Daily Archives: March 9, 2016

(Fort Worth Episcopal Church suit update) Diocese, Corporation file response briefs

After a second filing extension due to unavoidable caseload delays, the Diocese and Corporation filed two response briefs with the Second Court of Appeals, located in Fort Worth.Because the briefs filed in December made differing arguments, two response briefs were necessary. The TEC parties now have the opportunity to make a reply by March 24. These files are large and may require a few moments to load.

You may find the two (big) downloads here and there.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Church History, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Stewardship, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Fort Worth, Theology

[ACI] Anguish and Amnesia: The Episcopal Church and Communion

..we should beware of confusing our hurts with ecclesial realities. In this case, TEC bishops have, one after the other, insisted that the Primates have no “right” or “authority” to make the decisions they have done, or to implement them. TEC bishops have said that the Anglican Communion has no means to shape their participation in its councils. They have said that the Communion itself has nothing to do with common teaching and an ordered common council. They have said, finally, that the Anglican Communion has historically been nothing like what the Primates have said it is. All of these claims are questionable, perhaps even false.

Historical Errors about the Communion

Let me take each of them in reverse order:..

Read it all

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

[Andrew Symes] Shared Conversations: a snapshot of the C of E, and a pointer to the future?

The meeting, which took place in the comfortable environment of High Leigh conference centre, began with welcomes (including a message by video from David Porter, the leader of the programme), and then careful explanation by the team of facilitators of the protocols on how to listen and speak respectfully..
In our group of nine we had a discussion on “how does Scripture influence your approach to sexuality?” One of the central ”˜rules’ which was gently but firmly and consistently enforced by the facilitators was that at all times we were to preface a statement by “in my view”, or “for me”¦”. We could not for example say “the Bible says”¦” or “Jesus teaches that”¦”, or “the church has always believed”¦” ”“ because it was assumed that in this discussion there are no truths, just different and equally valid interpretations and viewpoints.

Read it all

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury

Justin Welby renames David Porter

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, is delighted to announce the appointment of Canon David Porter as Chief of Staff and Strategy at Lambeth Palace.

He takes over from Kay Brock, who retires this month after four years at Lambeth Palace.

David is currently in the Lambeth Palace leadership group working as the Archbishops’ Director for Reconciliation. He will start in his new role in early May.

Read it all

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury

The Anglican Church of Kenya will not participate in the upcoming ACC meeting

To the Bishops, Clergy and all the Faithful of the Anglican Church of Kenya

from the Most Rev’d Dr Eliud Wabukala, Primate of Kenya and Bishop, All Saints Cathedral Diocese Nairobi

Statement on Anglican Consultative Council 16, Lusaka

Greetings in the precious name of our Lord Jesus Christ!

I am deeply committed to the unity and restoration of our beloved Anglican Communion. It was for this reason that I and brother Primates from GAFCON and other orthodox provinces were willing to accept the Archbishop of Canterbury’s invitation to a meeting of Primates in Canterbury earlier this year, despite the representation of Provinces with which the Anglican Church of Kenya is in a state of broken communion.

It seemed that this might be an opportunity to restore godly faith and order and, although the resolution agreed by an overwhelming majority of those present was not all we hoped for, it sent a powerful message around the world that the collective mind of the Communion was to remain faithful to the Scriptures and God’s purpose for man and woman in marriage.

In particular, the Episcopal Church in the United States (TEC) was required to withdraw its representatives from groups representing the Anglican Communion ecumenically and it was agreed that TEC should not participate in votes on doctrine and polity in the Communion’s institutions.

However, the Presiding Bishop of TEC has made it clear that his Church will not think again about same sex ”˜marriage’ and he expects his Church to play a full part in next month’s Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) meeting in Lusaka. This defiance of the Primates’ moral and spiritual authority has been supported by the Chairman of the ACC, Bishop Tengatenga, who has confirmed that TEC will participate fully.

There can be no true walking together with those who persistently refuse to walk in accordance with God’s Word and the Anglican Church of Kenya will not therefore be participating in the forthcoming meeting of the ACC in Lusaka.

An opportunity has been missed to use the ACC for good and it is increasingly clear that the GAFCON movement must continue to provide a focus for that godly unity so many of us desire.

Read it all from the Anglican Church of Kenya (pdf) and a web copy is available here. Note the prior decision of the Church of Uganda here

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

[Channels TV Nigeria] Schoolgirls’ Rescue: Anglican Primate Commends Police

The Anglican Primate, Archbishop Nicholas Okoh, has commended the Governor of Lagos, Akinwunmi Ambode and the Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni for the rescue of the three girls abducted from Babington Macaulay Junior Seminary.

Archbishop Okoh, who led a delegation from the Anglican Church, praised the promptness of the rescue efforts for the abducted schoolgirls.

Describing his visit as a “thank you visit”, he told Channels TV that the Church was grateful for “what the Police has done under the leadership of the Governor of the state”.

“We believe that they have performed exceptionally well,” he said.

Speaking about the kidnap of the girls, he said, “I was very devastated because (they were) young women out in the cold day and night. We couldn’t sleep.

“So when we got the news that they have been rescued, we bounced back.”..

Read it all

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

[RNS] China’s efforts to mold Christianity in its own image draw resistance

..what cannot be disputed is the budding friction between the state and Chinese Christians: Over the past two years, Chinese authorities ”” citing building code violations ”” have torn down more than 1,200 crosses from churches across the country, destroyed several churches, and rounded up Christian activists.

There has been some resistance. Chinese Christians in Zhejiang either rebuilt or replaced some of those crosses after the authorities tore down the originals, and other worshippers hung small crosses outside the windows of their homes or from car mirrors.

More intriguingly, provincial branches of the Three-Self Patriotic Movement and the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association, two of the three government-approved Christian organizations in China, sent letters to party leaders condemning the crackdown on Christian symbols.

Against this backdrop of alleged persecution and violence, Chinese Christians and government leaders eye each other warily, both sides unsure of what the future of Christianity in the Middle Kingdom might be..

Read it all

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

(Local Paper) Farewell to Pat Conroy, South Carolina’s ambassador to the world

Pat Conroy was laid to rest Tuesday under the bright Lowcountry sun, which is exactly where he always wanted to be.

Although he was not South Carolina-born ”” he entered this world in Atlanta ”” the famous author chose the Lowcountry, chose Beaufort, as his home. He loved this state as much as any native, and he shared that love with the world.

And we loved him back.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Books, Death / Burial / Funerals, History, Movies & Television, Parish Ministry

NYT-After Living Brazil’s Dream, Family Confronts Microcephaly and Economic Crisis

They were young and relishing Brazil’s version of the American dream: buying a car, joining a church, starting a family.

With millions of others, they had climbed into the country’s expanding middle class. They had even moved into California, a neighborhood of strivers who had left the big, impoverished city nearby.

“It was that magical moment when everything seemed possible,” said Germana Soares, 24.

Then, in the sixth month of Ms. Soares’s pregnancy, the couple discovered how quickly their fortunes, like those of their nation, could change. A routine exam showed that their son weighed much less than he should. Doctors worried that he, like hundreds of other Brazilian babies born in recent months, had microcephaly, an incurable condition in which infants have abnormally small heads.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anthropology, Brazil, Children, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Marriage & Family, Pastoral Theology, Politics in General, South America, Theology

Gregory of Nyssa on his Feast Day–On the Holy Trinity

But our argument in reply to this is ready and clear. For any one who condemns those who say that the Godhead is one, must necessarily support either those who say that there are more than one, or those who say that there is none. But the inspired teaching does not allow us to say that there are more than one, since, whenever it uses the term, it makes mention of the Godhead in the singular; as”””In Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead Colossians 2:9 “; and, elsewhere”””The invisible things of Him from the foundation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead Romans 1:20 .” If, then, to extend the number of the Godhead to a multitude belongs to those only who suffer from the plague of polytheistic error, and on the other hand utterly to deny the Godhead would be the doctrine of atheists, what doctrine is that which accuses us for saying that the Godhead is one? But they reveal more clearly the aim of their argument. As regards the Father, they admit the fact that He is God , and that the Son likewise is honoured with the attribute of Godhead; but the Spirit, Who is reckoned with the Father and the Son, they cannot include in their conception of Godhead, but hold that the power of the Godhead, issuing from the Father to the Son, and there halting, separates the nature of the Spirit from the Divine glory. And so, as far as we may in a short space, we have to answer this opinion also.

What, then, is our doctrine? The Lord, in delivering the saving Faith to those who become disciples of the word, joins with the Father and the Son the Holy Spirit also; and we affirm that the union of that which has once been joined is continual; for it is not joined in one thing, and separated in others. But the power of the Spirit, being included with the Father and the Son in the life-giving power, by which our nature is transferred from the corruptible life to immortality, and in many other cases also, as in the conception of “Good,” and “Holy,” and “Eternal,” “Wise,” “Righteous,” “Chief,” “Mighty,” and in fact everywhere, has an inseparable association with them in all the attributes ascribed in a sense of special excellence. And so we consider that it is right to think that that which is joined to the Father and the Son in such sublime and exalted conceptions is not separated from them in any.

Read it carefully and read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Church History, The Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Theology

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Saint Gregory of Nyssa

Almighty God, who hast revealed to thy Church thine eternal Being of glorious majesty and perfect love as one God in Trinity of Persons: Give us grace that, like thy bishop Gregory of Nyssa, we may continue steadfast in the confession of this faith, and constant in our worship of thee, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, who livest and reignest now and for ever.

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

A Prayer to Begin the Day from B. F. Westcott

We give thee humble and hearty thanks, O most merciful Father, for all thy goodness and loving-kindness to us and to all men, for the blessings of this life and for the promise of everlasting happiness. And as we are bound, we especially thank thee for the mercies which we have received: for health and strength and the manifold enjoyments of our daily life; for the opportunities of learning, for the knowledge of thy will, for the means of serving thee in thy Church, and for the love thou hast revealed to us in thy Son, our Saviour; to whom with thee and the Holy Spirit be praise and glory for ever and ever.

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be uninformed. You know that when you were heathen, you were led astray to dumb idols, however you may have been moved. Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking by the Spirit of God ever says “Jesus be cursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except by the Holy Spirit. Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of working, but it is the same God who inspires them all in every one. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are inspired by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.

–1 Corinthians 12:1-11

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Lent and Beyond: A Prayer for South Carolina

Proverbs 1:33 (VOICE)

But those who listen to me now will live under divine protection; they can rest knowing they are out of harm’s way.

Our Father in heaven,

We thank You that You are a covenant God, not a capricious God. We thank You for the many promises of Holy Scripture. We claim this promise for the Diocese of South Carolina. Amen.

Please pray it all and there are more prayers for South Carolina here

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: South Carolina

Reform Ireland Letter to the Irish House of Bishops

..The letter from our bishops proposes to encourage mutual respect and attentiveness, but it communicates something quite different. It demonstrates two disturbing characteristics of our House of Bishops: (A) they make the Church of Ireland its own primary authority and source of unity and (B) they assume that our church’s teaching on the issue of human sexuality is liable, even certain, to change.

The Church as its Own Authority.

Our bishops make the Church of Ireland’s canons, rites, ceremonies and liturgies the primary and ultimate authority for our doctrinal and moral teaching. If this is true, the only barrier to a Church of Ireland minister conducting same-sex marriages is the canons and liturgy of the Church of Ireland. Their letter defends this approach by suggesting this matter is of ”˜expressly legal function’. The letter itself cannot sustain this tactic as it later calls us to ”˜offer service and leadership in the things of God.’

Our bishops propose the following arguments against the practice of same sex marriage in the Church of Ireland: the status of the current canons, the absence of liturgical resources, and restraint for the sake of other’s consciences. The primary authority of Anglican tradition is notably absent ”“ the letter neglects Scripture or any appeal to its’ authority.

Our bishops’ neglect of Scripture departs from the Church of Ireland’s stated principles in the preamble & declaration to our constitution and our historic reformed protestant doctrine contained in the BCP, articles, ordinal and homilies. The benefit of these Anglican documents is in their agreement with Scripture. Apart from their agreement with Scripture they have no Christian authority and cease to be identifiably Anglican.

The impediment to our support of, conducting of, or entry into so-called “same-sex marriage” is not our canons, liturgical resources, or others’ consciences, as our bishops propose. Our impediment is the clear and present word of God in Scripture from which our doctrine is derived. If Holy Scripture is not our bishops’ ultimate authority, then they have departed from the reformed Christian faith of which Anglicanism is a wonderful expression.

Rather than a call to canonical conformity and liturgical observance, we long for a call from our House of Bishops to proper Christian restraint that is obedience to our Lord’s word. To act without such restraint in this matter is not merely inviting division, it is open rebellion against Christ and a withdrawal from Christian life and doctrine, a wilful sinfulness that Scripture and our scriptural Anglican traditions meet with rebuke and discipline..

Read it all [with the cross references to the Bishops’ letter]

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

(Canon Phil Ashey) “Core Doctrine” Is Bad

Quite bluntly, Presiding Bishop Curry is resurrecting a 20 year old term to further dilute the teaching of the Anglican Communion. The message from TEC is that if it’s not part of the “Core Doctrine” of the Christian faith everyone should agree to disagree and just move on. You see, “core doctrine” is yet another attempt by TEC to refashion Anglicanism into something that is entirely other than Biblically faithful.

This is the problem with the term “core doctrine” and how Presiding Bishop Curry is using it. It can mean anything you want it to mean, or need it to mean, for your purposes. It has no objective standard or rule against which it can be measured””other than the thin gruel the Righter Court stated in its bullet points.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Primary Source, -- Statements & Letters: Primates, Anglican Primates, Christology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop, Primates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016, Theology, Theology: Scripture

[AP] N.T. Wright – 'Bible doesn't necessarily tell believers how to vote'

Anglican scholar N.T. Wright says the Bible contains many overlooked truths, but it doesn’t necessarily tell believers how to vote.

The retired bishop says some modern political and cultural issues don’t present a clear biblical choice. But other matters are clear, such as Jesus’ concern for the poor.

Wright took part in a discussion last week at the National Press Club in Washington on “The Good News and the Good Life.” He said making religion a private and personal matter that’s separate from the world’s concerns isn’t how Christians are called to live.

Instead, he said Christians should take seriously Jesus’ claim to authority over all things, and join the risen Lord in building his kingdom “on Earth as it is in heaven.”

Wright says the New Testament was written to Christians who were struggling with how to live faithfully in a hostile culture, a perspective that he believes is increasingly applicable today.

Read it all. Watch ‘The Good News and the Good Life’ from the National Press Club here from the Trinity Forum:

Evening Conversation with N.T. Wright and Richard Hays from The Trinity Forum on Vimeo.

Posted in Ethics / Moral Theology, Theology