Daily Archives: March 18, 2016

(CEN) West Indies Church leaders worried about growth of gang culture

Church leaders have spoken out against the growth of “gang culture” in the West Indies, urging Anglicans to take the lead in combatting the moral causes of the region’s crime wave.

In an interview published on 27 February, the new dean of Barbados, Dr Jeffrey Gibson, told Barbados Today the church was “not only concerned about the level of violence” but was “prepared to do something to change people’s outlook, to provide care for people who have been affected by violence and to serve in some position where we can rehabilitate those who might have been affected by violence.”

He argued the church should seek to address the moral and social causes of crime.

“We denounce all forms of violent behaviour but we should also seek to uncover what might be the underlying causes of the violence and to see how one can move persons from that sort of spiral of violence, where they perpetuate violence and experience violence to adopting a new form of harmonious living,” the senior cleric said.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Ethics / Moral Theology, Teens / Youth, Theology, West Indies, Young Adults

[ENS] Communion women can help change sisters’ fate, says Anglican leader

Secretary General also challenged: Turn focus away from internal conflict
Idowu-Fearon also recalled attending a meeting of the Nigerian provincial standing committee in 2003 after the Episcopal Church had agreed to ordain openly gay Episcopal priest Gene Robinson as the bishop of New Hampshire. During that meeting, the U.N.’s Millennium Development Goals, adopted in 2000, were being discussed. A senior bishop declared that the development goals are “ways of the West wanting to poison our minds and remove us from focusing on the gospel.” Idowu-Fearon said the bishop refused to back down when he challenged him.

“You see what ignorance does? That’s ignorance,” he said, “but, I thank God that even though Nigeria did not buy into it, other parts of the communion were fully into it.”

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

[Dr Peter Jensen] Back to Basics: Good Reading of the Good Book

To assess the implications of the Primates’ gathering in January and what we have seen subsequently, I am suggesting that we go back to basics. The first point was the authority of the Bible over our consciences and over the churches. It is God’s word written.

But there is a hot contest over the interpretation of the Bible, especially when it comes to God’s expectations about sexual behaviour. What can we say about how we read the Bible?

Good Reading of the Good Book

One of the most wonderful features of our Anglican church is its clear belief that the word of God, the sacred Scriptures belong to us all. They are not the preserve of academics or clergy. Listening to the Bible, reading the Bible and knowing the Bible is a privilege which all share. God trusts us with his word.

Now I always think that there are two basic rules in all reading.

First, read with love. That is, our love for an author should mean that we take them at their word. We should presume that they are trying to communicate. Thus, our aim is not read what we want to into the work, but, as far as we can, what the work actually says. We need to observe such things as genre and language ”“ as we do all the time when we are reading. What we read may fill us with disgust or dismay, but it has to be read for what it says, not for what we want to see in it.

The reader is not the author..

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

Bp Waynick Offers Addl Background on the Diocese of Bor Partnership End

When one’s neighbors have a sacred book which they believe and claim is literally ”˜the words of Allah,’ it can be very tempting to make similar claims for one’s own sacred book. Once that kind of claim is made, it can be very difficult to concede that every faithful person, every faith community, picks and chooses which passages to emphasize, and which to set aside”¦.The BOOK, which is THE GOSPEL, cannot be compromised.

South Sudan is surrounded by other nations with very strong laws concerning homosexuals. They are under tremendous pressure to conform to prevailing norms and taboos, especially since the Bible seems to them to be clear on the topic. Our scholarship is not something they can embrace without putting themselves at odds with both religious and secular beliefs (both traditional and legal) and seeming to be ”˜unfaithful’ to the Book, while their Muslim neighbors are clearly being faithful to their Koran.

It has taken many years and some degree of effort for many of our brothers and sisters to realize that the Gospel is far more than a book ”“ it is the living, continuing presence of Christ, it is the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit, working to make sure that all people know God’s redeeming love. They are beginning to learn the value of Tradition ”“ which is never static ”“ and Reason ”“ through which we learn about God in very many ways. But many of the leaders have still not been able to study as clergy have in the West, and it will be many more years, I’m sure, before we come to anything like a common understanding and interpretation of sacred Scripture ”“ and in that process we will undoubtedly learn a great deal from them!

Finally, we must remind ourselves that even though we interpret the Bible in different ways, even though we live in a very different society, it has taken us until the 21st century to come to a place of acceptance regarding members of the GLBTQ community. We didn’t begin talking openly about the topic of sexuality until the 1960s, and we live in a culture which prizes free speech and relatively open discussion.

It is unreasonable for us to expect that people who live in very different circumstances, where women do not yet have the same legal rights as men, where harsh treatment of children is deemed acceptable, where addictions, STDs, and mental illness are not understood, and where people cannot bear to have open conversations about such things, to accept our position on human sexuality without struggle and questioning..

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Episcopal Church of the Sudan

Anglican Journal denied access to CoGS documents which it has had access to in the past

Documents that traditionally have been made available to Anglican Journal staff were withheld from them at the March 10-13 meeting of Council of General Synod (CoGS), the church’s governing body between General Synods.

The documents, made available online to CoGS members in advance of their meetings, include reports from various officers and committees of General Synod and updates on developments affecting the church, as well as background information, to help members prepare for discussions.

Archdeacon Michael Thompson, the church’s general secretary, decided not to make the documents available, saying, “The docket is not public. It’s a docket to help CoGS members prepare for the meeting.” Thompson said that Meghan Kilty, General Synod director of communication, had brought it to his attention that, “We have not developed a policy about how a not-public document becomes accessible to the press.”

In the absence of policy, he said in an interview, “The default is, the documents are not public.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Canada, Media, Religion & Culture

(Diocese of London) A Profile of Ambassador Eleanor Young

Eleanor is an actress and a theatre maker living in North London, trained in both musical theatre and pure acting. She has spent 2 years with a theatre company doing everything from acting training to devising and directing pieces. She has been a part of Euston church since it was planted from St Helen’s Bishopsgate 5 years ago, and one day she would like to create her own theatre company.

What does being an ambassador for Christ mean to you?

In the house I used to live in with my aunt and uncle I remember seeing a postcard from their church, and it said: If Jesus were born in your place, in your time, with your job and your circumstances, how would he live? That’s always stuck with me as a challenge to be as Christ-like as I can in every situation I’m in. I need to use my personality and my specific skills to attract people to him.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Evangelism and Church Growth, Ministry of the Laity, Parish Ministry, Urban/City Life and Issues, Young Adults

(Church Times) Abuse case turns spotlight on to flawed C of E safeguarding practices

The Church of England’s safeguarding procedures in cases of reported sexual abuse have been condemned as “fundamentally flawed” by an independent review, which was commissioned by the Church.

The Archbishop of Canterbury has promised to implement the changes that the review calls for, and to do so quickly.

The review, which was carried out by Ian Elliott, a safeguarding consultant with the Churches’ Child Protection Advisory Service, considered the Church’s response to allegations of sexual abuse by the Revd Garth Moore, a former Chancellor of the dioceses of Southwark, Durham, and Gloucester, who died in 1990… It concerned an attempted rape by Chancellor Moore of “Joe” (not his real name), which took place while Joe, then aged 16, was staying as a house guest at Chancellor Moore’s rooms in Gray’s Inn.

Joe was then drawn into what he has described as an exploitative and emotionally abusive relationship by Brother Michael Fisher SSF, who later became Bishop of St Germans.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Children, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Teens / Youth, Theology, Violence

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Cyril of Jerusalem

Strengthen, O Lord, we beseech thee, the bishops of thy Church in their special calling to be teachers and ministers of the Sacraments, that they, like thy servant Cyril of Jerusalem, may effectively instruct thy people in Christian faith and practice; and that we, taught by them, may enter more fully into celebration of the Paschal mystery; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

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

A Prayer to Begin the Day from E B Pusey

O Lord Jesus Christ, who when on earth wast ever about thy Father’s business: Grant that we may not grow weary in well-doing. Give us grace to do all in thy name. Be thou the beginning and the end of all: the pattern whom we follow, the redeemer in whom we trust, the master whom we serve, the friend to whom we look for sympathy. May we never shrink from our duty from any fear of man. Make us faithful unto death; and bring us at last into thy eternal presence, where with the Father and the Holy Ghost thou livest and reignest for ever.

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart. We have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways; we refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.

–2 Corinthians 4:1-2

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Everett Piper–Why Donald Trump will not be speaking at Oklahoma Wesleyan University

Anyone who calls women “pigs,” “ugly,” “fat” and “pieces of a”“” is not on my side. Anyone who mocks the handicapped is not on my side. Anyone who has argued the merits of a government takeover of banks, student loans, the auto industry and healthcare is not on my side. Anyone who has been on the cover of Playboy and proud of it, who brags of his sexual history with multiple women and who owns strip clubs in his casinos is not on my side. Anyone who believes the government can wrest control of the definition of marriage from the church is not on my side. Anyone who ignores the separation of powers and boasts of making the executive branch even more imperial is not on my side.

I’m a conservative. I believe in conserving the dignity of life. I believe in conserving respect for women. I believe in conserving the Constitution. I believe in conserving private property, religious liberty and human freedom. I believe in morality more than I do in money. I hold to principles more than I yearn for power. I trust my Creator more than I do human character. I’d like to think that all this, and more, makes me an informed and thoughtful citizen and voter. I’ve read, I’ve listened and I’ve studied and there is NOTHING, absolutely nothing, in this man’s track record that makes Donald Trump “on my side.”

I refuse to let my desire to win “trump” my moral compass. I will not sell my soul or my university’s to a political process that values victory more than virtue.

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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, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Education, Ethics / Moral Theology, Evangelicals, Other Churches, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Theology, Theology: Scripture, Young Adults

(Monergism) JI Packer on Mortality; Judgement; Heaven+Hell

For Christians the terror of physical death is abolished, though the unpleasantness of dying remains. Jesus, their risen Savior, has himself passed through a more traumatic death than any Christian will ever have to face, and he now lives to support his servants as they move out of this world to the place he has prepared for them in the next world (John 14:2-3). Christians should view their own forthcoming death as an appointment in Jesus’ calendar; which he will faithfully keep. Paul could say, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain…. I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far”(Phil. 1:21, 23), since “away from the body”will mean “at home with the Lord”(2 Cor. 5:8).

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Death / Burial / Funerals, Eschatology, Parish Ministry, Theology