Daily Archives: May 19, 2016

Marilyn Chandler McEntyre–Speaking of Suffering: Poetry & Pain

To learn what suffering has to teach requires that we protect the time and space we need to regard, reflect, and pray. Suffering calls us one by one to walk a dark valley. As Flannery O’Connor suggests, “”¦ sickness is . . . a place where there’s no company, where nobody can follow” (163). To speak from that place of exile is to forego the clichés and enter into what Marianne Paget called a “complex sorrow.” In her “Mastectomy Poems” Alicia Ostriker issues a practical corrective to those who dramatize her suffering in a way that would belie the daily experience of life-threatening illness:

Spare me your pity,

your terror, your condolence.

I’m not your wasting heroine,

your dying swan. Friend, tragedy

is a sort of surrender.

Tell me again I’m a model

of toughness. I eat that up.

I grade papers, I listen to wind. (93)

Ostriker’s spunky resistance to stereotypes calls to mind the comment of an Auschwitz survivor I know: To call the Holocaust a “tragedy,” she insisted, is to falsify it and to oversimplify the mystery of the evil that took place. Tragedy is an art form in which the hero “suffers into truth.”

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Ethics / Moral Theology, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Care, Pastoral Theology, Poetry & Literature, Religion & Culture, Theodicy, Theology

(Independent) Can you pass this British Mensa quiz? Find out here

Check it out and see how you do.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, Anthropology, Education, Psychology, Theology

Underground Pewster Ten Years On

…I committed myself to a continuing effort at discerning God’s will, and the message that I kept hearing was to first do my homework and study, study, study, and only after having agreed to do that should I join in public discourse on Church matters.

For the past ten years, I have studied the Bible alone and in groups. I have studied the heretics of the past and present, theology, and the world’s religions. Daily Bible study has become my morning cup of coffee.

Through Bible study, dissection of bad sermons, analysis of lectionary deletions, observation of and participation in the political processes in the Episcopal church, following religious news and speaking to religious leaders, as well as participation in on-line theology and Bible study, battling internet trolls, and getting kicked in the teeth a few times, I have come to a greater appreciation of the need for each and every one of us to do the homework for ourselves..

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Commentary

Retiring Anglican of Dunedin bishop questions cost of office

This week, the Rt Rev Dr Kelvin Wright informed the New Zealand Anglican Archbishop, the Most Rev Philip Richardson, of his intention to retire as Bishop of Dunedin on April 17, 2017.

Dr Wright said he gave so much notice because he believed the diocese needed to make some very important decisions about its future.

“In my opinion … the diocese should not be subject to a long interregnum. And to make an appointment as soon after my departure as possible, we would need to set processes in motion in the not too distant future.

“Further, some very careful thought needs to be given as to how we will pay for episcopal ministry in the future, and maybe some hard choices and some innovations may need to be made,” he said.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, Anglican Provinces, Ethics / Moral Theology, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Stewardship, Theology

(Touchstone) Regis Nicoll on Marriage, Moral Corruption & the Christian Duty of Witness

When the behaviors and beliefs of Christians mirror those of their unbelieving neighbors, it is evidence that the Church is a product of the culture it is called to transform, and that instead of producing disciples, it has been turning out “belonging nonbelievers,” if not “functional atheists.”

So, if you want find fault for the recent Court ruling, look no further than the doorstep of the Church and a decades-long ethos of non-discipleship Christianity. The thing is, the solution to our national condition starts at the same threshold.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Adult Education, Anthropology, Ecclesiology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Ministry of the Laity, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Theology, Theology: Scripture

Food for Thought from Dorothy Sayers to Begin the Day

“In the world it calls itself Tolerance; but in hell it is called Despair. It is the accomplice of the other sins and their worst punishment. It is the sin which believes nothing, cares for nothing, seeks to know nothing, interferes with nothing, enjoys nothing, loves nothing, hates nothing, finds purpose in nothing, lives for nothing, and only remains alive because there is nothing it would die for.”

–Dorothy Sayers, Letters to a Diminished Church: Passionate Arguments for the Relevance of Christian Doctrine (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2004 ed of the original), p.98

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Church History, Eschatology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Theology

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Saint Dunstan

O God of truth and beauty, who didst richly endow thy Bishop Dunstan with skill in music and the working of metals, and with gifts of administration and reforming zeal: Teach us, we beseech thee, to see in thee the source of all our talents, and move us to offer them for the adornment of worship and the advancement of true religion; 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 Frank Colquhoun

O Almighty God, who hast fulfilled thy word of promise, and from thy heavenly throne hast poured out upon thy Church the gift of the Holy Spirit: Open our hearts, we pray thee, to receive the fullness of his grace and power; that our lives may be strengthened for the service of thy kingdom, and our souls be conformed more and more to the image of thy Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

I love thee, O Lord, my strength.
The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer,
my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge,
my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised,
and I am saved from my enemies.

The cords of death encompassed me,
the torrents of perdition assailed me;
the cords of Sheol entangled me,
the snares of death confronted me.

In my distress I called upon the Lord;
to my God I cried for help.
From his temple he heard my voice,
and my cry to him reached his ears.
Then the earth reeled and rocked;
the foundations also of the mountains trembled
and quaked, because he was angry.
Smoke went up from his nostrils,
and devouring fire from his mouth;
glowing coals flamed forth from him.
He bowed the heavens, and came down;
thick darkness was under his feet.
He rode on a cherub, and flew;
he came swiftly upon the wings of the wind.
He made darkness his covering around him,
his canopy thick clouds dark with water.
Out of the brightness before him
there broke through his clouds
hailstones and coals of fire.
The Lord also thundered in the heavens,
and the Most High uttered his voice,
hailstones and coals of fire.
And he sent out his arrows, and scattered them;
he flashed forth lightnings, and routed them.
Then the channels of the sea were seen,
and the foundations of the world were laid bare,
at thy rebuke, O Lord,
at the blast of the breath of thy nostrils.

He reached from on high, he took me,
he drew me out of many waters.
He delivered me from my strong enemy,
and from those who hated me;
for they were too mighty for me.
They came upon me in the day of my calamity;
but the Lord was my stay.
He brought me forth into a broad place;
he delivered me, because he delighted in me.

The Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness;
according to the cleanness of my hands he recompensed me.

–Psalm 18:1-20

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

[ACK] Retirement Service for Archbishop Eliud Wabukala

Sunday, May 8, 2016 marked the retirement service for the outgoing 5th Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK) the Most Rev. Dr. Eliud Wabukala. The family and friends joined other faithful at All Saints Cathedral Church Nairobi to witness the last ecclesiastical service by the Archbishop as the head of the church. In his retirement message, the Archbishop thanked all church stakeholders for their unequivocal support during his 8 years’ tenure at the helm of the church. “I have had that wonderful support from people around me. The secret of leadership is to be able to create relationship by coalescing towards each other and having a common vision”. The archbishop offered to continue praying for the church and the nation even at his retirement. He particularly urged Kenyans to observe peace and especially during the upcoming electioneering period of 2017.

The Most Rev. Dr. Wabukala is set to vacate office by end of June. The search committee led by the ACK Provincial Chancellor has already settled on six candidates from the house of bishops who have expressed interest to succeed him. The six bishops are Moses Masaba, James Ochiel, Joseph Nasoore, Julius Wanyoike, Joel Waweru and Lawrence Dena.

The Electoral College is set to congregate at All Saints Cathedral Nairobi to elect his successor and the 6th Archbishop of the Anglican Church on May 20, 2016.

Read it all and don’t miss the pictures. There are profiles of the candidates on the provincial website here

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

Trinity School for Ministry Names Henry L. Thompson III as Interim Dean/President

AMBRIDGE, PA – May 18, 2016 – The Trinity School for Ministry Board of Trustees announced today their appointment of the Rev. Dr. Henry “Laurie” Thompson III as Interim Dean/President. He will take office on July 1, 2016. The Dean/President is the senior administrator and chief academic officer of the seminary and is responsible for all of the daily operations and fundraising efforts.

Mr. Douglas Wicker, Chairman of Trinity’s Board of Trustees, said, “Laurie Thompson is a superb leader and pastor and he has been an important senior administrator at Trinity for many years. He is intimately familiar with all aspects of the operation of the school and he will be able to take the reins without missing a beat.” He added, “We have received many excellent applications for the position of Dean President but we haven’t found the right leader yet. We feel confident that this is God’s will for us at this time. Appointing Laurie as Interim Dean/President will allow us the time we need to carefully discern God’s will. We continue to trust that God will bring us the right candidate at the right time.”…

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Posted in Uncategorized

CofE Situations Vacant

Archbishop of Canterbury’s Adviser for Anglican Communion Affairs

Salary: £50,604 pa rising to £53,662 upon successful completion of probationary period

Very competitive benefits package – Including 30 days paid holiday (Plus Bank Holidays and 3 NCI Holidays), Season ticket loan, pension’s package and childcare vouchers.

Location: Lambeth Palace, London SE1 7JU

Apply within

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

[Bp Bill Atwood] The Tzar, Framing, Fantasy, and Repentance

…a number of Anglican Communion leaders are falling all over themselves trying to say that the ACC meeting embraced and fulfilled the letter and the spirit of the Primates’ resolution. It is clear that the Episcopal Church representatives fully participated in discussions and decisions about doctrine and polity, even moving and seconding resolutions, why would some people insist that the Episcopal Church followed the direction of the Primates’ disciplinary resolution? Very simply, it is because they cannot face embracing the alternative. Since the Primates called for TEC to be disciplined by an overwhelming majority, having the ACC fail to follow the lead of their Primatial leaders would mean that the already dysfunctional instruments of unity have descended into even more chaos; that there would be (and are) divisions, and worst of all, it could mean that there are people who, by their actions, have separated themselves not only from the Body, but also from Christ.
The unity of the Anglican Communion is not preserved by pretending that all is well. Unity can only be a function of truth. Actually, real unity can only result when there is accountability and consequence. It is meaningless to claim institutional unity when it doesn’t actually exist. Right now, the Anglican Communion is simultaneously going in two different directions. The only possibilities are that either there will be a change of direction by one of the groups, or eventually there will be a separation. Right now, we are living with the awful tension where pretty much all we share is a logo. The faiths of the two bodies are entirely different. They have utterly different trajectories. There is no joy in that. There is, however, an even worse possibility than eventually having a separation. It would be worse if the whole Communion were to turn away from the redeeming love of Christ. That way everyone would be lost. Having Biblically faithful people in the Communion means that there is a faithful witness to which others can be called to return. That is our hope and would be a cause for great celebration.

Denying the gravity of the situation does not bring peace. The only thing that will bring peace is the truth of Christ, shared with the love of Christ. It is toward that which we must move.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Consultative Council

[Diocese of Quincy] Bishop Morales responds to the Illinois Fourth District Appellate Court Decision

16 May, AD 2016

To All the Faithful in the Diocese of Quincy,

The Illinois Fourth District Appellate Court has ruled in our favor in our ongoing defense against legal challenges brought against us by the Episcopal Church. In their unanimous decision of May 13th, the Appellate Court for the second time ruled that our Diocese had the ability not only to leave the Episcopal Church, but also to keep all of our assets.
While all of this is fantastic news and is a further answer to our prayers, it does not mean we are done with legal challenges. The Episcopal Church still has a lawsuit pending against us in Peoria County and another pending against us in Rock Island County. These lawsuits are essentially asking for the courts to award the assets of our individual congregations to the Episcopal Church. These cases have been “stayed” or put on hold pending the decision of the Appellate Court discussed above, but are now likely to become active again in the very near future. While we all hope and pray that the Episcopal Church will cease these attacks upon our Diocese, our Diocese and its attorneys will continue to vigorously defend our rights to proclaim the Gospel without fear and to worship as traditional Anglicans.

Upholding all of the faithful in the Diocese of Quincy in unceasing prayer and all love in Christ Jesus,..

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

Diocese of Quincy Press Release: Appellate Court Unanimously Rejects Episcopal Case

The Illinois Fourth District Appellate Court ruled in favor of the Anglican Diocese of Quincy in their ongoing defense against legal challenges brought against them by the Episcopal Church. In the unanimous decision of May 13th, the Appellate Court for the second time ruled that the Diocese had the ability not only to leave the Episcopal Church, but also to keep all of its assets.

While the Episcopal Church had claimed that prior Court rulings did not encompass “all” of the Diocese’s assets, the trial court of Adams County, Illinois ruled that it had in fact awarded all of the Diocesan assets to the Diocese free of any claim by the Episcopal Church.

The trial court noted that its original decision had been affirmed by the Fourth District Appellate Court and that the Illinois Supreme Court had declined the Episcopal Church’s Petition for Leave to File further appeal. Further, the Appellate Court affirmed the trial court’s sanction against the Episcopal Church, whereby the trial court had ordered the Episcopal Church to pay attorney’s fees for the Diocese.

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

(UMNS) Methodist Bishops ask for hold on sexuality debate until commission study is completed

The Council of Bishops asked General Conference to delay a debate on homosexuality at this gathering of the denomination’s top legislative assembly until a proposed commission can study church regulations.

Instead, the bishops asked for the body’s permission to name a special commission that would completely examine and possibly recommend revisions of every paragraph in the Book of Discipline related to human sexuality. The commission would represent the different regions of a denomination on four continents as well as the varied perspectives of the church.

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Posted in * Religion News & Commentary, Anthropology, Ecclesiology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Methodist, Other Churches, Pastoral Theology, Sexuality Debate (Other denominations and faiths), Theology, Theology: Scripture

(NBC) A Rare Look at the Tributes Left Behind at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Every day, tributes are placed at the memorial in Washington, D.C., and while they are left behind, they are not lost.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Asia, Children, Death / Burial / Funerals, Defense, National Security, Military, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Marriage & Family, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Theology, Vietnam

(CEN) New agenda to propel Fresh Expressions at November Conference

Responding to asylum seekers and developing younger people as leaders will be among the topics at a refreshed Fresh Expression conference this year.

The November conference will also look at whether those attracted to Fresh Expressions events are from non-church backgrounds, or whether they are returning after feeling rejected by traditional church settings.

Jointly run by Fresh Expressions and the Diocese of Leicester, there will be 16 talks and 25 pairs of consultants will be on hand to share their expertise.

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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, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Theology

([London] Times) Richard Murphy–The Church of England has failed to meet its promises on tax

What should the church commissioners, who are responsible for its £7 billion investment portfolio, do? They are charity trustees. They have a duty to make a return on the funds entrusted to them. And every penny they can raise means another pound from the collection plate can be used for something else. The answer is, of course, that they must exercise judgment.

The good news is that they are already allowed to. The church commissioners do not, as a result, invest in pornography, tobacco, gambling, non-military firearms, high interest rate lending or human embryonic cloning. But on tax abuse, surely the clearest measure of a company’s social responsibility, they’re not so clear.

Their advisers stated three years ago that “tax ethics should be a subject for investor engagement where it appears that a company’s approach is blatantly aggressive or abusive”. In other words, investment in such companies is permitted so long as the church makes clear that it expects high ethical standards on tax. In this respect, the commissioners have clearly failed.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Globalization, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Taxes, Theology