Daily Archives: November 21, 2016

Boko Haram: British military begins training of Nigerian soldiers on mitigation of collateral damage

AS part of efforts aimed at reducing the high level of civilian casualties being recorded in the ongoing war against insurgency in the North East, the British military has begun training of Nigerian soldiers on mitigation of collateral damage.

The development came as the Defence Headquarters in collaboration with the Centre for Civilians in Conflict, CIVIC, also began a multi-stakeholder high level dialogue on strengthening civilian protection and harm mitigation policy practice.

Read it all from the Vanguard.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Africa, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Islam, Nigeria, Other Faiths, Terrorism, Theology

(AJ) Anglican church of Canada seeks a ”˜reconciliation animator’

The Anglican Church of Canada is looking for a “reconciliation animator” to help continue its work on reconciliation and justice with Indigenous peoples, and to support the work of the Primate’s Commission on Discovery, Reconciliation and Justice.

At the November 17 meeting of Council of General Synod (CoGS), the commission’s co-chairs, the Rev. Andrew Wesley and Archbishop (ret.) Terence Finlay, asked CoGS make funds available to hire a full-time staff person to support the commission’s work.

Wesley said that in order to fulfill its mandate to work on the repudiation of the Doctrine of Discovery, explore what reconciliation means and address injustices in Indigenous communities, the commission requires more support.

“We need somebody that can do the legwork, all the administration work, and the networking that needs to be done,” he said. “Without this person, it’s going to be hard to carry on the [commission’s] work.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces

(AC) Rod Dreher–Why The ”˜Hamilton’ Dust-Up Matters

I mean, is it the case that liberals believe that artistic performances ”” theater, music, and so forth ”” must be limited only to people who share their moral and political views? If I were worried that the Trump administration was going to be hostile to minorities and gays, I would have gone out of my way to make Mike Pence feel welcome at Hamilton, and hoped and prayed that the power of art moved his heart and changed his mind. But that’s not how the audience saw it. They wanted to show Pence that he is not part of their community, and the cast took it upon itself to attempt to catechize Pence at the end of the show. (And people say Evangelical movies are bad because they can’t let the art speak for itself, they have to underline the moral and put an altar call at the end!).
Let’s think about it in religious terms. If you were a pastor or member of a church congregation, and a Notorious Sinner came to services one Sunday, would you boo him as he took his seat in a pew? Do you think that would make him more or less likely to value the congregation and accept the message from the sermon? And if you were the pastor, would you think it helpful to single the Notorious Sinner out among the congregation, and tell him, in a bless-your-heart way, that you hope he got the point of the sermon (him being a bad man and all)? You should not be surprised if the Notorious Sinner left with his heart hardened to the religion and that congregation. Any good that might have been done toward converting him to the congregation’s and the pastor’s way of belief would almost certainly not come to fruition.

Look, I’m not saying that churches should downplay or throw aside their sacred beliefs to be seeker-friendly. Sure, congregations should treat visitors with respect, but the church exists to fulfill a particular purpose, to carry out a specific mission. Its behavior must be consonant with that mission. Nevertheless, a church that repudiates hospitality to guests, and thereby chooses to be a museum of the holy, violates its purpose, and diminishes its power to change the world.

So, do liberals want theaters (and campuses) to be museums of the holy, where the already converted commune with each other? Does one have to be baptized into the mystery cult of liberalism before one is allowed in the door? Because that’s the message from last night’s display at the Richard Rodgers Theater. And if this kind of thing keeps up ”” Trump will do nothing to stop it, because it benefits him and his tribe ”” America will lose one more gathering place for all of its people.

This is by no means only the fault of the left.

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, Education, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Politics in General, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Theatre/Drama/Plays, Theology

Choose one chair–Wisdom from the father of Luciano Pavarotti (1935-2007)

From here:

When I was a boy, my father, a baker, introduced me to the wonders of song,” tenor Luciano Pavarotti relates. “He urged me to work very hard to develop my voice. Arrigo Pola, a professional tenor in my hometown of Modena, Italy, took me as a pupil. I also enrolled in a teachers college. On graduating, I asked my father, ”˜Shall I be a teacher or a singer?’

“”˜Luciano,’ my father replied, ”˜if you try to sit on two chairs, you will fall between them. For life, you must choose one chair.’

“I chose one. It took seven years of study and frustration before I made my first professional appearance. It took another seven to reach the Metropolitan Opera. And now I think whether it’s laying bricks, writing a book””whatever we choose””we should give ourselves to it. Commitment, that’s the key. Choose one chair.”

(–used yesterday by yours truly in the morning sermon).

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anthropology, Children, Ethics / Moral Theology, Europe, Italy, Marriage & Family, Psychology, Theology, Theology: Scripture

Music for his Feast Day–Sing Joyfully, by William Byrd (1540-1623)

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Church History, Liturgy, Music, Worship

The Church of Ireland Gazette Editor reflects on his time on the job there

On the wider scene, the issue of same-sex relationships has been a dominant one within the Anglican Communion throughout my time as editor.

While maintaining a traditional view of the matter from an editorial perspective, the Gazette has been keen to give space to all points of view and, hopefully, to be a place of both communication and debate within Church circles on what is a very sensitive issue. I suppose because of the editorial independence of the Gazette, it is not always popular in certain quarters of the church but, then again, I have frequently pointed out that the vast majority of the items that we cover are hugely supportive of the church. It is just that, at times, difficult matters cannot be avoided if the Gazette is to be truly independent.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, England / UK, Ireland, Media

Music For his Feast Day–Thomas Tallis: Spem In Alium

Listen to it all.

I have never put my hope in any other
but in You, O God of Israel

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Church History, Liturgy, Music, Worship

A Prayer for the Feast Day of William Byrd, John Merbecke+Thomas Tallis

O God most glorious, whose praises art sung night and day by thy saints and angels in heaven: We offer thanks for William Byrd, John Merbecke and Thomas Tallis, whose music hath enriched the praise that thy Church offers thee here on earth. Grant, we pray thee, to all who are touched by the power of music such glimpses of eternity that we may be made ready to join thy saints in heaven and behold thy glory unveiled for evermore; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who livest and reignest with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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

A Prayer to begin the day from Uppingham School

Almighty and everlasting God, in whom we live and move and have our being: Grant unto us such purity of heart and strength of purpose that no selfish passion may hinder us from knowing thy will, and no weakness from doing it; but in thy light may we see light, and in thy service find perfect freedom; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Those interested in more about the school may read about its chapel life there.

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

Praise the LORD! O give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures for ever! Who can utter the mighty doings of the LORD, or show forth all his praise? Blessed are they who observe justice, who do righteousness at all times!

–Psalm 106:1-3

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Anthony Esolen–The Still Small God The Mustard Seed+the Wonders of His Kingdom

Our God is not big, like Mister Zeus, perched upon his throne on Mount Olympus, and bending his attentive brows to behold the deeds of men, making sure that they are just, unless he happens to be distracted by his nagging wife Hera or by an especially lissome shepherdess momentarily alone and vulnerable in the fields. Such bigness is trivial, even contemptible. Our God is the immortal, invisible, God only wise: and he would not be the infinite God were he not infinitely present within each of the tiniest things he has made. The smallest of all the seeds is as great as all the universe, because God dwells within it, and not a piece of him, either; all of the heavenly hosts are there, singing and praising him forever.

Of course Chesterton is thinking of that smallest of all of Jesus’ parables. “The kingdom of God may be likened unto a mustard seed,” says Jesus, “which is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it grows it becomes the greatest of the shrubs, and the birds of the air build their nests in its branches.” We are apt to think that the parable has to do with the lowly beginnings of the Kingdom, beginnings that are then swallowed up in greatness and never seen again.

Read it all from Touchstone.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Christology, Religion & Culture, Theology, Theology: Scripture

Bishop C. FitzSimons Allison's recent All Saints Day sermon at Saint Johns Johns Island SC

You can listen directly here or download it there.

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

Heather Black writes about the launch of the Love Your Neighbour campaign in Middlesbrough

Love Your Neighbour is a movement, that anyone can be involved in, as an individual or as a group. #LoveYourNeighbour posters will be available to display in windows and noticeboards for community groups, schools, places of worship, charities or businesses. We hope that the message #LoveYourNeighbour will spread across the area, and look forward to seeing posters everywhere, with many stories of Acts of Kindness in the days and weeks ahead.

Middlesbrough welcomes large numbers of refugees and people seeking asylum into our communities. We want each person to feel that they belong and that we are all neighbours, but the beauty of ”˜Love Your Neighbour’ is that it can include everybody. We aim to inspire everyone to care for others, whether that is an older person living in your street, someone who is going through a difficult time, or someone who has arrived fleeing from war. Simple acts of kindness can make a huge difference and build stronger, more caring communities.

People in Middlesbrough will be asked to pledge to an act of kindness as part of the launch of Love Your Neighbour, to help make our communities stronger, safer and happier places to live. Everyone will be encouraged to share stories of these acts of kindness on social media using #LoveYourNeighbour and #LYNboro. We want the town to be full of good news stories, showing how much we ”˜Love our Neighbour.’

Read it all from the Church of England Communications Blog.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Evangelism and Church Growth, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Care, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Theology

Church of England welcomes measures to tackle hate crime

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Law & Legal Issues, Religion & Culture