Daily Archives: September 20, 2015

(AP) State Supreme Court to hear legal issues in Episcopal split in eastern SC

A circuit judge held a three-week trial last year and earlier this year ruled the diocese owns it name, symbols and property.

But The Episcopal Church and The Episcopal Church in South Carolina {who formed a new diocese of their own], comprised of parishes in the area remaining with the national church, have appealed.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Presiding Bishop, Religion & Culture, Stewardship, TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Central New York, Theology

(RCR) Robert Barron–What Harvard Wrought in California

The denial of God — or the blithe bracketing of the question of God — is not a harmless parlor game. Rather, it carries with it the gravest implications. If there is no God, then our lives do indeed belong to us, and we can do with them what we want. If there is no God, our lives have no ultimate meaning or transcendent purpose, and they become simply artifacts of our own designing. Accordingly, when they become too painful or too shallow or just too boring, we ought to have the prerogative to end them. We can argue the legalities and even the morality of assisted suicide until the cows come home, but the real issue that has to be engaged is that of God’s existence.

The incoming freshman class at Harvard is a disturbing omen indeed, for the more our society drifts into atheism, the more human life is under threat. The less we are willing even to wrestle with God, the more de-humanized we become.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Aging / the Elderly, Anthropology, Children, Death / Burial / Funerals, Education, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Life Ethics, Marriage & Family, Parish Ministry, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, State Government, Theology, Young Adults

In troubled, hectic times, Christian radio broadcasts uplifting encouragement

Rob Dempsey was hungry and lonely, digging through trash bins for food, when he found something that would change his life forever.

Dempsey, now a radio host at His Radio 100.5, had been on his own since he was 16 and was living on the streets of his native St. Petersburg, Fla.

He was a teenage alcoholic and drug user. “I felt so disconnected and so alone. Being alone in a situation like that is one of the worst things that anybody could go through, because there’s just nobody there.”

Read it all from the local paper.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Media, Religion & Culture, Theology

The story of Matteo Ricci, Missionary Pioneer to China

From here:

In an age of extraordinary people, Matteo Ricci was one of the most remarkable. Even today, if you ask a Chinese person to name a famous European from the past, they will as likely as not name Ricci. He was a 16th-century Italian Jesuit scholar who arrived in Macao””a Portuguese possession on the border of China””in 1582. He hoped to work as a missionary in China. The mission was run by another Jesuit, Ricci’s former teacher Alessandro Valignano, who believed that Christian mission shouldn’t be about striding up to the “natives,” telling them their religion was wrong, and instructing them in a new one. He believed that missionaries should be sensitive to local culture and treat the local people with respect, on the basis that they too had valuable things to say.
So when Ricci finally gained permission to enter China in 1583 (the Chinese authorities generally didn’t allow Europeans to enter at this time) he went dressed as a Buddhist monk, speaking Chinese and presenting himself as a humble seeker after wisdom. He wasn’t very successful at first (the people of the area he arrived in, near Canton, didn’t speak the Chinese dialect he had learned in Macao, and they didn’t much like Buddhist monks either), but he persevered and won the trust of the people. In particular, Ricci made many contacts at the imperial court, where people were greatly impressed by his humble approach and his interest in Chinese learning. The emperor himself liked the gifts that Ricci brought him (especially a clock and a harpsichord), and Ricci sought to find new ways to express the Christian faith that made sense to the Chinese. He not only translated various Christian texts into Chinese, but in 1603 also wrote a famous book (in Chinese) called The True Doctrine of the Lord of Heaven, which presented Christianity in the form of a philosophical discussion in the Neo-Confucian tradition. The book was very well received.

Ricci was the first great Jesuit missionary to China. Many more followed him and became closely involved in all kinds of scientific and cultural pursuits. Nicolas Trigault, for example, was one Jesuit missionary who arrived in China with 7,000 Western books, and who went on to write a book for Europeans who wanted to learn Chinese. Many other Jesuits worked at the astronomical bureau. They all believed that Chinese culture was not only worthwhile, but was also largely compatible with Christianity.

–quoted by yours truly in the morning sermon

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * International News & Commentary, Asia, China, Church History, Missions, Theology

A Prayer to Begin the Day from New Every Morning

O Spirit of the living God, who dost sanctify the lives of thy people, and dost build them up into a holy temple for thy habitation: Grant us so to know thy indwelling presence that we may be set free from lesser desires, and by thy grace may be conformed to the likeness of Jesus Christ our Lord.

–New Every Morning (The Prayer Book Of The Daily Broadcast Service) [BBC, 1900]

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

Archbishop Mouneer at All Souls Church in London

Dated September 13th 2015
At the invitation of All Souls church in London, Archbishop Mouneer Anis is visiting England this Sunday and he spoke about the problem of refugee and how the church deals with it. It worth mentioning that Dr. John Stott was the pastor of this church for many years.

Read it all

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury

(SAM) A profile of René Girard–History is a test. Mankind is failing it.

“People are against my theory, because it is at the same time an avant-garde and a Christian theory,” he says. “The avant-garde people are anti-Christian, and many of the Christians are anti-avant-garde. Even the Christians have been very distrustful of me.”

During a meeting last year of an informal philosophical reading group, Girard recounted the Old Testament story of Joseph, son of Jacob, bound and sold into slavery by his “mob” of 10 half-brothers. At first, “they all get together and try to kill him. The Bible knows that scapegoating is a mob affair.” Joseph establishes himself as one of the leaders of Egypt and then tearfully forgives his brothers in a dramatic reconciliation. It is, Girard said, a story “much more mature, spiritually, than the beginning of Genesis.” Moreover, the story has no precedent in archaic literature.

“Like many biblical stories, it is a counter-mythical story,” he said, “because in myth, the lynchers are always satisfied with their lynching.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Books, Education, Europe, France, History, Philosophy, Religion & Culture, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(LA Times) Embryo battles are likely to get a precedent in San Francisco couple's case

Dr. Mimi C. Lee and Stephen E. Findley had not been married long when he began to have doubts about the relationship. Now divorced, he is fighting to prevent her from having a child with their frozen embryos, made after Lee was diagnosed with cancer.

The case, to be decided in the next several weeks, is likely to lead to the first legal rules in California for resolving embryo disputes. If Lee prevails, Findley could be forced to become a parent against his will. If Findley wins, it is extremely unlikely that Lee, now 46, will ever have a genetically related child.

“It is compelling and dramatic how these issues play out,” said Dr. Mark Sauer, a reproductive endocrinologist and professor of medicine at Columbia University. “These are embryos that will potentially live lives. It is not like you are bartering over the furniture in your house.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Anthropology, Children, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Men, Pastoral Theology, Science & Technology, Theology, Women

A Local Event of Some interest that Happened this Morning

The Archbishop and Primate of the Province of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), the Most Rev. Foley Beach, will be visiting the Lowcountry of South Carolina on Saturday, September 19, 2015, 9:30am. He will deliver the sermon at the closing Holy Communion service of the 43rd Annual Synod of the Reformed Episcopal Diocese of the Southeast. Archbishop Beach will speak at the service held in Redeemer Reformed Episcopal Church, 2173 Highway 45, Pineville, SC. All fellow Anglicans/Episcopalians and other Christians are invited to hear the Archbishop.

Archbishop Beach represents orthodox Anglicans/Episcopalians outside of the more liberal Episcopal Church USA (ECUSA). Beach has been invited by the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby to England to meet with other Primates of the Anglican Communion in January 2016. The Reformed Episcopal Church and the Diocese of the Southeast are founding members of the ACNA. The Diocese of the Southeast is comprised of 90% black congregations which were excluded from the Diocese of South Carolina in 1873, after the Civil War and Reconstruction. Since the Diocese of South Carolina has separated from ECUSA, there has been dialog between Bishop Mark Lawrence (DSC) and Bishop Al Gadsden (DSE) to reconcile and restore a common mission and witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * South Carolina, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Theology

Boko Haram displaced 1.4 million children says UNICEF

The number of children forced to flee Boko Haram’s Islamic insurgency in Nigeria and neighboring countries has reached 1.4 million, UN children agency, Unicef, said on friday.

The radical Islamist group has used children as targets and recruits in its war on the Nigerian state, with the aim of establishing its own Islamic caliphate in the country’s northern regions.

In April 2014, Boko Haram kidnapped more than 270 schoolchildren from the village of Chibok, the majority of whom have still not been found.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Cameroon, Chad, Children, Defense, National Security, Military, Foreign Relations, Nigeria, Politics in General, Terrorism

All the Charleston SC mayoral candidates agree racial inequities persist

This summer’s racially-motivated shooting deaths of nine black worshippers inside Emanuel AME Church first affected Charleston’s mayor’s race by shutting down the campaigns for weeks as the city dealt with the funerals and widespread grief.

On Friday, it shaped the race in a different way before more than 225 people at Burke High School.

All six mayoral candidates appeared together on stage there to discuss many of the city’s persistent racial disparities and how they would address them, if elected.

If the Mayoral Forum on Race Equity was not organized directly in response to the Emanuel shootings, the crime gave its organizers a renewed sense of urgency.

Read it all from the local paper.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, Anthropology, City Government, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Politics in General, Race/Race Relations, Theology, Urban/City Life and Issues

(LA Times) Pope Francis, whose vision has captivated the world, brings it to North America

Since he was elected by his fellow cardinals in 2013 to head the Roman Catholic Church, Francis has captivated the public imagination the world over with his down-to-earth demeanor even as he tries to fit a new vision onto the ancient institution he leads.

He’s bringing that vision to North America with a visit to Cuba beginning Saturday and to the United States on Sept. 22-27. The trip embraces the lofty ”” with addresses to Congress and the United Nations ”” as well as the lowly ”” meetings with homeless people and migrant families. It will be the first time that the 78-year-old pontiff has set foot in the U.S.

His very lack of flamboyance has, paradoxically, turned him into a spiritual rock star and newsmaker who has graced the covers of Rolling Stone, Time and National Geographic. Rapturous crowds greet Francis worldwide; a million or more people are expected to attend his outdoor Mass in Philadelphia on Sept. 26.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Globalization, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic