Daily Archives: June 17, 2016

6/17/2015 The day of the brutal killing of the Charleston 9-a day that changed the city permanently

Read the response of a number of South Carolinians to the massacre including former Charleston Mayor (10 term) Joseph P. Riley Jr.

Their hearts and minds were full of grace, always searching for ways to more fully live the life that God was leading them to. They met each week at Bible study.

Those nine people attending the Wednesday Bible study at Mother Emanuel AME opened their doors and hearts to a man that was full of racial hate and bigotry and he took their lives.

On this anniversary, our minds turn again to those whose lives were touched by those nine beautiful people ”” their families, co-workers, friends and members of the community.

We also remember the survivors, and pray that they all find peace and comfort in our thoughts for them.

Through the leadership of the families, this remarkable community showed the world what the grace of forgiveness and community solidarity can do. What manifested itself worldwide was an outpouring of love.
We would expect nothing less than this from our outstanding community.

There are two important ways we can act together at this time of great sadness to honor the memory of the Emanuel Nine.

First, we cannot rest until a responsible handgun law is passed, at the very least eliminating the loophole that allowed Dylann Roof to purchase a gun legally.

Second, we must work hard to support the construction of the International African American Museum on one of the most sacred sites of African-American history in this hemisphere. This museum will teach the untold story of the inhumane practice of slavery and the remarkable endurance and contributions of those who were brought here. The museum will honor the Emanuel Nine, and the goodness of their lives will instruct countless people in the years to come.

The nine lives taken at Mother Emanuel AME touched each one of us. We will continue to remember them and their courage and sacrifice for the rest of our days.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Adult Education, Death / Burial / Funerals, Eschatology, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Ministry of the Laity, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Race/Race Relations, Religion & Culture, Theology, Urban/City Life and Issues, Violence

In today's service for the Charleston 9, the congregation reads the names aloud together

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Anthropology, Eschatology, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Race/Race Relations, Religion & Culture, Spirituality/Prayer, Theology, Urban/City Life and Issues, Violence

Lowcountry South Carolina Church Leader Shay Gaillard to be next Saint Helena's Beaufort rector

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

It is with a deep trust in the sovereignty of God and an abiding belief in his call that I write to you today to tell you that I have accepted the call to be the next Rector of St. Helena’s Church in Beaufort, South Carolina. On Sunday, the vestry and I met with Bishop Lawrence and decided that my last Sunday will be August 7. I have the utmost trust in God’s guiding hand for Good Shepherd, trust in our Bishop, and trust in the Vestry and Staff for this next season of ministry.

Because these last ten years have been formative for me and for my family; because the life of Good Shepherd has been intertwined in every way with our lives; because you have been so generous and kind to us; because we have been partners in the Gospel; and because of so many other reasons; this announcement is hard to make. You are a treasure to me, Tara, and our girls. Our hearts break at the thought of leaving, as they simultaneously swell at the thought of following God’s call.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * South Carolina, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry

(WSJ) Dr. E. Wesley Ely on a Dying Patient in the ICU requesting Baptism

With antibiotics and fluids, Bennie improved dramatically and was taken off the ventilator several days later. That same night, though, a massive stroke paralyzed his entire left side, and he went back on life support. We quickly administered clot-busting medicine, and he rallied again, remarkably regaining movement of his left arm and leg. The following day, the intern reported, “His delirium has cleared, and he’s mouthing words around the endotracheal tube despite his wicked aspiration pneumonia.”

I sensed an unexpected window of opportunity. We revisited Bennie’s life goals in light of what had happened and spoke directly about the big picture. With his children looking on, I held Bennie’s hand and looked him in the eyes. Choosing my words based on what I knew about his background and the family’s expectation of miracles, I said, “Bennie, just like tobacco plants eventually wither and wilt, so do we. You have improved in some ways, but overall you are very weak. How can we serve you best?”

The next morning, Laura and Len were upbeat, which confused me since Bennie looked weaker than ever. They pointed to words on a whiteboard in the room, explaining they were Bennie’s goals, “Stable vital signs. Baptism.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Baptism, Death / Burial / Funerals, Health & Medicine, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Sacramental Theology, Theology

(Church Times) Prayers and tributes follow murder of Yorkshire MP Jo Cox

A prayer vigil was held last night in St Peter’s, Birstall, after the murder of Jo Cox, MP for Batley and Spen, outside her constituency advice surgery in the West Yorkshire town.

The Bishop of Leeds, the Rt Revd Nick Baines, and the Bishop of Huddersfield, the Rt Revd Jonathan Gibbs, took part in the service, which was attended by about 300 constituents, as well as fellow MPs, among them Yvette Cooper, Naz Shah, Dan Jarvis, Rachel Reeves, and Mary Creagh.

Bishop Gibbs told mourners that the attack on the 41-year-old mother of two had left people “overwhelmed by shock, grief and a sense of loss.

“We are here for each other, and I know and I hope and I pray that we will be here for each other in the days ahead,” he said. “’Jo grew up in this community, she loved this community and she served this community. And, in the end, she gave her life for this community.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Death / Burial / Funerals, England / UK, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Spirituality/Prayer, Theology, Violence

Events set to commemorate first anniversary of Emmanual AME church shooting today

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Adult Education, Death / Burial / Funerals, History, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Spirituality/Prayer, Urban/City Life and Issues, Violence

Tim Scott and Lindsey Graham give emotional reflections on anniversary of Emanuel Church massacre

South Carolina’s two U.S. senators offered two stylistically different but equally emotional reflections to commemorate the anniversary of the Emanuel AME Church shooting.

Each speech ”” delivered in succession on the Senate floor Thursday on the eve of the anniversary ”” was in keeping with the lawmakers’ personalities and reputations among their colleagues on Capitol Hill.

Sen. Tim Scott spoke in a deep sorrowful baritone from prepared remarks about the night of June 17, 2015, when Dylann Roof admitted to ending a Bible study by opening fire and killing nine black parishioners.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, Adult Education, Death / Burial / Funerals, Parish Ministry, Politics in General, Race/Race Relations, Religion & Culture, Senate, Urban/City Life and Issues, Violence

(C of E) Agenda published for the July 2016 General Synod York meeting

The Agenda for the July meeting of the General Synod is published today. Members will gather in York on Friday 8 July until Saturday 9 July. A key focus during these two days will be how the Church’s vision for a growing, confident and hopeful church can be put into action through the Renewal and Reform Programme.

The Church’s governing body will discuss the vision and narrative for Renewal and Reform and key changes to legislation to make innovation and change easier for those engaged with church life at all levels. The Legislative Reform Measure will make it possible to amend or repeal some Church legislation by means of Orders approved by the Synod. Several other proposed pieces of new legislation will consolidate existing provisions into a more user-friendly form and repeal provisions which are obsolete. There will also be an opportunity for Synod to discuss a report from the Development and Appointments Group updating Synod on the progress of their work on the training and development of senior Church leaders.

Read it all and follow the links.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Religion & Culture

(Yorkshire P) Kate Proctor-Deeply respected and committed to her young family – My time with Jo Cox

I have met Jo many times, but an interview just before Christmas in the House of Commons stands out. I couldn’t help but be impressed by her journey from Heckmondwike, West Yorkshire, to Cambridge University, the charity sector then to the House of Commons. I was met with a hug – most rare in Parliament I can assure you – and we chatted for an hour about her life over a cup of tea. I think it might have been one of the first times she had sat and taken stock of what she had achieved. Anyone who knew Jo knows she was a tiny woman, absolutely petite, with a blunt brown bob, with a love of bright scarves that always made her stand out in Parliament. You weren’t to be fooled by that diminutive stature though. Sarah Champion MP for Rotherham described her a lion, and I’d agree. She was incredibly fit, and is such a dare-devil she found out she was pregnant with her son while climbing on the Isle of Skye in Scotland.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Children, Death / Burial / Funerals, England / UK, Health & Medicine, Marriage & Family, Media, Parish Ministry, Politics in General, Violence

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O Lord Jesus Christ, Thou, good Shepherd of the sheep, who camest to seek the lost, and to gather them to Thy fold, have compassion upon those who have wandered from Thee; feed those who hunger, cause the weary to lie down in Thy pastures, bind up those who are broken in heart, and strengthen those who are weak, that we, relying on Thy care and being comforted by Thy love, may abide in Thy guidance to our lives’ end; for Thy name’s sake. Amen.

–from James Manning,ed., Prayers of the Middle Ages: Light from a Thousand Years (Nashville: The Upper Room, 1954)

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

Dost thou work wonders for the dead? Do the shades rise up to praise thee?…Is thy steadfast love declared in the grave, or thy faithfulness in Abaddon? Are thy wonders known in the darkness, or thy saving help in the land of forgetfulness?

–Psalm 88:10-12

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(BBC) 41 yr old MP Jo Cox Brutally Murdered; Britain stunned and in mourning

An MP has died after she was shot and stabbed in a “horrific” assault in her constituency, police have said.

Jo Cox, Labour MP for Batley and Spen, was left bleeding on the ground after the attack in Birstall, West Yorkshire. A man was arrested nearby….

Tributes flooded in from politicians including David Cameron, Jeremy Corbyn and US Secretary of State John Kerry.

Mrs Cox’s husband Brendan said she would want people “to unite to fight against the hatred that killed her.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Children, Death / Burial / Funerals, England / UK, Marriage & Family, Parish Ministry, Politics in General, Violence, Women

(Ethics Daily) U.S. Confidence in Organized Religion Declines Again: Gallup

“Americans’ confidence in key U.S. institutions has remained relatively low since 2007,” the report noted. “That year, the average for the 14 institutions Gallup has asked about annually since 1993 dropped to 32 percent from 38 percent in 2006.”

Confidence in organized religion, which saw a record low of 42 percent in 2015, declined for the fourth year in a row to reach a new low of 41 percent.

This represents an 11-percent drop since 2006, a decline surpassed only by banks that moved from 49 to 27 percent. Even so, organized religion is the third most trusted institution behind military (73 percent) and police (56 percent).

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Religion & Culture, Sociology

Joel Hunter on Orlando nightclub shooting: ”˜I’ve got to go back and examine my own heart’

Q: What message do you have, as a national religious leader, for LGBT people ”” especially young LGBT people?

A: There are a lot of us who want to make sure they are treated with respect ”” that they’re given every opportunity to live their full lives, that they’re as precious in the eyes of God as anyone who has ever been made. That would be the bottom line I want all people to understand, but specifically those who are going through this kind of struggle or this kind of cultural transition right now.

Q: Do you think the LGBT community in Orlando feels comfortable at your church and other conservative evangelical churches?

A: I hope so. We have several gay couples and gay people who go to our church, but we specifically don’t address a lot of sexual issues in the worship service. We talk about vulnerable populations, we talk about service, we talk about following Christ. I would hope they would be comfortable in a congregation like ours ”” but I don’t know. You’d have to ask them. We certainly want them to be.

Q: Do you believe there will be any reassessment or rethinking of positions on doctrine or theology in light of this tragedy?

A: We won’t in all likelihood change the way we interpret Scripture.

Read it all from RNS.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Ethics / Moral Theology, Evangelicals, Other Churches, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Terrorism, Theology, Urban/City Life and Issues, Violence