Daily Archives: January 26, 2016

Voodoo’s heyday long passed, but Gullah tradition continues to bewitch in Beaufort County, SC

Finding a good root doctor these days in Beaufort County is as hard as finding Dr. Buzzard’s grave.

This once-isolated land of hexes and haints now leans more on Walmart than voodoo.

But it hasn’t always been so.

In the mid-20th century, even the county sheriff was a witch doctor. J. Ed McTeer Sr. specialized in removing spells cast by Dr. Buzzard, Dr. Eagle, Dr. Bug and perhaps as many as 20 other local root doctors.

Read more here: http://www.islandpacket.com/news/nation-world/national/article56610278.html#storylink=cpy

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, * South Carolina, History, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture

(BBC) Peers defeat government over child poverty reports

Peers voted by a majority of 92 to amend the Welfare Reform and Work Bill to make ministers report annually on income levels in the poorest families.
The move was spearheaded by the Bishop of Durham, Rt Rev Paul Butler, who argued income-related statistics must be recorded so they could be assessed with other measurements of deprivation.
Ministers say life chances are a better measure of economic outcomes.
The defeat could be overturned when the bill returns to the Commons later this year.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Politics in General, Poverty, Religion & Culture, Theology

[ACI – Canada] Response to the Meeting of Primates in Canterbury, January 2016

Received by email:
Response to the Meeting of Primates in Canterbury, January 2016
The Anglican Communion Institute – Canada

The Rev’d Canon Dr. Murray Henderson
The Rev’d Canon Dr. Dean Mercer
The Rev’d Dr. Ephraim Radner (Senior Fellow, ACI)
The Rev’d Dr. Catherine Sider-Hamilton

If you drop a penny from your hand to the ground, no one notices. Drop it from the 18th floor, and everyone pays attention. If you shoot an arrow from a distance, and it leaves the bow off only by a fraction, no matter how smooth the shot feels, it will still land far from the target.

On first blush, the statement from the Primates has a minimal and precise character that we come to expect of such statements, but this one above all illustrates the importance of precision and modesty. Upon every reading one sees how hard this unexpected penny might land, with two responsibilities in mind as the Anglican Church of Canada enters its deliberations over a possible change to the marriage canon.

First, the statement marks a renewed commitment to the church as a communion and a family rather than a loose federation, merely “our historical cousin” as one advocate for a federation put it in reference to the Communion. The Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada deserves heartfelt thanks for holding the course on this point. His reflection is moving:

“This meeting could have been marked by calls for exclusion of the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church and me. It was not. It could have been marked by walk-outs as some had anticipated. It was not. It could have been marked by ranting and raving. It was not. Instead it was marked by perseverance to remain in dialogue that was frank but respectful. It was marked by a generosity of grace and patience, with one another. It was marked too, by renewed commitments in the consideration of matters of doctrine that could be of a controversial nature, to consult broadly in the seeking of advice and counsel.”

This sense of the value that communion holds for us all, bound as we are by the ties forged in baptism, has protected the Communion from a moment of disintegration, an internal threat of which Canada is keenly aware. Many fear that disintegration already has come to The Episcopal Church in the wake of their divisions and may well be permanent. As the presence and participation of Archbishop Foley Beach made clear (he was invited to vote on the statement, though he abstained), the Anglican Communion in the United States is divided. Already The Episcopal Church no longer speaks alone for Anglicans in that country.

Nothing on this scale has happened yet in Canada, though a wealth of clergy and lay members have left for the Anglican Network In Canada churches. A spirit of cordiality among the Canadian Bishops (and, to be candid, a degree of stealth – it is stealth to declare doctrinal statements non-doctrinal; to bless and appoint as clergy same-sex couples who are civilly married) has kept the Canadian Church from a defining and divisive moment. As well, we are keenly aware of declining resources in the Canadian church as a whole. We can’t afford division.

At last count, there are 40 ongoing legal disputes among Anglicans in the United States, with a price tag estimated at between $30 to $60 million. Reconciliation in Canada between ACoC and those churches that have already joined ACNA or ANIC would be hard, but nothing like what will required in the United States if reconciliation is taken up.

Secondly, the Primates aimed for the centre. The church’s tradition on life for the married and single was reaffirmed and therefore, an obligation to reckon with this tradition, for those who dissent. What happens if that obligation is ignored, if “unilateral actions” are taken “on a matter of doctrine without Catholic unity”? Nothing less than the current dysfunction of the church, the reason for which the Archbishop of Canterbury called the meeting.

Has anything been taken from the authority of the provinces? No, but central affirmations about the shared convictions and obligations of the family members remind everyone that this is not the cold competition between Rogers and Bell, but rather the personal and intimate relationship between Fred and Justin and Eliud, a bond which from that level extends to us all.

And from the centre, “consequences” were restated if provinces act independently. In a fashion that is typical of the Anglican church, infused with a spirit of generosity and charity that wins deep and profound loyalty, the statement was issued in terms of consequences, not in terms of discipline or punishment. Those who have raised this challenge have been treated with charityand respect.

There was an ugly alternative hovering over the Primates in that crypt, of party competition, factionalism and fragmentation, the spirit of this age to which we are all subject. This statement, by contrast, was cast in terms of family obligations and the obligations of old and precious ties. If a spirit of prophecy has come to The Episcopal Church, it is only fair for the rest of the Communion to state the truth: that spirit has not spoken to the rest. That spirit, in fact, is contested by the majority. Your arrow has hit and hurt people you are not taking into account.

That is the cost of TEC’s prophetic claims. That is the Scriptural obligation on us all – “let the spirits be tested.”

How will the penny land in Canada?

On the one hand, it’s hard to know what the impact will be or when it will be fully felt. But here are three consequences that immediately come to mind.

First, those who uphold and support the church’s formal teaching, and have done so at no small cost in Canada, have been encouraged and emboldened. They are not alone. However marginalised they may be in their own national church and scorned in their society, they have been encouraged once again to stand firm.

Secondly, the Anglican Church of Canada has before it the option of continuing this debate inside or outside of the boundaries for such a debate in the Communion.

There is a reason for restraint with regard to the marriage canon that all can understand. This question was rushed! The church moved, without reflection or preparation, from blessings to marriage. That is apart from the questionable merits of the Primate’s Commission report itself, “This Holy Estate”, which provided a rationale for the marriage canon to be changed.

In a thorough review, which draws in similar reviews of the formal statements of The Episcopal Church and the Scottish Episcopal Church, Martin Davie, (formerly the Theological Secretary of the Council for Christian Unity of the Church of England and Theological Consultant to the House of Bishops), identifies a clear independent streak. Even apparent allies of a rationale for change – TEC, SEC and the ACoC – are developing rationales on their own. The challenge to the marriage canon is not just the work of dissenters, but of sectarians, too. (“A Church of England perspective on Anglican arguments for same-sex marriage,” by Martin Davie,

And should the Anglican Church of Canada proceed independently of the communion, they will have a hand in formalizing the division among Anglicans in Canada. Archbishop Foley Beach and ACNA now speak to Canterbury on behalf of Anglicans in the United States. The impact of this has not yet been measured.

Until now, TEC could claim that they represented American Anglicans to Canterbury. That is now past. And so who does TEC represent? Critics have every reason to say: a declining, self-styled progressive denomination who has taken up the questions around human nature and sexuality along lines that match perfectly current social mores. And standing beside and apart from them is a growing and invigorated body who have faced this same challenge from deep within the tradition of their church and communion and the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Canada has, in large part, avoided this division and competition. How the ACoC could proceed with a marriage canon change and maintain their integrity – indeed, their existence – as a single broad church beggars the imagination.

Since Lambeth 1998 and Resolution 1.10 and over these last 18 years, this hard debate has been marked by division, enormous cost, and profound discouragement. But consider the hopeful task set out in the conclusion, this challenge for us all: the “restoration of relationship, the rebuilding of mutual trust, healing the legacy of hurt, recognising the extent of our commonality and exploring our deep differences, ensuring they are held between us in the love and grace ofChrist.”

As we approach General Synod 2016, the Primate’s statement asks us in Canada to be temperate, to be patient and to walk together with our brothers and sisters around the world, to find God’s future–the truly prophetic way–in solidarity with the communion and the tradition, and not in the tempting boldness of departure from it.

How hard this penny lands! How deep and good its effects might be.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Primary Source, -- Statements & Letters: Primates, --Justin Welby, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Primates, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Archbishop of Canterbury, Ecclesiology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Pastoral Theology, Primates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016, Theology

([London Times) Town of Whitby takes on Christian leaders over plan to fix Easter

The Archbishop of Canterbury announced this month that he was in talks with Pope Francis, Tawadros II, the Coptic pope, and Bartholomew I, head of the Eastern Orthodox Church, over fixing Easter on the second or third Sunday in April each year.
As well as providing a unified date for the churches, this would make it easier for schools and families to plan their terms and holidays.
The proposal has angered Whitby residents and politicians, who see it as a betrayal of a decision taken in the town more than a millennium ago and fear it could affect the tourist trade. In 664, a historic synod was held in Whitby where King Oswiu of Northumbria decided that his subjects would celebrate Easter in line with Roman dates rather than those used by Celtic monks in Iona. The decision is seen as a key moment in British Christianity, linking the English church with Rome.
For more than 1,300 years since the Synod of Whitby, Easter has been celebrated in Britain on the first Sunday after the first ecclesiastical full moon on or after the vernal equinox. That decision could be now be overruled within five to ten years.

Read it all 9requires subscription).

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Church History, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Easter, England / UK, Religion & Culture

(C of E) Churches' Mutual Credit Union approaches its first anniversary

Would people join? When the idea of a Church Credit Union was first mooted (some eight years ago), the feedback was positive, but would that general level of interest translate into real live members? The answer to that one is ”˜yes it has’. It was with great excitement we watched our first applications come through. We operate an online system that sends us an email every time someone joins and it was marvellous to open the mailbox and see twenty new applicants just on the first day and it is rare a day goes by without at least one new member. And yes, we do have a lot of members who are ordained ministers but we also have PCC members, and Elders, and Office staff and a membership that is as diverse as our churches.

The second question was ”˜will people save?’ On the 11th February 2015 the credit union had an empty balance sheet but since then 200 people have become Founder Members of the credit union, investing an amazing £910,000 to add to the £386,000 in deferred shares invested by our denominational partners big and small. We also gained 350 regular savers depositing an average of £40 a month into their accounts.

The next step was would people borrow? Not guaranteed in our perceived debt adverse client base. Again since May, credit union loans have purchased 83 cars, two caravans and a motorbike, we have improved seven homes and furnished two others and helped to pay for one wedding. We’ve also walked alongside 11 households in helping to turn unmanageable debt into affordable credit.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Economics, Politics, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Personal Finance, The Banking System/Sector, Theology

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Timothy and Titus and Silas

Just and merciful God, who in every generation hast raised up prophets, teachers and witnesses to summon the world to honor and praise thy holy Name: We give thanks for the calling of Timothy, Titus and Silas, whose gifts built up thy Church in the power of the Holy Spirit. Grant that we, too, may be living stones built upon the foundation of Jesus Christ our Savior; who with thee and the Holy Spirit liveth and reigneth, one God now and for ever. Amen.

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

A Prayer to Begin the Day from Daily Prayer

O God, who art the God of peace, mercifully grant that, as much as lieth in us, we may live at peace with all men; and if our outward peace be broken, yet do thou preserve peace in our hearts; through him who is the Prince of peace, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Epiphany, Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Bible Readings

But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) he entered once for all into the Holy Place, taking not the blood of goats and calves but his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. For if the sprinkling of defiled persons with the blood of goats and bulls and with the ashes of a heifer sanctifies for the purification of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify your conscience from dead works to serve the living God.

–Hebrews 9:11-14

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

A Prayer for Australia Day

We bless you, God of the Universe,
for this land,
for its contrasts of landscape and climate,
for its abundance of wealth and opportunity.
We bless you for our history,
with all its struggles in adversity,
its courage and hope.
Give us in our diversity
tolerance and respect for each other
and a passionate commitment to justice for all.
Bless us so that we might be a blessing to others.
We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

from Defence Anglicans

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican Provinces

Philip Jensen: My Request For Australia Day: Please Stop Attacking Extremists

..consider some extremists: A couple of successful, capable, health professionals leaving all the comforts, prosperity, security, and career advancements in Australia to help the desperately sick in an isolated, dangerous, impoverished, dysfunctional society. They have not done it as a short-term stint to help the needy in a crisis but starting in 1972 have continued for over 40 years. Here is a surgeon still working in his 80’s, for there is no other to replace him, amongst the thousands of well remunerated, western surgeons. He is the only surgeon for a couple of million people, building a hospital from nothing. He and his wife have not worked for money or fame but for their ultimate aim “to show the love of God”.

These people are extremists. Their whole life is anything but normal, average, usual or mainstream. They are extremists: Christian extremists. They are not alone. All over the world there are Christian extremists like this: People who have voluntarily given up the great Australian secularist life for something higher, grander, better. Extremists who have sacrificed the materialist dream to serve Christ by serving the poor, marginalised, endangered and sick.

When Muslim extremists kidnapped them, their life came into the public domain…

Read it all

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican Provinces

[Weekly Times] Australia Day Honors: Christine Jensen’s compassionate life

A Huntley’s Point grandmother has been awarded an Australia Day OAM for a life of devotion to women and families ”“ at home and abroad ”“ through one of the Anglican Church’s oldest surviving charities.

Huntley’s Point’s Christine Jensen was the President of the Mothers’ Union of Australia (Anglican Diocese of Sydney) from 2008 until 2013 and Patron from 2001 until 2013.

The Mothers Union was founded in by Mary Sumner in 1876 in the Anglican parish of Old Alresford , near Winchester in England to bring mothers of all social classes together, to provide support for them and to train them in motherhood

Mrs Jensen’s Australia Day Award citation further notes she has served as a Council Member of Mothers’ Union Australia as well as a Lay Member, Women’s Ministry Team, Anglican Diocese of Sydney from 2002 until 2007.

She has worked to support the wives of students attending Moore College, Moore Theological College from 1985 until 2001 and the Sydney Diocese Ministry Wives from 2001 until 2013.

Some Anglicans may recognise her as the wife of Sydney Archbishop Peter Jensen (2001-2013) or know her as a powerful public speaker with a strong belief in strengthening families.

Read it all and there is a report from the diocese of Sydney here

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican Provinces

Please Join us in thanking God for Mere Anglicanism 2016 held in Charleston SC

One of the greatest challenges for Christians at the dawn of the 21st century is the power and influence of Islam. As the world’s two great missionary religions, Christianity and Islam are often at odds with one another, and the tension can at times feel palpable. How are we as Christians to respond to the threat and challenge of this growing and energetic religion? What should be the Church’s reaction in light of the Lord’s Great Commission to make disciples of all men? What does the Apostle Paul mean when he reminds believers that “the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds”? Join us this year at Mere Anglicanism as we explore “The Cross and the Crescent: The Gospel and the Challenge of Islam.”

You may find the schedule here and a list of speakers there.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, * South Carolina, Apologetics, Christology, History, Islam, Muslim-Christian relations, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Seminary / Theological Education, The Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Theology

(Washington Post) Dana Milbank–Why is most of the Republican elite surrendering to Trump?

Heck, Trump could even win ”” particularly if Democrats nominate a socialist to oppose him ”” but the only thing more likely to devastate the Republican Party and the conservative movement than a Trump wipeout in November would be a Trump victory. Either way, he’d cement the Republican Party’s long-term demographic problems and bind conservatism to bigotry and nativism.

This is why I wonder about the self-deception of those GOP elites now cozying up to Trump.

The Hill newspaper last week interviewed major donor Robert Bazyk, who decamped to Trump from Bush. The big spender objects to Trump’s positions on refugees and Muslims, and his “insults and name-calling.” And yet he is funding the man.

If, in future years, Republicans and conservatives are called to explain how Trump happened, they might recall this: Good people could have stopped him, but they didn’t.

Read it all.

I will take comments on this submitted by email only to KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Politics in General, Psychology, Theology

TEC Bishop of Chicago Says 'Partial Exclusion' By Anglicans Won't Change Mission

Despite the increasing tension, Bishop Lee is optimistic about the future of the Anglican Communion. “I think the current controversies might well prove to become a breakthrough moment in global understanding and regard for one another,” he says.

Lee cites reports from primates who attended the Jan. 11-15 meeting, including a Facebook post from Archbishop Welby which emphasized unity during the tense discussions.

“Despite those differences,” Lee says, “two bishops were regarding each other and realizing they were both followers of Jesus Christ. Above and beyond all the disagreements, each trying to work out the implications of their faith in their own context. I think that’s extraordinary.”

Bishop Lee says the main barrier to resolving this dispute — and future disputes — is the human habit of categorizing people according to gender, sexual orientation, race, etc. “As long as those things remain abstractions, it’s very easy to speak about who may or may not be in this place or that place,” he says. “When they become living realities, when those labels are transformed into living persons standing in front of me, and with whom I have a relationship, that’s very, very different.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Primary Source, -- Statements & Letters: Primates, --Justin Welby, Anglican Primates, Anthropology, Archbishop of Canterbury, Ecclesiology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Pastoral Theology, Primates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Bishops, Theology, Theology: Scripture