Daily Archives: March 14, 2019

ResearchLive talks to the Reverend Richard Coles–Politics, Pop And The Church Of England

When asked whether the Church of England was a brand and whether companies could learn from it, Coles said no, though said there was temptation to “make sure we give the right kind of message” to address the haemorrhaging of numbers.

“Someone said we needed a mission statement,” he said. “But what we do is so different to our [wider] culture values. We have problems, and I kind of like that. I like that we’re seen as hopeless and bumble around; that we’re not afraid of failure.

“Mary Magdalen went to the graveyard expecting a body in the tomb but she found a life transformed. That’s really what we’re for and I don’t think that that is something we can easily articulate.”

In a similar vein he cautioned against a drive to bring more young people into the church. Instead, they should go out and live life to the full – the church will be there for them later, as it was for him.

“As a vicar I spend a lot of time with older people but recently I have spent a lot of time with young people and they are stimulating in a different way. Younger people don’t know their limits yet. It makes them exciting, risky and bold.”

Read it all.

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

(IN) Caledonia Anglican diocese deconsecrates Telkwa church

Watch the whole video report.

Posted in Anglican Church of Canada, Parish Ministry

(Stuff) ‘Kenyan Kiwi’ named bishop-elect for Nelson Anglican Diocese

Nelson’s new Anglican bishop-elect is a proud “Kenyan Kiwi” with a mission to reach out to younger generations.

Reverend Steve Maina-Mwangi was announced as Bishop-elect of the Nelson Diocese this week, replacing Richard Ellena who retired at the end of last year.

The Kenyan-born clergyman was one of three nominees put forward to the Electoral College last year, along with Michael Brantley of Wellington and Nelson’s Canon D. Graham O’Brien.

Maina visited his new diocese on Wednesday, joined by his wife Watiri, to formally accept the position before Senior Bishop of NZ Dioceses Archbishop Philip Richardson.

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Posted in Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia

(OUP blog) Felipe Fernandez-Armesto–Why do homo sapiens include so much variety?

First, environment, though it determines nothing, influences everything – shaping lives the way wind shapes a tree. Humans occupy a vastly bigger environmental range than any comparable animal. Other great apes – and we should never forget that we are just well adapted apes – inhabit continuous or contiguous niches. Apart from some extinct hominids, we are the only apes to have spread over almost the entire land surface of the globe. Every shift to new physical surroundings demanded adaptations in our ancestors’ ways of life, opening chasms of culture across physical boundaries.

Second, psychic qualities matter. Humans moved out of their East African environment of origin because they were exceptionally imaginative animals, capable of envisioning life in an unexperienced world. Imagination or, more simply, the power of seeing something that isn’t there, is what biologists call a “spandrel”: an unevolved consequence of our ancestors’ evolved power of anticipation – the power of seeing what is not yet there – which our ancestors needed to make up for their physical deficiencies in competition with stronger, faster, more agile animals with better teeth, talons, jaws and digestions. Our bad memories helped. Humans who congratulate themselves on their supposedly superior memories are wrong: in quantifiable ways, chimps and gorillas outperform students in some kinds of memory-test. The unreliability of witnesses proves our shortcomings. If anticipation is seeing what’s not yet there, memory is the ability to see what’s there no longer. Both overlap with and contribute to imagination. Every false memory is an innovation added to experience.

Finally, divergence is not the whole story. At intervals in history, human groups have re-established contact, exchanged culture and, at least in some respects, grown more like each other. So convergence threads into the story of divergence. Cultural contagion accelerated about half a millennium ago, reaching across the globe, as explorers, colonizers, conquerors, merchants and missionaries crossed previously unnavigated oceans and united formerly sundered civilisations. We are now in a peculiarly intense phase of convergence, which we usually call globalization: all over the world, people want to adopt the same politics and economics, wear the same dress, eat the same food, buy the same art, listen to the same music, even talk the same language….

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Anthropology, History

(Economist Erasmus Blog) In some countries, theism and patriotism are impossible to separate

If people in the eastern half of Europe were as devoted to their faith, and as convinced of God’s existence, as they tell pollsters, then one would expect the region to be pervaded, at this time of year, by an atmosphere of contrition and repentance. Roman Catholics, after all, began their Lenten fast on March 6th while for Orthodox Christians March 11th is the first full day of Lent. (In any given year each church makes a complex set of lunar-based calculations to determine the date of Easter, and the seven-week period of self-discipline which precedes it.)

Certainly there will be many individuals and communities who do feel that ascetic spirit. But it would be an exaggeration to say that an air of sober self-examination will be palpable on every street. People in some former communist and former Ottoman lands seem to overstate their religiosity when asked about their views, just as those who live in the continent’s more secular western half may be a bit shy about admitting any interest in the transcendent.

Consider some findings of Pew, a researcher based in Washington, DC, about how strongly people in 34 European countries believe in a Supreme Being. (The research was actually done between 2015 and 2017 but Pew does an artful job of keeping debate on the subject alive by presenting nuggets from its rich seam of data in ever-shifting combinations.)

There are 10 countries where more than 85% of people declare belief in God: Georgia (99%) and Armenia (95%) come top, along with Moldova and Romania (95% each). The nations which used to form communist Yugoslavia score highly (Bosnia 94%, Serbia 87% and Croatia 86%). Greeks (92%) also declare themselves to be firmly theist, as do the people of mainly Orthodox Ukraine and historically Catholic Poland, where the figure in both cases is 86%. At the other extreme, majorities of people in the Netherlands (53%), Belgium (54%) and Sweden (60%) are convinced that there is no God.

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Posted in History, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

(Telegraph) Longest serving Church of England bishop faces calls to resign after court hears he knew about paedophile priest

The longest-serving bishop in the Church of England is facing calls to resign after it emerged he knew about a paedophile priest in his diocese and did nothing.

The Bishop of Chester, Rt Rev Peter Forster, found out Rev Gordon Dickenson had become embroiled in a child abuse scandal decades earlier when the retired vicar wrote a letter about the affair in 2009.

Dickenson was convicted earlier this month of eight counts of sexual assault after pleading guilty to abusing a boy during the 1970s inside a church hall and even his vicarage.

But ten years ago, Dickenson had written to the Diocese of Chester which was conducting a review of past abuse cases admitting he been accused of the abuse during the 1970s and had promised the then Bishop of Chester he would “never do it again”.

Despite this admission, Bishop Forster failed to pass on the letter to the police or order an internal church inquiry.

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Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Violence

(AJ) Canadian Anglican House of Bishops experiences ‘currency of grace’ at January meeting

Anglican bishops from across Canada gathered for a special meeting of the National House of Bishops in Niagara Falls, Ont. from Jan. 14 to 17. The focus was on necessary preparation for a primatial election and on three resolutions that will be brought to the floor of General Synod this July in Vancouver.

“The National House of Bishops has worked very hard since General Synod 2016—not only on the issues from General Synod 2016 and the ministry of the whole church, but on how we work and live together,” said Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada. “We left this January meeting having wrestled with how we are the church and how we will remain united in Christ whatever the outcomes at General Synod 2019.”

“One bishop commented that in our work there was a ‘currency of grace,’ a statement that resonated with members of the House. This is not to say there isn’t diversity and there aren’t differences among us, but there was space, respect and grace-filled conversation in how we went about our discussions, and for each other.”

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Posted in Anglican Church of Canada

A Prayer to Begin the Day from the Gregorian Sacramentary

O God, who willest not the death of a sinner: We beseech thee to aid and protect those who are exposed to grievous temptations; and grant that in obeying thy commandments they may be strengthened and supported by thy grace; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Posted in Lent, Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Bible Readings

Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest remains, let us fear lest any of you be judged to have failed to reach it. For good news came to us just as to them; but the message which they heard did not benefit them, because it did not meet with faith in the hearers.

–Hebrews 4:1-2

Posted in Theology: Scripture