Daily Archives: January 7, 2019

Lamen Sanneh RIP

Posted in America/U.S.A., Death / Burial / Funerals, Religion & Culture, Seminary / Theological Education

(CC) Miroslav Volf–Joy is for Epiphany, too

Everybody knows that Christmas is a season of joy. For one, it has at its heart a birth story. A new and healthy child came into the world, and his family rejoiced. Every birth is a new beginning, a fresh hope. Christmas joy overlaps with the most common of humanity’s great joys.

We tend not to associate joy with Epi­phany. In Epiphany, Christians re­member the visit that the sages from the East made to Bethlehem to honor the newborn Jesus, an act of gentile recognition of Christ’s divinity and mission (Matt. 2:1–12). In this season we also commemorate the first miracle Jesus performed—at the wedding in Cana of Galilee, when Jesus revealed his glory and his disciples believed in him (John 2:1–11). Each of these seemingly unrelated events highlights a crucial aspect of joy.

Read it all.

Posted in Epiphany, Theology

(Uexpress) Bright Bonfires Mark Real End of Christmas Season

The same thing happens to Father Kendall Harmon every year during the 12 days after the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

It happens with newcomers at his home parish, Christ-St. Paul’s in Yonges Island, South Carolina, near Charleston. It often happens when, as Canon Theologian, he visits other parishes in the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina.

“I greet people and say ‘Merry Christmas!’ all the way through the 12 days” of the season, he said, laughing. “They look at me like I’m a Martian or I’m someone who is lost. … So many people just don’t know there’s more Christmas after Christmas Day.”

Read it all.

Posted in Christmas, Epiphany, Parish Ministry

An Epiphany sermon by English Abbot Ælfric of Eynsham

Let us now return to the exposition of the Gospel, where we previously left it. The astronomers went into the place where the child was staying, and found him with his mother. Then with prostrate bodies they worshipped Christ, and opened their coffers, and offered to him threefold gifts, gold, and incense, and myrrh. Gold is fitting for a king; incense belongs to God’s service; with myrrh the bodies of the dead are prepared that they may not soon rot. These three astronomers worshipped Christ, and offered to him symbolic gifts. The gold betokened that he is true King; the incense that he is true God; the myrrh that he was then mortal, though now he continues immortal in eternity…

My brothers, let us offer to our Lord gold, for we confess that he is true King, and rules everywhere. Let us offer to him incense, for we believe that he was always God, who at that time appeared as a man. Let us bring him myrrh, for we believe that he was mortal in our flesh, who is incapable of suffering in his divine nature. He was mortal in human nature before his Passion, but he is henceforth immortal, as we all shall be after the universal resurrection.

We have spoken of these threefold gifts, how they apply to Christ. We also wish to say how they apply to us in a figurative sense. Truly gold betokens wisdom; as Solomon said, “A goldhoard much to be desired lies in the mouth of a wise man.” Incense represents holy prayer, of which the psalmist sang, “Lord, let my prayer be sent forth like burning incense in thy sight.” By myrrh is shown the mortality of our flesh, of which Holy Church says, “My hands dropped myrrh.” To the born King we bring gold, if we are shining in his sight with the brightness of heavenly wisdom. Incense we bring him, if we set fire to our thoughts on the altar of our heart with the eagerness of holy prayers, so that through heavenly desire we may give forth something of a sweet smell. Myrrh we offer him if we quell the lusts of the flesh by self-restraint.

Read it all (and note the link to the full sermon text).

Posted in Church History, Epiphany

(Archbp Cranmer Blog) Martin Sewell–Church of England Safeguarding Guidelines: progress, regression or PR spin?

Such lack of liaison with legitimately interested parties mirrors the church’s approach to compiling the terms of reference for inquiries into its other failings. If you talk to the campaigners for Bishop George Bell, for example, they report a similar refusal in our leadership to publish, let alone offer for advanced discussion, the terms of reference and timetable for the investigation. Plainly a prolonged discussion of such detail cannot be expected and would lengthen an already tortuous process in such matters. Nevertheless, a confident institution would surely be happy to set out in advance its modus operandi across the board. An unwillingness to listen to the views and experiences of others who might contribute to good process suggests insecurity rather than strength, and in the case of the survivor community it adds to their sense of being seen as a nuisance rather than a resource to be utilised and valued.

The new requirement for reporting Safeguarding matters to the Charity Commission was initially welcomed; and sharing data with the Church Commissioners sounds like an interim step towards external oversight. But the more it was discussed, the more questions arose.

What exactly constitutes a “serious safeguarding concern”? If a Parochial Church Council thinks a matter is serious but the Diocesan Safeguarding Advisor disagrees, will it be reported? Who will audit the statistics? How many staff will the Charity Commissioners have working on the data? Will that be sufficient? Given that the Church of England made dreadful errors over the Past Cases Review and that the figure supplied last year to General Synod concerning the number of live cases had to be quickly revised, such questions are not unreasonable.

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Posted in Church of England (CoE), Ethics / Moral Theology, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Theology

([London] Times) Women ready to break stained glass ceiling by winning race to be next Archbishop of York

The Church of England could appoint its first female archbishop after two women were named among the frontrunners to be the next Archbishop of York.

The secretive recruitment process to replace the Most Rev John Sentamu when he retires in June next year is due to begin soon. The bishops of London and Ripon, the Right Revs Sarah Mullally and Helen-Ann Hartley and the Bishop of Chelmsford, the Right Rev Stephen Cottrell, are joint 3-1 favourites, William Hill has said.

The appointment will be made by the Crown Nominations Commission (CNC), which will not reveal who is in the frame until its final announcement, planned before the end of this year. A female archbishop could prove controversial among other Anglican heads around the globe. They are due to meet in London in 2020 and many do not approve of female bishops. Women have only been appointed as bishops in the church since 2014. There are now 18.

Read it all (subscription required).

Posted in Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

(Guardian) Epiphany around the world – in pictures

Enjoy them all.

Posted in Epiphany, Globalization, Other Churches, Photos/Photography

A Prayer for Epiphany from Henry Stobart (1824-1895)

O Christ, the Sun of Righteousness, shine graciously into our hearts that, walking as children of light, we may glorify thee before men, and, being always ready to obey Thy call, may, in our place and measure, hold up the light of life to them that sit in darkness and the shadow of death. Hear us, O Lord, for Thy great mercies’ sake, who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Ghost, now and for ever. Amen.

Posted in Epiphany, Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Scripture Readings

“To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: ‘The words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks among the seven golden lampstands.

“‘I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear evil men but have tested those who call themselves apostles but are not, and found them to be false; I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name’s sake, and you have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember then from what you have fallen, repent and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent. Yet this you have, you hate the works of the Nicola′itans, which I also hate. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.’

–Revelation 2:1-7

Posted in Theology: Scripture