton and Philip Burdon ”“ took legal action, believing the CPT should be penalised for its breach.

Justice Rachel Dunningham, who heard the respective arguments at a hearing in Christchurch in April, said the CPT would not be held liable.

The CPT was not at fault for under-insuring Christ Church Cathedral because it had based its policy on an estimate that did not reflect the value of the property

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, Anglican Provinces

[Christian Today] Patrick Sookhdeo: Why the Barnabas Fund's founder should keep silence

..Here’s what a Charity Commission spokesperson told me about that: “In May 2015, the Commission was made aware that the trustees of Barnabas Aid International were considering asking Dr Sookhdeo to serve on their board again. This gave rise to serious regulatory concerns..
…Sookhdeo’s lawyers sought leave to appeal against his convictions. However, he changed his mind and withdrew the application. In the words of a statement to Christian Today: “Despite having consulted a leading QC and feeling encouraged that his solicitors expect he would be vindicated at court, Dr Sookhdeo has decided, at least at this stage, not to proceed with his appeal against his conviction.”

The statement says: “His lawyers have urged him to consider the effect that an appeal and consequent retrial would have on his health and that of his wife Rosemary, not to mention the emotional stress that they would have to endure over the next one to two years whilst the appeal went through the courts. Dr Sookhdeo would also have to pay very considerable legal fees just to clear his name.”

It also says that he is “acutely aware” of the effect continued media coverage would have on the Barnabas Fund and that he is “very thankful and humbled by the continued support he has had for his ministry”.

The statement concludes: “With the support and confidence of its trustees, he will continue to serve Barnabas Aid International as its International Director. His expertise on Islam and his unrivalled knowledge of the persecuted Church are needed more than ever.”

So here’s the question.

What is Barnabas thinking?

Read it all and the background post is here

Posted in * Religion News & Commentary, Religious Freedom / Persecution

Some Gainesville Area church leaders speak about variety of touchy issues

It was a formal church setting with nine area Christian leaders present, but no formal sermons were given or messages with the Bible cracked open to a particular passage.

Instead, the clergy spoke off the cuff in a Christian “conversation” Wednesday night on issues of faith and belief.

And that led them into some areas of modern-day debate and concern, such as marriage equality, race and the church’s relevance in a digital age.

“We’ll be having a great debate next April about same-sex marriage and transgender (issues),” said the Rev. Terry Walton, senior pastor at Gainesville First United Methodist Church, at “Christianity Beyond the Catchphrases,” held at Grace Episcopal Church in Gainesville.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Baptists, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Lutheran, Marriage & Family, Methodist, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Politics in General, Presbyterian, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology, Sexuality, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(CNN) John Rhys-Davies says Christianity being wiped out, Western Nations Too Silent

Perhaps John Rhys-Davies was channeling Gimli, his character from The Lord of the Rings’ trilogy, because the Welsh actor delivered a soliloquy late Monday about good and evil and even warned of the end of days courtesy of radical Islamic terrorism and political correctness.

“There is an extraordinary silence in the West,” said Rhys-Davies on Adam Carolla’s podcast posted Monday night. “Basically, Christianity in the Middle East and in Africa is being wiped out ”” I mean not just ideologically but physically, and people are being enslaved and killed because they are Christians. And your country and my country are doing nothing about it….”

“This is a unique age. We don’t want to be judgmental,” said Rhys-Davies, who’s also known for his role in the Indiana Jones franchise. “Every other age that has come before us has believed exactly the opposite. I mean, T.S. Eliot referred to ‘the common pursuit of true judgment.’ Yes. That’s what it’s about. Getting our judgments right.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Foreign Relations, History, Islam, Media, Other Faiths, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Violence

Thursday Morning Mental Health Break–20+ Foot Female Great White Shark Filmed off of Mexico

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Posted in * General Interest, * International News & Commentary, Animals, Mexico, Photos/Photography

(R+E Report) Quelling Islamic extremism: replace frustrated ambition with opportunity

The recruiting ground for Islamic extremism looks vastly different for western Muslims and Muslims living in the Middle East.

The traditional picture of the Australian recruit is of a young man, poorly educated in his faith. But a visiting Middle East expert says that in Muslim nations recruits are increasingly well-educated professionals who are deeply frustrated by a lack of opportunity.

Professor Hamdy Hassan is a faithful Muslim, the son of a Sheikh, and political scientist at the University of Cairo and Zayed University in Dubai. He’s a Visiting Fellow at Deakin University, Victoria, and is sponsored by the Council of Australia Arab Relations

Listen to it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Islam, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Terrorism, Violence

(NPR) Professor Sues Religious University After Allegedly Being Fired For Getting Pregnant

Now a story about a professor in Oregon who says when she told her employer she was pregnant, she got a pink slip instead of congratulations. That’s because she worked at a Christian school and because she’s not married. NPR’s Carrie Johnson reports.

CARRIE JOHNSON, BYLINE: Coty Richardson spent four years teaching exercise science at Northwest Christian University. She says she loved in the small classes at the school in Eugene, Ore., and she loved its values and caring environment.

COTY RICHARDSON: Christ-centered community that’s based on, you know, loving one another, loving yourself, kindness, tolerance of other individuals.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Children, Education, Ethics / Moral Theology, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Theology, Women

Alain de Botton–Utopian Media: What Would 'the News' Look Like in a Wiser Society than Ours?

The news is the most powerful and prestigious force in contemporary society, replacing religion as the touchstone of authority and meaning. It is usually the first thing we check in the morning and the last thing we consult at night. What are we searching for?

The news does its best to persuade us we must keep up with its agenda – but to what end? What are the ghastly, wondrous, thrilling, destructive, bitter stories for?

It would be most honest to admit that we don’t yet know: we’re still working it out collectively. We’re still among the first generations ever to have had access to news on the current scale and we’re struggling to make sense of the deluge of information.

One thing is for sure: we don’t yet have the news we deserve.

Read it all from ABC Australia.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, --Social Networking, Anthropology, Blogging & the Internet, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Media, Philosophy, Politics in General, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology, Theology

(RNS) Kenyan clergy joins battle against deadly homemade brews

Close to 4 million Kenyans consume illegal alcoholic brews, found a 2013 survey by the National Authority for the Campaign against Alcohol and Drug Abuse. The biggest challenge is corruption among government officials, said the agency’s John Mututho.

Some clergy have been joining community members to seek out and storm the makeshift breweries ”” many just drums or pots hidden in forests, private residences or buried near riverbeds.

“We commend the steps taken by the president. As clergy, we do not encourage drinking,” said Anglican Bishop Julius Kalu of Mombasa. “We urge more steps to ensure those addicted are rehabilitated.”

Kyalo agrees. The president, he said, “took bold steps, but he has to address the root cause of the problem. This is deeply rooted, where people are poor. He must deal with poverty, which is increasing.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Alcohol/Drinking, Alcoholism, Anglican Church of Kenya, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Kenya, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Theology

(Guardian) Church of England defends Songs of Praise filmed in Calais migrant camp

The Daily Express and the Sun both carried critical front pages of the BBC programme’s decision to film in the church, which they claimed was a waste of licence fee money and a highly politicised gesture.

Justin Welby, the archbishop of Canterbury, made it clear in a tweet that he fully supported the programme, as well as retweeting a positive piece from the influential Anglican blog, Archbishop Cranmer.

“What do they think the church is for? It is for the poor and the vulnerable, it is to voice things that others cannot voice,” [Bishop] Baines told the Guardian. “Everyone else seems to be allowed to be political apart from the church.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Immigration, Law & Legal Issues, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Theology

St. Matthias signage to be removed from former Guelph church

Signage on the former St. Matthias Anglican Church building will be removed to help clear up confusion over where the congregation meets.

The St. Matthias community currently gathers for worship at Hospice Wellington on Scottsdale Drive on Sundays at 11:30 a.m.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Parish Ministry

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Jeremy Taylor

O God, whose days are without end, and whose mercies cannot be numbered: Make us, we beseech thee, like thy servant Jeremy Taylor, deeply sensible of the shortness and uncertainty of human life; and let thy Holy Spirit lead us in holiness and righteousness all our days; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

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

A Prayer to Begin the Day from George Hickes

Teach us, O gracious Lord, to begin our works with fear, to go on with obedience, and to finish them in love, and then to wait patiently in hope, and with cheerful confidence to look up to thee, whose promises are faithful and rewards infinite; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

O give thanks to the LORD, call on his name, make known his deeds among the peoples! Sing to him, sing praises to him, tell of all his wonderful works! Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice! Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his presence continually!

–Psalm 105:1-4

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(City Journal) Frustrated with the public schools, middle-class urbanites embrace homeschooling

The current crop of homeschoolers has one major advantage over the movement’s pioneers: modern technology has put all of history’s collected knowledge at their fingertips. No homeschooling parent need become an expert on differential equations or Newton’s Third Law of Motion. He or she can simply visit YouTube’s Khan Academy channel and find thousands of video lectures on these topics. Rosetta Stone, the well-known foreign-language software company, offers a specially tailored homeschool reading curriculum for just $99 per year. Wade’s children use a free website called Duolingo to practice Spanish. And many popular curriculum packages and distance-learning education programs provide Skype-based tutorials, online courses, and other learning supports.

Cities offer homeschoolers rich educational opportunities. The Fredettes of Philadelphia have used their storied city to supplement American history lessons. Their travels have brought them to the Liberty Bell and Constitution Hall, of course, but they’ve also visited a glassblower’s studio, taken archery classes, and toured the facility where the Inquirer, the nation’s third-oldest daily newspaper, is printed. “We even went to the Herr’s potato-chip factory and watched the chips coming out of the machine,” recalls Fredette. The children’s favorite trip was to the studios of FOX 29 News, where, as part of a unit on meteorology, they watched a live broadcast of the midday weather report, complete with green screen.

Boston is known as a college town. Kerry McDonald lives across the Charles River in Cambridge””“between M.I.T. and Harvard,” she says. On her City Kids Homeschooling blog, McDonald writes: “We use the city as our primary learning tool, taking advantage of all its offerings, including classes, museums, libraries, cultural events, and fascinating neighbors”””including a Tufts University biology professor who brings home snails and mollusks for the kids.

Read it all (Hat Tip: AI).

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Children, Education, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Theology, Urban/City Life and Issues

Communiqué from the International Anglican Liturgical Consultation 2015

11. Considerable time was given to reviewing and strengthening the role of the Consultation as a network of the Anglican Communion. Revised guidelines for governance were adopted articulating the purpose of the Consultation:

to promote the deepening of communion between the Churches of the Anglican Communion by renewing its life of liturgy and prayer as integral to the mission of the Church;
to advise the Provinces and the Instruments of Communion on questions of liturgy and common prayer and to encourage and support conversation between the Provinces on questions touching on Anglican liturgical theology and practice;
to review developments in liturgical formation and practice in the Anglican Communion and among ecumenical partners, and to give advice upon them to the Provinces and the Instruments of Communion, with the intention to promote common understanding, consistency and coherence, both within the Anglican Communion and in ecumenical engagement;
to assist any Province with new proposals in the areas of liturgical formation, development and practice; and
to report the scope and results of its work to the Anglican Consultative Council.
This process was much assisted by the presence and contribution of the Director of Unity, Faith and Order for the Anglican Communion, the Revd Canon Dr John Gibaut.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, - Anglican: Primary Source, -- Reports & Communiques, Liturgy, Music, Worship