Daily Archives: October 28, 2016

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

(NYT) Orlando Officers Grapple With Trauma and Red Tape After Massacre

The sound of a ringing iPhone makes Omar Delgado sweat and freeze in place. His heart pounds. He closes his eyes to fight back the ghastly images that no one should ever have to see.

He hears the marimba-like tone and he is back at Pulse nightclub on June 12 as a police officer pinned down in an hourslong standoff surrounded by dead bodies, their phones ringing again and again with calls that would never be answered.

“I literally felt like I was standing there at the club, my feet hurting, my arm hurting from holding my weapon,” Officer Delgado recalled, thinking of the times just after the slaughter when the phone rang and the panic came back.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anthropology, Eschatology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Police/Fire, Psychology, Terrorism, Theology, Urban/City Life and Issues, Violence

(Church Times) Church has ”˜a strong base to work from’ despite further fall in numbers

(Archbishop’s Council chart on attendance, Church Times)

Statistics in Mission was not all bad news, however. The “worshipping community” in the C of E ”” any person attending church at least once a month ”” was around 1.1 million last year, it stated, including 91,000 joining worshippers. This figure was higher than the number of leaving worshippers: 63,000.

Of the adults who joined a church last year, 34 per cent were worshipping for the first time, compared to 16 per cent who had returned to church, and 15 per cent who had moved from another church nearby. Most of the children who joined (59 per cent) were also worshipping for the first time.

The main reason for adults leaving a church was death or illness (44 per cent), or moving away (30 per cent). This was compared to 13 per cent of leavers who had stopped worshipping altogether. However, the majority of children who left their church (35 per cent) did not continue worshipping elsewhere.

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

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Saint Simon and Saint Jude

O God, we thank thee for the glorious company of the apostles, and especially on this day for Simon and Jude; and we pray thee that, as they were faithful and zealous in their mission, so we may with ardent devotion make known the love and mercy of our Lord and 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 Lancelot Andrewes

Lord, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us, that in thy light we may see light: the light of thy grace today, and the light of thy glory hereafter; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

–Lancelot Andrewes

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

One of the multitude said to him, “Teacher, bid my brother divide the inheritance with me.” But he said to him, “Man, who made me a judge or divider over you?” And he said to them, “Take heed, and beware of all covetousness; for a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” And he told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man brought forth plentifully; and he thought to himself, ”˜What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ And he said, ”˜I will do this: I will pull down my barns, and build larger ones; and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; take your ease, eat, drink, be merry.’ But God said to him, ”˜Fool! This night your soul is required of you; and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”
And he said to his disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you shall eat, nor about your body, what you shall put on. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! And which of you by being anxious can add a cubit to his span of life? If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest? Consider the lilies, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass which is alive in the field today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O men of little faith! And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be of anxious mind. For all the nations of the world seek these things; and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things shall be yours as well.

–Luke 12:13-31

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

([London] Times) Lonely men are increasingly turning to Siri for love and 'sexually explicit' chat

It’s the film Her come true. Lonely men are developing feelings for ”” and talking dirty to ”” their virtual assistants.

Confronted with smart female-voiced chatbots such as Apple’s Siri, many men are resorting to breathless demands and four-letter words ”” mimicking the inappropriate behaviour of previous generations of businessmen to their real-life secretaries.

Ilya Eckstein, chief executive of Robin Labs, whose virtual assistant, Robin, was designed to give traffic advice and directions to drivers and truckers, told The Times that a good proportion of his customers’ interactions with the technology were “clearly sexually explicit”.

He said: “This happens because people are lonely and bored. It’s mostly teenagers and truckers who don’t have girlfriends. They really need an outlet ”” to be meeting people and having sex, but I’m not judging.

Read it all (subscription required) and there is also a Telegraph article there.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Men, Psychology, Science & Technology, Sexuality, Theology

(C of E) A boxing club, a beehive and an asylum drop-in centre benefit from a church's solar panels

A boxing club, a beehive and a drop-in centre for destitute asylum seekers are among projects that have benefitted thanks to income generated by solar panels on a church roof. Rev John Hughes of St John’s, Old Trafford, in Manchester, explains how a community energy project based at his church has served the whole community.

Listen to it all from stories worth sharing (about 12 1/3 minutes).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Energy, Natural Resources, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Parish Ministry, Theology

Church of England Statistics for Mission 2015

In the document itself there is a participation summary:

ï‚· On average, 961,000 people (85% adults, 15% children under 16) attended Church of England services and acts of worship each week in October
2015. A further 165,000 people attended services for schools in Church of England churches each week.
ï‚· Usual Sunday attendance at Church of England churches in 2015 was 752,000 people (86% adults, 14% children under 16).
ï‚· The worshipping community of Church of England churches in 2015 was 1.1 million people, of whom 20% were aged under 18, 50% were aged 18-69,
and 30% were aged 70 or over.
ï‚· 1.3 million people attended Church of England churches at Easter 2015 (of whom 71% received communion).
ï‚· 2.5 million people attended Church of England churches at Christmas 2015 (of whom 35% received communion). During Advent, 2.3 million people
attended special services for the congregation and local community, and 2.7 million people attended special services for civic organisations and
ï‚· There were 124,000 Church of England baptisms and services of thanksgiving for the gift of a child during 2015.
ï‚· There were 47,000 Church of England marriages and services of prayer and dedication after civil marriages during 2015.
ï‚· There were 84,000 funerals in Church of England churches, and a further 65,000 funerals at crematoria/cemeteries during 2015.

Trends in participation

ï‚· Over recent decades, attendance at Church of England church services has gradually fallen. These trends continued in 2015. Most key measures of
attendance have fallen by between 10% and 15% over the past 10 years.
ï‚· Although the overall pattern is one of gradual decline, this masks the differences in experience in individual parishes over the past 10 years. In 53% of
parishes there has been no statistically significant change in attendance. In 10% of parishes attendance has increased. In 37% of parishes attendance
has decreased.

Read it all (52 page pdf).

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