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Anglican church to be shared by both Church of Ireland and Roman Catholic parishes

Two different Christian denominations will be sharing the same place of worship during the next year in an example of neighbourliness and friendship.

When it was learned that St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church in Castleblayney, Co. Monaghan would be closed for a year for essential renovations, their church neighbours, St Maeldoid’s Church of Ireland parish at Muckno, Castleblayney, in Clogher Diocese, offered the use of their beautiful gothic–style building.

This generous gesture by the Select Vestry of St Maeldoid’s along with their rector, the Revd Neal Phair, and approved by the Bishop of Clogher, Right Revd John McDowell, was accepted by the Parish Priest of St Mary’s, Father Pat McHugh and his parishioners and from next Monday, 19th June, St Maeldoid’s Church will be used for both Church of Ireland services and Masses.

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Posted in Church of Ireland, Ecumenical Relations, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Roman Catholic

(ACNS) Church of England parish at heart of relief efforts following London inferno

In the hours since a massive blaze ripped through a tower block in west London early on Wednesday, nearby St Clement’s Church has been rapidly turned into an emergency relief centre. It sheltered more than 100 residents as the blaze raged and has subsequently been overwhelmed with donations. People have given clothes, bedding and toiletries for the residents of the tower, many of whom fled the block in their nightwear and have lost everything. Volunteers from churches throughout the area are running the relief operation.

[The] Revd Alan Everett described how events unfolded in the hours after the devastating blaze: “I opened the church at half three in the morning and within minutes the local community started bringing in supplies – the tables are now completely overflowing. The response has been overwhelming” he said. St Clement’s has now reached saturation point and has simply run out of room to store any more supplies.

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Posted in Church of England (CoE), Parish Ministry, Urban/City Life and Issues

(Vat Radio) Pope Francis says farewell to director of Rome’s Anglican Centre

Pope Francis met on Friday with the outgoing representative of the Archbishop of Canterbury and director of Rome’s Anglican Centre, Archbishop David Moxon, who returns to his native New Zealand this week.

Moxon, who also co-chairs the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC), retires after four years in the hot seat of ecumenical relations here in Rome. He took over the job in 2013, just weeks after the inauguration of both a new pope and a new archbishop of Canterbury.

Looking back over the developments in Anglican-Catholic dialogue, Archbishop Moxon told Philippa Hitchen about the practical and spiritual progress he’s witnessed, as well as about the crucial role of technology in keeping him connected to his family on the other side of the globe.

Read and listen to it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Ecumenical Relations, Roman Catholic

(Church Times) Conflicting views aired on who should follow ‘significant presence’ as Bishop of London

Should the next Bishop of London continue the London Plan or begin to ordain women priests, affirm gay clergy, do more to attract children and teenagers into church, or value pastoral diligence as much as high-profile mission? These were among the issues raised at a public consultation held on Tuesday evening.

Twenty-one people spoke during the meeting at St Alban’s, Holborn. It was chaired by the chairman of the vacancy-in-see committee, the Dean of St Paul’s, the Very Revd Dr David Ison. The Prime Minister’s Appointments Secretary, Edward Chaplin, and the Archbishops’ Appointment Secretary, Caroline Boddington, were present to hear the debate.

Dean Ison set out nine priorities set out in the Statement of Need, which will shortly be published, alongside a profile of the diocese. The first was evangelism: “to proclaim the historic and eternal Gospel in a changing world and society”. Another was: “to ensure we live in generous orthodoxy . . . enabling mutual flourishing of all the whole Christian church, recognising that there is a diversity of views on various matters across the diocese, but we want to live together as the people of Christ”….

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Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Urban/City Life and Issues

A Prayer to Begin the Day from Hilary of Poitiers

Keep us, O Lord, from the vain strife of words, and grant us a constant profession of our faith. Preserve us in the way of truth, so that we may ever hold fast that which we professed when we were baptized into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, and may give glory to thee, our Creator, Redeemer and Sanctifier, now and for evermore.

Posted in Spirituality/Prayer, Uncategorized

From the Morning Bible Readings

And when he drew near and saw the city he wept over it, saying, “Would that even today you knew the things that make for peace! But now they are hid from your eyes. For the days shall come upon you, when your enemies will cast up a bank about you and surround you, and hem you in on every side, and dash you to the ground, you and your children within you, and they will not leave one stone upon another in you; because you did not know the time of your visitation.”

And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold, saying to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be a house of prayer’; but you have made it a den of robbers.”

And he was teaching daily in the temple. The chief priests and the scribes and the principal men of the people sought to destroy him; but they did not find anything they could do, for all the people hung upon his words.

–Luke 19:41-48

Posted in Theology: Scripture

(Tel.) Colombia gets first ‘polyamorous family’ as three men legally established as unit

Three gay men say they have gained legal recognition as the first “polyamorous family” in Colombia, where same-sex marriages were legalised last year.

“We wanted to validate our household… and our rights, because we had no solid legal basis establishing us as a family,” said one of the men, actor Victor Hugo Prada, in a video published by Colombian media on Monday.

He said he and his two partners, sports instructor John Alejandro Rodriguez and journalist Manuel Jose Bermudez, signed legal papers with a solicitor in the city of Medellin, establishing them as a family unit with inheritance rights.

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I will take comments on this submitted by email only to KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com.

Posted in --Polyamory, Colombia, Law & Legal Issues, Sexuality

(The Australian) Kevin Donelly–Australia should not deny Its Christian roots

Civil Liberties Australia, in its submission to the Senate inquiry on freedom of religion, argues Australia is not a Christian country on the basis that “it is not correct in law and in fact is directly contradicted by the Constitution”.

The reality proves otherwise: although Australia is a secular society, where there is a division between church and state, to deny the significance of Christianity is to deny the nation’s heritage and culture and to ignore what underpins our political and legal systems.

Rather than ignoring Christianity, the Constitution’s preamble includes the words: “Humbly relying on the blessing of Almighty God” and parliaments around Australia begin with the Lord’s Prayer.

Perth lawyer Augusto Zimmermann says Australia’s political and legal systems owe much to Christianity.

He says: “It is evident the foundations of the Australian nation, and its laws, have discernible Christian-philosophical roots.”

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Posted in Australia / NZ, History, Philosophy, Religion & Culture

(Tel.) Fundenhall Church can keep comfortable chairs even though heritage groups say they are ‘cheap’ and ‘dumpy

A church has won a battle to keep its new comfortable chairs despite the objections of heritage groups who say they are “cheap” and “dumpy”.

St Nicholas Church in Fundenhall illegally spent £3,053 on 50 “crude” chairs which are made of brown faux leather with brushed gold-coloured frames, last September.

The church council had been allowed to remove the church’s pews as part of a much-needed refurbishment, but did not have permission to buy the chairs.

Now it has been allowed to keep them for ten years after a church court found that it would take too long to fundraise for new ones.

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Posted in Church of England (CoE), Parish Ministry, Stewardship

(NPR) For Christians In Egypt, Building A New Church Can Set Off Violence

ARRAF: Samuel was 20, and Beshoy was 22. They’re considered martyrs now. That’s because they were among 20 young Egyptian workers beheaded by ISIS in Libya two years ago. To commemorate their deaths, President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi gave permission for a huge new church on the road to al-Our. Building churches is so controversial here, it took an ISIS attack to get permission to build one.

The village is 70 percent Muslim. Some of the villagers protested and threw stones when construction started on the church. Churches are a sensitive subject throughout Egypt, even though about 10 percent of the population is Christian. It’s hard to get permits to build them. In Minya, a poor province which has the biggest concentration of Christians, even talk of a church can be dangerous.

EBRAHIM FAHMY: (Through interpreter) They burned my house. They burned the house my brother was building and the houses of five other brothers. They thought we were going to open a church.

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Posted in Egypt, Islam, Middle East, Muslim-Christian relations, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Violence

A S Haley–the Episcopal Church and Inclusivity Revisited

In lieu of an update while I still explore my alternatives, I am reposting this 2014 article, because I deem it most relevant to the decisions I face just now in evaluating what it truly means to join an “inclusive” church. Obviously, ECUSA has not achieved all that it expected from its plan to “broaden” its outreach while deposing those who dared to oppose its progressive agenda.

There is no future for those who would strive to remain orthodox within the oppressive atmosphere of ECUSA. This post from 2014 says it all:

Consider the following Canon of the Episcopal Church (USA), Canon I.17.5:
No one shall be denied rights, status or access to an equal place in the life, worship, and governance of this Church because of race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, disabilities or age, except as otherwise specified by Canons.
(There is a similar Canon applying to the discernment process for would-be clergy.) The words “sexual orientation” and “gender identity and expression” are the most recent additions to the list of grounds upon which Episcopalians are called not to discriminate. As this Canon’s predecessor stood from its adoption in 1964 (at the height of the civil rights movement) until 1982, it read:

Every communicant or baptized member of this Church shall be entitled to equal rights and status in any Parish or Mission thereof. He shall not be excluded from the worship or Sacraments of the Church, nor from parochial membership, because of race, color, or ethnic origin.
With only slight rewording in 1982, the threefold grounds of “race, color, or ethnic origin” remained untouched until General Convention 1994, when the categories were expanded by one Resolution (1994-C020) to include “national origin, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, disabilities or age.” Most recently Resolution 2012-D002 added the categories “gender identity and expression.”

Read it carefully and read it all.

Posted in Anthropology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Theology: Scripture, Uncategorized

(CT) The UK’s Highest-Ranking Evangelical Politician Steps Down

Amid mounting scrutiny over his evangelical faith, the head of the Liberal Democrats in the United Kingdom resigned from his position and spoke out about the tension he faced as the political party’s leader.

Considered the first evangelical party leader in a century, Farron dodged questions during the recent campaign about whether he believed homosexuality was a sin despite his political stance in favor of same-sex marriage and equal rights. An evangelical amid Anglicans, he faced accusations of harboring conservative theology within the liberal party, even when he made his liberal views clear.

Still, the accusations bled into the general election—the party gained seats in Parliament but their vote share declined—and were enough to make a fellow party leader step down on Wednesday. Farron’s announcement came hours later.

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Posted in England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

Sharp increase in numbers training to be priests in the Church of England

A 14% increase in numbers training for the priesthood has been welcomed by the Church of England. An anticipated total of 543 men and women will begin studies this Autumn at colleges across England.

Welcoming the increase the Bishop of Guildford, Andrew Watson, said:

“I am delighted at both the number and the range of those whom God has been calling into ordained ministry over the course of the past year. Here are men and women who are choosing to put their faith on the line, so as to bring hope and spiritual nourishment to individuals and communities alike. In an increasingly uncertain world, nothing could be a greater privilege than walking alongside people in their joys and sorrows, from birth to grave.”

An increase of 17% in women coming forward for ordination was welcomed by Catherine Nancekievill, Head of Vocation for the Church of England….

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

(CC) Craig Barnes–The temporary gift of marriage

…as compassionately as possible, I said, “Mike, in my experience 100 percent of marriages come to an end, and you’ll never beat those odds.”

There was a pause before Mike stammered out, “What?” I tried again. “Well, your marriage will end in either death or divorce. There are no alternatives.” This time his face was blank.

I sat back in my chair. “Let’s say you have a fabulous marriage that lasts as long as we can imagine. How about 60 years? Or 70? There are few of those, but let’s assume you have 70 years, and that each of those years is an experience in deeper intimacy. Still, one of you is eventually going to have to lay the other into the arms of God. That day will tear you apart.”

Young people often assume that the funerals for old lovers are not so difficult, as if the weeping person in the first pew is thinking, “Well, we had a good run.” To the contrary, the better the marriage the harder it is at the end. A great marriage concludes with two souls that have become so intertwined the survivor has no idea what survive means without the one in a grave.

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Posted in Anthropology, Eschatology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Pastoral Theology, Theology

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Evelyn Underhill

O God, Origin, Sustainer, and End of all creatures: Grant that thy Church, taught by thy servant Evelyn Underhill, guarded evermore by thy power, and guided by thy Spirit into the light of truth, may continually offer to thee all glory and thanksgiving, and attain with thy saints to the blessed hope of everlasting life, which thou hast promised us by our Savior Jesus Christ; who with thee and the same Holy Spirit liveth and reigneth, one God, now and for ever.

Posted in Church History, Spirituality/Prayer