Daily Archives: November 16, 2016

(C of E Comm Blog) Andy Wolfe–Creating a movement of school leaders ”“ the power of networks

England could face a severe shortage of senior teachers by 2022 if action is not taken to encourage a new generation of leaders, new research shows. So the C of E Foundation for Educational Leadership could not be launching at a more prescient time.

Our mission is to build a national movement of inspirational leaders equipped to transform education, so that it fosters wisdom, hope, community and dignity, to enable children to flourish and experience life in all its fullness, regardless of their background or starting point.

We are doing this by building networks, bringing together people from schools to support, challenge and inspire each other; rigorous leadership development programmes to equip those leaders to realise our vision, and robust research to provide an evidence base on the outcomes for children’s spiritual, physical, intellectual, emotional and social development.
As a former vice-principal of a large secondary school in Nottingham, I know how important mutual support is for teachers to grow in confidence. I now lead the networks programme for the Foundation. Last week we held our first Regional Peer Support Network meetings for the South East and South West regions. These pilot groups are drawing together school leaders to work together to support one another as leaders, as they seek to ensure that their school’s ethos enhances its outcomes. The gatherings have been full of energy, life, hope and vision, and above all a commitment that we are stronger together.

Read it all.

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

(Time) Denver Becomes First City to Allow Marijuana Use in Bars and Restaurants

Colorado law is not currently clear on marijuana use in public, which has led to a range of local ordinances. Bar and restaurant owners in Denver may now choose to allow their patrons to use (but not smoke) pot indoors, with a possibility for some outdoor smoking areas.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Drugs/Drug Addiction, Urban/City Life and Issues

(CT) Global Evangelical Leaders: Trump’s Win Will Harm the Church’s Witness

Some evangelical leaders around the globe worry that the recent US presidential election has damaged Christian moral witness, and will fuel discord abroad.

In a conference call Tuesday, a week after Donald Trump’s win, more than 70 ministry presidents, pastors, and scholars spoke with concern as they discussed the ramifications of the American election on the global church.

The call was organized by Doug Birdsall, a former top leader of the Lausanne Movement and the American Bible Society, as part of his new Civilitas Group. Participants included evangelical representatives from Asia, Europe, and South America, as well as a diverse span of US church leaders.

“One of the things that America was stood for in the past was moral leadership and character. Over the past few decades, it has slowly dissipated,” said Hwa Yung, longtime bishop of the Methodist Church in Malaysia. “In this election you have produced two candidates, both of whom are deeply flawed in character. The question people around the world are asking is, ”˜Is this what America is today?’ The election has done great damage to your moral standing in the eyes of the world.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Ethics / Moral Theology, Evangelicals, Globalization, Office of the President, Other Churches, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Theology

(Guardian) Anglo-Saxon graves in Norfolk thought to be oldest found in UK

Six Anglo-Saxon graves believed to be the oldest ever found in Britain have been discovered on a waterlogged site in a river valley in Norfolk, alongside 81 coffins made from hollowed oak trunks.

Archaeologists think the startlingly well-preserved plank-lined graves were part of the burial ground of an early Christian community, dating from between the 7th and 9th centuries. Tree ring dating is being carried out to establish a more precise age.

Finding timber graves of this age is extremely rare, due to wood’s tendency to leave little more than a decayed smudge in the earth.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Death / Burial / Funerals, England / UK, History, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

(NYT) Social Media’s Globe-Shaking Power

“You now have billions of people on the internet, and most of them are not that happy with the status quo,” said Ian Bremmer, the president of the Eurasia Group, a research firm that forecasts global risks. “They think their local government is authoritarian. They think they’re on the wrong side of the establishment. They’re aggrieved by identity politics and a hollowed-out middle class.”

Many factors accounted for Mr. Trump’s win: middle-class economic anxiety in the industrial Midwest; an inchoate desire for some kind of change in the national direction; and some mix of latent racism, xenophobia and sexism across the electorate. But as even Mr. Trump acknowledged in an interview with “60 Minutes” aired Sunday, social media played a determining role in the race.

In the past, Mr. Bremmer said, the concerns of Mr. Trump’s supporters might have been ignored, and his candidacy would almost certainly have foundered. After all, he was universally written off by just about every mainstream pundit, and he faced disadvantages in money, organization and access to traditional political expertise. Yet by putting out a message that resonated with people online, Mr. Trump hacked through every established political order.

“Through this new technology, people are now empowered to express their grievances and to follow people they see as echoing their grievances,” Mr. Bremmer said. “If it wasn’t for social media, I don’t see Trump winning.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --Social Networking, America/U.S.A., Blogging & the Internet, Globalization, History, Office of the President, Politics in General, Science & Technology

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Margaret of Scotland

O God, who didst call thy servant Margaret to an earthly throne that she might advance thy heavenly kingdom, and didst give her zeal for thy church and love for thy people: Mercifully grant that we who commemorate her this day may be fruitful in good works, and attain to the glorious crown of thy saints; though Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * International News & Commentary, Church History, England / UK, Scotland, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer to Begin the Day from Eric Fenn

O Living God, in whom is the fountain of life: So teach us to know thee through Jesus Christ that we may share the power of that eternal life which is in him, and that all our lives may be brought into obedience to thy holy will; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

On the way to Jerusalem he was passing along between Samar”²ia and Galilee. And as he entered a village, he was met by ten lepers, who stood at a distance and lifted up their voices and said, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.” When he saw them he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went they were cleansed. Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; and he fell on his face at Jesus’ feet, giving him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan. Then said Jesus, “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” And he said to him, “Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well.”

–Luke 17:11-19

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

[Cranmer] Justin Welby “is preparing the ground for a complete volte-face on human sexuality”

A Letter from Martyn Percy, Dean of Christ Church, Oxford to Adrian Hilton,
..I am quietly confident that ++Justin is softening up the hard edges of conservative evangelicalism, and is preparing the ground for a complete volte-face on human sexuality. I applaud this, of course. I can also see that the best way to keep most of the church together on this issue is for an evangelical archbishop to declare a personal change of heart, and to move the polity to something more progressive from than point. A ”˜liberal’ archbishop would be castigated for this, and never forgiven, in a way that an evangelical bishop can’t be. Because they can plausibly assume the mantle of a convert to a cause within the evangelical worldview ”“ and in a way a liberal cannot appeal.

The changes can only be a few years off, in my view. ++Justin knows that the Church of England can have no real public or media credibility as a plausible body ”“ so can’t do mission, and can’t recruit new clergy easily ”“ if it carries on discriminating against LGBTQ Christians. The Church of England has to change. And ++Justin is clearly a change-agent.

Read it all and the rest of the correspondence may be found here. There is also a letter from the Secretary General of the Archbishops’ Council here

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops

David Ould on the reaction to the GAFCON UK Briefing

The Embarrassing Rainbow Elephant in the Room
..the GAFCON report is not really about the individuals named who have in various ways deliberately and defiantly broken Biblical orthodoxy and orthopraxy but actually about another list of unnamed individuals; the leaders of the Church of England who have done little publicly about this consistent and growing move to disregard Biblical Christianity. The report concludes:

To restore order and a credible Christian witness, the upcoming meetings of the House of Bishops and General Synod would need to not merely avoid going further in violating Lambeth 1.10, but it would need to take constructive steps to rectify the numerous public (and presumably private) breaches that have been strategically taken by some to undermine the teaching of the Communion.

That’s the real issue here and the rainbow elephant in the room. The GAFCON report makes clear the inaction and therefore (no doubt unintentional) complicity by conservative leadership. The Bible and our ordination/consecration vows are more than clear on what should be done in the face of false teaching and openly sinful behaviour in the church.

But this is the Church of England and if there’s one thing worse for an Englishman than making a fuss, it’s being embarassed.

Read it all

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops

David Pocklington and Frank Cranmer on the GAFCON UK Briefing:

What will the recent GAFCON paper achieve?
..The new GAFCON document should provide few surprises: references to those cited were already in the public domain, and given its primary audience of GAFCON Primates, the tone adopted is little different from the communiqué following the 6th Global South Conference in October..

Read it all

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops

Fuller Seminary Leaders Condemn 'Hateful Words+Actions' Of Some Evangelicals During Campaign

During the 2016 presidential campaign, the label “evangelical” became an especially blurred category both because of the media and because of some evangelical voices. Over the course of the campaign, the press increasingly referred to evangelicals as politically conservative, and predominantly white Christians. For some evangelicals, abortion and future Supreme Court appointments were of primary concern, placed over and against concerns for women, people of color, Muslims, and LGBT persons. This polarization, even among evangelicals, led some to conclude that evangelicals on both sides were increasingly and inextricably bound to and complicit with scandalizing words and actions that degrade people and contradict and betray the gospel of Jesus Christ. At times, these associations have not just been attributed by the press, but clearly and repeatedly captured through evangelicals’ own witness. The reported influence of the evangelical vote in the post-election surveys only intensified this view.

For some who have identified themselves as evangelical, these distorted entanglements now compel them to abandon the term, to adamantly reject further identification with evangelical and with groups associated with it. Only by distancing themselves from the now pervasive and destructive associations with evangelical do they feel they can reclaim or maintain their identity and integrity as followers of Jesus. For these, anything less than this seems like a meaningless and impossible semantic position.

As President and President Emeritus of Fuller Theological Seminary, we lament and reject the disgrace that hateful words and actions by some evangelicals have heaped specifically upon people of color, immigrants, women, Muslims, and LGBT persons in our nation, as we uphold the dignity of all persons made in the image of God. We grieve and condemn the racism and fear, rejection and hatred that have been expressed and associated with our Lord. Such realities do not in any way reflect the fruit of God’s Spirit and instead evoke the sorrow of God’s heart and of our own.

To whatever degree and in whatever ways Fuller Theological Seminary has contributed or currently contributes to the shame and abuse now associated with the word evangelical, we call ourselves, our board of trustees, our faculty, our staff, our students, our alumni, and our friends to repentance and transformation.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Ethics / Moral Theology, Evangelicals, Office of the President, Other Churches, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Seminary / Theological Education, Theology

Archbishop Welby+Chief Rabbi Mirvis launch Rabbis+Priests Social Action Initiative

Today at Lambeth Palace ”˜In Good Faith’, a new Christian-Jewish dialogue project, was launched. This is a joint initiative of the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations, Ephraim Mirvis. Modelled on their own well rooted friendship, this partnership programme will ensure Priests and Rabbis based in close geographical proximity will be encouraged to explore mutual concerns and opportunities for shared action together, initially for the next year.

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and the Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis explained their vision and hope for the programme and its place within their respective understandings of the role of faith in society.

Archbishop Justin said: “It is in the everyday conversations, the grassroots initiatives and the building of local bridges between Christians and Jews, our synagogues and churches, that we will see real change and the hope for a divided world and nation”¦.. I am so grateful to you for signalling hope when the temptation is to succumb to world-weary cynicism, pessimism, defeatism and even despair.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, --Justin Welby, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Inter-Faith Relations, Judaism, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture