Daily Archives: January 20, 2016

(NYT) How the Epidemic of Drug Overdose Deaths Ripples Across America

Deaths from drug overdoses have jumped in nearly every county across the United States, driven largely by an explosion in addiction to prescription painkillers and heroin.

Some of the largest concentrations of overdose deaths were in Appalachia and the Southwest, according to new county-level estimates released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The number of these deaths reached a new peak in 2014: 47,055 people, or the equivalent of about 125 Americans every day.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Children, Drugs/Drug Addiction, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Pastoral Theology, Theology

(AP) Oldest Christian monastery in Iraq razed by ISIS

Satellite photos obtained by The Associated Press confirm what church leaders and Middle East preservationists had feared: The oldest Christian monastery in Iraq has been reduced to a field of rubble, yet another victim of the Islamic State group’s relentless destruction of heritage sites it considers heretical.

St. Elijah’s Monastery stood as a place of worship for 1,400 years, including most recently for U.S. troops. In earlier millennia, generations of monks tucked candles in the niches, prayed in the chapel, worshipped at the altar. The Greek letters chi and rho, representing the first two letters of Christ’s name, were carved near the entrance.

This month, at the request of the AP, satellite imagery firm DigitalGlobe tasked a high resolution camera to grab photos of the site, and then pulled earlier images of the same spot.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Iraq, Middle East, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Terrorism, Violence

Church Times: Primates' ruling is not binding, says canon lawyer

THE communiqué issued by the Primates in Canterbury last week does not bind anyone, because the Primates’ meeting has no jurisdiction, a canon lawyer said this week. It represented “completely unacceptable interference” with the autonomy of the bodies to whom it had issued requirements.

“I find it utterly extraordinary,” the director of the Centre for Law and Religion at Cardiff University, Professor Norman Doe, said on Tuesday. “No instrument exists conferring upon the Primates’ meeting the jurisdiction to ”˜require’ these things. . . Whatever they require is unenforceable.”

The communiqué states that the Primates are “requiring that, for a period of three years, the Episcopal Church [in the United States] no longer represent us on ecumenical and interfaith bodies; should not be appointed or elected to an internal standing committee; and that, while participating in the internal bodies of the Anglican Communion, they will not take part in decision-making on any issues pertaining to doctrine or polity”.

Professor Doe confirmed: “The decision will not bind anyone ”” not the Episcopal Church. There is no question of that.” It was for the bodies referred to in the communiqué to determine what, if any, consequences the Episcopal Church should face, he said.

The communiqué constituted “completely unacceptable interference with the autonomy of each of these bodies as they transact their own business”. It was “absolute nonsense” to suggest that an ecumenical body such as the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC), or an Anglican body such as the Anglican Consultative Council, be bound by a decision made by the Primates’ meeting.

The Anglican Consultative Council is the only instrument of the Communion with a written constitution. Professor Doe suggested, however, that, in the light of the communiqué, the Archbishop of Canterbury could feel “bound” not to invite the Episcopal Church to the Lambeth Conference.

The events of the past week highlighted the consequences of the Communion’s failure to adopt the Anglican Covenant, Professor Doe suggested. He spoke as a member of the Lambeth Commission, which had proposed the Covenant and helped to draft it.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Primates, Primates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016

Response to the 2016 Primates Gathering Communique from the TEC Bishop of E Tennessee

It is unfortunate that a majority of the Primates of the Anglican Communion have told The Episcopal Church to go “sit in the corner.” Regardless, we are still sisters and brothers in Christ with all people in the Anglican Communion, and more importantly sisters and brothers in Jesus. That will never change. Never.

We hope, pray, and trust that the leadership of the Anglican Communion, as well as the leadership of all of God’s people will now devote their resources, energy, and action to combat the true evils of injustice, poverty, suffering, degradation of creation, violence, and discrimination in our broken world.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Primary Source, -- Statements & Letters: Primates, --Justin Welby, Anglican Primates, Archbishop of Canterbury, Episcopal Church (TEC), Primates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016, TEC Bishops

(AM) Andrew Symes responds to the 2016 Primates Gathering Communique

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Analysis, --Justin Welby, Anglican Primates, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), Ecclesiology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Primates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016, Theology, Theology: Scripture

An Economist Article on the 2016 Primates Gathering

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, --Justin Welby, Anglican Primates, Archbishop of Canterbury, Media, Primates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016, Religion & Culture

A look Back to 2005–A Seattle Times profile of a TEC Oregon parish in turmoil

The pain is palpable at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church. The Rev. Ted Berktold doesn’t need a tearful 75-year-old woman in his cluttered, book-filled office to tell him that. “This is not personal,” she says, “but the Episcopal Church is no longer my church.”

“My church is leaving me,” another elderly congregant tells someone on the staff….

Other challenges will come first: The Anglican Communion’s October 2004 Windsor Report calls on the Episcopal Church USA to halt the blessing of same-sex unions, block the potential consecration of openly gay clergy and express its regret for the pain caused by the Robinson consecration. The report is fueling rumors of an official split between the Anglican Communion and the Episcopal Church USA.

Read it all (my emphasis).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anthropology, Ecclesiology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Ministry of the Laity, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Sexuality, TEC Conflicts, Theology, Theology: Scripture

Archbishop Philip Richardson on the 2016 Primates Gathering

In the end, the 80 journalists and 15 TV crews who gathered for the final press conference looked for winners and losers.
In reality, though, we were all losers ”“ because we are still fractured, broken, still inclined to mistrust.
But we are committed to staying with each other.
We are committed to walking together, to trying to see through each other’s eyes, to stepping into each other’s worlds, and to keeping on keeping on until mutual understanding grows.
In simplest terms, I think we learned that we are all of us interdependent, and that we need each other. And when we put the needs of our most marginalised brothers and sisters first we can see this more clearly.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Justin Welby, Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, Anglican Primates, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Primates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016

Response to the 2016 Primates Gathering Communique from the TEC Bishop of Dallas

I have read the communiqué from their weeklong meeting, and I believe it is important to hear what they have to say in its entirety. First of all, the Primates have voted to exclude the Episcopal Church from the councils of international Anglicanism for a three-year period, during which time there will be continued conversation. This results from the fact that the Primates do not perceive the introduction of same-sex marriage in TEC as a legitimate development of the faith. At the same time, it is important to bear in mind that the goal of the meeting was to maintain the unity of the communion to the extent possible in light of strong differences.

The Primates have also made a number of other important points: they all share a desire to ”˜walk together’, as the Windsor Report put it. They have all decried homophobia and laws that discriminate against gay people. They have joined hands on other matters of concern to our world, such as political corruption and ecological degradation. On these matters we strongly applaud their commitments. At the same time, I think it is fair to say that the status of the ACNA was left aside. They were not recognized at this meeting, and their Archbishop wisely did not vote to discipline our church.

Someone called me today and asked ”˜Are we still part of the Anglican Communion?’ Constitutionally, we define this in Dallas as communion with the see of Canterbury, and by this measure the answer is an unequivocal ”˜Yes.’ However the decision of this past week is, while not surprising, saddening and disquieting. The wound in our communion is real.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Commentary, - Anglican: Primary Source, -- Statements & Letters: Primates, --Justin Welby, Anglican Primates, Archbishop of Canterbury, Episcopal Church (TEC), Primates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016, TEC Bishops

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Saint Fabian

Almighty God, who didst call Fabian to be a faithful pastor and servant of thy people, and to lay down his life in witness to thy Son: Grant that we, strengthened by his example and aided by his prayers, may in times of trial and persecution remain steadfast in faith and endurance, for the sake of him who laid down his life for us all, Jesus Christ our Savior; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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

A Prayer to Begin the Day from Frank Colquhoun

O Lord Christ, who by thy presence and first miracle at Cana of Galilee adorned and beautified the holy estate of matrimony: We beseech thee to sanctify the marriage bond in the life of our people, and to bless our homes with thy abiding presence; for the honour and glory of thy name.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Epiphany, Parish Ministry, Youth Ministry

From the Morning Scripture Readings

Do not forsake me, O LORD! O my God, be not far from me! Make haste to help me, O Lord, my salvation!

–Psalm 38:21-22

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Glenn Fry RIP

Well, we’re scared, but we ain’t shakin’
Kinda bent, but we ain’t breakin’
in the long run
Ooh, I want to tell you, it’s a long run
in the long run
in the long run

–Eagles, “The Long Run”

Glenn Frey grew up in Detroit, the town best known musically for the catchy R&B music that came out of Motown Records, and the home of hard-charging rock acts such as Bob Seger, Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels and the MC5.

So when Frey turned up at the celebrated Troubadour nightclub in West Hollywood in the late 1960s to audition as a singer and guitarist for rising country-rock singer Linda Ronstadt, her manager wasn’t sure he’d be a good fit.

“I had pigeonholed him as this punky kid from Detroit who wanted to be a rocker,” John Boylan said Monday. “But he surprised me with the scope of his musical knowledge. The very first rehearsal we had with Linda, we were doing a [Hank Williams] song, ”˜Lovesick Blues.’ He knew the country sixth chords that Hank would use ”” he knew the whole genre already. I figured I would have to teach this guy about ancient country music, but he could have taught me.”

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Death / Burial / Funerals, History, Music, Parish Ministry

Archbishop Eliud Wabukala on the Canterbury primates communique

An overwhelming majority of the Primates present voted that TEC should be excluded from all meetings which represent the Anglican Communion and that it should be suspended from internal decision-making bodies, initially for three years.

The GAFCON Primates, of whom I am chairman, worked hard with other orthodox Primates to achieve this result despite predictions by many that the meeting would be carefully managed to prevent any firm conclusions emerging.

TEC is not the only province to reject the bible’s teaching and there is still much work to do to heal the wounds that compromise and false teaching have inflicted upon the Anglican Communion, but a start has been made.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Primary Source, -- Statements & Letters: Primates, --Justin Welby, Anglican Church of Kenya, Anglican Primates, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Archbishop of Canterbury, Ecclesiology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Global South Churches & Primates, Pastoral Theology, Primates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(CEN) How the Primates Gathering took action against the Episcopal Church

[Bishop Michael Curry]…rebutted charges the Episcopal Church had been captured by secular culture. “Our commitment to be an inclusive church is not based on a social theory or capitulation to the ways of the culture, but on our belief that the outstretched arms of Jesus on the cross are a sign of the very love of God reaching out to us all.”

Archbishop Beach told CEN the dispute was a salvation issue. “Millions of souls were affected by false teaching.”

Archbishop Welby asked Archbishop Beach what it would take to reconcile the ACNA and the Episcopal Church. Archbishop Beach said the ACNA asked the Episcopal Church to repent of its ungodly innovations, to end all litigation immediately, to give restitution for the millions of dollars in property and assets taken from departing congregations, to “restore to us our pension” and “rescind” the depositions of the over 700 clergy kicked out of the Episcopal Church.

A resolution was brought forward on Wednesday asking the Episcopal Church to voluntarily withdraw from the instruments of communion as it revisits the issue of same-sex marriage ”” akin to the earlier motion brought by Archbishop Ntagali. Bishop Curry told the meeting the Episcopal Church would not comply with such a request.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Justin Welby, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Anglican Primates, Anthropology, Archbishop of Canterbury, Ethics / Moral Theology, Pastoral Theology, Primates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016, Theology, Theology: Scripture

Dr Peter Jensen interviewed on the outcome of the Primates Gathering

Listen to it all and there is a short video update here

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Primates, Primates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016

ATV: Interview with Archbishop Foley Beach

With thanks to Kevin Kallsen at Anglican TV

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Primates, Primates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016

BBC: Dr Richard Clarke: Church of Ireland primate defends decision on US Episcopal Church

“It’s a difficult one to call. I would hope that we’ll work at ways in which we might find some form of pastoral accommodation that would be true to the scriptures and to our understanding that every human person is made in the image and likeness of God and is equally loved by him and must be equally loved by us.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Primates, Primates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016

CoU: Hundreds Show Support for Archbishop Stanley Ntagali’s Stand in Canterbury [Statement]

More than 300 people met Archbishop Stanley Ntagali on his return to Uganda today in a show of solidarity and support for his actions and stand in Canterbury, England, during the recent gathering of Primates of the Anglican Communion…
Statement of the Most Rev. Stanley Ntagali, Archbishop of Church of Uganda, on Primates Gathering of the Anglican Communion in Canterbury
16th January 2016

Entebbe Airport
….Unfortunately, neither the Archbishop of Canterbury nor any of the other structures of the Anglican Communion were able to discipline the Episcopal Church USA. That meant that the Anglican Communion had become like the time in the Book of Judges when God’s judgment was upon the people of God because it says, “Everyone did what was right in their own eyes.” Even the Anglican Church of Canada has allowed the blessing of same-sex unions in their church.

We had hoped that the meeting this past week would restore godly order to the Anglican Communion and re-establish the Bible as the authority for our faith and morals.

On the second day of the meeting, I moved a resolution to ask the Episcopal Church USA and the Anglican Church of Canada to voluntarily withdraw from all Anglican Communion groups. It grieves me to say that the Archbishop of Canterbury, who was chairing the meeting, did not take my resolution seriously and simply moved on to another matter without ever allowing any discussion on it.

At that point in the meeting, I realized that the process that had been set up would not allow us to accomplish the purpose for which we had come.

Our commitment as the Church of Uganda is that we would not participate in any meetings of the Anglican Communion until godly order has been restored. Therefore, I felt it necessary to withdraw from the meeting and stand firm for the convictions of the Church of Uganda and the people of Uganda.

My fellow GAFCON and Global South Primates stayed in the meeting and by Thursday lunchtime they had passed a resolution suspending TEC from representing the Anglican Communion in interfaith and ecumenical dialogues and not allowing them to vote in meetings where issues of doctrine and polity were being discussed. This would be for a period of three years.

This is a very important, symbolic vote. The mind of the Primates is to uphold the Bible’s understanding of marriage as between one man and one woman, and to declare that is the position of the Anglican Communion.

From our perspective, however, the vote did not go far enough to re-establish godly order in the Anglican Communion. The Episcopal Church USA will still attend meetings and continue to influence many others in their unbiblical positions. We need to wait and see if they demonstrate true repentance and whether or not the leadership of the Anglican Communion has the strength of convictions to uphold the decision of the Primates. Only time will tell.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Primates, Primates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016