Daily Archives: March 20, 2018

Politico Profiles the most prominent African-American Republican in America, Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina

The exchange crystallized the central dilemma of Scott’s political existence. Concerned about narrowing his brand, the senator long has tried to downplay his ethnic exceptionalism and avoid the role of race-relations ambassador for the GOP. And yet Scott, now more than ever, cannot seem to escape being perceived as such. He is not just a generic black Republican in a generic period of history; he is the most powerful and prominent black elected official in America, serving at a time of heightened racial tension and widespread accusations of xenophobia against his own party and the president who leads it. This ensures that Scott wears a target on his back regardless of the issue or crisis at hand. When race is involved, the stakes are even higher, forcing upon him decisions of personal and political identity: Scott can choose to stay silent and be accused of selling out his heritage, or speak out and be defined by his blackness.

“God made me black on purpose. For a specific reason. It has helped me to help others who have been locked out of opportunity in many ways,” Scott tells me over lunch at a Subway sandwich shop near his home, after the barber visit and a game of pickup basketball. “I am not pretending that this characteristic, this Earth suit that I’m in”—he pinches the skin of his arm—“isn’t being evaluated. It requires a response, or a reaction, to the situations at my level of government. I am fully aware of that. I just don’t want to play a game with it.”

“People are fixated on my color,” Scott says. “I’m just not.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, Politics in General, Senate

Bishop Mark Rylands of Shrewsbury to leave Shropshire for parish ministry

The Right Reverend Mark Rylands has served as the Anglican Area Bishop of Shrewsbury for nine years.

He says that while it has been a huge privilege to serve the people of Shrewsbury and Telford the time is right to move with his wife, Mandy, to the south-west where they have previously lived, served and have family.

After a special farewell service in July, Bishop Rylands will take up his new role as priest-in-charge of the Ashburton and Moorland Team in Exeter Diocese, where he will also be an Assistant Bishop.

“Working in the Diocese of Lichfield has been an enriching experience. Many in this country are not sure where Lichfield, Telford or Shropshire is, we are slightly off the beaten track, slightly unknown. I have been blessed to work here,” he said.

“It will be sad to leave. And for some it may seem a surprise move. I have sensed God’s beckoning to serve as a parish priest again.

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry

Ruth Graham speaks at her father’s funeral: “Everyone’s got a Billy Graham story”

FOX Carolina 21

If you havn’t heard this you need to take the time to do so.

Posted in Children, Christology, Death / Burial / Funerals, Evangelicals, Marriage & Family

(Psephizo) Andrew Goddard–Can the Church change its practice on marriage without changing its doctrine?

Seeing that one fundamental question arising from the wording of the PMM is that it is asking for an impossible liturgy given the church’s teaching, would it not be much better for the church – aided by the House of Bishops Teaching Document promised for 2020 – first to answer a question similar to that which Synod passed in 1981 in relation to remarriage – “Are there circumstances in which it would be right for a couple legally to enter a civil partnership or same-sex marriage in a church service and/or have a service of prayer and dedication in church after legally entering one of these unions?”.

There would be two ways to answer that question positively:

  • either show how this change in longstanding practice is nevertheless “neither contrary to, nor indicative of any departure from, the doctrine of the Church of England in any essential matter”
  • or to offer a theological justification and rationale for redefining that doctrine so as to enable such a liturgical development.

The bishops could follow either route solely on their own authority and, as proposed by the PMM, simply commend such a liturgy.  However, given its likely significance for the unity of the Church of England and wider Anglican Communion, it would be much better if any such change took the form of an authorised liturgy supported by teaching from the bishops.  This would allow the church as a whole, led by the bishops exercising their roles as teachers and guardians of the faith and the church’s liturgy, to be part of a corporate pastoral and theological discernment.  The church could then, guided by the bishops, consider carefully the fundamental question which the PMM seems to sidestep: is the proposed liturgy truly faithful to the teaching on marriage and sexual holiness which we have received and share with the wider church or does it require changes to that teaching to enable such a liturgy?

Read it all.

Posted in Anthropology, Church of England (CoE), Ecclesiology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Pastoral Theology, Theology, Theology: Scripture

Kendall Harmon’s Sunday Sermon–Can we Learn to understand repetance as a gift of God’s grace (Psalm 51)

You can listen directly here and download the mp3 there.

Posted in * By Kendall, * South Carolina, Anthropology, Christology, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Sermons & Teachings, Soteriology, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(ACNS) Anglican Church of Rwanda inaugurates new £250,000 cathedral in Gasabo

The outgoing Primate of Rwanda, Archbishop Onesphore Rwaje, inaugurated a new 300 million Rwandan Franc (approximately £248,000 GBP) cathedral in Gasabo on Sunday, which will be the seat of his successor, Archbishop-Elect Laurent Mbanda. Dr Mbanda, currently bishop of Shyira, will be enthroned as the new Primate of Rwanda and Bishop of Gasabo on 10 June.

Read it all.

Posted in Church of Rwanda, Parish Ministry

Bishop of St Albans: Fixed Odds Betting Terminals proposal ‘simply does not go far enough’ to protect most vulnerable

The Bishop of St Albans, a leading campaigner for measures to limit the harm done by Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs), has responded to recommendations from the Gambling Commission.

The Rt Revd Alan Smith supports reducing the maximum stake on the machines to £2, from the current level of £100. The Commission has recommended limiting the stake to at least £30, but has left it up to the Government to decide the final figure.

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Gambling, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Thomas Ken

Almighty God, who didst give to thy servant Thomas Ken grace and courage to bear witness to the truth before rulers and kings: Give us also thy strength that, following his example, we may constantly defend what is right, boldly reprove what is evil, and patiently suffer for the truth’s sake, through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, now and ever.

Posted in Church History, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer of Thanksgiving from Thomas Ken on his Feast Day

All praise, all glory be to Thee, my Lord and my God, for hearing my prayers in the time of my trouble. Praise the Lord, O my soul: while I live will I praise the Lord; as long as I have my being, I will sing praises unto my God. I called upon the Lord in my trouble, and the Lord heard me at large; therefore will I praise Him. Thou art my God, and I will thank Thee; Thou art the Lord, and I will praise Thee. Praised be the Lord, Who hath not cast out my prayer, nor turned His mercy from me. O give thanks unto the Lord, for He is gracious, and His mercy endureth for ever. I will not only praise Thee in secret, O Lord, but I will tell abroad what Thou hast done for my soul. Accept, O my God, this my sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving; and since the longer I live, the more I experience Thy most adorable boundless goodness, the more devoutly may I daily praise Thee, the more fervently may I daily love Thee, through Jesus Christ, Thy Beloved.

–Frederick B. Macnutt, The prayer manual for private devotions or public use on divers occasions: Compiled from all sources ancient, medieval, and modern (A.R. Mowbray, 1951)

Posted in Uncategorized

From the Morning Scripture Readings

I lift up my eyes to the hills. From whence does my help come? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth. He will not let your foot be moved, he who keeps you will not slumber.

–Psalm 121:1-3

Posted in Theology: Scripture