Monthly Archives: October 2016

Anglicans and Oriental Orthodox theologians reach further agreement on the Holy Spirit

Last year, the AOOIC communiqué recommended the omission of the Filioque clause ”“ the words “and the son” which western churches added to “”¦which proceeds from the Father” in the Nicene Creed without international consensus. The Anglican co-chair of the Commission, Bishop Gregory Cameron from St Asaph in Wales, said at the time that it had “long been a source of contention between Western and Eastern Christians.”

In their communiqué issued at the end of last week’s talks, the members of the AOOIC said that “having completed its work on the Procession of the Holy Spirit at its 2015 meeting, the Commission continued its reflection on the second part of its Agreed Statement on pneumatology, ”˜The Sending of the Holy Spirit in Time (Economia).’

“This second part considers the action of the Holy Spirit in the life and mission of the Church making it one, holy, catholic and apostolic. The Co-Chairs signed the second part of Agreed Statement that will be sent to our churches for reflection and comment, after which the Commission will produce the full statement, ”˜The Nature and Work of the Holy Spirit,’ in its final form.”

Read it all from ACNS.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Ecumenical Relations, Orthodox Church, Other Churches, Theology, Theology: Holy Spirit (Pneumatology)

(NYT) Long Before Twitter, Martin Luther Was a Media Pioneer

Americans may know the basics of how Martin Luther was said to have nailed his 95 theses to a church door in Wittenberg, Germany, in 1517, condemning the Roman Catholic Church’s sale of indulgences, but they probably don’t realize how Luther strategically used the media of his time: books, paintings, prints and music.

This monk in a town at the edge of Germany took on the Holy Roman emperor and the pope ”” then the most powerful men in Europe ”” 500 years ago, and won, dividing the church, setting in play “one of the most successful media campaigns in history” and altering Western society and culture, said John T. McQuillen, assistant curator of printed books and bindings at the Morgan Library & Museum in New York.

That message and its resonance are being celebrated at three institutions in honor of the coming 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s action and the beginning of the Reformation. Each of the shows ”” in Manhattan, Atlanta and Minneapolis ”” is unique. Featured among them are hundreds of objects: liturgical vestments; illuminated manuscripts; satirical woodcuts; one of six existing single-sheet printed copies of the 95 theses; the pulpit where Luther last preached; personal belongings, like Luther’s traveling spoon and beer stein; and items from recent archaeological excavations in Germany, including household goods and toys linked to Luther’s childhood.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Church History, History, Lutheran, Media, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology, Theology

Anglicans to establish new church in Lima, Ohio

When Christ Episcopal Church closed its doors in 2005, it was the end of an era for local Episcopalians. The closest Episcopal church was Trinity Episcopal Church in Findlay. So the faithful could either drive to Findlay to attend services, or find refuge in other congregations, which led many parishioners across North West Street to St. Luke’s Lutheran Church.

But after a 12-year absence, the Church of England ”” the spiritual authority for all Episcopalians ”” is returning to Lima, this time in the form of an Anglican church. The Venerable Paul Aduba, Rector of the Anglican Church of the Pentecost in Toledo, has announced plans to establish a new church in Lima early in 2017.

“Lima is strategic,” he said, explaining the decision to establish a church here. “It is between Toledo and Dayton. We found that Lima shares some very important dynamics. There is St. Rita’s Hospital there. You produce military equipment there. We discovered that Lima is a good, fertile ground for the Gospel.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Parish Ministry

A 24/7 Webchat For the Spiritually Searching: Church Of Scotland Looks To Reverse Decline

The Church of Scotland is to launch a webchat service to help those looking for spiritual guidance but unwilling to come to church on a Sunday.

The initiative will go live in the new year and is the Kirk’s latest effort to reach beyond its traditional audience as figures show a continued trend away from organised religion.

The digital congregation will be able to book an online chat with a minister but may have to wait up to three hours for a reply. A separate 24-hour chatline to discuss religious questions has also been set up.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Blogging & the Internet, England / UK, Evangelism and Church Growth, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Presbyterian, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology, Scotland

(Crux) Post-ISIS, Middle East Christians fear other caliphates to come

There are indications that life for Christians in Iraq, including in liberated areas of Nineveh, will not be easy. Some see troubling signs that certain politicians in Iraq ”“ and in neighboring regional power Turkey ”“ will try to build their own empires or caliphates on the rubble of the one ISIS attempted.

After the liberation from ISIS of historically Christian towns in the Nineveh region of Iraq last week, Patriarch Luis Raphael Sako of the Chaldean Catholic Church visited several of the newly-freed areas.

“These are our lands, Christian lands and villages,” Patriach Sako, the Baghdad-based spiritual leader of many of Iraq’s Christians said. He added that Christians would soon return to their ancestral lands, according to AsiaNews.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Church History, History, Islam, Middle East, Muslim-Christian relations, Other Churches, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Terrorism, Theology, Violence

Kendall Harmon's Sunday Sermon–We are Called to be Christ's Witnesses in Word+Deed (John 3:1-21)

You can listen directly there and download the mp3 there.

(Christ/St. Paul’s Church Yonges Island SC; photo by Jacob Borrett)

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * By Kendall, * Christian Life / Church Life, * South Carolina, Christology, Evangelism and Church Growth, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Sermons & Teachings, Soteriology, Theology, Theology: Scripture

Chappy days are here! The Chicago Cubs force Game 6 in the World Series

For two days, generations of Cubs fans have held their breath. If they couldn’t see the team win its first championship since 1908 in Chicago, could the Cubs win at least one World Series game at Wrigley Field? Kris Bryant, Jon Lester and Aroldis Chapman obliged, and gave them reason to party on Sunday night.

Bryant ignited a three-run fourth inning with a leadoff home run, Lester provided the veteran moxy and Chapman worked overtime as the Cubs picked up a 3-2 victory over the Indians in Game 5 to avoid elimination and trim Cleveland’s lead in the best-of-seven Series to three games to two. Game 6 will be Tuesday night at Progressive Field, which will get live baseball after hosting watch parties all weekend.

Teams have rallied from a 3-1 deficit before, most recently the 1985 Royals. The Cubs can look to the ’79 Pirates, the ’68 Tigers, the ’58 Yankees and the ’25 Pirates for inspiration, too.

Read it all.

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

(CEN) Andrew Carey: Challenging times for the Church in the UK

We live in very challenging times for Christians in the West. There are cultural forces that unsettle and disturb the Church, and at times threaten to engulf it.

The tragedy is that many Christians and many church leaders are swept away by many developments that are at odds with our faith. They are lost or missing in action and have become victims of cultural struggles and differences that have always been with us since the very beginnings of Christianity. Others have changed sides and actively campaign against faith positions they once held dear.

There are several developments which I find appalling and which I will loosely group around issues to do with Christianity and western law which have long themselves been linked.

1. It is absolutely chilling that Ashers Bakery in Northern Ireland have lost their case in the Court of Appeal. The original ruling was that Ashers had discriminated against a gay man because they refused to bake a cake that carried a pro-gay marriage slogan. Let’s not forget that Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK that retains the previous perfectly serviceable and Christian definition of marriage. The Ashers Bakery contended that they are happy to bake cakes for anyone but would have refused to bake a cake supporting gay marriage even if a heterosexual had asked them to do so….

Read it all (subscription required).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Ireland, Islam, Law & Legal Issues, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Marriage & Family, Ministry of the Laity, Ministry of the Ordained, Muslim-Christian relations, Other Faiths, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Theology, Theology: Scripture

A Prayer to Begin the Day from L. E. H. Stephens-Hodge

Almighty God, whose blessed Son taught in all honesty the way of life that thou requirest: Grant that we may so live as dutiful and loyal citizens of our earthly country, that we may show ourselves to be members of that heavenly country whereof thou art sovereign Lord and King; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

When I am afraid, I put my trust in thee. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust without a fear. What can flesh do to me?

–Psalm 56:3-4

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(Economist) The FBI reconsiders Hillary Clinton’s e-mails

…rather astonishingly, almost a third of Democrats also said Mr Comey was wrong not to have indicted her first time around. That signals both the broader doubts many Democrats have about their nominee””and the acutely effective way in which this scandal has exacerbated them.

Case reports released by the FBI into its investigation suggest Mr Podesta is in fact right in his appraisal. They portray Mrs Clinton’s amateurish e-mail arrangements as largely a product of staggering naivety and extreme technophobia; they were designed to address her need to receive official and personal e-mails on a single Blackberry device, mainly because she did not know how to use a desktop computer. Nonetheless, the scandal, which first broke shortly after she launched her presidential campaign, has been deeply damaging to Mrs Clinton because of the way it seemed to chime with her pre-existing reputation for dishonesty.

That reputation appears to be substantially unwarranted””it is a product of decades of highly politicised scandals from which Mrs Clinton has emerged convicted of no crime. In the light of it, however, she needed to be far more candid about the nature of her e-mail errors than she appears to be capable of. For months Mrs Clinton denied having done anything wrong””before having a begrudging acknowledgement of her blunder, and more begrudging apology for it, wrung out of her by unrelenting negative coverage of the affair.

Absent some serious new evidence of wrongdoing from Mr Comey, Mrs Clinton’s e-mail error was in this sense mainly political. But it is nonetheless deadly serious.

Read it all.

I will take comments on this submitted by email only to KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Blogging & the Internet, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Media, Office of the President, Politics in General, Science & Technology, Theology

(DG) Joe Rigney–The Gift of God’s Judgment: Our Election Crisis and Opportunity

But what if we find ourselves in agreement with both sides? The election of either candidate represents a colossal failure on the part of this nation. We could go so far as to say that the election of either one of them is evidence of God’s judgment on America. But that’s not the whole story.

The reality is that the fact that we’re faced with this horrible choice is divine judgment. It’s as though God is saying to us, as he did to the ancient Israelites in the book of Amos, “I sent you two grossly unfit candidates, and still you would not return to me. I sent vileness from one party and corruption from the other, and still you would not return to me” (see, for example, Amos 4:6”“11).

God is holding a mirror up to America, as it were. He is showing us who we are as a nation. We may not like what we see, but the two major party candidates represent us well. Lies, corruption, selfishness, unbridled ambition, shameless sexual immorality ”” all committed with a high hand. That’s our nation. God is giving us the leaders that we deserve.

Read it all.

I will take comments on this submitted by email only to KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Office of the President, Politics in General, Theology, Theology: Scripture

"Emma is a boy": AJC features a mother's story of her 12-yr-old daughter who wants to be a boy

A few days after the conversation in the car, I found [Emma’s older sister] Hannah alone in her room and asked her again what was going on with Emma. She hesitated at first, but finally came out with it.

“Emma is transgender,” she said matter-of-factly.

“What does that mean?” I had heard the term, but never thought much about it.

“Emma is a boy,” Hannah said.

“But Emma’s a girl. She can’t be a boy,” I said. It sounded ridiculous.

“She feels like she was supposed to be a boy instead of a girl.”

Read it all.

I will take comments on this submitted by email only to KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Anthropology, Children, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Marriage & Family, Psychology, Theology

Tim Keller: "Making Sense of God: An Invitation to the Skeptical"

Watch and listen to it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Apologetics, Books, Evangelicals, Other Churches, Theology

What is Evangelism from JI Packer–Sunday Morning food for Thought

How then should evangelism be defined? The N.T. answer is very simple. According to the N.T., evangelism is just preaching the gospel, the evangel”¦ Christians are sent to convert, and they should not allow themselves, as Christs representatives in the world, to aim at anything less. Evangelizing, therefore is not simply a matter of teaching, and instructing, and imparting information to the mind. There is more to it than that. Evangelism includes the endeavor to elicit a response to the truth taught. It is communication with a view to conversion. It is a matter, not merely of informing, but also of inviting. It is communication with a view to conversion. It is an attempt to gain (KJV) or win (ESV) or catch our fellow men to Christ (see 1 Cor 9:19ff.; 1 Pet. 3:1; Luke 5:10) Our Lord depicts it as fishermen’s work (Mt 4:19; cf. 13:47).

Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God (Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVaristy Press, 1961) pp.41-50, quoted by yours truly in the morning sermon

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Books, Christology, Evangelism and Church Growth, Parish Ministry, Soteriology, Theology, Theology: Scripture

A Prayer to Begin the Day from Eugene Bersier

O God, who hast given us life and all good things in this world: Thou hast created us for thy service, and when we have forsaken thee in our wanderings thou hast sought us out; thou hast vouchsafed to us the precious treasure of thy gospel; thou hast ordained that we should be born in the bosom of thy Church; thou hast revealed to us thy exceeding great riches in Jesus Christ our Lord. For all these gifts of thy grace, and for thy benefits which we remember not, we thine unworthy servants do give thee thanks, and bless thy holy name for ever and ever.

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

The earth is the LORD’s and the fulness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein; for he has founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the rivers.

–Psalm 24:1

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(Church Times) Making evangelism the main thing, not an optional extra

The Archbishop of Canterbury’s adviser for evangelism and witness, the Revd Chris Russell, deplores the attitude to evangelism entertainingly shown in the BBC TV sit-com, Rev. In that popular series, the Revd Roland Wise was seen talking another priest through the “IED” course: “Invade. Evangelise. Deliver.” This approach, says Mr Russell, is not endorsed by Lambeth Palace.

“Evangelism is not about techniques,” he says. “It is not a marketing ploy.”

Evangelism may be an important strand of Renewal and Reform, but many members of the Archbishops’ Evangelism Task Force, agree emphatically that it is not motivated by anxiety about numbers. “It is a commitment you have because you are the Church of Jesus Christ, not because you are worried about the future, or who is going to pay for the roof, Mr Russell says.” What matters is that “people do not know Jesus Christ.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Provinces, Christology, Church of England (CoE), Evangelism and Church Growth, Parish Ministry, Soteriology, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(Books+Culture) The Deep and Subtle Unity of the Bible: A conversation with Richard B. Hays

It is certainly a pattern that distinguishes your work. You’re always attentive to the larger work and the way in which a coherent reading of the text has to inform each of its parts. Was there a part of your literary training or sensibility early on that helped to discipline that kind of reading?

That’s a nice observation. I think so. When I was an undergraduate at Yale in the 1960s, the English department was still fundamentally shaped by what was called the New Criticism. That approach predated the emergence of deconstruction and the various kinds of postmodernist approaches to literature that have since become dominant.

The New Critics were not particularly concerned about the historical circumstances of the production of the text, or influences on the author, or those kinds of things. Rather, I was taught to look at the way in which the language of the text itself worked””its imagery, music, metaphor””and to think about how the text functioned as a complete work of art. I think that approach to interpretation has informed the pattern you’re describing in my scholarship.

The Bible is just not a collection of little verses or tidbits of wisdom. When we’re reading the Gospel of Luke, for example, we’re reading a text that has a narrative shape to it. To see what’s going on in the text, you have to read the thing whole and see how the parts relate to the whole.

And the same thing applies not only to individual gospels but also, analogously, to the Bible as a whole.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Books, Evangelicals, Other Churches, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(Bloomberg) Millennials expect their bosses to give them free stuff to keep them happy

A strong pat on the back and a reassuring word no longer cuts it when it comes to keeping millennials happy at work.

More than three-quarters of U.K. workers age 18 to 24 say company perks are crucial to their job satisfaction, according to a survey released this week by Perkbox, a company that sells employee gifts. Only about half of baby boomers in the U.K. tied their job satisfaction to the goodies, the survey said.

Amazon gift cards, for example, are the physical representation of a caring, sharing employer, said Saurav Chopra, co-founder of Perkbox. Skyscanner, an Edinburgh-based flight comparison site, gives employees discounts at local sandwich shops and hairdressers. Airbnb provides employees with $2,000 a year good for spending on properties on the home-sharing site anywhere in the world.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anthropology, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Psychology, Theology, Young Adults

(Wash Post) A major update relaxes screen time rules for some kids

In a world where we are surrounded 24/7 by all kinds of digital media from iPhones to electronic billboards, trying to figure out the maximum ”” or better yet optimal ”” amount of screen time that’s good for kids has been a challenge.

For years, the American Academy of Pediatrics set a simple and clear ceiling: no more than two hours parked in front of the TV for any child over the age of two. But at its annual meeting in San Francisco on Friday, the group, acknowledging that some online media exposure can be beneficial, announced that it has radically revised its thinking on the subject.

The first big change is in how it defines screen time in the first place. The AAP now says that its limits apply solely to time spent on entertainment and not on educational tasks such as practicing multiplication facts online or reading up on the history of Fort McHenry and the Star Spangled Banner. The entertainment category itself is very broad and can include old-fashioned broadcast TV, streaming services like Netflix, video games consoles and being on social media accounts like Facebook and Twitter. The new recommendations are also more specific to the age of the child and, as a whole, are more generous.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, --Social Networking, Anthropology, Blogging & the Internet, Children, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Marriage & Family, Pastoral Theology, Science & Technology, Theology

JB Simmons: The Falls Church Anglican””A Story of Gospel Awakening

It Happened to George Washington’s Church
In 2012, this historic church in Northern Virginia took a stand for their faith and lost everything to the Episcopal Church. After crushing defeats in the courts, the church moved out of the property George Washington had graced centuries before. They walked away from their colonial building and history. They left the soaring sanctuary they built, one that had hosted hundreds (if not thousands) of weddings and baptisms. They left the prayer books, the sound equipment, and the $2.8 million in cash that members had donated to church accounts specifically designated not to go to the Episcopal Church.

Everything exterior about the church had to change””the worship space, the offices, the website, even the name. Now there was the The Falls Church Episcopal at the historic property, and The Falls Church Anglican without a place to call its own.

But the church didn’t fade. They’d simply been pruned of material things. They were ready to grow and thrive as never before, planting new churches and proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ. God had long prepared The Falls Church Anglican for this journey.
After sending out clergy and parishioners to plant six churches, The Falls Church has grown by over a third in nine years, and the combined average Sunday attendance of The Falls Church and these six church plants is more than double what The Falls Church’s was in 2003.

The Falls Church Anglican has now purchased a new property on a busy highway leading into Washington, D.C. Designs are underway for a sanctuary within the next two years. Many in the congregation look forward to bringing the gospel to a new neighborhood. They’ve taken to heart that biblical faith faces persecution but promises eternal reward, as it always has.

Times of cultural drift and opposition call for renewal and awakening. They call for powerful stories of God’s sovereign work. This is one of those stories. This is the awakening of Washington’s church.

Read it all

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

A Prayer for the Feast Day of James Hannington and the Martyrs of Uganda

Precious in thy sight, O Lord, is the death of thy saints, whose faithful witness, by thy providence, hath its great reward: We give thee thanks for thy martyrs James Hannington and his companions, who purchased with their blood a road unto Uganda for the proclamation of the Gospel; and we pray that with them we also may obtain the crown of righteousness which is laid up for all who love the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ; 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 to Begin the Day from Saint Benedict

O gracious and holy Father, give us wisdom to perceive thee, diligence to seek thee, patience to wait for thee, eyes to behold thee, a heart to meditate upon thee, and a life to proclaim thee; through the power of the Spirit of Jesus Christ our Lord.

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

But I call upon God; and the LORD will save me. Evening and morning and at noon I utter my complaint and moan, and he will hear my voice. He will deliver my soul in safety from the battle that I wage, for many are arrayed against me.

–Psalm 55:16-18

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(WS) The Opioid Crisis: An unprecedented and accelerating death toll

The Centers for Disease Control deaths and mortality report for that year [of 2014] shows 2,626,418 total mortalities in the United States, with heart disease and cancer, both at approximately 600,000, lead-ing the way. Within this tabulation, drug-induced deaths would stand ninth amongst “leading causes,” just below influenza/pneumonia (55,227) and kidney disease (48,146), and just above suicide (42,773).

While all opioid overdose deaths for 2014 totaled nearly 29,000, heroin deaths contributed at least 10,500 to that total, almost exactly the same as the toll from gun murders. And while the number of drug overdoses is increasing, overdose deaths caused by diverted prescription opioids””the illegal activity the Post’s investigative piece highlights””have been overtaken in raw numbers by deaths from heroin and illicit synthetic opioids like fentanyl. All signs indicate that it is the supply of these illicit opioids that has accelerated most steeply since 2010 and that has driven deaths sharply higher in the months since the last reported mortality data from 2014.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Drugs/Drug Addiction, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Theology

(WSJ) Mindy Belz: Can Iraq’s Christians Finally Go Home?

Mr. Anderson’s organization compiled a 300-page report at the request of the State Department documenting ISIS genocide of Christians in Iraq. Besides the toxic level of displacement, the report contains graphic detail confirming that at least 1,100 Christians have been murdered by Islamic militants in Iraq since 2003, though the number is almost certainly higher now. Yet U.S. officials seem to be ignoring these findings, even though the report pushed Washington to legally declare ISIS’s actions a “genocide.”

Exile is at the heart of the Christian message. The Old Testament Jews wandered in the wilderness and the savior Jesus Christ “had no place to lay his head.” His apostle Paul wrote four of his New Testament epistles from prison. The Christians in Iraq know this is their story, too. Yet being vanquished forever from this heartland is a terrible fate to contemplate.

Noura’s family is hopeful, but they’ve already lost everything””material possessions and friends and family””to ISIS. The tricycle photo is all that remains of Noura’s other life, and she had to download it from Facebook. She told me that “the hardest thing to lose is my memories.” But her future may be threatened too.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Ethics / Moral Theology, Iraq, Islam, Middle East, Muslim-Christian relations, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Terrorism, Theology, Violence

Saint Matthews Episcopal Church Mobile, Alabama to Close in mid November 2016

(TEC Office of Statistics)

You can find a chart of some recent parish statistics there.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Episcopal Church (TEC), Parish Ministry, TEC Data

Bishop David Hamid–St Francis Day at the London Zoo:

On 2 October, he gathered with one of our diocesan curates, the Revd Doreen Cage, and about 100 parishioners at the Zoo, for a service before the penguin pool. Mother Doreen is a great animal lover, and in addition to her priestly duties runs a home for dogs in the hills above Malaga city, where is an assistant curate in St George’s.

There are two remarkable things about the photo…. One is to observe Fr William engaging in an action song! The other is the penguin in the bottom left, dressed not too differently from the priests, apparently concelebrating the feast!

Read it all and make sure to enjoy the photograph.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * General Interest, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Animals, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Europe

(1st Things) Barton Swaim on Hillary Clinton: Boomer Pharisaism

There is a kind of baby-boomer Pharisaism in Clinton’s outlook. It’s an outlook that recognizes the existence of evil, yes, but the evil is always located in other people, never in oneself; it’s always out there somewhere””in society, in discriminatory practices, in “backward-looking policies,” in partisan climates, in “an interlocking network of groups and individuals who want to turn the clock back on many of the advances our country has made” (this last an explanation, in Living History, of her notorious reference to a “vast right-wing conspiracy” in 1998).

Clinton is the product, first, of the midcentury Protestant liberalism of her upbringing””she was raised in a solidly mainline Methodist church outside Chicago””and, second, the countercultural protests of the 1960s. These are very different cultural phenomena in many respects, but both tended to locate human wickedness in institutions, social trends, historical processes. War, consumerism, social injustice, poverty, the “military”“industrial complex”: the problem was always some kind of social or political circumstance, never man himself and certainly not one’s own heart. For Clinton, an honest admission of wrongdoing isn’t something to avoid doing; it isn’t a thing at all. Except in some extreme case in which the individual admits his part in an institutional or political sin (Lee Atwater’s late confession of cruelty to political opponents, perhaps), decent, right-thinking people can’t admit to wrongdoing because wrongdoing isn’t really the result of individual decisions.

Read it all.

I will take comments on this submitted by email only to KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Anthropology, Children, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Marriage & Family, Methodist, Office of the President, Other Churches, Politics in General, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Theology