Daily Archives: October 12, 2015

ACNA and the Church of Ireland (3): a letter from Alan McCann

It would appear that the Revd Rupert Moreton (Letter, 2nd October) has failed to realise the changing reality of the worldwide Anglican family. The Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) is part of the Anglican family, whether he, or even the Archbishop of Canterbury, approves or not.

I recently had the pleasure of hosting the Revd Ted Wood from ACNA at Holy Trinity, Woodburn, and welcomed the opportunity to fellowship with him and to listen to him preach at our morning service.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Anglican Provinces, Church of Ireland, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Departing Parishes

ACNA and the Church of Ireland (2): a letter from Trevor Johnston

It is unfortunate that, in recent correspondence, the Revd Rupert Moreton demonstrates both inconsistency and ignorance in equal measure (Letter, 2nd October).

He demonstrates inconsistency in that, as a cleric from another province (assuming from the address supplied), he is commenting negatively upon what he suggests is tantamount to a pattern of supposed incursion by another party into another province’s ministry, notwithstanding his having once been in this province. In my view, his actions capture what he criticises another for doing.

He also demonstrates ignorance in that the Diocese of South Carolina is not part of the Anglican Church in North America, as he states. In fact, were Mr Moreton to acquaint himself with the most basic of facts relating to the Diocese of South Carolina, he might understand that that diocese pre-existed the formation of The Episcopal Church (TEC) by a number of years, a point well made during the unsuccessful litigation brought against them by TEC.

Might it be argued, therefore, that the Diocese of South Carolina remains in fellowship with other Anglican Christians across the Communion, whilst not being part of The Episcopal Church ”“ the latter being a later creation?

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Anglican Provinces, Church of Ireland

ACNA and the Church of Ireland (1): a letter from Rupert Moreton

I was interested to read that the rector of the Church of the Cross, Bluffton, in the Diocese of South Carolina, has just preached at an ordination in Raphoe Cathedral.

The manner of this event’s reporting on the Church of Ireland’s webpages might lead one to suppose that this was an entirely normal event. It was not.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Anglican Provinces, Church of Ireland

(C of I Gaz.) Is the Church of Ireland in communion with ACNA?

Found here:

THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT by the Church of Ireland was issued to the Gazette following our enquiry as to whether or not the Church of Ireland is in communion with ACNA:

“As a Province of the Anglican Communion, the Church of Ireland is in communion with the other Churches or Provinces in the Communion. There has not been a definitive position taken by the Church of Ireland in respect of any Church that has emerged from structural changes or divisions in another Church or Province in the Communion ”“ as in the case of the Anglican Church in north America and The Episcopal Church.

“Following the Archbishop of Canterbury’s call for a gathering of Primates in January 2016, it seems likely that a period of discernment will ensue to determine the ways in which Churches within the Anglican Communion and other Churches in an Anglican tradition relate to one another and that this is likely to take considerable time.”

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Justin Welby, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Anglican Primates, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of Ireland, Ecclesiology, Theology

A Book worth a look? Fool's Talk: Recovering the Art of Christian Persuasion by Os Guinness

Found here:

In our post-Christian context, public life has become markedly more secular and private life infinitely more diverse. Yet many Christians still rely on cookie-cutter approaches to evangelism and apologetics. Most of these methods assume that people are open, interested and needy for spiritual insight when increasingly most people are not. Our urgent need, then, is the capacity to persuade”•to make a convincing case for the gospel to people who are not interested in it. In his magnum opus, Os Guinness offers a comprehensive presentation of the art and power of creative persuasion. Christians have often relied on proclaiming and preaching, protesting and picketing. But we are strikingly weak in persuasion”•the ability to talk to people who are closed to what we are saying. Actual persuasion requires more than a one-size-fits-all approach. Guinness notes, “Jesus never spoke to two people the same way, and neither should we.” Following the tradition of Erasmus, Pascal, G. K. Chesterton, C. S. Lewis, Malcolm Muggeridge and Peter Berger, Guinness demonstrates how apologetic persuasion requires both the rational and the imaginative. Persuasion is subversive, turning the tables on listeners’ assumptions to surprise them with signals of transcendence and the credibility of the gospel. This book is the fruit of forty years of thinking, honed in countless talks and discussions at many of the leading universities and intellectual centers of the world. Discover afresh the persuasive power of Christian witness from one of the leading apologists and thinkers of our era.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Apologetics, Books, Evangelicals, Other Churches, Theology

(AP) A multigenerational hit: Student debt traps parents and kids

A college degree practically stamped Andres Aguirre’s ticket to the middle class. Yet at age 40, he’s still paying the price of admission.

After a decade of repayments, Aguirre still diverts $512 a month to loans and owes $20,000.

The expense requires his family to rent an apartment in Campbell, Calif., because buying a home in a decent school district would cost too much. His daughter has excelled in high school, but Aguirre has urged her to attend community college to avoid the debt that ensnared him.

“I didn’t get the warmest reception on that,” he said. “But she understands the choice.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anthropology, Children, Consumer/consumer spending, Economy, Education, Ethics / Moral Theology, Housing/Real Estate Market, Marriage & Family, Personal Finance, Theology, Young Adults

A New Look for the St. Helena's, Beaufort, Website

Check it out.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Blogging & the Internet, Media, Parish Ministry

(TGC) Kyle Dillon–Refuting 5 False Theories About Jesus

Who was Jesus really?

For the past few weeks I’ve been discussing this question with my high school theology class. Although most of my students have been brought up in the church, I know they’re going to face challenges to their faith when they go off to college. Many will hear jarring claims from classmates and professors about the “real” Jesus””claims contradictory to the church’s confession of Jesus as the risen Son of God.

So I want my students to be prepared. I want them to know these claims have been around for a long time, as have Christian responses. Despite what many critical scholars claim, there is no contradiction between the “Jesus of history” and the “Christ of faith.” In fact, studying Jesus as a historical figure can often strengthen faith. But that requires honestly engaging the critics and evaluating their claims.

Here I will briefly examine five popular alternative theories about Jesus, concluding with some general guidelines for how Christians can respond to them.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Apologetics, Christology, Education, Religion & Culture, Theology

(NYT) Science, Now Under Scrutiny Itself

The crimes and misdemeanors of science used to be handled mostly in-house, with a private word at the faculty club, barbed questions at a conference, maybe a quiet dismissal. On the rare occasion when a journal publicly retracted a study, it typically did so in a cryptic footnote. Few were the wiser; many retracted studies have been cited as legitimate evidence by others years after the fact.
But that gentlemen’s world has all but evaporated, as a remarkable series of events last month demonstrated. In mid-May, after two graduate students raised questions about a widely reported study on how political canvassing affects opinions of same-sex marriage, editors at the journal Science, where the study was published, began to investigate. What followed was a frenzy of second-guessing, accusations and commentary from all corners of the Internet: “Retraction” as serial drama, rather than footnote. Science officially pulled the paper, by Michael LaCour of the University of California, Los Angeles, and Donald Green of Columbia, on May 28, because of concerns about Mr. LaCour’s data.

“Until recently it was unusual for us to report on studies that were not yet retracted,” said Dr. Ivan Oransky, an editor of the blog Retraction Watch, the first news media outlet to report that the study had been challenged. But new technology and a push for transparency from younger scientists have changed that, he said. “We have more tips than we can handle.”

The case has played out against an increase in retractions that has alarmed many journal editors and authors. Scientists in fields as diverse as neurobiology, anesthesia and economics are debating how to reduce misconduct, without creating a police-state mentality that undermines creativity and collaboration.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Blogging & the Internet, Education, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Media, Science & Technology, Theology

Archbishop Glenn Davies rallies Sydney Anglicans as Synod begins

“We live in a world of social change. This is not a new observation, yet it brings fresh challenges for gospel proclamation in our society, which appears to be moving further and further away from the guidelines for living which are enshrined in God’s Word. As Christians, we are at odds with the world. For good reason, John the Evangelist recorded Jesus’ warning to his disciples: If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. (John 15:18-19)”

“In the same chapter of John’s Gospel, Jesus told his disciples that he had spoken these words so that his joy might be in them””in us””and that our joy may be full (John 15:11). This is an incredible promise and one that perhaps we do not appreciate, let alone assimilate, in our daily lives.
How is your joy? Is it real or feigned in the face of opposition to the gospel from your friends or family, workmates of fellow travellers?” the Archbishop said.

“The antagonism of the world to the Word of God is perhaps seen nowhere more acutely than in the virulent challenge to the definition of marriage which pervades conversations in the media, the workplace and even in our places of leisure.” Dr Davies said. “It is time that all Christians, especially Anglicans, should enter the discussion and graciously and sensitively explain the reasons why our good Creator has made marriage the way he has. We need to be courageous in our discussions both in private and in public, yet we also need to be sensitive and loving in our defence of biblical truth.”

Read it all and note the link to the full text of the Archbishop’s address.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Australia / NZ, Christology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Ministry of the Laity, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Soteriology, Theology

(BBC) Turkish PM blames Ankara bombing on ISIS

The Islamic State (IS) group is the prime suspect in the Ankara bombings that killed nearly 100 on Saturday, Turkish PM Ahmet Davutoglu has said.

No group has said it carried out the attack, but the government believes that two male suicide bombers caused the explosions, hitting a peace rally.

The official death toll is 97, but one of the main groups at the march put the number of dead at 128.

The funerals of more of the victims are taking place on Monday.

Read it all.

Posted in Uncategorized

Lasting damage from the 2015 South Carolina Flood: water, soils, wildlife disturbed by deluge

Mosquito swarms, pollutants, trees toppling over for no apparent reason ”” the devastating flood last week will leave an environmental mess. The only real question is, how big?

Everything from litter to unseen poisons are out there. As the waters creep back below rivers’ banks, residents and officials are starting to assess the damage and clean up the debris. Here’s at least part of what you could find….

Read it all from the local paper.

Posted in * General Interest, * South Carolina, Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc., Weather

A look at the dynamics of growth and decline in Episcopal Church parishes 2014

“Despite the tendency of new congregations to grow, the impact of these congregations on the level of attendance in the Episcopal Church is relatively small ””simply because there are so few of them.”

Take the time to read through it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Episcopal Church (TEC), Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: South Carolina, TEC Data, TEC Departing Parishes, TEC Parishes

A Prayer to Begin the Day from the American Book of Common Prayer

O God of peace, who hast taught us that in returning and rest we shall be saved, in quietness and confidence shall be our strength: By the might of thy Spirit lift us, we pray thee, to thy presence, where we may be still and know that thou art God; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.

–Psalm 1:1-3

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(NYT) Modern Love? They consciously uncoupled before conscious uncoupling was a thing

My parents announced their divorce calmly during our first and only family meeting. I was 14 and felt as if I had been punched in the face. There had been none of the clues leading up to it that my friends had described before their parents’ divorces. No screaming or dishes being thrown. Everything was quiet.

My parents said they loved my sister and me very much, that this wasn’t our fault. Later, when I grilled them separately, asking why, they each told me they never gave enough time to their relationship, that it was always all about the family.

“So it is our fault,” I said.

“No, no,” they assured me. They loved my sister and me and loved being parents.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Children, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Pastoral Theology, Psychology, Theology

David Pileggi asks for prayers from Christ Church Jerusalem

As most of you already know, Jerusalem and other parts of the country have witnessed a number of violent incidents this week. The upsurge in terrorism comes at a time when the Temple Mount has been a focus of friction between Israelis and Palestinians.

Our staff and volunteers are safe, but we do worry about the implications if this violence does not end soon. We at Christ Church ask that you pray for the following:

* That God will pour out his peace and the bloodshed will come to an end.
* For God’s protection of human life – in every community.
* For the Palestinian press that has been inciting the public with wildly exaggerated reports and untruthful stories.
* For the few politicians (on both sides) who are cynically using the unrest for their own political purposes.
* That God will discredit leaders (religious, political and others) who advocate solving this conflict with violence and more force.
* That those who perpetrate terrorism will be caught and brought to justice.
* That the Israeli army and police will act with wisdom.
* That Palestinian and Israeli officials will cooperate to bring an end to the tension.
* That God through his Spirit of Holiness will bring reconciliation and healing to Jews and Arabs (especially in Jerusalem where divisions between the two communities are the deepest).
* That God will give the followers of Jesus the opportunity to be witnesses of his Presence in this situation.

If you have planned to come to Israel in the upcoming weeks or months, please do not cancel. Tourists are rarely ever caught up in the political violence that occasionally breaks out here. Even with the recent events Israel is still safer than any major city in North American or Europe.


David Pileggi
Christ Church Jerusalem

Via email and also seen later on Facebok–ed.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Islam, Other Faiths, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Spirituality/Prayer, The Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East, Theology, Violence

(AP) Boko Haram stages weekend bombings killing 45 in Chad, Cameroon; official says days numbered

Nigeria’s Islamic extremist insurgents Boko Haram are blamed for using teens and women to carry out suicide bombings in neighboring Chad and Cameroon this weekend, killing more than 45 people in what Cameroon’s government spokesman said is a move to spread terror as a multinational force prepares to deploy against them.

Two girls between the ages of 13 and 17 carried out suicide bombings in the northern Cameroon village of Kangeleri near Mora town on Sunday, killing at least 9 and wounding 29 others, said Cameroon’s Minister of Communications Issa Tchiroma Bakary.

The Cameroon explosions come after five coordinated suicide bombings in neighboring Chad on Saturday killed at least 36 people and wounded some 50 others in a village near Lake Chad that is home to thousands of Nigerians who have fled the extremists’ violence. The government said a man, two women and two children carried out the attacks.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Africa, Cameroon, Chad, Defense, National Security, Military, Islam, Nigeria, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Terrorism, Violence

(FT) US banks build defences against economic downturn

Wall Street’s biggest banks are beginning to build their defences against downturns, signalling an end to the steady thinning of reserves that has helped boost profits in the past five years.

Tapping into reserves set aside for bad loans has become a reliable source of income for the banks in the post-crisis environment, allowing them to offset the effects of weak demand and ultra-low interest rates. Regulators let lenders dip into reserves in this way if they can argue that an improving outlook makes losses less likely.

But the practice is expected to have a limited impact on the banks’ third-quarter profits, which begin to be presented this week, because reserves have been run down about as far as they can go.

While some banks with plump cushions of reserves could still make net reductions, others are at an “inflection point,” said Jennifer Thompson, an analyst at Portales Partners in New York. Lenders with big exposures to energy could see “dramatic” increases in reserves, she said, while related sectors such as materials, commodities and industrials also look vulnerable to rises.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Globalization, History, Housing/Real Estate Market, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Personal Finance, The Banking System/Sector, Theology

(Church Times) Cost of dying is rising again

Clergy are being urged to talk about funeral costs during their pastoral visits to grieving families, to help people avoid getting into debt paying for a good send-off for their loved one.

In the past ten years, prices have soared by 80 per cent. The average cost of a funeral in the UK is now £8427.

Last year alone, the cost of dying rose seven times faster than the cost of living, and funeral services were the top transaction on credit cards in 2013.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Death / Burial / Funerals, Economy, Eschatology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Personal Finance, Religion & Culture, Stewardship, Theology

Evangelical convert and news commentator Kristen Powers announces she's joining the Catholic Church

Fox News’ highly reluctant Jesus follower has found a new church.
Kirsten Powers, USA Today columnist and contributor to Fox News, announced her decision on a live broadcast of “The Five.”
“Tomorrow night at 7 o’clock, I’m becoming Catholic!” she told viewers.
Powers, who grew up in the Episcopal Church, became an evangelical about 9 years ago, after attending Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York. Listening to Tim Keller preach opened the door for her to believe in God.
“I came to realize that even if Christianity wasn’t the real thing, neither was atheism,” she wrote in a 2013 testimony for CT. “I began to read the Bible. My boyfriend would pray with me for God to reveal himself to me.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Episcopal Church (TEC), Evangelicals, Media, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Theology

Pastoral Care and the Complexity of Mental Illness in Pentecostal and Evangelical Churches

For the many who are already engaged in ministry – whether ordained or not – opportunities for ongoing professional development certainly need to be provided, and in a format that is accessible. With many theological institutions utilising online learning platforms, there is a potential opportunity for them to further serve denominations by developing short courses on holistic mental health ministry that could be made available, regardless of location or time availability. This also ensures that courses are contextually appropriate for different denominational settings.

However, because training is not as much of a priority within many settings, denominations also need to ensure appropriate incentives are provided for those who engage in training. In many cases, theological institutions across Australia provide vocational training in basic chaplaincy skills that may complement a more rigorous theological training – and the incentive of adding a Certificate IV or Diploma to one’s resume may be attractive. But when such courses are not logistically possible due to time restraints or location, shorter programs like Mental Health First Aid can also be beneficial, as they can work with the schedule of pastors, while still providing some recognition for training undertaken.

Still, there is a long way to go. While mental health training is readily available, much needs to be done to address the unbalanced theological underpinnings within congregations that may shape unhelpful attitudes and responses to those with mental illness. What is needed is a well-rounded understanding that God works through both the spiritual and the medical and psychological.

Read it all from Greta Wells at ABC Australia.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Evangelicals, Health & Medicine, Mental Illness, Other Churches, Pastoral Theology, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Theology