Daily Archives: October 3, 2015

(AJ) In CFB Borden, Anglican priest, imam officiate interfaith wedding

History was made this summer at Canadian Forces Base Borden, Ont., with a unique interfaith wedding, the officiating clerics say.

On August 29, Capt. Georgette Mink, a physiotherapist in the Canadian military, was married to Ahmad Osman, a soldier in the Lebanese army. Although technically a Christian marriage, it was attended by representatives from both the Christian and Muslim religions, and was followed by a Muslim blessing of the couple.

Capt. the Rev. Dwayne Bos, the Anglican padre who officiated, said he believes other weddings may have been done in the Canadian military involving Christians and non-Christians””he has heard of some involving one Wiccan partner, for example. But the fact that clerics from both faith traditions co-performed the liturgy made this one unique, he said.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Inter-Faith Relations, Islam, Marriage & Family, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture

New Anglican Bishop of Guyana elected

Father Charles Davidson, a Guyanese priest serving in the United States of America, has been elected to serve as the eight Diocesan Bishop of Guyana.

According to a statement issued by the Anglican Diocese of Guyana, including Suriname and Cayenne, Fr Davidson was elected after one round of voting when the Elective Assembly of the Diocese met on Tuesday.

The Archbishop of the West Indies, The Most Reverend John Holder, has been advised of the decision taken by the Elective Assembly, which is now awaiting Davidson’s confirmation.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, West Indies

PBS' Religion and Ethics Newsweekly–Assessing U.S. Visit of Pope Francis

The pope has returned to Rome after his historic trip to the United States, but the message and meaning of his words and actions are still being debated. We are joined by John Carr, director of Georgetown University’s Initiative on Catholic Social Thought, and Pat Zapor, who covered the pope’s trip for Catholic News Service, about how the pope was received, what he said and did, and what the impact of his message may be on the Catholic Church and beyond.

Read it all.

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

(WSJ) Chloe Valdary–Saving Christians From ISIS Persecution

In 1975, as desperate Vietnamese sought to escape Communist rule, the U.S. embarked on what remains one of the greatest humanitarian rescue missions in history. Over the span of several weeks, Operation Frequent Wind, Operation Babylift and other missions by air or on sea saved and resettled tens of thousands of Vietnamese in the U.S., where they would become thriving American citizens.

Now another desperate population needs rescuing: persecuted Christians in the Middle East. Could there be an Operation Frequent Wind for them?

Mark Arabo thinks so. He is a Chaldean-American and the founder of the Minority Humanitarian Foundation, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to get Iraqi Christians out before it’s too late. “There is historical precedent for this,” he says from his base in San Diego. “President Ford airlifted thousands during the Vietnam War and we need to do the same.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Asia, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Islam, Middle East, Other Faiths, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Terrorism, Theology, Vietnam, Violence

(ESPN) Chicago Cubs Pitcher Jake Arrieta completes regular season to remember

It’s getting cold everywhere but on the mound, where Arrieta has dominated team after team every five days, especially in the second half. In five more days, he’ll be on center stage pitching for the Cubs in the NL wild-card game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. But after Friday’s six shutout innings, it was time reflect on a historic season that produced the lowest second-half ERA (0.75) in history.

“I have not seen this,” manager Joe Maddon said. “I don’t think a lot of people have.

“To have the honor of managing that is pretty incredible.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Men, Sports

(NYT) American Airstrike Hits Doctors Without Borders Hospital in Afghanistan

A hospital run by Doctors Without Borders in Kunduz was badly damaged early Saturday after being hit by what appears to have been an American airstrike. At least 19 people were killed, including 12 hospital staff members, and dozens wounded.

The United States military, in a statement, confirmed an airstrike at 2:15 a.m., saying that it had been targeting individuals “who were threatening the force” and that “there may have been collateral damage to a nearby medical facility.”

The airstrike set off fires that were still burning hours later, and a nurse who managed to climb out of the debris described seeing colleagues so badly burned that they had died.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Afghanistan, America/U.S.A., Asia, Defense, National Security, Military, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Health & Medicine, Missions, Pastoral Theology, Politics in General, Theology

(BBC) Nigeria's Abuja hit by blasts with at least 18 dead

A series of explosions on the outskirts of the Nigerian capital Abuja have killed at least 18 people, officials say.

The first two struck Kuje township: one by a suicide bomber near a police station, the other a bomb at a market.

Another bomb exploded at a bus stop in Nyanya.

No group has said it carried out the attacks yet but suspicion has fallen on Boko Haram Islamists, who targeted Nyanya last year.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Defense, National Security, Military, Islam, Law & Legal Issues, Other Faiths, Police/Fire, Religion & Culture, Terrorism, Theology, Urban/City Life and Issues, Violence

For Lowcountry South Carolina, a Super soaking set for Saturday and Sunday

The Lowcountry began bracing for a weekend deluge Friday, even as the potential threat from Hurricane Joaquin dried up.

The complex storm system is expected to bring 8-10 inches of rain between Friday night and Sunday morning ”” enough to push Charleston’s rainfall well above the average annual total with more than two months left in the year.

“The flooding concern is by far the biggest concern at this point,” said Jonathan Lamb, a National Weather Service meteorologist at the Charleston International Airport. “We’re probably going to have tidal flooding on top of a real heavy rainfall.”

The worst time to drive around could be early Saturday afternoon, when the tides are high, he said.

Read it all.

Posted in * General Interest, * South Carolina, Weather

A good Reminder for John Mott's Feast Day–Mobilizing a Generation for Missions

Under the sponsorship of the YMCA, Wilder spent the following academic year touring college campuses. He told the story of the “Mount Hermon One Hundred” and urged students to pledge themselves to become missionaries. Some 2,000 did so. To avoid allowing the bright light of this new movement to flicker out, in 1888 YMCA leaders organized the Student Volunteer Movement for Foreign Missions (known simply as the SVM). They placed the recent Cornell graduate, John R. Mott, at its head. The SVM formed organizations on college, university and seminary campuses across the nation. Students signed pledge cards stating their intention to become missionaries and joined weekly meetings to study missions. The watchword of the movement illustrates the boldness and optimism of the Christian youth of that era: “The Evangelization of the World in this Generation.”

The SVM became one of the most successful missionary-recruiting organizations of all time. Prior to its formation, American Protestants supported less than a thousand missionaries throughout the world. Between 1886 and 1920, the SVM recruited 8,742 missionaries in the U.S. Around twice that number were actually sent out as missionaries in this period, many of them influenced by the SVM though never members. SVM leaders also formed college groups around the world in countries where missionaries had established mission colleges during the previous century. Their goal was to create a missionary force large enough to evangelize every nation. They thought in military terms. Missionaries were soldiers in God’s army. The SVM sought to recruit, to support, and to place these soldiers strategically around the world. If done shrewdly, they thought they would surely conquer the world.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Church History, Education, Missions, Religion & Culture, Young Adults

A Prayer for the Feast Day of John Mott

O God, the shepherd of all, we offer thanks for the lifelong commitment of thy servant John Raleigh Mott to the Christian nurture of students in many parts of the world; and we pray that, after his example, we may strive for the weaving together of all peoples in friendship, fellowship and cooperation, and while life lasts be evangelists for Jesus Christ, in whom alone is our peace; and who with thee and the Holy Spirit livest and reignest, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

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

A Prayer to Begin the Day from the Pastor's Prayerbook

O risen and victorious Christ, whose power and love destroyed the darkness and death of sin; Ascend, we pray thee, the throne of our hearts, and so rule our wills by the might of that immortality wherewith thou hast set us free, that we may evermore be alive unto God, through the power of thy glorious resurrection; world without end.

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

He turns rivers into a desert, springs of water into thirsty ground, a fruitful land into a salty waste, because of the wickedness of its inhabitants. He turns a desert into pools of water, a parched land into springs of water. And there he lets the hungry dwell, and they establish a city to live in; they sow fields, and plant vineyards, and get a fruitful yield. By his blessing they multiply greatly; and he does not let their cattle decrease. When they are diminished and brought low through oppression, trouble, and sorrow, he pours contempt upon princes and makes them wander in trackless wastes; but he raises up the needy out of affliction, and makes their families like flocks. The upright see it and are glad; and all wickedness stops its mouth. Whoever is wise, let him give heed to these things; let men consider the steadfast love of the LORD.

–Psalm 107:33-43

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

The Bishop of Chelmsford's sermon at the recent consecration of 3 new C of E Bishops

As teacher and evangelist this is the first job of the bishop. Not MD of CofE plc; not safe pair of managerial hands, not just emerged slick and shiny from the talent pool, not even graduate of the latest whizzy business school offer of better organised salvation (though these things can help us), but storyteller, poet, theologian: a gospel person, with the good news of Christ and on our lips and in our hearts, and this good news translated into the languages of the smorgasbord of cultures in which we serve. Which is also why being a bishop is so dangerous. We either draw back from such an uncomfortable proclamation. Or end up holding back the Spirit’s sure advance into all truth. Meanwhile, too many people still treat us with the wrong sort of deference and respect, and believing our own publicity, we collude.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Provinces, Christology, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Soteriology, Theology, Theology: Holy Spirit (Pneumatology)

David Neff–The Justice-Forward Salvation Army

To celebrate its 150th anniversary this year, the Army is rolling out a major social initiative aiming to lift 100,000 families out of poverty over the next 15 years. Called Pathway of Hope, this innovative program will target qualified families that show the necessary “strengths and aptitudes” to benefit from in-depth support from Army caseworkers. The Army began to pilot programs in three Midwestern communities in late 2011. Early results show that 50 percent of the families who stayed in the program “demonstrated increased stability and sufficiency.”

The US wing of the Army has the necessary reach to attempt a project of that scale. “Across the country, we have about 3,500 active officers, 60,000 employees, and 3.5 million volunteers,” National Commander David Jeffrey told me. “We’re in over 7,000 communities.” In addition, the Army is collaborating with social work departments at colleges like Asbury, Trevecca Nazarene, and Olivet Nazarene.

But to identify and serve these families on the path to self-sufficiency, Jeffrey estimates, the Army will need to hire up to 700 more caseworkers. It will require an additional $200 million to ensure that the program can retain its faith-based nature and stay free of government restrictions.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Evangelicals, Other Churches, Poverty, Religion & Culture

(RNS) Evangelical group issues ethics code for congregations

Give pastors vacations.

Open the books for periodic financial reviews.

Be sensitive to how sounds ”” and traffic ”” can affect church neighbors.

The National Association of Evangelicals this week released a code of ethics for congregations that it hopes will help leaders make practical decisions for the health of their churches and community.

The document calls for churches to strive for unity by embracing different worship styles and reconciling “dissident factions.” It urges them to affirm the various cultural heritages of their members and neighbors, minimize barriers for disabled people and use natural resources wisely.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Anthropology, Ecclesiology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Evangelicals, Law & Legal Issues, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Care, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Theology