Daily Archives: May 20, 2016

[Canon Phil Ashey] Blessed by leaders who never fail to bear fruit

I was deeply blessed by a recent phone call from a Christian leader who has never failed to bear fruit (Jeremiah 17:8) for Christ and his Kingdom.

His name is Jim. He joined the staff at St James Newport Beach in the early 1970s as an assistant Youth Pastor, when I was still in high school. As I recall, he was working on his college degree at a small, local Christian community college. But what I remember most about Jim was his love for Jesus Christ, his love for the middle schoolers that he was assigned to pastor, and his love for me. Jim spent a lot of time with me personally. He challenged me to read my bible and to love God’s word, its clarity and its authority in my life. He really challenged me to expand my prayer life with God””even giving me a book or two to read! Nothing academic, it was all plain and simple and practical. That was Jim himself. He challenged me as a timid high schooler..

Read it all

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Care

(Independent) ”˜Three-parent babies’ technique to prevent genetic diseases hits snag

…researchers led by Dr Dieter Egli, of the New York Stem Cell Foundation, discovered that when the nucleus is transferred some of the defective mitochondria can go with it, according to a paper in the journal Cell Stem Cell.

But other scientists said that overall the findings of the study were actually grounds for “optimism” as this was a relatively uncommon occurrence.

In the study, the researchers found that half the cell lines created from using the nucleus and donor egg contained a low percentage of mitochondrial DNA from the original egg cell.

In some cases, this original mitochondrial DNA disappeared over a period of six months, but in others it took over the donor cell so that 100 per cent of the mitochondrial DNA matched that of the transferred DNA.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anthropology, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Life Ethics, Science & Technology, Theology

(WSJ) Romeo Gurakuqi–Pope Francis and Martyrs to Communism

Religious communities, particularly the Catholic Church, have frequently been persecuted by regimes trying to consolidate power. But Albania’s ruthless Communist-era dictator, Enver Hoxha, went further than most, culminating with the 1967 proclamation of the country as the world’s first constitutionally atheist state.

It is no coincidence that most of the newly declared martyrs were priests. Hoxha reserved a special ire for the country’s Catholic clergy””the spiritual, intellectual and political leaders of a religious minority making up little more than a 10th of the population. His hatred stemmed partly from the crucial role the clergy had played in Albania’s cultural and political rebirth.

Most Albanian priests had been educated in foreign universities, and they represented a vital part of the country’s intellectual elite. Under the motto “Religion and Fatherland,” the clergy promoted a traditional reformist patriotism that sought to protect local customs while simultaneously integrating Albania into Europe. They argued for a free and equal state for all of Albania’s citizens, regardless of social or religious background. As such, they embodied a serious threat to Communist rule.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Albania, Ethics / Moral Theology, Europe, History, Other Churches, Pope Francis, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Theology, Violence

(ACNS) Scottish Episcopal Church to debate changes to marriage canon

A proposal to amend the marriage canon to permit same sex weddings in churches will be considered by the General Synod of the Scottish Episcopal Church next month. The proposed changes, which were requested by the Synod in 2015, remove the current definition of marriage in the first clause of the canon and adds a new “conscience clause” to prevent clergy opposed to the move from being forced to conduct same-sex weddings against their will.

The current Canon, C31, begins by defining marriage by stating: “The Doctrine of this Church is that Marriage is a physical, spiritual and mystical union of one man and one woman created by their mutual consent of heart, mind and will thereto, and is a holy and lifelong estate instituted of God.”

The proposed amendment to Canon C31 would replace that wording with a new clause which says: “In the light of the fact that there are differing understandings of the nature of marriage in this Church, no cleric of this Church shall be obliged to conduct any marriage against their conscience. . .”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Pastoral Theology, Scottish Episcopal Church, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(AI) A Profile of Profile of Kenya's next archbishop

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Church of Kenya, Anglican Provinces, Children, Marriage & Family, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Seminary / Theological Education, Theology

Must not Miss 60 Minutes–Gold Star Parents on Families Helping each other Deal w Loss

In downtown San Francisco stands an unusual war memorial looking as it did in the 1920s when it was a hotel and theater. After World War II, Marines wanted a living memorial so they transformed this into a club that, today, honors all vets.

Mary Shea: I look at this building. It’s like a ship that sails every February. That once we’re inside here, we’re safe. We can be ourselves. We don’t have to explain to anybody. It’s sort of a subliminal language that we all understand.

Mary Shea learned the language of loss when her son was killed. It’s a language that cannot be translated and so she and her husband, Bill, felt they could no longer be understood.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Children, Death / Burial / Funerals, Defense, National Security, Military, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Care, Pastoral Theology, Theology

Breaking–The Right Rev. Jackson Nasoore Ole Sapit elected new Archbishop of Kenya

Read it all and the official announcement from the Anglican Church of Kenya is now up here.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Church of Kenya, Anglican Provinces, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Saint Alcuin

Almighty God, who in a rude and barbarous age didst raise up thy deacon Alcuin to rekindle the light of learning: Illumine our minds, we pray thee, that amid the uncertainties and confusions of our own time we may show forth thine eternal truth, through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

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

A Prayer for Pentecost to Begin the Day from the Liturgy of the Catholic Apostolic Church

O Spirit of the living God, who dwellest in us; who art holy, who art good: Come thou, and fill the hearts of thy faithful people, and kindle within them the fire of thy love; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

I bless the LORD who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me. I keep the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved….Thou dost show me the path of life; in thy presence there is fulness of joy, in thy right hand are pleasures for evermore

Psalm 16: 7-8;11

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Please pray for the Election of a New Archbishop in Kenya Today

You can find basic information there and here.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Church of Kenya, Anglican Provinces, Spirituality/Prayer

(NBC) NYC Man Who Joined and Escaped ISIS Speaks Out

Mo, who attended one of the nation’s top colleges, is one of a small group of American citizens and residents whose names were found in ISIS personnel files obtained by NBC News and verified by the West Point Combating Terrorism Center.

In the interview, he recounts his trip to Turkey and then Syria, his ISIS indoctrination, the violence he witnessed and the growing disillusionment that triggered his dangerous escape.

“The Islamic State is not bringing Islam to the world, and people need to know that. And I’ll say that”¦till the day I die,” he said.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Ethics / Moral Theology, Globalization, Islam, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Terrorism, Theology, Violence