Daily Archives: September 22, 2015

TEC Diocese of Pittsburgh priest Scott Quinn called to serve as new Dean of Pittsburgh Cathedral

Quinn has been overseeing the Cathedral as Canon to the Ordinary ”” or assistant to the bishop ”” since June 2014. The new priest at Church of the Nativity, built in 1908, will be the Rev. Shawn Malarkey, 41.

Quinn, who was ordained on Feb. 1, 1983, will be responsible for all services, events, maintenance and fundraising at the Cathedral, which is considered the center of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh.

He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 1977 and Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry in Ambridge in 1982. He’s also served as a councilman in Thornburg since 2002, and has three children with his wife, Vera.
Quinn said he first attended an Episcopal service as a Pitt student, when he spent a semester at Gordon College near Boston.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Episcopal Church (TEC), Parish Ministry

Have you Registered for the New Wineskins Anglican Mission Conference of 2016?

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Missions

(Frst Things) Wesley Smith–From Pro-choice to Pro-abortion: a new form of abortion advocacy

For decades, the never-ending abortion debate has been summarized by the dueling sound bites of pro-choice and pro-life. Very slowly, but lately more steadily, the fundamental premise of pro-life advocacy””that abortion not only stills a beating heart, but takes a human life””has resonated with the American public. Indeed, the New York Times itself reports that “one of the most enduring labels of modern politics””pro choice””has fallen from favor” as a means of furthering abortion rights policies.

That’s a notable shift. But pro-lifers should not unduly celebrate. Rather than moderating, activists have embraced an advocacy model they once eschewed””being explicitly pro-abortion. In this new approach, Roe v. Wade is no longer a moment to celebrate. Rather, it must be overturned because it is too restrictive of what they believe should be an absolute right to terminate an unwanted pregnancy, at any time, for any reason.

Why did “pro-choice” lose its efficacy? Mendacity has its costs. Understanding the public’s sentimentality about babies, pro-choice apologists often falsely claimed their goal was simply to make abortion “safe, legal, and rare.” That worked for a time. But conceding that abortion should be “rare” implicitly accepted the pro-life movement’s fundamental premise””that the entity terminated in an abortion is far more than an inflamed appendix. Eventually, the sheer force of logic and fact helped push the country in a more pro-life direction.

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

(Independent) Social media 'rehab': Is a 24/7 texting helpline really the best method?

Social media has created dependency issues; research has proven it. Academic studies have linked apps such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to symptoms of depression, anxiety and general dissatisfaction.

Therapy website Talkspace has a solution: a new 12-week plan to address social-media dependency. That’s right, exchange texts with a real therapist to talk through your dependence ”“ not “addiction,” mind you ”“ to your phone. Created in 2012, the Talkspace app offers text-based therapy provided by 200 therapists to its current 150,000 registered users. But unlike texting a friend, a parent or a significant other, on the other end is a therapist. It’s the gig economy, but for therapists.

The launch includes an installation in New York’s Flatiron District, where passersby are encouraged to look in a mirror and use the hashtag #reflectreality.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, --Social Networking, Anthropology, Blogging & the Internet, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, History, Pastoral Theology, Psychology, Science & Technology, Theology

(AM) Andrew Symes on the Upcoming Primates Meeting–The wages of spin: death of truth?

A new message is being hinted at to orthodox Christians by the secular state: get with the programme, or we will treat you as extremists.

Thirdly, the episode is an example of revisionist episcopal hypocrisy. David Walker (whose views are well known) claimed on one hand that the “gay” issue was not going to split the church, and that unity in the Anglican Communion was his priority. But then he joined in an attack on the Church of Uganda using false information. If his aim is unity, this will surely have the opposite effect ”“ unless of course he thinks he can bully African churches into following his revisionist views, and creating ”˜unity’ that way? Rather than discuss the theological issues behind the fracture in the Communion, the Bishop of Manchester chose to use the radio interview to solicit support from the secular liberal audience for his own brand of Christianity, by demonizing African Anglicans and so further hardening the divisions in the Communion. To what extent does this reflect his own view, or part of a more organized policy?

We are seeing a combination of spin, intimidation and hypocrisy as revisionist church leaders join with the secular media in creating distance between (in their narrative) ”˜good religion’ of liberal Western Anglicanism, and the ”˜bad religion’ of the orthodox version in the developing world. In North America the faithful confessing Anglicans have faced this, taking a public, costly stand, articulating the Bible’s clear teaching about sex, marriage and what it means to be human as part of a fully-orbed presentation of the counter cultural Gospel of Jesus Christ. They have not been ashamed of association with African Christian leaders, warmly welcoming close fellowship and even oversight from them. The Archbishop of Canterbury needs to show at the January meeting that he rejects the revisionist tactics of the BBC/Guardian/Bishop of Manchester (that is, if the GAFCON Primates accept the invitation). Otherwise English evangelical Anglicans and orthodox anglo-Catholics will need to be moving ahead organizationally along the same lines as ACNA.

Read it all and followi the links, especially noting the one to the detailed background to the situation in Uganda.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, - Anglican: Analysis, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, --Justin Welby, Anglican Primates, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Ecclesiology, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Global South Churches & Primates, Globalization, Law & Legal Issues, Media, Pastoral Theology, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology, Theology: Scripture

(RNS) Trevin Wax–The Anglican Communion is already divorced

Is the Anglican Communion about to split over different views of sexual ethics?

You might think so after reading headlines about the archbishop of Canterbury’s proposal to “loosen” the structures of the Communion ”” a way of retaining his relationship to the liberal wing of the Western churches as well as the traditional Anglicans of the Global South.

But to interpret the archbishop’s recent announcement as a split over sexuality is to miss the bigger picture. First, the impending dissolution of Anglicanism as it currently exists institutionally is over much more than sex. Second, the divorce has already taken place, just not formally.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, --Justin Welby, Anglican Primates, Archbishop of Canterbury, Ecclesiology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Globalization, Marriage & Family, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Theology, Theology: Scripture

Giles Fraser–it was the world wide web that finally did in the Anglican communion

In the end, it was probably Tim Berners-Lee that did for the Anglican communion. And yet he may also be exactly the right person to show the church how to put itself back together again. But more of that in a moment. The archbishop of Canterbury has just announced a final throw of the dice to keep the family together. He plans a looser structure ”“ not quite a divorce, but “sleeping in separate bedrooms”. It’s the right way forward. But it doesn’t go far enough.

Read it all from the Guardian.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, --Justin Welby, --Social Networking, Anglican Primates, Anthropology, Archbishop of Canterbury, Blogging & the Internet, Ecclesiology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Globalization, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology, Theology

(Glou. Echo) Bishop of Gloucester Rachel Treweek's full sermon from her inauguration

Amidst our joys and struggles how are the people and places of our daily lives encountering the light of Jesus love and hope in word and action -where we live, or work, or shop, or spend leisure time? How does who we are as followers of Christ impact on the hopes and needs of those around us… and even in the way we engage with complex wider world issues such as those people drowning at sea?

Let me read some more words, which should also be unsettling and challenging. This time words from the diocesan vision statement:

The Diocese of Gloucester seeks under God to be a resilient, dynamic and transforming gospel presence in and around Gloucestershire.

Surely, this is all about being salt and light; letting our light shine before others; being those ‘ambassadors for Christ’.

Read it all.

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

(ABC Aus.) Jonathan Sacks–Free to Start Again: The Message and Meaning of Yom Kippur

At the core of the day’s prayers is vidui, confession. Through all the letters of the Hebrew alphabet we enumerate, admit and apologise for our sins. But it is at this point that we encounter one of Judaism’s most striking phenomena. Instinct would suggest that confession and repentance are best done alone. It is painful to undergo self-criticism in the privacy of our souls; doubly so in the company of others. But on Yom Kippur we confess together, publicly and aloud. We say, not “I have sinned,” but “We have sinned.”

The practice clearly recalls the time when the High Priest atoned collectively for all Israel. But the problem is obvious, then and now. If I have sinned, only I can put it right. If I have wronged, lied, cheated or humiliated, it does not help if you make amends and apologise. The wrongs we do, we do alone. You cannot atone for my sins and I cannot atone for yours. How then could the High Priest atone for the sins of all Israel, sins he did not commit? How can we in our prayers turn the singular into the plural and atone not as individuals but as a community?

Judaism has a strong sense of individual dignity and responsibility. But it has an equally strong sense of collective responsibility. “All of Israel,” says the Talmud, “are sureties forgone another.” The great sage Hillel used to say, “If I am not for myself, who will be for me? But if I am only for myself, what am I?”

Read it all.

Posted in * Religion News & Commentary, Judaism, Other Faiths, Theology

(NYT) A Humble Pope, Challenging the World

The symbolism of the morning services, which Francis now holds four times a week, is clear: a humbler papacy, where the pope is foremost a pastor to the flock, not a king. But a humbler papacy hardly means humbler papal ambitions. Francis is not just trying to change the Roman Catholic Church. He seems determined to change the world.

Popes are expected to challenge society. But Francis, 78, who lands in Cuba on Saturday and prepares to arrive in Washington on Tuesday for his first visit to the United States, has achieved a unique global stature in a short time.

His humble persona has made him immensely popular, a smiling figure plunging into crowds at St. Peter’s Square. He speaks in deeply personal terms about people discarded by the global economy, whether refugees drowned at sea or women forced into prostitution. His blistering critiques of environmental destruction have seized the world’s attention.

But he is also an inscrutable tactician whose push to change the church has stirred anxiety and hope ”” and some skepticism. Many conservatives project their fears onto him. Many liberals assume he is a kindred spirit. Others argue that Francis is less concerned about left or right than he is about reversing the church’s declining popularity in Latin America and beyond.

Read it all from the front page of Saturday’s New York Times.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Christology, Ecclesiology, Globalization, Other Churches, Pope Francis, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Theology

Andrew Goddard on the Primates Meeting–From Communion to”¦..Federation ?

It is also far from clear that such a shift would either get much support (outside some of the liberal Northern primates) or offer a practical solution. Not just GAFCON but many primates from the wider Global South remain of the view that the solution to the continuing crisis (based around a Primates’ Council and Pastoral Scheme for traditionalists in North America) was put forward at the Dar Primates Meeting in 2007 but never implemented, in large part leading to GAFCON forming. The Archbishop has refused to accept their view that this must be the starting point of any new gathering ”“ that meeting will be nearly a decade old once the Primates meet, much has happened, and very few current Primates attended that meeting despite it being one which had a very high number of newly installed Primates. Justin Welby has rightly insisted, following extensive visits and conversations, that the meeting must find its own way forward face-to-face. But in talking of respecting the decisions of previous Primates’ meetings he has shown he is aware how many Primates still think that the proposal put forward there continues to provide a model for how best to proceed.

The sad reality is that support for something like the Dar approach has increased following the decisions earlier this year by General Convention (and to a lesser degree the Scottish Episcopal Church). These demonstrated that some provinces are now seeking to repeat the pattern of taking provincial action which disregards the mind of the Communion but in relation to the even more important question of Christian teaching on marriage. Some Global South provinces who were becoming more amenable to moving on from the painful history since 2003 and starting afresh (particularly with a new Presiding Bishop) are now clear that the fundamental problem of TEC unilateralism remains a serious one. That is one reason they have sought and secured a place for Archbishop Foley of ACNA during the meeting.

The way forward after January is unlikely to be simply a reversion to an earlier attempted solution, whether the Dar Primates’ model or the Anglican Communion Covenant in its present form. It is, however, even less likely to be an agreement from the Primates that they need to embrace a “federation” model of global Anglicanism.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Commentary, --Justin Welby, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Primates, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Archbishop of Canterbury, Ecclesiology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Primates Mtg Dar es Salaam, Feb 2007, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology, Theology: Scripture

The Columbus [Ohio] Dispatch looks back to 1817””Episcopal priest Philander Chase Comes to Preach

On May 3, 1817, he conducted the first…[Episcopal] service in Columbus at the Buckeye House hotel.

Four days later, he preached again at the High Street home of storekeeper Lincoln Goodale. “Some of those who came were merely curious. Others believed that God’s inerrant providence brought them to that spot. All listened with reverence as Chase intoned the service from the Book of Common Prayer and preached to them,” Lisa M. Klein wrote in her 2003 history of Trinity Episcopal Church, Be It Remembered.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Church History, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Philander Chase

Almighty God, whose Son Jesus Christ is the pioneer and perfecter of our faith We give thee heartfelt thanks for the pioneering spirit of thy servant Philander Chase, and for his zeal in opening new frontiers for the ministry of thy Church. Grant us grace to minister in Christ’s name in every place, led by bold witnesses to the Gospel of the Prince of Peace, even Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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

A Prayer to Begin the Day from Saint Benedict

O gracious and holy Father, give us wisdom to perceive thee, diligence to seek thee, patience to wait for thee, eyes to behold thee, a heart to meditate upon thee, and a life to proclaim thee; through the power of the Spirit of Jesus Christ our Lord.

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings from of old,
things that we have heard and known, that our fathers have told us.
We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the LORD, and his might, and the wonders which he has wrought.
He established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers to teach to their children;
that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children,
so that they should set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments….

–Psalm 78:2-7

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Federal Judge hands TEC another setback as its new Diocese battles the historic one in Court

U.S. Judge Delays Hearing on Episcopal Church Appeal Demanding Identity of Diocese of South Carolina, Pending State Court Decision

Judge refuses to confuse the rightful ownership issue as it proceeds to state Supreme Court this week

CHARLESTON, SC (Sept. 21, 2015) ”“ A federal judge handed the Episcopal Church (TEC) and its local subsidiary, the Episcopal Church in South Carolina (TECSC) a setback today when he refused the request to reconsider a decision about who rightfully owns the Diocese of South Carolina identity, trademarks and other intellectual property.

Bishop Charles G. vonRosenberg, who heads TECSC, has repeatedly alleged that the property and identity of the Diocese of South Carolina actually belongs to the Episcopal Church and was wrongfully taken by Bishop Mark Lawrence, who heads the Diocese which left TEC in 2012.
Federal District Judge C. Weston Houck originally dismissed vonRosenberg’s claim in 2013, recognizing that the essential issues of the Diocese’s identity would be resolved by the South Carolina courts. Last February, South Carolina Circuit Judge Diane Goodstein ruled the Diocese of South Carolina was, in fact, free to leave the denomination and keep its property and assets. TEC appealed that decision and the appeal will be heard by the South Carolina Supreme Court on Sept. 23.

Meanwhile, TEC appealed Judge Houck’s decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. The appellate panel ordered Judge Houck to reconsider his earlier dismissal of the case using a different legal standard for that decision. The panel decision was largely procedural. It did not issue any opinions about the merits of TEC’s claim.

In today’s decision to delay any further hearings pending the outcome of a South Carolina Supreme Court decision about the case Judge Houck wrote, “Regardless of the [state Supreme Court’s] ultimate decision, Bishop vonRosenberg’s rights will necessarily be addressed and will be adequately protected in the state court action.”

He referred to the Supreme Court hearing, scheduled for Sept. 23, as “the parallel state court action.”

“Basically, the Judge is saying that if the Supreme Court upholds the state ruling the case will be dismissed,” said the Rev. Jim Lewis, Canon to Bishop Lawrence.

Houck applied the Colorado River Abstention doctrine to conclude that the factors in this case presented the “exceptional circumstances” to warrant abstention.

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

O Jesus, I have promised

O Jesus, I have promised to serve Thee to the end;
Be Thou forever near me, my master and my friend;
I shall not fear the battle if Thou art by my side,
Nor wander from the pathway if Thou wilt be my guide.

O let me feel Thee near me! The world is ever near;
I see the sights that dazzle, the tempting sounds I hear;
My foes are ever near me, around me and within;
But Jesus, draw Thou nearer, and shield my soul from sin

O let me hear Thee speaking in accents clear and still,
Above the storms of passion, the murmurs of self will.
O speak to reassure me, to hasten or control;
O speak, and make me listen, Thou guardian of my soul.

O Jesus, Thou hast promised to all who follow Thee
That where Thou art in glory there shall Thy servant be.
And Jesus, I have promised to serve Thee to the end;
O give me grace to follow, my master and my friend.

O let me see Thy footprints, and in them plant mine own;
My hope to follow duly is in Thy strength alone.
O guide me, call me, draw me, uphold me to the end;
And then in Heaven receive me, my Savior and my friend.

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

[Telegraph] Chile earthquake kills 10 and one million evacuated

A million people were evacuated in Chile after an 8.3-magnitude quake struck offshore in the Pacific, killing at least 10 people and triggering tsunami waves along its northern coast.

Wednesday night’s earthquake was the sixth most powerful in the history of geologically volatile Chile and the strongest anywhere in the world this year, officials said.

Read it all and please pray for Chile where there has been a further earthquake on Monday

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Cono Sur [formerly Southern Cone]

Episcopal Diocese of Dallas: Bishop-elect George Sumner Receives Consents

The Rt. Rev. Paul E. Lambert notifies the diocese that Bishop-elect George Sumner has received consents.
September 15, 2015

My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I have been notified, by the Office of the Secretary of the General Convention, that Bishop-elect George Sumner has received the requisite number of consents from the House of Bishops and Standing Committees of the Episcopal Church. We are very pleased by this good news and give thanks to God and the Church for reaffirming our choice for our next Apostolic Father in God.

We will move forward with our plans for the Bishop-elect’s Consecration on Saturday, November 14, 2015 at First United Methodist Church Dallas. The service will begin at 11 a.m.

Read it all

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

(AJ) Ontario Anglican Church raises funds, asks Ottawa to loosen red tape for Syrian refugees

A London, Ont. church is raising money for Syrian refugees at lightning speed””thanks, at least partly, to a very Canadian household material.

As of Monday morning, St. Aidan’s Anglican Church had raised roughly $35,000 for refugee sponsorship after 15 days of its “Red Tape Challenge.” The appeal asks participants, after making their donations, to tear a piece of red duct tape and attach it to their vehicles, rural mailbox or other prominent place.

The point of the tape, says John Davidson, the St. Aidan’s parishioner who came up with the idea, is to pressure the federal government to reduce barriers to refugees in Canada ”“ “to show Ottawa that yes, you can cut through red tape if you have the desire and the wherewithal, and you want to get the job done.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Canada, Ethics / Moral Theology, Immigration, Law & Legal Issues, Middle East, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Care, Pastoral Theology, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Syria, Theology

(Vanguard) 85 dead in Boko Haram’s deadliest attacks since Buhari took-over

Boko Haram carried out its deadliest attacks on the key northeast Nigerian city of Maiduguri since President Muhammadu Buhari came to power, killing scores in a series of coordinated bomb blasts.

Police in the Borno state capital said at least 54 people died in Sunday’s co-ordinated strikes, with 90 injured, but residents caught up in the explosions said as many as 85 lost their lives.

The attacks on Sunday night in the Ajilari Cross area and nearby Gomari, near the city’s airport, killed and maimed worshippers at a mosque, bystanders and football fans watching a televised match.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Africa, Defense, National Security, Military, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Islam, Law & Legal Issues, Nigeria, Other Faiths, Police/Fire, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Terrorism, Theology, Violence

(Get Religion) The Atlantic goes halfway in reporting on Anglican primates meeting

Including Welby, there are 38 primates. With Foley Beach, that makes 39. Foley’s inclusion among the world’s primates, which is something conservatives have been wanting for years, is an admission by Lambeth Palace that the Episcopal Church cannot claim to represent all Anglicans within U.S. borders.

Also, the archbishop’s press release adds that Beach will be invited for “part of the time.”

What does that mean? The Atlantic could have inquired about that and about the obvious point that Welby had to have conferred in private with some of the conservative primates before issuing this call and that Foley’s inclusion in this gathering was the non-negotiable they insisted upon if they were going to show up. The Episcopal sites were commenting on this as were the Anglican ones, so The Atlantic should have picked up on these points, which were easy to find with a few mouse clicks.

The Atlantic did note that the only female primate, Episcopal Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, will not be at this January meeting because her successor, Bishop Michael Curry, will have been installed. What should have been added is how her absence clears the way for those of the primates who still oppose the ordination of female bishops to attend. Now they will not have to abstain from Communion with someone they regard as having singlehandedly created a scorched-earth policy toward departing conservatives plus contributed to a 12 percent drop in church membership during her tenure. One wonders if Welby timed his gathering with that in mind.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Commentary, --Justin Welby, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Anglican Primates, Anthropology, Archbishop of Canterbury, Ecclesiology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Global South Churches & Primates, Theology, Theology: Scripture