Daily Archives: March 1, 2016

(ACNS) New communications director for the Anglican Communion

The Anglican Communion has appointed former BBC journalist Adrian Butcher as its new director for communications. He will take up the post immediately after Easter.

Adrian brings a wealth of journalism experience to the role. He began his career in newspapers before joining the BBC in 1990 as a producer in its national radio newsroom where he wrote and edited news summaries and bulletins across the range of radio networks. He also worked on television, as a producer on the One and the Six o’clock news bulletins, and for the BBC World Service and at the parliamentary unit in Westminster.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Globalization, Media

Bishop Mark Lawrence: The Primacy of Religious Freedom

Archive picture from Mere Anglicanism 2016

Listen to it all if you wish

Posted in * Religion News & Commentary, Religious Freedom / Persecution

Anglican Church of Canada Bishops' Statement

The Canadian House of Bishops met in Niagara Falls 23-26 February 2016 in a special session dedicated to a discussion of matters relating to the upcoming gathering of the General Synod where proposed changes to the national Marriage Canon will be considered.
While in our last meeting we considered in some detail ”˜This Holy Estate’, the report of the Commission on the Marriage Canon, we regret that there has not been much engagement with this document across the Church since that time. We felt that we needed to recommit ourselves to promoting the document for study, and especially among our synod delegates.

We spent a considerable amount of time discussing the theology of marriage and our episcopal role and responsibilities as chief pastors, and as guardians of the Church’s faith, order and unity. We concentrated on the relationship of the bishop to the Church locally, nationally and with our Anglican Communion partners, and alongside and within synods. These conversations led into considerations about the nature of our relationships within the House in light of the deep differences we have on the matter of changing the Church’s teaching on marriage.

In our exploration of these differences it became clear to us that the draft resolution to change the Marriage Canon to accommodate the marriage of same-sex partners is not likely to pass in the Order of Bishops by the canonical requirement of a 2/3rds majority in each Order. Some of us talked of being mortified and devastated by this realisation. We feel obliged to share this with the Council of General Synod as they give consideration to the process for handling this resolution at General Synod. We have grappled with this issue for three meetings of the House, and we feel a responsibility to convey our inability to come to a common mind in discerning what the Spirit is saying to the Church. We share this out of respect for the considerable work that the Church has invested in preparing to debate this motion at General Synod. We continue to wonder whether a legislative procedure is the most helpful way of dealing with these matters.
In our deliberations, we affirmed a commitment to continuing conversations and engagement with the Report of the Commission on the Marriage Canon, and to achieving the greatest pastoral generosity possible. There is a desire among us to explore other options for honouring and fully embracing committed, faithful same-sex relationships. We will also engage Indigenous and minority cultural perspectives in our Anglican family in our understanding of marriage.

Read it all and there is an article with some reaction in the Anglican Journal here

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

[The Nation Nigeria] Armed men abduct girls in Anglican seminary

No fewer than three students of the Babington Macaulay Junior Seminary (BMJS), Ikorodu have been abducted by gunmen.

It was gathered that the criminals who struck from behind the school, took three girls away at about 8pm on Monday.

Read it all and please pray for their safe return.

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

[Daily Nation Nairobi] Eight ACK bishops in race to succeed Wabukala

At least eight bishops have shown interest in succeeding Anglican Church of Kenya head Eliud Wabukala.

Sources revealed to the Nation that the race to succeed the ACK head was in earnest, with the candidates engaging in extensive lobbying in a bid to lead the church, ahead of the nomination in March and election in May..

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

[John Bingham] Looking for Britain’s future leaders? Try evensong

..College chaplains have seen a steady but noticeable increase in attendances at the early evening services which combine contemplative music with the 16th Century language of the Book of Common Prayer.

It mirrors a similar trend reported by cathedrals across England for growing congregations at choral midweek services, which appears to challenge the view that the church is in irreversible decline.

Chaplains say the mix of music, silence and centuries-old language appears to have taken on a new appeal for a generation more used to instant and constant communications, often conducted in 140 characters rather than the phrases of Cranmer.

Neil McCleery, assistant chaplain of New College, one of Oxford’s oldest and grandest chapels, said it was now rare to see an attendance below 150 at a weekend evensong..

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, --Book of Common Prayer, Liturgy, Music, Worship

[ACNA] A Lenten Pastoral Letter from Archbishop Beach

Archive picture from Mere Anglicanism 2016

Bless the Lord who forgives all our sins! His mercy endures forever. Amen.

To the Bishops, Clergy, and People of the Anglican Church in North America:

As we travel our Lenten pilgrimage, repenting of our sins, reconciling with our brothers and sisters, reproducing followers of Jesus, and expressing relentless compassion to those in our communities, I would like to ask you to consider an important project for your community.

I would like to invite you to gather with members of our congregations on the steps of your county court house or city hall, and there pray together for your community, your neighborhoods, your country, and your leaders; asking God to pour out His Spirit to lead them to know and honor Jesus Christ. At a time of your own choosing between now and June 30, and I am asking that you take seriously the admonitions of our Lord and the Apostles in Scripture to pray together that “Thy Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.” Don’t make a big splash about it; just go and claim your neighborhoods and communities for the purposes of God in the Name of Jesus..

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA)

A look at the history of ltrs to the editor of the Daily Telegraph

As The Daily Telegraph publishes its 50,000th edition, we look back at the vivid snapshots of history detailed in readers’ letters to the Editor

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, England / UK, History, Media

Do not Take Yourself Too Seriously Dept–Getting Out Of Bed In Morning Sharply Increases Risk

According to a report published [last] Thursday in the Journal Of Applied Psychology, the act of getting out of bed in the morning dramatically increases the risk of things becoming even worse….

Read it all from the Onion.

Posted in * General Interest, Humor / Trivia

Music for a Tuesday Morning– We rest on Thee by the Mennonite Hour Men's Chorus

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Church History, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Missions

(Globe+Mail) Doctors urge Ottawa to provide more clarity on assisted dying law

Canada’s doctors are pleading with the federal government to put specific guidelines in its medically assisted dying law regarding patients who want to end their lives because of psychological suffering.

“There are still a lot of grey areas, and a lot of unknowns,” said Jeff Blackmer, vice-president of medical ethics at the Canadian Medical Association.

“Before we sort of open that Pandora’s box, we need to have a lot more clarity as to what would qualify, and exactly what the process would be.”

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Aging / the Elderly, Anthropology, Children, Death / Burial / Funerals, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Life Ethics, Marriage & Family, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Psychology, Theology

Growing number of Chinese students in U.S. universities discovering Christianity

A growing number of Chinese students in American universities are discovering Christianity and Jesus.

According to Foreign Policy, more than 304,000 Chinese were enrolled in U.S. colleges and universities in 2015, many coming from Beijing and Shanghai.

While there are no definite numbers of Christian converts from mainland China, students who are immersed in campus spiritual life said the number is growing.

Gregory Jao, national director of campus engagement for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA, said the organisation serves up to 1,800 overseas Chinese of the total 5,000 international students under it.

Read it all from Christian Today.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Asia, China, Education, Evangelicals, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Theology, Young Adults

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Saint David of Wales

Almighty God, who didst call thy servant David to be a faithful and wise steward of thy mysteries for the people of Wales: Mercifully grant that, following his purity of life and zeal for the gospel of Christ, we may with him receive the crown of everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and ever.

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

A Prayer to Begin the Day from Henry Alford

O God, who through thy Son has taught us that a house divided against itself must fall: Save us, we beseech thee, from the danger of a divided allegiance; unite our hearts to fear thy name; and grant that in all our course of life our eye may be single and our purpose one; 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

I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings from of old,

things that we have heard and known, that our fathers have told us.

We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the LORD, and his might, and the wonders which he has wrought.

He established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers to teach to their children;

that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children,

so that they should set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments….

–Psalm 78:2-7

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(NYT Op-ed) Nicholas Kristof–My Friend Rafiullah Kakar,, the Former Muslim Extremist

Ultimately, Rafi’s life was transformed because his eldest brother, Akhtar, pinched pennies and sent Rafi to the best public school in the family’s home province, Balochistan. Rafi had an outstanding mind and rocketed to the top of his class. But he also fell under the spell of political Islam. A charismatic Islamic studies teacher turned Rafi into a Taliban sympathizer who despised the West.

“I subscribed to conspiracy theories that 9/11 was done by the Americans themselves, that there were 4,000 Jews who were absent from work that day,” Rafi recalls. “I thought the Taliban were freedom fighters.”

I’ve often written about education as an antidote to extremism. But in Pakistan, it was high school that radicalized Rafi. “Education can be a problem,” Rafi says dryly.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Asia, Children, Education, Ethics / Moral Theology, Globalization, Islam, Marriage & Family, Other Faiths, Pakistan, Religion & Culture, Terrorism, Theology, Violence

C of E Parishes encouraged to support work to resettle vulnerable Syrian refugees

Supporting efforts to resettle vulnerable Syrian refugees is part of the Church of England’s mission alongside its work with food banks, street pastors and debt advice services, one its leading bishops says today.

Writing in a blog, Stephen Cottrell, Bishop of Chelmsford, says church groups can provide the ‘welcoming flesh on the bones’ to efforts by local authorities and other agencies to resettle vulnerable Syrian refugees.

“We are talking about a careful, realistic, grown-up setting about the task of welcoming Syrian refugees, just people in extreme need with all the complexities and riches of any human being. This is not the church saying ‘look at us being charitable’, but the people of God letting their deeds speak for Him,” he writes.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Europe, Foreign Relations, Iraq, Middle East, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Care, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Syria