Daily Archives: November 8, 2016

Music for Tuesday: In The Steppes Of Central Asia – Borodin

An Asian caravan guarded by Imperial Russian troops comes over the horizon of the Steppes of the Caucasus, passes by and then recedes into the distance. Dedicated by Alexander Borodin to Franz Liszt in 1880.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Music

[Mark Dever] 12 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Posting Something Online

What might be some indicators to consider before you publish a blog, Facebook status, or tweet?

I want to offer 12 brief questions to ask. Think of them as indicator lights, the kind a pilot checks before take off…

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Posted in * Resources & Links, Resources: blogs / websites

Peter Jensen–The heart of GAFCON

I am not in any way suggesting that bishops alone matter. From its inception, unlike the Lambeth Conference, GAFCON has deliberately included clergy and laity, men and women in its ranks. It is only to say that there has developed a unique episcopal role which can be used by God to create, guard and sustain communion.

Which brings me back to the heart of GAFCON and two experiences.

The first was at a GAFCON meeting in London in 2012, where I asked a Nigerian bishop how he was enjoying the conference. ”˜I am enjoying it,’ he said, ”˜for now we know we are not alone.’

And the second was at GAFCON 2013 in Nairobi. As I saw and heard from and interacted with the vast crowd of Anglicans from so many countries, I could not help exclaiming, ”˜this is the Anglican Communion having communion!’

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican Provinces, Global South Churches & Primates, Theology

(DG) Seven Ways to Pray on Election Day

Father, we are an anxious and fearful people. For all of our bluster and bragging, we are so easily shaken. We are anxious about money, anxious about the future, anxious about the economy, anxious about the election, anxious about our enemies, anxious about food, anxious about health, anxious about safety, anxious about everything under the sun. We live in so much fear. And we confess that anxiety is fundamentally a form of pride. Our anxiety is our sinful and arrogant reaction to the truth that we are not ultimately in control.

This is a great evil.

Father, as your people, we too live in fear. We have baptized the worries and anxieties of the world. We have feared what they fear, and lived in dread of what they dread. And in our fear and anxiety, we have become reactionary and easily manipulated. And because our anxiety and fear feels so justified by the riskiness of life, we do not feel it to be really sinful. We do not feel the arrogance in our insecurities.

Forgive us, O God, in your great mercy.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Politics in General, Spirituality/Prayer

(Lent and Beyond) General George Washington

Found here:

General Orders, May 15, 1776”“

The Continental Congress having ordered Friday the 17th. Instant to be observed as a day of “fasting, of humiliation, of prayer, humbly to supplicate the mercy of Almighty God, that it would please him to pardon all our manifold sins and transgressions, and to prosper the arms of the United Colonies, and finally, establish the peace and freedom of America, upon a solid and lasting foundation””“The General commands all officers, and soldiers, to pay strict obedience to the Orders of the Continental Congress, and by their unfeigned, and pious observance of their religious duties, incline the Lord, and Giver of Victory, to prosper our arms.

Jehovah Sabaoth,
You are indeed the Giver of Victory. Prosper the arms of Your angelic hosts to establish the peace and freedom of America, upon a solid and lasting foundation. Amen.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, History, Office of the President, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Spirituality/Prayer, Theology

(The Local Church) 'Praying for Our Candidates' During a Hostile Election

John Onwuchekwa, Pastor of Cornerstone Church in Atlanta, Georgia:
Guiding Principles: Corporate prayer takes up a significant time of our corporate gathering””usually 15-20 minutes total, split between four prayers. So we don’t pray for our leaders merely around election cycles, but all the time.

Praying for our leaders routinely and regularly helps to remind our church that we’re appealing to someone who’s actually in control. This regularity especially helps mitigate the fears of people who tend to be consumed with politics under the sun, reminding us that our hope for change here on the earth ultimately lies beyond the sun, not under it.

We keep an eye toward unity in the church. Politics tends to divide””especially when you have a diverse church. As we pray, we’re reminded that the biggest obstacle to the church fulfilling its purpose in the world is disunity.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Spirituality/Prayer, Theology

Matt Woodcock's new book–Becoming Reverend in the midst of a messy life

For St Paul, it was the Road to Damascus, for Matt Woodcock, journalist and Oasis fan with high energy and low sperm count, it was on the A19 to when he recognised God’s calling. God joined presented him with an offer he found impossible to refuse. The diary traces the how that offer unfolds.

Becoming Reverend, from Church House Publishing, is a compelling and original account of how faith can work in the midst of a messy life, combining family, fertility, faith and friendship with the story of a divine – but unlikely – calling.

In his first book, also available as an ebook and Church House Publishing’s very first Audiobook, Matt lays bare his joys and struggles as he attempts to reconcile his calling as a vicar with his life as a party-loving journalist, footy-freak and incorrigible extrovert.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Books, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Marriage & Family, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry

A Prayer to Begin the Day from Saint Anselm

Grant, O Lord, that we may cleave to thee without parting, worship thee without wearying, serve thee without failing; faithfully seek thee, happily find thee, and for ever possess thee, the one only God, blessed, world without end.

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

A Prayer for an Election from the American Book of Common Prayer

Almighty God, to whom we must account for all our powers and privileges: Guide the people of the United States…[and of my community[ in the election of officials and representatives; that, by faithful administration and wise laws, the rights of all may be protected and our nation be enabled to fulfill your purposes; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, House of Representatives, Office of the President, Politics in General, Senate, Spirituality/Prayer, State Government, Theology

From the Morning Scripture Readings

I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings from of old,
things that we have heard and known, that our fathers have told us.
We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the LORD, and his might, and the wonders which he has wrought.
He established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers to teach to their children;
that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children,
so that they should set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments….

–Psalm 78:2-7

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

[All Souls] Leadership – Richard Chartres, Bishop of London

From a series of ‘Real Lives’ Seminars at All Souls, Langham Place in May 2016. [The Rt Rev. Dr Chartres has announced that he is due to retire as Bishop of London on February 28, 2017]

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life

[FRRME] Statement by the Board of Trustees regarding the resignation of Canon Andrew White

It is with reluctance that the Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East (FRRME) has accepted the resignation of president and trustee, the Reverend Canon Andrew White.

Canon White tendered his resignation due to his state of health and inability to continue his duties.

Both FRRME and the American Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East (FRRME America) are committed to carrying out the humanitarian assistance and reconciliation efforts underway in the region. Together, FRRME and FRRME America fund and oversee a free medical and dental clinic in Baghdad, relief efforts in Iraqi Kurdistan providing food, shelter, healthcare and education to thousands of displaced persons, and relief efforts in Jordan and elsewhere in the Middle East, providing food and clothing vouchers, rent assistance, healthcare and education. FRRME and FRRME America fund a school for Iraqi refugees in Jordan and a Kindergarten in Kurdistan. FRRME America has partnered with Catholic University Erbil to provide university education to displaced persons.

FRRME Chairman David Harland said, “Canon Andrew White has been a towering figure in the Middle East for nearly 20 years, and we are indebted to his extraordinary vision, courage and hard work on behalf of the persecuted and downtrodden. We wish him the very best.”…

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Latest News

Facing the Canon with Canon Andrew White

From October 21, 2016

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Latest News

[DW] Is Hong Kong's 'one country, two systems' status in jeopardy?

In an unprecedented move, China’s Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPCSC) intervened in a Hong Kong High Court decision, effectively banning two pro-independence legislators – Sixtus Leung and Yau Wai-ching of the radical anti-China Youngspiration party – from office.

During the swearing-in ceremony in October, Sixtus Leung and Yau Wai-ching reportedly altered their oaths. Both lawmakers used derogatory terms for China and draped themselves in banners reading “Hong Kong is not China.” On Thursday, Hong Kong’s High Court ordered an investigation into the legality of their oaths. A day later, China decided to step in.

Unsolicited intervention

Beijing has interpreted Hong Kong’s mini-constitution, or the Basic Law, in the past, but not without a formal request from Hong Kong’s government or its judiciary. It is also the first time that the Standing Committee has stepped in during an ongoing judicial process, undermining the independence of Hong Kong’s legal system. The move is seen to have put Hong Kong’s special “one country, two states” status in jeopardy which is protected by the Basic Law.

Read it all and there is more from The Economist

Posted in * International News & Commentary, Asia, China

(Aleteia) David Mills–Why politics matters, and why it doesn’t

First, we can do better ourselves and we can work to make the world better. How we live matters. Public policy matters. Our political and economic choices change other people’s lives. The poor depend upon our making good choices. We can’t bail out. We cannot say “a pox on all your houses” (the Mennonite option) and drop out.

Second, the world will still be a painful place no matter what political choices we make. People don’t stop being sinful even if a nation elects the best politician with the best policies, and no nation ever does that. People will always suffer. The workers and the poor will still suffer the exploitation Leo condemned. No political achievement is ever unmixed with evil. No achievement lasts. Power tends to corrupt.

The answer is Christ and his Church. Leo wrote at the end of Rerum Novarum: “Since religion alone can destroy the evil at its root . . . the primary thing needed is to return to real Christianity.” Treat politics seriously, but don’t expect it to save the world. Someone else will do that.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Ethics / Moral Theology, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Theology

(Boston Globe) Cornel West–Spiritual blackout in America: Election 2016

For over a century, the best response to Plato’s critique of democracy has been John Dewey’s claim that precious and fragile democratic experiments must put a premium on democratic statecraft (public accountability, protection of rights and liberties, as well as personal responsibility, embedded in a fair rule of law) and especially on democratic soulcraft (integrity, empathy, and a mature sense of history). For Plato, democratic regimes collapse owing to the slavish souls of citizens driven by hedonism and narcissism, mendacity and venality. Dewey replies that this kind of spiritual blackout can be overcome by robust democratic education and courageous exemplars grounded in the spread of critical intelligence, moral compassion, and historical humility. The 2016 election presents a dangerous question as to whether Dewey’s challenge to Plato’s critique can be met.

Yet Clinton is not a strong agent for Dewey’s response. There is no doubt that if she becomes the first woman president of the United States ”” though I prefer Jill Stein, of the Green Party ”” Clinton will be smart, even brilliant, in office. But like her predecessor, Barack Obama, she promotes the same neoliberal policies that increase inequality and racial polarization that will produce the next Trump. More important, she embraces Trump-like figures abroad, be they in Saudi Arabia, Honduras, Israel, or Syria ”” figures of ugly xenophobia and militaristic policies. The same self-righteous neoliberal soulcraft of smartness, dollars, and bombs lands us even deeper in our spiritual blackout. Instead we need a democratic soulcraft of wisdom, justice, and peace ”” the dreams of courageous freedom fighters like Martin Luther King Jr., Abraham Joshua Heschel, Edward Said, and Dorothy Day. These dreams now lie dormant at this bleak moment, but spiritual and democratic awakenings are afoot among the ripe ones, especially those in the younger generation.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Philosophy, Politics in General, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Theology

The Latest on the Election from the Iowa Presidential Prediction Markets

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Office of the President, Politics in General