Monthly Archives: September 2019

(Anglican Taonga) Archbishop Sir David Moxon challenges churches to open our eyes to human trafficking

Archbishop Sir David Moxon has called on churches in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia to recognise and respond to human trafficking in our region.

In a seminar at Vaughan Park, Archbishop David Moxon has joined fellow advocates for the elimination of human trafficking to outline how we can help identify and put a stop to trafficking in the Pacific.

As an isolated and supposedly clean, green and pure country, we don’t usually associate the dark and sordid crime of human trafficking with Aotearoa.

But it’s here.

Police have documented cases of people who were brought to Aotearoa under false pretences to work in forced-labour conditions. This happens especially when there are unfilled labour demands in our hospitality, nursing, horticulture, construction and fishing industries.

Sr Gemma Wilson from Aotearoa New Zealand Religious Against Trafficking in Humans (ANZRATH) spoke about the challenges of anti-trafficking work, while Rev Chris Frazer (a Diocese of Wellington deacon for social justice) shared how she works alongside the Department of Immigration and other churches to help authorities intervene in human trafficking situations. Also speaking on the issues was Clare Mercer, a young Christian leader who has taken part in anti-trafficking work in Greece.

Human trafficking is the second largest illicit crime in the world, reaping billions of dollars in illegal profits every year….

Read it all.

Posted in Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Globalization, Law & Legal Issues, Sexuality, Violence

(Church Times) Love one another, C of E Bishops urge politicians

The language used in debates both inside and outside Parliament has become “unacceptable”, the Church of England’s bishops have said in a joint statement.

The College of Bishops published a statement on Friday which argues that the tenor of the political debate is “not worthy of our country”.

The declaration, which was drafted by a group of senior bishops and put out in the name of all 118 bishops, reads: “In the last few days, the use of language, both in debates and outside Parliament, has been unacceptable.

“We should speak to others with respect. And we should also listen. We should do this especially with the poor, with the marginalised, and with those whose voices are often not heard in our national conversation.

“We should not denigrate, patronise or ignore the honest views of fellow citizens, but seek to respect their opinions, their participation in society, and their votes.”

The statement was released a few hours after the Bishop of Leeds, the Rt Revd Nick Baines, joined calls for the Prime Minister to apologise for his “destructive” language in the House of Commons on Wednesday evening.

Read it all.

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

The GAFCON Vice Chairman’s September 2019 Letter

This month, Archbishop Foley Beach has kindly invited me to write the monthly Chairman’s letter and it is a great joy to have this opportunity to write to you. I am full of thankfulness for God’s goodness and favour to the Gafcon movement as ordinary Anglicans around the world work together to make Christ known and encourage each other in faithful discipleship. As former Gafcon Chairman Archbishop Nicholas Okoh has recently commented, the church should be a colony of heaven. It is our great calling to serve the Kingdom of God, and to strive to ensure that the world does not colonise the Church.

Gafcon is committed to strategic ministry as we proclaim Christ faithfully to the nations. This week, our Church Planting Network is holding its first annual conference in North Carolina with church planters from across the Communion in attendance and early next month there will be another Bishops Training Institute Conference, this time in Brazil and our first in South America.

Here in Rwanda there are also exciting developments. On 6th September, all eleven of our dioceses began a project coordinated by the Gafcon Church Planting network in partnership with mission agencies including CRU (Campus Crusade for Christ) and the Christian Motorcycle Association (CMA). Each diocese has received a new motorcycle and a Jesus Film backpack for evangelism and church planting. This pilot project will enable us to reach more men, women and children all over Rwanda. It will be carefully monitored over the next ten months and I hope it can be developed to reach many more with the gospel around the world.

This is just one way in which Gafcon is reaching Anglicans at the grassroots and equipping for mission. However, we do need to ensure that we have global Anglican Communion structures which are fit for purpose and I am very much looking forward to welcoming bishops and their spouses from around the world to our Kigali 2020 Conference from 9th-14th June. The program is taking shape and I am very excited by all I believe the Lord will do among us as we meet together.

Read it all.

Posted in Church of Rwanda, GAFCON

Kendall Harmon’s Sunday Sermon–What if God is Better than We think? [The 2nd Sign: Jesus Heals An Official’s Son (John 4:46-54)]

You can listen directly there and download the mp3 there (American history buffs will want to watch for a reference to the building of the Golden Gate Bridge).

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

Eleanor Parker–Four Medieval Texts for Michaelmas

Today is Michaelmas, the golden autumn feast of St Michael and All Angels. It falls at perhaps the most beautiful time of the year, on the cusp between the last glow of fiery summer and the yellow-gold ‘fallowing’ leaves of autumn; the wings of Michael and his angels seem to flutter in harmony with the unleaving of the trees. ‘Michaelmas’ has been the English name for the feast since at least the eleventh century, and it’s a lovely one in every context: Michaelmas daisies, Michaelmas fairs, Michaelmas moons, and more. (Terms, too.) The Anglo-Saxon poem the Menologium alliteratively calls it the ‘high-angel’s tide in harvest’, i.e. ‘the archangel’s day in autumn’:

Hwæt, we weorðiað wide geond eorðan
heahengles tiid on hærfeste,
Michaheles, swa þæt menigo wat,
fif nihtum ufor… emnihtes dæg.

Lo, we honour widely throughout the earth
the high-angel’s tide in harvest,
Michael, as the multitude know,
five nights after the equinox day.

St Michael is particularly associated with heights, and churches on hills and in high places were very often dedicated to him. Dragon-slayer, guardian of humanity, and bearer of the scales of divine justice, St Michael was an immensely popular figure in the Middle Ages, and in this post are four pieces about St Michael by medieval English writers…

Read it all.

Posted in Church History, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Saint Michael and All Angels

O everlasting God, who hast ordained and constituted the ministries of angels and men in a wonderful order: Mercifully grant that, as thy holy angels always serve and worship thee in heaven, so by thy appointment they may help and defend us on earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Posted in Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer to Begin the Day from the Austrian Church Order of 1571

Almighty God, our heavenly Father, who dost feed the birds and clothe the flowers, and who carest for us as a father for his children: We beseech thee of thy tender goodness to save us from distrust and vain self-concern; that with unwavering faith we may cast our every care on thee, and live in daily obedience to thy will; through thy beloved Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Posted in Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Scripture Readings

I will sing of thy steadfast love, O LORD, for ever; with my mouth I will proclaim thy faithfulness to all generations. For thy steadfast love was established for ever, thy faithfulness is firm as the heavens.

–Psalm 89:1-2

Posted in Theology: Scripture

Prayers for the Diocese of South Carolina This Day

Posted in * South Carolina, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Spirituality/Prayer

Sunday Food for Thought–CS Lewis on God’s Intolerable Compliment

“If God is Love, He is by definition something more than mere kindness. And it appears from all the records that though He has often rebuked us and condemned us, He has never regarded us with contempt. He has paid us the intolerable compliment of loving us in the deepest, most tragic, most inexorable sense….

“God wills our good, and our good is to love Him… and to love Him we must know Him: and if we know Him, we shall in fact fall on our faces…Yet the call is not only to prostration and awe; it is to a reflection of the Divine life, a creaturely participation in the Divine attributes which is far beyond our present desires. We are bidden to “put on Christ,” to become like God. That is, whether we like it or not, God intends to give us what we need, not what we now think we want. Once more, we are embarrassed by the intolerable compliment, by too much love, not too little.”

–CS Lewis, The Problem of Pain

Posted in Church History, Theology

A Prayer to Begin the Day from Daily Prayer

Lord Jesus Christ, who for our sake didst endure the cross, and hast bidden us to follow thee: Take away from us all fear, all coldness of heart, all unwillingness to suffer; that we, glorying in thy cross, may glory also that thou hast called us to bear it with thee; for thy name’s sake.

Daily Prayer, Eric Milner-White and G. W. Briggs, eds. (London: Penguin Books 1959 edition of the 1941 original)

Posted in Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Scripture Readings

Blessed be God,
because he has not rejected my prayer
or removed his steadfast love from me!

–Psalm 66:11

Posted in Theology: Scripture

(CEN) A remarkable ministry–Chris Sugden reviews ‘Michael Green Remembered’

Michael Green was decisive. He made decisions, sometimes impulsive, often intuitive, occasionally spur of the moment. And he encouraged thousands of people, many in their late teens and early 20s, to make the most important decision of their lives, to live for, with, and in the power of Jesus.

It is quite natural, that within nine months of his death in January 2019 at the age of 88, 35 people who had known him at various stages of life should, encouraged by his family and editor Julia Cameron, contribute to a book of remembrances that was formally launched at his memorial service in Coventry Cathedral, where he was a canon theologian, on 7 September.

Some will read this book to discover more about a valued friend and colleague in Christian ministry, and others because his combination of sharp apologetics and winsome evangelism won them to Christian discipleship and they want to find out about other phases of his life.It is not a book to be read end to end, but from which to pick out gems here and there.

And they abound….

Read it all (subscription).

Posted in Church of England (CoE), Evangelicals, Evangelism and Church Growth, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry

A Prayer to Begin the Day from Frank Colquhoun

Almighty God our heavenly Father, who hast bidden us to give thanks for all things and to forget not all thy benefits: Accept our praise for the great mercies we have received at thy hands; ever give us grateful hearts; and help us to magnify thee in our daily life; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Posted in Spirituality/Prayer

From the Daily Scripture Readings

On the holy mount stands the city he founded; the LORD loves the gates of Zion more than all the dwelling places of Jacob. Glorious things are spoken of you, O city of God.

–Psalm 87:1-3

Posted in Theology: Scripture

Friday Night Mental Health Break–Faith’s Song by Amy Wadge

Posted in Music

Archbishop Ben Kwashi on Primate-Elect Henry Ndukuba

Posted in Church of Nigeria

(AI) A New primate for Nigeria is elected, Henry Chukwudum Ndukuba

The Most Revd Henry Chukwudum Ndukuba, hails from Ogberuru in Orlu (Imo State), born in Anambra state in September, 1959.

And whereas the said Henry Chukwudum Ndukuba was ordained into the Holy Orders in September, 1989. He rose though its rank and was elected Pioneer Bishop of the Diocese of Gombe. He was consecrated on the 21st September, 1999. On 25 November 1999 the new diocese was inaugurated as the 71st diocese of the Church of Nigeria.

And whereas at the Standing Committee of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) holding at St Paul’s Cathedral Diobu Port Harcourt on the 22nd September 2017, the Rt Revd Henry Chukwudum Ndukuba was elected as Archbishop of the Ecclesiastical Province of Jos.

And now, September 24th 2019 in an Episcopal Synod at the Standing Committee meeting of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) holding at the Cathedral of St Peter, Asaba. The Most Revd Henry Chukwudum Ndukuba is elected, 5th Archbishop, Metropolitan and Primate of All Nigeria.

Read it all.

Posted in Church of Nigeria

Mediation between the historic Anglican Diocese of South Carolina and the New TEC Diocese results in Impasse

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Stewardship

(NYT) China Wants the World to Stay Silent on Muslim Camps. It’s Succeeding.

When Turkey’s leader, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, visited Beijing this summer, he hailed a new Silk Road bridging Asia and Europe. He welcomed big Chinese investments for his beleaguered economy. He gushed about China’s sovereignty.

But Mr. Erdogan, who has stridently promoted Islamic values in his overwhelmingly Muslim country, was largely silent on the incarceration of more than one million Turkic Muslims in China’s western region of Xinjiang, and the forced assimilation of millions more. It was an about-face from a decade ago, when he said the Uighurs there suffered from, “simply put, genocide” at the hands of the Chinese government.

Like Mr. Erdogan, the world has been noticeably quiet about Xinjiang, where China has built a vast network of detention camps and systematic surveillance over the past two years in a state-led operation to convert Uighurs into loyal, secular supporters of the Communist Party. Even when diplomats have witnessed the problems firsthand and privately condemned them, they have been reluctant to go public, unable to garner broad support or unwilling to risk financial ties with China.

Backed by its diplomatic and economic might, China has largely succeeded in quashing criticism. Chinese officials have convinced countries to support Beijing publicly on the issue, most notably Muslim ones in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. They have played to the discord within the West over China. And they have waged an aggressive campaign to prevent discussion of Xinjiang at the United Nations.

Read it all.

Posted in China, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Islam, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Religious Freedom / Persecution

(EF) Decade of tears and blood: 10 years of Boko Haram terrorism in Nigeria

A decade after Boko Haram began a bloody campaign to impose sharia (Islamic law) on all of Nigeria, Christian leaders say some areas are still under the control of the terrorists.

The Rev. Mohammed Abubakar Naga, chairman of the Borno state chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), told Morning Star News that the terrorists are still active in the northeastern part of the country where the group originated and has displaced thousands of people, effectively closing many churches.

“Gwoza East, especially the hills, has been taken over by Boko Haram,” Pastor Naga said by phone. “The terrorists still attack Christian communities there. This is even with the presence of personnel of the Nigerian army in the area.” After beginning a violent campaign to establish an Islamic caliphate in northern Nigeria 10 years ago, Boko Haram has killed an estimated 35,000 civilians, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

The agency said 37 aid workers lost their lives in the course of serving those displaced by the attacks. Two of the many pastors Boko Haram killed in northeast Nigeria’s Borno state include the Rev. Faye Pama Musa, then secretary of the CAN’s Borno state chapter, slain on May 14, 2013 after the terrorists followed him from his church building to his house and shot him to death; and Pentecostal pastor George Ojih, captured in 2009 and beheaded for refusing to recant his Christian faith.

Read it all.

Posted in Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Military / Armed Forces, Nigeria, Politics in General, Terrorism

Grateful to be Back Home

‘Home is the place where, when you have to go there,
They have to take you in.’

–Robert Frost, ‘The Death of the Hired Man’

Posted in * By Kendall, * South Carolina, Poetry & Literature

Another shot with Friends on the recent Trip

Posted in England / UK, Photos/Photography, Travel

Visiting Friends from Oxford Days

Posted in Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Parish Ministry, Photos/Photography, Travel

Surprised by a dear Old Friend at Oxford

Posted in England / UK, Photos/Photography, Travel

A Beautiful Saturday in London

Posted in England / UK, Photos/Photography

The Play’s the Thing

Posted in England / UK, Theatre/Drama/Plays

A Nice Visit to Wycliffe Hall, Oxford

Posted in * By Kendall, England / UK, Photos/Photography

What a Wonderful Library

Posted in * By Kendall, England / UK, Photos/Photography

Kendall Harmon’s Sunday Sermon at Saint Helen’s, Bishopsgate: Wrestling with the biblical doctrine of hell

Listen to it all. Please note there are audio and video options and it can be downloaded. Be forewarned–it is NOT light bedtime listening–KSH.

Posted in * By Kendall, Church of England (CoE), Eschatology, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Sermons & Teachings