Daily Archives: April 15, 2016

Remember the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombing Today

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, History, Terrorism

[Dr Peter Jensen] Back to Basics Part 6: Will You Stand With Us?

..Let me speak very personally. One of the most painful elements of the present crisis for me has been the lack of leadership in places from which one could have expected it. I can understand TEC; her leadership make no secret of their theology or the reasons why they take the stand they do.

But what I find most painful is the silence or prevarication of those who don’t agree with the new sexual ethic, who understand that our ministry is the ministry of the word of God, but who say nothing except to distance themselves from a movement like GAFCON.

Where is Elijah?

I have sat in the room with Primates who have spoken with evident deep pain about the way in which the ones they have looked to for clear teaching and leadership, have failed to say publicly what God’s word says.

More, when I mix with ”˜the ordinary person in the pew’, people who have always understood that we are meant to obey the word of God, when these people seek to live and speak for Christ in a culture which has abandoned God, they too are bewildered and dismayed by a leadership which has not given them voice and hope…

Read it all

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

[Jeff Walton] Anglican Missionaries “Facing a Task Unfinished”

Advancing the Kingdom of God includes establishing justice, love and good works, but is not limited to these things, according to speakers at a major conference of Anglican missionaries.

“We also need to ”˜tell the story’: minister the power of the Gospel and disciple new believers,” declared Anglican Bishop of Singapore Rennis Ponniah. “It is a story that grips and transforms hearts.”

Ponniah spoke April 9 at the New Wineskins for Global Mission conference, a triennial gathering of more than 1,000 participants near Asheville, North Carolina..

Read it all

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Missions

[SCMP] Hong Kong churches reap big profits from land redevelopments

..A recent wave of church developments, similar to what has happened in New York, has at least three of them rebuilding sites, sparking debate about urban planning and heritage preservation, as well as whether religious institutions are exploiting land intended for non-profit use.
The Anglican Church plans to build two towers of 18 floors and 11 floors as part of a redevelopment near Lan Kwai Fong. The land currently has historic buildings, including the 166-year-old bishop’s house and a church that was used by Japanese soldiers during the second world war as a training school.

In the deal reached and approved by the government in 2011, the Anglican Church will preserve the heritage buildings at its own cost. The two new towers will be used for facilities including a church, kindergarten and a medical centre, according to a June 2011 government document.

A representative of the church was unavailable for comment on the development.

The Anglican Diocese’s St John’s Cathedral built in 1849 sits on the only freehold plot of land in the city in the shadow of Central’s soaring office towers. Other land in Hong Kong is owned by the government and sold for long-term leases.

“Those land sites that they acquired in colonial times have become their biggest assets today,” said Ng Cho-nam, a former member of the Antiquities Advisory Board, a government body advising on heritage issues in the city. While maximising the value of their land, churches should take heritage into consideration as they had close relationship with the city during its development as a former colony, he said.

Previously, the church partnered with Li Ka-shing’s Cheung Kong (Holdings) in 1993 to build a residential complex on a site it was using as an orphanage, which was set to be relocated, in a suburban district. The church and its foundation earned about HK$1.1 billion from selling homes and parking spaces at the project, a legal document showed.

Read it all and there is an update here

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

[ABC] Self-service ministries for Anglican church in outback Queensland

Because of the vast distances involved in servicing the central-west, the Anglican Church says it is physically impossible for one ordained person to minister to the whole region.

The church says it can also be difficult to attract people to serve in more isolated locations.

As a result a different approach is being trialled…

Read it all

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

[Liverpool Echo] Historic Liverpool Anglican church set to become Egyptian Orthodox

One of Liverpool’s historic churches is set to be sold to the Egyptian Coptic Orthodox church.

St Paul’s in Old Swan has become too expensive to be retained by the Church of England – but locals are angry at the plans which would also see the graveyard moved.

The last service was held in St Paul’s Stoneycroft on Easter Sunday and services have now been joined with the neighbouring St Anne’s parish.

A note on the St Anne’s website from vicar Emma Williams said they now hope the Egyptian Coptic Church (ECC) will take over the St Paul’s site.

The church was designed by Giles Gilbert Scott, who at the time St Paul’s was built had been appointed to design Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral.

Read it all

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE)

[ACNA] Continued Dialogue with the Anglican Mission

On Wednesday April 13, 2016 Archbishop Foley Beach, Bishop Philip Jones, Bishop Bill Atwood, Bishop Sandy Greene, Canon Phil Ashey and the Rev. Allen Hughes met in Dallas to continue conversations about our relationship, history, and ministry.

Our conversations over many months have yielded substantial progress. Poignant times of sharing have led to meaningful expressions of forgiveness and reconciliation. Coming to a good place of personal relationships has allowed us to begin to address our ongoing ministry relationship and foster ways of cooperating.

Read it all

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

[HKFP] Occupy divided Hong Kong and violence has become more frequent, says Abp. Paul Kwong

The pro-democracy Occupy protests last year divided Hong Kong and violence has become more frequent, Archbishop Paul Kwong said on Sunday.
“Our city has been divided and fragmented after the Occupy Movement and the dispute over political reform last year. When dealing with people and social issues, we begin to see a more frequent use of violent language and behaviours rather than mutual trust, tolerance, objectivity and rationality.”

The Archbishop ended his message by calling for an accepting and tolerant attitude, as it was the only way a society of mutual trust,
Paul Kwong has made controversial remarks in the past. Last year, he said that some of the protesters at the July First march joined out of a herd mentality. He also asked why the arrested demonstrators “didn’t bring their Filipino maids to the march,”

Read it all

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

[ACNS] Two candidates for chair of Anglican Consultative Council

Members of the Anglican Consultative Council, meeting in Lusaka, Zambia, will elect a new chair tomorrow and will have the choice of two candidates with significant knowledge of global Anglicanism: Professor Joanildo Burity from Brazil and Archbishop Paul Kwong from Hong Kong.

Read it all and AB Kwong may be seen here at the Primates Gathering Press Conference

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

[SCMP] Most Reverend Paul Kwong also denies he’s a government yes-man

In a rare interview, his second since taking over the helm at the church in 2007, the Most Reverend Paul Kwong told the Post that, contrary to accusations, he was not a government yes-man. He claimed he had, behind closed doors, urged officials to communicate with different sectors and explain their policies more clearly and frequently.

Kwong declined to say if he supported Leung’s re-election, but he said he believed the chief executive “loves Hong Kong”.

Read it all

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

Top Anglican official in Hong Kong defends multi-million dollar flat and past comments

Top Anglican official in Hong Kong defends multi-million dollar flat and past comments critical of Occupy protesters

In rare interview, Most Reverend Paul Kwong explains to Post his comments generating media attention two years ago and today
In a rare interview, Most Reverend Paul Kwong spoke with the Post on questions raised in the media about his political stances and why he resided at upscale Pacific View complex on Tai Tam Road. It was reported that the apartment cost the church HK$13.4 million in 2006. The latest public records involving Pacific View flats indicated transactions in recent months ranging from HK$19 million to HK$38 million.

When asked why he did not follow his predecessors’ example of staying at Bishop House in Central, Kwong said the building, built in 1851, was too spacious for an unmarried bishop like him.
In July 2014, Kwong talked about “peace of mind” in a sermon and questioned why Hongkongers “speak up so much”. He asked at the time why protesters who complained about being denied water after they were arrested at a sit-in in Central did not “bring along their Filipino maids”.

Read it all

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

[Martin Davie] A review of A Way Forward the report of the Working Group of the Church of A, NZ & P

..the report ignores entirely the teaching of the Anglican Communion about marriage and human sexuality as set out in Lambeth 1.10 and what impact any change in the doctrine and practice of the Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia would have on its relations with other churches in the Communion. It also ignores entirely the question of what effect such a change would have on wider ecumenical relationships. Just as it ignores the witness of the Church down the ages the report also ignores the wider Church today.

Eighthly, the final problem about the report is about what it might portend for the future. If the only criteria for marriage is love, union, covenant, gift and household it is difficult to see on what grounds polygamous marriages (which already get a favourable mention in the report as examples of marital constancy[49] ), or incestuous marriages would be ruled out as candidates for blessing if they meet the criteria laid down in the report of being permitted by state law. On what theological grounds would the report rule them out?

IV. The significance of the report for the wider Anglican debate about same-sex relationships

The significance of this report for the wider Anglican debate about same-sex relationships is that it shows that no church can have it both ways when it comes to the doctrine of marriage. It is impossible for a church to consistently uphold a traditional Christian view of marriage while at the same time being willing to bless same-sex relationships as an alternative form of marriage. The path taken by the Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia is therefore one that other Anglican churches (including the Church of England) should not go down.

Read it all

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, Anglican Provinces

[Andrew Goddard] New Zealand’s “Way Forward” on Same-Sex Marriage: An Evaluation

It is clear that in coming years in a number of Anglican provinces, including the Church of England, there will be pressure to seek to find a way that authorizes practices (especially in relation to ordination and public rites) that embody the belief that same-sex sexual unions are consonant with Scripture, while maintaining unimpaired communion under Scripture and doctrine with those who believe such unions are contrary to Scripture. The report’s ultimate lack of consistency speaks eloquently, if unknowingly, to this problem: it gives strong supporting evidence that it is simply impossible to reconcile these two positions with any theological or ecclesiological coherence, especially if one is also committed to uphold the Christian doctrine of marriage in a society that rejects it and accepts same-sex marriage.

Read it all

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, Anglican Provinces

(CC) Carol Howard Merritt–The grace of small things

In the ’90s we millennials heard stories about a time when kids performed plays at home and families gathered around their pianos, but we consumed our entertainment from TVs that kept growing in size and programming.

In following our individual channels, choices, and pursuits, we became more isolated. We became anxious, de­pressed, and exhausted and began to wonder if bigger was really better. Now something new is happening. Farmer’s markets are springing up. People are turning off their televisions and creating their own stories on social media through status updates, blogs, and vlogs. People upcycle, knit, and quilt.

Those who grew up with big-box stores and mega­churches are longing for small, deep, and creative communities. These worshipers reject a worship service where paid professionals entertain those attending and instead are committed to making liturgy, art, music, and relationships.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Ecclesiology, Economy, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Theology

[CT – Ruth Gledhill] Archbishop of Kenya responds in forged letter row

The Archbishop of Kenya has denied that he signed or approved a letter released under his signature that appeared to change Kenya’s stance on its boycott of the meeting of Anglican leaders in Zambia this week.

The Most Rev Eliud Wabukala told Anglican Ink that the forgery was a ruse to defy his authority and justify the attendance of the Kenyan delegation in Lusaka.

Read it all

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

[Peter Carrell] Three Differing Critiques of "A Way Forward"

It is my privilege to have received recently two Kiwi critiques of A Way Forward and I have the permission of the authors to publish their critiques to Scribd and link you to their papers. I have also discovered a third critique, UK based, to which I want to link readers here.

Note, these are not all from the same perspective, and certainly not all from “my” perspective!

Les Brighton (NZ) writes here.

Peter Lineham and Mark Henrickson (NZ) write here.

Martin Davie (UK) writes here.

What do you think?

Read it all

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, Anglican Provinces

An FCA conference in New Zealand

In the context of Motion 30 the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia is facing an uncertain future. The issues of human sexuality have proven to be theologically contentious and pastorally sensitive. The Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (New Zealand) invites you to its 2016 Anglican Future Conferences. We desire to gather as brothers and sisters in Christ seeking the best way to honour God and love people.

Vaughan Roberts, Dr Sarah Harris, Dr Rhys Bezzant, and other international and local speakers will teach from God’s Word and share their experiences. We will also examine our Anglican roots to help us look towards the future. Together we will explore how best to contend for the gospel once for all entrusted to the saints.

Read it all

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, Anglican Provinces

A Prayer to Begin the Day from Nicholas Ridley

Heavenly Father, the Father of all wisdom, understanding, and true strength: We beseech thee look mercifully upon thy servants, and send thy Holy Spirit into their hearts, that when they must join to fight in the field for the glory of thy holy name, then they, strengthened with the defence of thy right hand, may manfully stand in the confession of thy faith, and continue in the same unto their lives’ end; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

See to it that no one makes a prey of you by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the universe, and not according to Christ. For in him the whole fulness of deity dwells bodily, and you have come to fulness of life in him, who is the head of all rule and authority. In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of flesh in the circumcision of Christ; and you were buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead. And you, who were dead in trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, having canceled the bond which stood against us with its legal demands; this he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the principalities and powers and made a public example of them, triumphing over them in him.

–Colossians 2:8-15

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

[RNS] Experts push Episcopal Church to explain firings

By saying nothing about what types of violations occurred, the church heightens the risk that wrongful behavior will be repeated elsewhere as McDonald and Baumgarten move on, according to Colby Bruno, senior legal counsel for the Victim Rights Law Center, a national nonprofit that provides free legal services from its offices in Boston and Portland, Ore. The silence also discourages other victims from coming forward and saying “this happened to me, too,” she said.

“They’re glossing over what is a big problem, but what the big problem is, obviously no one is to know,” Bruno said. “All of this cover-up might not be good for the future.”

McDonald and Baumgarten have not been charged with any crime and did not respond to requests for comment. A third administrator, Chief Operating Officer Stacy Sauls, will remain on staff but will not continue as COO. The investigation found Sauls was unaware of the misconduct and violated no policies.

From December through March, independent investigators from the New York law firm Curley, Hessinger & Johnsrud pored over thousands of pages of documents and interviewed more than 40 people, according to Curry. Workplace investigations of such scope are often looking for patterns of sexual harassment, Bruno said.

Read it all

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop

Liverpool scores incredible last-gasp winner as Klopp's side produce magical European result

Read it all and enjoy the pictures.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, England / UK, Europe, Germany, Sports

[Ligonier] David Stoddard: Christ Will Build His Church

Europe is the new “dark continent.” Africa now sends more missionaries to Europe than Europe sends to Africa. The health reports of the European church aren’t terribly encouraging. Churches are closing and are being converted into mosques, museums, bars, and book depositories. In most European countries, less than 5 percent of the population attend any church. In France, there are more practicing Muslims than baptized Catholics. In England, more than 70 percent have no intention of stepping into a church””ever. In Berlin, the city where we live, 95 percent of church plants fail.

Recently, I was asked two questions at a missions conference in the United States. First, what does it mean that Europe is post-Christian? Second, what hope does the church have in such an environment? The second question disturbed me. What hope does the church have? The question reflects an attitude of resignation in regard to what God is doing in Europe. I sometimes see this attitude on home ministry assignment. “Why should we support missionaries to Europe?” we are asked. “It’s expensive. We can get a better bang for our buck elsewhere. Besides, they already had their chance. God isn’t working there anymore.”

The Power of the Gospel

We miss the power of the gospel when we place problems before promises,,

Read it all

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Missions

[Belfast Telegraph] Why we should welcome a Jesuit in an Anglican pulpit

‘..what about the other ‘Easter Rising’, which for the vast majority of people in Christendom was a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

It was most encouraging to note how the Easter story was commemorated by so many people of all denominations, not only in their churches but also by walking behind a cross in Belfast, Londonderry and elsewhere.

Though I did attend a Maundy Thursday service in my home church, I temporarily deserted my Presbyterian roots by participating in an Easter Morning service in St George’s Church, High Street, Belfast. For those who like theatricality, colourful liturgy, resonating language and good music, no church does it better than St George’s. It is also worth noting the preacher was Fr Tom Leydon SJ, who delivered as good a sermon as I have heard anywhere on Easter Day.

Not so very long ago, when people did not even dare to attend joint services, the reality of a Jesuit in an Anglican pulpit would not have been possible.

Some people in Northern Ireland would still object to this, but Christians elsewhere would hardly take it under their notice..

Read it all

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life

[Robin Jordan] The Anglican Church in North America Needs an Evangelical Awakening

The Anglican Church in North America desperately needs to experience an evangelical awakening. It needs to discover the Bible and the gospel of grace and commit itself wholeheartedly to the fulfillment of the Great Commission. It is not going to move forward by looking backward to an imaginary golden age of the supposedly undivided Church. We are living in the twenty-first century, not the eleventh. We are living in what is being called the post-Christian era, not the early High Middle Ages.

The Anglican Church at its best is a church of the Bible. It is a church that fully accepts the plenary authority of the Scriptures in matters of faith and practice. It is a church that recognizes the power of God’s Word to transform lives. It is a church whose confession of faith””the Thirty Nine Articles of Religion””grounded in the Holy Scriptures and is recognized as authoritative for Anglicans.

The Anglican Church at its best is a church of the gospel. It is a church that cannot hold back from telling people in every walk of life what God has done for them through his Son Jesus Christ. It is a church that proclaims the good news not only in word and deed but also in sacramental signs, in the ordinances of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.

The Anglican Church is at its best a church of the Reformation

Read it all

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

(BBC) New Nigeria Chibok girls video gives grounds for hope

Relatives of the girls marched in the Nigerian capital, Abuja, on Thursday.
The BBC’s Martin Patience in Abuja says they blame the previous government for doing nothing when the abduction took place, as well as the current administration for failing to devote enough resources to the search.
Boko Haram militants attacked the government boarding school in Borno state on 14 April 2014, seizing the girls who had gone there to take exams.
As the months passed, about 57 students managed to escape but at least 219 are still missing.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Defense, National Security, Military, Education, Ethics / Moral Theology, Nigeria, Religion & Culture, Teens / Youth, Terrorism, Theology, Violence, Women

[Rev. Porter C. Taylor] A Few Thoughts on Eucharistic Orientation

You can easily begin a deep theological and liturgical debate across ecumenical lines with one simple question: how should the Celebrant be oriented in the Eucharist? Maybe it’s based on the fact that I am an Anglican, but this simple question has churned up many strong feelings and convictions.

My main goal, here, is to provide some fodder for thinking about our Eucharistic orientation. Perhaps we (those who are the inheritors of the Reformation(s)) have gotten it wrong”¦

For the children of the Reformation(s) the answer is clear: the priest (if you have one) should face the people. This is known as versus populum and it supposedly encourages or facilitates corporate worship around a common table. The logic continues that only when gathered around a common table can any sense of “clericalism” or medieval superstition be avoided.

The other tradition is known as ad orientem. In this celebration of the Eucharist the priest faces the altar, i.e. East, and has back turned to the people. I want to unpack the thinking behind this in a bit…

Read it all

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