Daily Archives: February 12, 2016

(Herald Sun) St Paul’s Cathedral In Melbourne to introduce first girls’ choir

A 125-year old male tradition will be turned on its head when girls are given their own choir at St Paul’s Anglican Cathedral.

In what’s been described as a win for gender equity, girls will eventually perform Sunday and Evensong services that until now have been the exclusive domain of boys and men.

Anglican Dean of Melbourne Dr Andreas Loewe said the city icon wanted to give girls the same opportunity that boys have enjoyed since 1888.

“If women can become archbishops in the Anglican Church of Australia then they should also be able to sing at St Paul’s Cathedral,” he said.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican Provinces, Australia / NZ, Children, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Women

(CEN) Peter Mullen–Getting to the roots of the Christian faith

“It’s not possible to preach the whole gospel from the New Testament alone, but it is possible to preach it from the Old Testament alone.”

When a friend of mine, a learned priest, said this the other day, it would be more than an understatement to say I was startled… the Christian faith is inexplicable and even nonsensical apart from its Old Testament background and so to sever the link between the movable Jewish Feast of Passover and the correspondingly movable Christian Easter does not only render the Old Testament redundant: it rips the heart and significance out of the Christian witness found in the New.

So there is more at stake here than the convenience of schoolteachers and the prosperity of the retail trade. The whole historical unity and coherence of the Christian faith as prophecy and the fulfilment of prophecy is at stake.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Commentary

(Vancouver Courier) Dean Peter Elliott profile on his response to the 2016 Primates Meeting

In the meeting of the 38 Anglican-aligned national churches worldwide at Canterbury Cathedral last month, the confab condemned the Episcopal Church ”” as it is called in the States ”” but also made explicit statements about respecting the rights of homosexuals worldwide.

“What we got actually was a classic Anglican compromise. Anglicans are good at that,” says Elliott. “There [are] very strong statements about the civil rights of homosexual people and I think there is a door opened now to say to, for example, Anglicans in Uganda: Listen, church support of government policies that criminalize homosexuality and make it punishable both by imprisonment and in some cases the death penalty, that’s offside. Similarly, to the Episcopal Church, marrying same-sex couples, that’s offside.”

Canadians need to understand, he says, that priorities for people in other places are very different and progress on gay rights has come with incredible speed to parts of the Western world.

“I never imagined in my lifetime that gay people would be allowed to marry in Canada and it’s now been over 10 years that we’ve been allowed to marry, nor that the church would be seriously talking about this,” he says. “It’s light years ahead.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, - Anglican: Primary Source, -- Statements & Letters: Primates, --Justin Welby, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Primates, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Archbishop of Canterbury, Ethics / Moral Theology, Globalization, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Primates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology, Theology: Scripture

Do not Take Yourself Too Seriously Dept–A Conference Call in Real Life

Watch it all–so on target its painful!

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, --Social Networking, Blogging & the Internet, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Pastoral Theology, Psychology, Science & Technology, Theology

(WSJ) Bp Demetrios of Mokissos–ISIS Is Guilty of Anti-Christian Genocide

The 21 [Coptic] men executed that day [in Libya] were itinerant tradesman working on a construction job. All were native Egyptians but one, a young African man whose identity is uncertain””reports of his name vary, and he was described as coming from Chad or Ghana. But the power of his example is unshakable. The executioners demanded that each hostage identify his religious allegiance. Given the opportunity to deny their faith, under threat of death, the Egyptians declared their faith in Jesus. Steadfast in their belief even in the face of evil, each was beheaded.

Their compatriot was not a Christian when captured, apparently, but when challenged by the terrorists to declare his faith, he reportedly replied: “Their God is my God.” In that moment, before his death, he became a Christian. The ISIS murderers seek to demoralize Christians with acts like the slaughter on a Libyan beach. Instead they stir our wonder at the courage and devotion inspired by God’s love.

While we remember these men’s extraordinary sacrifice, is there not more that we can do to stop this genocide against Christians in the Middle East?

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Coptic Church, Egypt, Ethics / Moral Theology, Iran, Iraq, Islam, Middle East, Muslim-Christian relations, Other Churches, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Syria, Terrorism, Theology, Violence

TEC minister Charles Shackelford responds to the 2016 Anglican Primates Gathering

Reflecting on the recent meeting of Anglican Primates in England, the Archbishop of Canterbury wrote, “Some have said unity is worthless if achieved at the expense of justice; others have urged unity is a false prize if it undermines truth. Both of the views misunderstand the nature of the Church…a body of people committed to each other because they are followers of Jesus Christ… We looked at each other across our deep and complex differences — and we recognised those we saw as those with whom we are called to journey in hope towards the truth and love of Jesus Christ. It was our unanimous decision to walk together and to take responsibility for making that work.”

So far, so good. Then, immediately following this solid portion of the statement, he recounts how the Episcopal Church is being punished for her belief in marriage equality. Canada, which is close by with us on the issue, was only threatened. We alone were singled out for exclusion from an active role in the Anglican Communion for three years. This decision results in part from the rapid growth of Christianity in the sub-Saharan world, most of whose bishops and archbishops exercise an autocratic model of church government, hold conservative opinions’ and they have constituted a majority of the primates for several years. In my opinion, the imposition of punitive measures betrays a fundamental misunderstanding and disregard for both the nature of Anglicanism and the nature of our Communion.

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

C of E Theological education Reform Plans provoke response from Seminary leaders

Under the new scheme, from September 2017, the diocese would be able to choose whether candidates attended a residential or a regional course. Different amounts of funding would be made available from central funds, depending on the age of the candidate.

It is this last detail that has alarmed the theological college principals. The proposal is that £41,900 be given to train candidates under 30, enough to cover a three-year residential course. Those in their thirties would receive £28,000; those between 40 and 55, £18,400; and those over 55, £12,300.

This bias to the young will, the principals write, “enshrine an inbuilt and systemic bias against women and in favour of men in financial terms. This is because the existing pattern and profile of ordinands shows more men than women in that age bracket entering training.”

Read it all from the Church Times.

Posted in Uncategorized

A Prayer to Begin the Day from the Gelasian Sacramentary

O God, who by thy Son dost marvellously work out the salvation of mankind: Grant, we beseech thee, that, following the example of our blessed Lord, and observing such a fast as thou dost choose, we may both be subjected to thee with all our hearts, and united to each other in holy charity; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

“Yet you say, ”˜Why should not the son suffer for the iniquity of the father?’ When the son has done what is lawful and right, and has been careful to observe all my statutes, he shall surely live. The soul that sins shall die. The son shall not suffer for the iniquity of the father, nor the father suffer for the iniquity of the son; the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.
“But if a wicked man turns away from all his sins which he has committed and keeps all my statutes and does what is lawful and right, he shall surely live; he shall not die. None of the transgressions which he has committed shall be remembered against him; for the righteousness which he has done he shall live. Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked, says the Lord God, and not rather that he should turn from his way and live? But when a righteous man turns away from his righteousness and commits iniquity and does the same abominable things that the wicked man does, shall he live? None of the righteous deeds which he has done shall be remembered; for the treachery of which he is guilty and the sin he has committed, he shall die.

“Yet you say, ”˜The way of the Lord is not just.’ Hear now, O house of Israel: Is my way not just? Is it not your ways that are not just? When a righteous man turns away from his righteousness and commits iniquity, he shall die for it; for the iniquity which he has committed he shall die. Again, when a wicked man turns away from the wickedness he has committed and does what is lawful and right, he shall save his life. Because he considered and turned away from all the transgressions which he had committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die. Yet the house of Israel says, ”˜The way of the Lord is not just.’ O house of Israel, are my ways not just? Is it not your ways that are not just?

“Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, says the Lord God. Repent and turn from all your transgressions, lest iniquity be your ruin. Cast away from you all the transgressions which you have committed against me, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! Why will you die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of any one, says the Lord God; so turn, and live.”

–Ezekiel 18:19-32

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Jayson Caspar: Strength in weakness: Egypt president’s apology spurs hope

Humble St George’s Church in Belhasa south of Cairo became a home for dogs and goats after its destruction by pro-Morsi supporters during Egypt’s 2011 revolution.

Now it’s been reopened better than ever ”“ thanks to a surprise announcement by Egypt’s President.

”˜This is a beautiful gesture for a new age’, said Bishop Biemen, Head of Crisis Management for the Coptic Orthodox Church. ”˜We have been pampered’.

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi visited the Coptic Cathedral in Cairo on 6 January – Coptic Christmas Eve – for the second year running. Amid raucous applause he did the most un-presidential thing: he apologized…

Read it all from Lapido Media

Posted in * International News & Commentary, Egypt, Middle East

Same-Sex Marriage remains divisive issue in Episcopal Church in Middle Tennessee

Nationally, the Episcopal Church authorized its clergy to perform same-sex marriages in July but gave bishops the right to refuse to allow the religious ceremonies to happen in their diocese. Clergy also can refuse. Bishop John Bauerschmidt of the Diocese of Tennessee did not grant permission for same-sex marriages in his region, which covers Nashville and much of Middle Tennessee.

The resolution [passed at the recnet diocesan Convention] did not change the bishop’s ruling, nor did it ask him to. But it does explain that “many in our diocese believe that LGBTQ members are painfully excluded from the full sacramental ministry of the Episcopal Church in our diocese,” while also urging unity.

Bauerschmidt said in a statement to The Tennessean that he appreciated the support.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anthropology, Ecclesiology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Parish Ministry, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Bishops, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(Telegraph) Anthony Evans-Pritchard This is a global stock market rout worth celebrating

We toiling workers can allow ourselves a wry smile. For most of the last eight years the owners of wealth and inflated assets have had things their own way, while the real economy has been left behind.

The tables are finally turning. The world may look absolutely ghastly if your metric is the stock market, but it is much the same or slightly better if you are at the coal face.

The MSCI index of world equities has fallen almost 20pc since its all-time high in May of 2015, implying a $14 trillion loss of paper wealth. Yet the world economy has carried on at more or less the same anemic pace, and the OECD’s global leading indicators show no sign that it is suddenly rolling over now.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Asia, China, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Credit Markets, Currency Markets, Economy, Energy, Natural Resources, Ethics / Moral Theology, Euro, Europe, European Central Bank, Federal Reserve, Foreign Relations, Globalization, Housing/Real Estate Market, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Personal Finance, Politics in General, Stock Market, The U.S. Government, Theology

(CEN) Simon Butler–”˜Stop blaming the bishops over Shared Conversations’

Vicar of Battersea (Southwark) and Prolocutor of the Convocation of Canterbury in General Synod, Canon Simon Butler, an openly gay priest, told us he has not interpreted the actions of the Primates’ Meeting as primarily an attack on The Episcopal Church (TEC USA) or on LGBT people, but instead has come to see it as reaffirmation of the bonds of communion from the Primates.

He said it was a statement of love and fellowship that steadfastly refuses to exclude American Anglicans, including those who are LGBT, while at the same time reaffirming ”˜what cannot be but obvious to most people’ ”“ that the majority of the Communion’s member Churches have not reached the point where they can go along with TEC’s position.

“The Primates’ ”˜consequences’ should not, I believe, be seen as punitive, but as a reflection of the current state of play in the Communion with respect to marriage equality,” he said.
“The same must be true of the current situation in the Church of England,” he said. “Like it or not, those who wish to see our Church change its position have to accept that we have not done so yet. That may be an offence to the Gospel for some of us ”“ and an enormous mission challenge among the under-40s in most of our urban and graduate cultures ”“ but it is the reality.

“We have not yet changed enough minds.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Parish Ministry, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology, Theology: Scripture