Daily Archives: September 26, 2016

Michael Avramovich–With What Happened in Belgium recently, Modern Europe Died

Now we have come full circle. It was widely reported on Saturday that a terminally ill 17-year-old became the first minor to be officially euthanized in Belgium since age restrictions on euthanasia were lifted in 2014. Jacqueline Herremans, a member of Belgium’s federal euthanasia commission (death panel?), said in a French media report, “The euthanasia has taken place.” She further announced that the euthanasia was done “in accordance with Belgian law.” Few details were provided other than the minor child had “a terminal illness.” Belgium is presently the only country in the world that allows terminally-ill children of any age to choose to end their life, but Belgian law requires that the minor be capable of making “rational decisions.” Further, any request for euthanasia must be made by the minor, be studied by a team of doctors, approved by an independent psychiatrist or psychologist, and have parental consent. The only thing missing is the 1,700 special courts and 27 higher courts to give their legal authorization . . . always within the law, of course. The Netherlands also allows mercy killings for children, but only for those aged over 12. Lord, have mercy!

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anthropology, Belgium, Children, Death / Burial / Funerals, Ethics / Moral Theology, Europe, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Life Ethics, Marriage & Family, Parish Ministry, Psychology, Teens / Youth, Theology

(PRRI) Exodus–Why Americans are Leaving Religion””and Why They’re Unlikely to Come Back

The American religious landscape has undergone substantial changes in recent years. However, one of the most consequential shifts in American religion has been the rise of religiously unaffiliated Americans. This trend emerged in the early 1990s. In 1991, only six percent of Americans identified their religious affiliation as “none,” and that number had not moved much since the early 1970s. By the end of the 1990s, 14% of the public claimed no religious affiliation. The rate of religious change accelerated further during the late 2000s and early 2010s, reaching 20% by 2012. Today, one-quarter (25%) of Americans claim no formal religious identity, making this group the single largest “religious group” in the U.S.

Read it all.

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

Bishop of Glouchester campaigns to highlight issue of body image among children

Rachel Treweek, the bishop of Gloucester, has said she is highlighting the issue of body image among children to challenge perceptions that physical appearance determines self-worth.

[Last week]…Treweek ”“ the first female bishop to sit in the House of Lords ”“ will visit All Saints Academy in Cheltenham to talk to a group of 13- to 16-year-olds in the first of a series of school visits in her constituency to discuss the issue.

It follows a report from the Children’s Society last month that found one out of three girls aged 10 to 15 was unhappy with her appearance and felt ugly or worthless.

Read it all from the Guardian.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Children, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Education, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Pastoral Theology, Psychology, Theology, Women

John Guest's Sermon at Jeff Miller's installation as new rector of Saint Philip's Charleston, SC

You can listen directly here or download it there.

(Photo: Travis Dew)

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * South Carolina, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(C of E Comm Blog) Catherine Nancekievill–“I can find myself in these statistics”

The Church of England has released two statistical reports, which sounds very dull, but stick with me. “Ministry Statistics in Focus: Stipendiary clergy projections” looks at how many stipendiary clergy there might be over the next 20 years, given different scenarios. “Ordained Vocations Statistics” sets out the number of those heading into training for ordained ministry over the past few decades and the profile by gender, age, etc. Both reports describe the patterns of the past. More than that, they illuminate the present and stimulate questions about the future.

I can find myself in these statistics. This may come as a surprise to those who know me, as I am lay. They don’t have any numbers about lay people, so how do I find myself in the documents? The report about stipendiary clergy projections doesn’t even have much about self-supporting ministers or those with PTO, because we can’t currently produce any accurate baseline numbers. Research and Stats are working on that, so expect better information next year. Surely the only reports I should be able to find myself in are the ones about church attendance?

But when I look at these reports, I can see in the retirement statistics the previous Bishop of Ely, +Anthony Russell, who confirmed me.

Read it all.

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

For an Edisto Island, South Carolina, Woman, slave cabin now on display is more than an artifact

Decades before it was dismantled, renovated and placed in a prominent position on the National Mall, the house stood along a dirt road on the Point of Pines plantation near the middle of this island. Inside its walls, Isabell Meggett was born on Feb. 22, 1930, the first of her parents’ 10 children. Her parents and grandparents also lived here, and other family members came and went over the years until the last one moved out in 1981.

When she recently heard that her modest childhood home was being moved to become a main focal point in the new museum, she was both surprised and pleased.

“All kinds of things happen,” she said. “I was glad they could do that and be a part of history.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * South Carolina, America/U.S.A., History, Race/Race Relations

Lancelot Andrewes for his Feast Day–Defiled by the 1st Adam…by the 2nd cleansed and set right

This sure is matter of love; but came there any good to us by it? There did. For our conception being the root as it were, the very groundsill of our nature; that He might go to the root and repair of our nature from the very foundation, thither He went; that what had been there defiled and decayed by the first Adam, might by the Second be cleansed and set right again. That had our conception been stained, by Him therefore, primum ante omnia,to be restored again. He was not idle all the time He was an embyro all the nine months He was in the womb; but then and there He even ate out the core of corruption that cleft to our nature and us, and made both us and it an unpleasing object in the sight of God.

And what came of this? We who were abhorred by God, filii irae was our title, were by this means made beloved in Him. He cannot, we may be sure, account evil of that nature, that is now become the nature of His own Son is now no less than ours. Nay farther, given this privilege to the children of such as are in Him, though but of one parent believing, that they are not as the seed of two infidels, but are in a degree holy, eo ipso; and have a farther right to the laver of regeneration, to sanctify them throughout by the renewing of the Holy Ghost. This honour is to us by the dishonour of Him; this the good by Christ an embyro.

–From a sermon preached before King James, at Whitehall, on Sunday, the Twenty-fifth of December, 1614

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Christology, Church History, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Theology

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Lancelot Andrewes

Almighty God, who gavest thy servant Lancelot Andrewes the gift of thy holy Spirit and made him a man of prayer and a faithful pastor of thy people: Perfect in us what is lacking of thy gifts, of faith, to increase it, of hope, to establish it, of love, to kindle it, that we may live in the life of thy grace and glory; through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the same Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

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

A Prayer to Begin the Day from Lancelot Andrewes

O God our Father, let us find grace in thy sight so as to have grace to serve thee acceptably with reverence and godly fear; and further grace not to receive thy grace in vain, nor to neglect it and fall from it, but to stir it up and grow in it, and to persevere in it unto the end of our lives; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

I will sing of thy steadfast love, O LORD, for ever; with my mouth I will proclaim thy faithfulness to all generations. For thy steadfast love was established for ever, thy faithfulness is firm as the heavens.

–Psalm 89:1-2

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Bishop Paul Colton’s Address on the 250th Birthday of Bishop John Brinkley

Brinkley did attract many young clergy to Cloyne. During the winter of 1831”“32 the area was badly affected by famine and disease. There was a cholera outbreak in Cork City. A number of these young men died ”“ Thomas Walker, rector of Buttevant, died of Typhus; he was 29. Six weeks later his curate, Robert Disney died. Not far from here, the rector of Tallow, the 33 year old Henry Brougham died. On 7th July 1832 cholera reached Skibbereen on the same day as an anti”“tithe meeting. There was cholera in Schull too, and Castletownshend.

In the wider polity of society and State, in this period, burning questions were: the repeal of the Test and Corporation Acts (1828), tithes and the tithe war (1831”“36), Catholic Emancipation (1829), the introduction of a system of national education in 1831 (Lord Stanley). In December 1834 at Bartlemy Cross near Rathcormac, for example, the Tithe Wars came to a head; up to 20 people were killed and many injured.

In Brinkley’s time, the very Diocese of which he was Bishop was under threat by the proposals of ecclesiastical reform. The Church Temporalities Act 1833 was seen by many, including such as John Keble, as imperiling the Church itself. It led to a highly symbolic confrontation between Church and State. After Brinkley’s death as current holder of the Bishopric, Cloyne would be united with Cork and Ross.

All these things happened during his time here.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Provinces, Church History, Church of Ireland

Journey Song Becomes Unlikely Worship Hit After Accidental Christian Radio Broadcast

All it took was for a KLOVE radio intern’s finger to slip, and a classic power ballad by Journey became an unlikely worship sensation overnight.

The incident reportedly occurred Tuesday evening, as new intern Kyle Criswell attempted to queue up Michael W. Smith’s song “Open Arms,” but mistakenly selected hit rock band Journey’s 1981 power ballad of the same name instead.
Criswell realized his mistake as the sappy love lyrics “Lying beside you, here in the dark / Feeling your heartbeat with mine / Softly you whisper, you’re so sincere / How could our love be so blind” began pumping into his headphones. Horrified, the young assistant immediately signaled the on-duty DJ to come over and help him figure out how to correct his mistake.

But then, something amazing happened, as thousands of new listeners began to tune into the station to hear the hit new worship song, calling in and demanding the station replay the track.

Read it all from The Babylon Bee.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, * Religion News & Commentary, Evangelicals, Humor / Trivia, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Other Churches, Religion & Culture