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A free floating commentary on culture, politics, economics, and religion based on a passionate commitment to the truth and a desire graciously to refute that which is contrary to it….
"He must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it."
--Titus 1:9, Revised Standard Version
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B&C co-chair Mark Noll helped start the publication in 1994, the same year his book The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind was released.
“I’m quite depressed about the state of the world as is reflected in its closing,” said Noll, a history professor at Notre Dame University, who believes the magazine thrived because of Wilson’s vision and expertise.
“John’s singular ability in an age of polemics and partisanship and gotcha-journalism was to emphasis the long-term, to be thoughtful rather than reactive, to try to bring insight rather than onslaught,” Noll said.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Stewardship * Culture-Watch Blogging & the Internet --Social Networking Books Education Media Religion & Culture Science & Technology * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A. * Religion News & Commentary Other Churches Evangelicals * Theology
vThe number of illicit drug deaths in British Columbia surpassed last year’s death toll after just nine months.
The Ministry of Public Safety says in the first nine months of this year there were 555 deaths because of illicit drug overdoses, compared with 508 for all of 2015.
The ministry says fentanyl remains the major contributor to the high number of deaths and in more than 60 per cent of them, the drug was detected.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Death / Burial / Funerals * Culture-Watch Drugs/Drug Addiction Health & Medicine * International News & Commentary Canada * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology
One of the axioms for preaching to and teaching college students seems to be a de-emphasis on some of the more difficult implications of the gospel, such as sexual ethics, etc. But you've not shied away from those. Why?
We want to answer questions people are actually asking. The whole world is talking about sexuality, gender, and other ethical issues, so why wouldn't the church? Much more importantly, the Scriptures are clear on God's design, and we want to be clear where God is clear. We recently concluded a sermon series on predestination and effectual calling, immediately followed by a series which covered gender, divorce, and homosexuality. During the two months we spent in those sermon series, we saw the church grow.
Conviction and clarity matter. It is an urban legend that to see a church grow in reaching young people means to accommodate the people in the seats, rather than challenge them to leave their church chairs after the service is over and live out a worldview that is based on their conviction concerning the Scriptures and the gospel.
Read it all.
The church is struggling to adjust to its new environment in the technological advances of the twenty-first century—we are no longer even in a postmodern age but something indescribably beyond even that. Most consider us to be living, in the West, in post-Christendom. This does not mean we are secular in the UK necessarily; we are simply ‘haunted,’ as Rowan Williams memorably put it, by the memory of Christianity. Along with all other large institutions the church seems to be losing its hold and authority. Into this we can insert the charge to all Christians, and particularly to the ordained in the Church of England, to ‘proclaim the gospel afresh in each generation.’
I am what might be described as an ‘early adopter’; I embraced with enthusiasm social media in all its forms when it emerged in the middle of the last decade. I have also always had a passion for evangelism and for finding new ways to share the faith that I hold so dear. This study seeks to understand something of the world in which we now live, where connection to the internet is seen by some to be a human right, and where it is an integral part of a lot of people’s lives and how this connects to our calling as Christians to become involved in the missio Dei, the mission of God, in the world.
This is an important task. Because of the fast pace of change, we must be careful not to sleepwalk into a new paradigm without taking the time to reflect theologically.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Evangelism and Church Growth * Culture-Watch Blogging & the Internet --Social Networking Religion & Culture Science & Technology * International News & Commentary England / UK * Theology
“People can decide for themselves what their graves should look like, but the cemetery will be free of all religious and nationalist symbols,” said Erdem.
He also stressed that the cemetery wasn't just for atheists. Believers too could apply to be buried there, as long as they were happy to keep the religious element of their identity out of sight.
Located close to the city’s Stora Tuna church, the cemetery remains empty for now, but several locals have expressed an interest.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Death / Burial / Funerals * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * International News & Commentary Europe Sweden * Religion News & Commentary Other Faiths Atheism Secularism * Theology
On the fifth mark of mission I was very pleased to hear Archbishop say this,
“Care of the creation and our responsibility for it was something that became very real to me in Lusaka, where I heard of formerly inhabited islands in the dioceses of the southern Pacific that have disappeared beneath the ocean because of global warming.”
He encourages parishioners to act in simple ways for future and present generations.
But how does the Church of Ireland itself measure up to his call for an audit? How should it act in regards to climate justice and global warming? The Bishops' Appeal does and excellent job but it is where the church's money is invested that raises questions.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of Ireland * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Stewardship * International News & Commentary England / UK --Ireland * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology
O God our Father, whose will is our sanctification: Grant that thy Holy Spirit may so fill and possess our souls that we may be delivered from all unclean thoughts and imaginations, and may have grace to direct our minds to whatsoever things are true and honourable, just and pure, lovely and of good report, as revealed to us in thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
O God of the nations, who didst give to thy faithful servant Henry Martyn a brilliant mind, a loving heart, and a gift for languages, that he might translate the Scriptures and other holy writings for the peoples of India and Persia: Inspire in us, we beseech thee, a love like his, eager to commit both life and talents to thee who gavest them; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
Into thy hands, O Lord, we commend our spirits, souls, and bodies, for Thou hast created and redeemed them, O Lord God Almighty. Guide us this day with Thine eye and kindle thy light in our hearts, that Thy godly knowledge increasing in us more and more, we may always be found to walk and live after Thy will and pleasure, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
--Henry Stobart, Daily Services For Christian Households (London: SPCK,1867), p. 72
Though often the subject of much debate—both theologically and scientifically—the majority of American adults (66%) believe people can be physically healed supernaturally by God. This majority is made up equally between those who either strongly (33%) or somewhat (33%) agree that it’s possible to be physically healed supernaturally by God. The remaining one-third (34%) are skeptical, comprised of those who either strongly (19%) or somewhat (15%) disagree.
Though there is consensus across the generational groups among those who strongly agree about supernatural healing, when it comes to those who strongly disagree, Millennials are more likely to be skeptical—one-quarter (25%) strongly disagree, twice the amount of Elders (13%). The other two groups fit into a sliding scale based on age (Gen-Xers: 21% and Boomers: 14%).
Read it all.
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Spirituality/Prayer * Culture-Watch Health & Medicine Religion & Culture Sociology * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A. * Theology
A former bishop of North Africa, Bill Musk, noted that North African Christians were persecuted in the early centuries of Christianity as they are now, and said unity was vital to withstand such challenges. A communiqué from the talks reported: "The Arab invasions eventually overwhelmed the church [in North Africa], but the seeds of its demise were sown long before."
Bishop Emeritus Musk also praised the fifth-century Council of Carthage, which took place in what is now Tunisia, at which it was decided that no diocese had the right to discipline leaders in another, despite a deep cultural divide within the church. Bishop Musk described the church at that time as being riven between a Latin elite that advocated a compassionate response to Christians who denied their faith under persecution, and local Berbers, who insisted upon faithfulness to Christianity until death.
Speakers at the conference emphasised the church's North African heritage, challenging the view of the church as a foreign imposition foisted on Europe's former colonies. American Canon Dr. Ashley Null, highlighted the "deep dependence" of Archbishop Thomas Cranmer, one of the architects of Anglicanism, on St. Augustine, whose bishopric of Hippo lies in modern-day Algeria.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Global South Churches & Primates * Christian Life / Church Life Church History * International News & Commentary Africa Middle East Egypt * Theology
A historic Coventry cemetery created by acclaimed designer Joseph Paxton in the mid 19th century is set to receive a £1million makeover.
The refurbishment of London Road Cemetery - where hundreds of victims of the Coventry Blitz are buried - will be carried out by IDP Landscape, a division of Coventry-based architectural and urban design practice IDP.
The Grade I listed cemetery was created by Paxton, a famed gardener, architect and MP who went on to design London’s Crystal Palace, in 1845.
The restoration work is being carried out following a grant award from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Death / Burial / Funerals Stewardship * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * International News & Commentary England / UK
Is the human genome sacred? Does editing it violate the idea that we’re made in God’s image or, perhaps worse, allow us to “play God”?
It’s hard to imagine weightier questions. And so to address them, Ting Wu is starting small.
Last month, the geneticist was here in a conference room outside Baltimore, its pale green walls lined with mirrors, asking pastors from area black churches to consider helping her.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained * Culture-Watch Health & Medicine Religion & Culture Science & Technology * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology
York Minster dismissed 30 volunteer bellringers because one member of the group was regarded as a safeguarding risk, according to a statement delivered by the archbishop of York, John Sentamu.
Other members of the group “consistently challenged” the minster’s governing body, the Chapter of York, on this and other matters, the statement from York Minster said.
The volunteers were told at a special meeting last Tuesday that bellringing activity at the minster would cease with immediate effect for “health and safety” reasons and that they were dismissed.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) * Christian Life / Church Life Liturgy, Music, Worship Parish Ministry * Culture-Watch Music * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology
Almighty God, who didst inspire thy servant Luke the physician to set forth in the Gospel the love and healing power of thy Son: Graciously continue in thy Church the like love and power to heal, to the praise and glory of thy Name; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
O God our Father, let us find grace in thy sight so as to have grace to serve thee acceptably with reverence and godly fear; and further grace not to receive thy grace in vain, nor to neglect it and fall from it, but to stir it up and grow in it, and to persevere in it unto the end of our lives; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Both Delumeau and Bossy feature in Eire’s bibliography, but he has little sympathy with these attempts at an overarching morphology of “Reformation.” For him, what characterizes the religious transformations of the sixteenth century, and their out-workings in the seventeenth, is not a single unifying energy, good or bad, but their variety and multiple incompatibilities. The occasion of his book is the upcoming Luther anniversary, and he does justice to Luther’s unique role in triggering the collapse of the medieval religious synthesis. But he is keen to emphasize that Luther was just one, if the first, of the agents of the dramatic upheavals of the period, and in the long term, by no means the most important. Zwingli, a former humanist whose abandonment of medieval Catholic orthodoxy predated Luther’s, gets extended treatment, as does Calvin, who built on Zwingli’s initiatives to create the disciplined structures and alliances with civic society which would become the normative form of Protestantism. So, too, do the leaders of the more radical, apocalyptic, or rationalizing alternatives to Catholicism and to what became “mainstream” Protestantism. Eire does not give much away in his personal assessment of Luther, though alongside a meticulous analysis of the theology we get ample quotation illustrating Luther’s disconcerting penchant for scatological insult and a preoccupation with excreta aimed indiscriminately at Catholics and the devil.
Eire’s final chapter on the great Reformer is headed “Luther the reactionary” and deals with Luther’s violent repudiation of the apocalyptic radicalism of former disciples like Andreas Karlstadt and Thomas Müntzer, and especially with the Wittenbergers’ savage reaction to the Peasants’ Revolt of 1525....
Read it all.
You can listen directly there and download the mp3 there.
(Christ/St. Paul's Church Yonges Island SC; photo by Jacob Borrett)
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal * By Kendall Sermons & Teachings * Christian Life / Church Life Liturgy, Music, Worship Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained Preaching / Homiletics * South Carolina * Theology Theology: Scripture
In the historic Parish Church of St. Helena Sunday morning, clergy delivered a message of gratitude in the calm following Hurricane Matthew’s storm.
“The question for us today is ‘are you thankful?’” Rev. Shay Gaillard asked during his sermon taken from the New Testament book of Luke.
Residents who stayed in town to ride out the storm might have felt alone, Gaillard said, and those who evacuated might have felt vulnerable without their normal support system.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Ministry of the Laity Ministry of the Ordained Pastoral Care Preaching / Homiletics * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * General Interest Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc. Weather * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A. * South Carolina * Theology Theology: Scripture
Ignatius offers a fascinating insight into the heart of a true man of God given over to His will. It is tempting to want to leap from his example and vision of episcopacy to its practice within our own Church at this time, but such a leap needs great care. A bishop in the first decade of the second century cannot fairly be compared even to one of 250 years later let alone in the Church of today. The three-fold ministry was still in an early stage of its development. Even though Lightfoot has cogently argued that a case can be made for regarding episcopacy as being of Apostolic direction, and therefore possessing Divine sanction, long years of evolution and growth lay before it. At this stage too the Church across the Roman Empire faced the daily possibility of considerable persecution and martyrdom. That demanded a particular kind of shepherding and witness.
On the other hand a bishop at the beginning of the third millennium might profitably and properly ask (or be asked) whether endless committees and synods are really the way in which their lives are to be laid down for their flock? An institution requires administration, but in the New Testament list of charisms, administrators are quite low in the order of priorities, and of its pastors at this time the Church has other, more pressing, needs. Rather than imposing upon an already disheartened clergy systems of appraisal (mostly copied from secular models of management) it would be good for parish priests to experience bishops as those who were around so much that they could afford regularly to ‘drop in’ and just be with them. It is hard to expect the parish clergy to make visiting a priority if their fathers in God do not set an example.
In some dioceses the more obviously pastoral role has sometimes been exercised by a suffragan but as more and more diocesan bishops, at least within the Church of England, are being selected from the ranks of the suffragans the temptation is for those who are ambitious to prove their worth more as potential managers than those given to the ‘Word of God and prayer’ (Acts 6.2). If the communities within which the bishops are to exercise their ministry of unity and care are too large for them to do their work has not the time come to press for smaller dioceses and for bishops to strip themselves of the remnants of the grandeur their office once held and be found, above all, with their clergy and amongst the people, drawing them together into the unity for which Christ gave himself?
Read it all.
Almighty God, we praise thy name for thy bishop and martyr Ignatius of Antioch, who offered himself as grain to be ground by the teeth of wild beasts that he might present unto thee the pure bread of sacrifice. Accept, we pray thee, the willing tribute of our lives, and give us a share in the pure and spotless offering of thy Son Jesus Christ; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
Ah, ohlala, que je souffre, oh, c'est terrible !— Corentin (@Atogadp) September 28, 2016
Cesare Fracanzano - Martyrdom of Saint Ignatius of Antioch. N.d., XVIIth century pic.twitter.com/qbVbKSFkrg
Grant us, O Lord, so to enter on the service of our Christian warfare, that, putting on the whole armour of God, we may endure hardness and fight against the spiritual powers of darkness, and be more than conquerors through him that loved us, Jesus Christ our Lord.
..When things fall apart, people are destroyed. It’s not something to be wished for. The integrity of Christianity—along with most forms of human decency—was not strengthened by the demise of the Roman Empire, nor by the collapse of the corrupted Weimar Republic. As a conservative, I believe that continuities, even twisted ones, form a more trustworthy basis for radical renewal than do the apocalyptic cataclysms of social chaos.
Christians should see the present nadir of American politics and its enabling of a hollowed-out culture as a summons to deeper catechesis, more persuasive apologetics, fuller evangelical communion, brighter martyrdoms. Nor does this does preclude Christian engagement in public life, however difficult that may be in our present culture of “liberal” intolerance, precisely if our engagement is sustained by the renewal of a common witness of faith. As Christians, we bear terrible responsibilities, in our complicities and acquiescence, for a past that has brought us to this condition. We now bear even heavier constructive ones for the future. It is a venerable penance and vocation, that stands independent of the political parties of our era.
Read it all
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life
The hobbits are worthy opponents of the allurement of the Ring exactly because their life-aims are so very modest. Wanting nothing more than to preserve the freedom of their own peaceable Shire, they have no grandiose ambitions. Their meekness uniquely qualifies them to destroy the Ring in the Cracks of Doom. Theirs is a Quest that can be accomplished by the small even more aptly than by the great - by ordinary folks far more than conventional heroes. In fact, the figure who gradually emerges as the rightful successor to Frodo is the least likely hobbit of them all, the comically inept, grammar-slaughtering, xenophobic - but also name-fulfilling creature - Samwise Gamgee.
Precisely in the unlikely heroism of the small but doughty does Tolkien's pre-Christian world become most Christian and joyful. Whether in the ancient Nordic and Germanic, or else in the Greek and Roman worlds, only the strong and extraordinary are capable of heroism. The great man stands apart from his mediocre kith. He outdistances them in every way, whether in courage or knowledge.
It is not so in Middle-earth. The greatness of the Nine Walkers lies in the modesty of both their abilities and accomplishments. Their strength lies in their weakness, in their solidarity as a company unwilling to wield controlling power over others.
Read it all
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life
+ Suffering: Loving the Lord in your circumstances - Venerable Godwin Makabi of Jos at St Andrew's Cathedral, Singapore [Job 1]
+ Choral Evensong from St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle
Listen live here at 10:15 am Eastern time [3:15 pm London time]
From October 2nd, 2016
+ All Things Working For Good - Revd Canon Rinji Kwashi at St Andrews Cathedral Singapore
+ We are Called to be Devoted Students of his Word - Dr Kendall Harmon (Acts 2:42-47)
+ Renewal in Exile - Rev Samuel Kennedy [Nehemiah 10] - next available part of the series on Nehemiah from the Cathedral Church of St Luke and St Paul, SC
+ Jesus' Prayer for His Disciples - Rev Vaughan Roberts [John 17:6-19]
+ Choral Evensong from Westminster Abbey on the 90th anniversary of the first broadcast of Choral Evensong
From September 18th, 2016
+ Repentance in Exile - Dean Peet Dickinson [Nehemiah 9] - next available part of the series on Nehemiah from the Cathedral Church of St Luke and St Paul, SC
+ Jesus' Prayer for Himself - Rev Vaughan Roberts [John17:1-5]
+ Choral Evensong from St Clement Danes Church, London sung by Genesis Sixteen
+ The End: Preaching Matters - Rev William Taylor
From September 11th, 2016
+ Sunday Sermon - Learning from the Potter and the Clay - Dr Kendall Harmon (Jeremiah 18:1-11)
+ Choral Evensong from the Charles Wood Summer School at St Patrick's Church of Ireland Cathedral, Armagh
From August 28th, 2016
+ Rejoicing in Exile - Dean Peet Dickinson [Nehemiah 6] - next available part of the series on Nehemiah from the Cathedral Church of St Luke and St Paul, SC
+ Death and the Life Heareafter - Dr Paul Williamson - Moore College lecture
+ Choral Evensong from Edington Priory, during the Edington Festival of Music within the Liturgy
From August 14th, 2016
+ Acts of Spiritual Power - Vaughan Roberts [Acts 19:1-22]
+ Rebuilding & Resistance in Exile - Jacob Graudin [Nehemiah 2:9-20, 3, 4] - part 2 of the new series from the Cathedral Church of St Luke and St Paul, SC
+ Choral Evening Prayer [RC] at Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral with the Royal School of Church Music Millennium Youth Choir
From August 7th, 2016
+ How do you think to Yourself? The Rich Fool - Dr Kendall Harmon [Luke 12:13-21]
+ 'Stormy Weather' - Rev Jeffrey Miller [Matthew 14:22-33]
+ Introducing a new sermon series on Nehemiah - Dean Peet Dickinson
+ Looking for Leaders: God's Voice is Heard - Vaughan Roberts [1 Samuel 3]
+ Sunday Worship from the Keswick Convention with Emma Scrivener
+ Choral Evensong from Chichester Cathedral during the Southern Cathedrals Festival
From July 31st, 2016
+ Looking for a Leader: Those who honor me - Vaughan Roberts [1 Samuel 2:12-36]
+ The Holy Spirit - Archbishop Foley Beach
+ Choral Evensong from the Three Choirs Festival of Gloucester, Hereford and Worcester Cathedrals
+ Preaching Matters: Preaching 2 Timothy - Andy Gemmill
From July 24th, 2016
+ The Power of Priorities & the Danger of Distraction - Dr Kendall Harmon (Luke 10:38-42)
+ Looking for Leaders: A son is born - Vaughan Roberts [1 Samuel 1:1-2:11]
+ Choral Evensong from Derby Cathedral
+ The Church and the State: The Christian's Responsibility in the Public Square - Anglican Way Institute Summer Conference 2016 with Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali
[More on the AWI 2016 Summer Conference]
From July 17th, 2016
+ The Shape of the Christian Life - Dr Kendall Harmon (Luke 10:25-37)
+ Called to Freedom - Dr Peter Moore [Galatians, John]
+ More than Conquerors - Vaughan Roberts [Romans 8:31-38]
+ Choral Evensong from the Chapel of Eton College with the first 2016 Eton Choral Course
From July 10th, 2016
+ Sermon given at the Memorial Service for Bishop Salmon - Dr Kendall Harmon [See more here]
+ The Magna Carta of Christian Freedom - Dr Kendall Harmon (Galatians 5:1;13-25)
+ Choral Evensong from Durham Cathedral
+ Preaching 2 Peter - Rev William Taylor
From June 26th, 2016
+ Now that Faith has come - Dr Peter Moore [Luke 8:19-21, 2 Samuel],
+ The Spirit Helps Us In Our Weakness - James Fletcher [Romans 8:18-27]
+ Choral Evensong from from the Chapel of St John's School, Leatherhead, with the Guildford Cathedral Choir
From June 19th, 2016
+ Anointment and Forgiveness - Bishop Mark Lawrence [Luke 7:39-50]
+ God's New Creation 1 - Vaughan Roberts [Revelation 21]
+ Choral Evensong from Lichfield Cathedral
From June 12th, 2016
+ It's Not Man's Gospel - Dr Peter Moore at St Philip's Charleston SC [Galatians 1:11]
+ Matins [Morning Prayer] from St Mary Magdalene, Sandringham
+ Friday's Thanksgiving Service from St Paul's Cathedral for the 90th Birthday of the Queen [starts 15 mins in]
Order of Service
From June 5th, 2016
+ A Man’s Faith that Amazed Jesus - Dr Kendall Harmon (Luke 7:1-10)
+ The Fall of Babylon - Vaughan Roberts [Revelation 17:1-19:10 ]
+ Choral Evensong from the St Davids Cathedral Festival
From May 29th, 2016
+ Building the Church - Dr Russ Parker at the Cathedral Church of St Luke and St Paul, Charleston
+ Town Hall Service - Vaughan Roberts
+ The Loud Absence: Where is God Amidst Suffering and Evil? - Professor John Lennox
From May 22nd, 2016
+ Pentecost: Power, Surprises and Understanding - Dr Kendall Harmon (Acts 2:1-11)
+ Talks from JI Packer on 1 Timothy at Laity Lodge, Texas [h/t Prydain]
+ Praying - Vaughan Roberts [Matthew 6:5-13]
+ Choral Evensong from Tewkesbury Abbey with Schola Cantorum
From May 15th, 2016
+ The Church is on Fire - Dr Russ Parker at St Michael's Charleston
+ Jesus the Ascended King (Acts 1:1-11) - Dr Kendall Harmon
+ Choral Evensong from St John's College, Cambridge
+ Choral Evensong from St Pancras Church during the London Festival of Contemporary Church Music
or there is an updated version from Rend Collective here
From May 8th, 2016
+ The Ascension of Jesus - Bishop Mark Lawrence
+ Choral Evensong from Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford
From May 1st, 2016
+ God's Building - Vaughan Roberts [1 Peter 2:4-8]
+ Choral Evensong from St John's College, Cambridge
From April 24th, 2016
+ The Good News - Rev Paul Wasswa Ssembiro at Christ St Pauls [Romans 1]
+ The Gospel in those Seasons when we have no fish - Bishop Mark Lawrence (John 21)
+ Choral Evensong from Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-upon-Avon, with the Choir and Orchestra of the Swan
From April 17th, 2016
Talks from New Wineskins
God at Work in South-East Asia - Bishop Rennis Ponniah [Luke 9:51 - 10:2 and Luke 24]
See: Mission Consultation South East Asia
From April 10th, 2016
+ A New Day for All Humanity - Bishop Rennis Ponniah
+The Bishop of London's Easter Day Address
From March 27th, 2016
+ Priestly Prayer: The Prayer of Jesus and Portrait of Prayer: Agony in the Garden - Dr Kendall Harmon [Parts 6 and 7 of a Lent series on Prayer from Christ St Pauls]
+ Easter Day Evensong live from Worcester Cathedral now
+ Good Friday Meditations from St Andrew's Cathedral Singapore
From March 20th, 2016
+ Palm Sunday Sermon - Rev Peter Cook at St Andrew's Singapore on Sunday [Philippians 2]
+ The Bridge Keeper - Rev C. Bradley Wilson at St Philip's Charleston on Sunday
+ The Slain Lamb - Rev Vaughan Roberts [Revelation 5] [MP3]
+ Strengthened by the Holy Spirit: The Prayer of St Paul - Rev Craige Borrett last week [Part 5 of a Lent series on Prayer from Christ St Pauls - Ephesians 3:14-21]
+ Sermon at SC Convention Eucharist - Bishop Thad Barnum
+ The Seven Last Plagues - Rev Vaughan Roberts [Revelation 15 & 16]
+ The Loud Absence: Where is God Amidst Suffering and Evil? - Professor John Lennox
+ Choral Evensong from Wells Cathedral
+ Open Thread: Lent Resources
Elgar: The Spirit of the Lord is upon me from the Choirs of the Cathedral Church of St Luke & St Paul, Charleston, SC [words from Isaiah 61:1-3,11]
"Recorded live at Choral Evensong on the Feast of St. Luke the Evangelist, October 18, 2015. The Cathedral Church of St. Luke & St. Paul, Charleston, SC. The Cathedral Choir (with members of the Compline Choir.) Paul Thomas, Organist and Choral Ministry Director"
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because He hath anointed me to preach the Gospel to the poor:
He hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted,
to preach deliv’rance to the captives
and recovering of sight to the blind,—
to preach the acceptable year of the Lord;
To give unto them that mourn a garland for ashes,
the oil of joy for mourning,
the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they might be called trees of righteousness,
the planting of the Lord, that He might be glorified.
For as the earth bringeth forth her bud,
and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth;
So the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because He hath anointed me to preach the Gospel
From March 13th, 2016
+ The Freedom of Forgiveness - Bishop Rennis Ponniah [Genesis 45:3-15 and Mark 18:21-35]
+ Talking Jesus - Rev Rico Tice [more]
+ The Harvest - Rev Vaughan Roberts [Revelation 14]
+ The Bible: Quaint Relic or Bright Light - Dr Ken Bailey at Trinity School for Ministry
+ The Prayer of the Apostles - Let us speak boldly - Dr Kendall Harmon last week [Part 4 of a Lent series on Prayer from Christ St Pauls - Acts 4:1-31]
+ Choral Evensong from Westminster Abbey
[More from 'What is the Gospel?' - Rev William Taylor at St Helen's Training]
From March 6th, 2016
+ Feeding of the Five Thousand - Archbishop Stanley Ntagali at St Andrew's Cathedral, Singapore [John 6:1-15 and Mark 6:30-44]
+ What is Evangelicalism? - John Stott [from here where there is a summary]
+ I saw Heaven Open: the Two Beasts - Rev Vaughan Roberts [Revelation 13]
+ Choral Evensong from the Chapel of Magdalen College, Oxford
+ Hannah - Remember Me - Rev Craige Borrett last Sunday [Part 3 of a Lent series on Prayer from Christ St Pauls - 1 Samuel 1 to 2:10]
From February 28th, 2016
+ The Primacy of Religious Freedom - Bishop Mark Lawrence
+ Parting Thoughts - Rev. Jeffrey S. Miller [2 Timothy 3 & 4]
+ The Woman and the Dragon - Rev Vaughan Roberts [Revelation 12]
+ Solomon - Give me wisdom - Dr Kendall Harmon last week [Part 2 of a Lent series on Prayer from Christ St Pauls - 2 Chronicles 1:7-13 and 1 Kings 3]
+ Zechariah: When God Returns in Power - Bishop Rennis Ponniah Session 1, Session 2 and Session 3
+ Choral Evensong from King's College, Cambridge
From February 21st, 2016
+ God Knows - Kevin de Young at St Ebbes, Oxford [Exodus 2:11-25]
+ Preaching Christ in the Old Testament - Kevin de Young in Preaching Matters from St Helens, Bishopsgate, London [see below]
+ Following Jesus Wholeheartedly - Bishop John Tan at St Andrews Cathedral, Singapore [Philippians 3:17-4:1]
From February 14th, 2016
+ David: I have sinned - Rev Craige Borrett [Part 1 of a Lent series on Prayer from Christ St Pauls]
+ Renewed and Empowered by the Holy Spirit - Bishop Rennis Ponniah today [Ephesians 4:17-28]
+ The Transfiguration - Dr Kendall Harmon last week [Luke 9] - well recommended by The Elves
+ Big Issues: Transgender - Rev Vaughan Roberts
+ Choral Evensong for Ash Wednesday from the Temple Church in London
From February 7th, 2016
+ Who is 'God's Servant'? - Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali at St Helena's, Beaufort SC [John 12]
+ Rector's Forum with Bishop Nazir-Ali
+ Facing up to the Truth - Rev Justin Terry at St John's, John's Island SC [Luke 4:14-28]
+ What do you see? - Rev Chris Royer at St Michael's, Charleston SC [Ministry in the Middle East, John/Joel]
+ Pornography - Rev Vaughan Roberts [Matthew 5:27-30]
+ Sunday Worship from Down Cathedral in the Diocese of Down and Dromore [CofI]
+ Choral Evensong from Truro Cathedral
From January 31st, 2016
+ Do You Have Faith in Jesus? - Archbishop Mouneer Anis at Christ St Paul's Today [Luke 4]
+ Sunday Worship from Long Lartin Prison, Worcestershire
+ Assisted Suicide - Vaughan Roberts
From January 24th, 2016
+ Fix Your Eyes on Jesus - Bishop Jacob W. Kwashi at Christ St Paul's[Luke 4:14-21]
+ Finding Hope in the Baptism of Jesus - Dr Kendall Harmon
+ When the Evil Day Comes - Bishop Jacob W. Kwashi at St Philip's Charleston [Ephesians 6:10-20]
+ Something to Aim for - The Beauty of Total Commitment - Bishop Rennis Ponniah [Luke 2:21-40; Philippians 1:1-6]
Sunday Worship live from St Helena's Beaufort, SC
Listen here at 10:15 am Eastern time [3:15 pm London time]
Worship Bulletin [awaited]
The Cross at Camp St Christopher, SC
Previous posts are here
Vocation is seen largely in terms of callings to ordination and lay ministries. The new section of the C of E website on Renewal and Reform includes vocation under the heading of Renewing Discipleship & Ministry. Other catagories under this heading are Discipleship (nurturing the call and teaching the faith), Resourcing Ministerial Education (the recruitment and funding of ministry, lay and ordained), and Lay Ministry (increasing lay ministers, and bettering their relationship with the clergy).
Resourcing Ministerial Education (RME) concentrates on tackling the task of increasing the number entering ordained in the C of E by 50 per cent by 2020, and predicts that this will be best achieved by diversifying the range of candidates put forward for ordination, targeting, in particular, young women and ethnic-minority candidates.
“A 50-per-cent increase sounds massive, but, translated into actual numbers for a typical diocese, this means an increase from eight to 12 per year, which seems highly realistic,” the director of the Archbishops’ Council’s Ministry Division, the Ven. Julian Hubbard, said. “On that basis, I am confident that the overall increase is achievable. Different dioceses will contribute in different ways, and our research suggests that some dioceses have significant scope for increase, especially among younger people.”
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture Young Adults * Economics, Politics Economy Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market * International News & Commentary England / UK * Theology Pastoral Theology
After renting a space for four years in which to hold their religious services, the members of Rome’s St. Andrews Anglican Church have finally found a permanent place to call home.
With a membership of about 50 and growing, the church has been meeting at South Broad United Methodist. However, they recently acquired a small church building in the Celanese neighborhood and are renovating it in hopes of a late November move-in.
Read it all.
Grant us, O Lord, the faith that rests not on signs and wonders but on thy love and faithfulness; that obedient to thy word and trusting in thy promises, we may know thy peace and healing power, both in our hearts and in our homes; for the honour of thy holy name.
A cheque from Anglican church-goers to Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral following a burglary has been welcomed as "a moving gesture of friendship".
Leaders from the Catholic landmark say they were "overwhelmed" to receive nealy £1,000 from Liverpool Cathedral after the break-in last week.
In a statement posted on Facebook, they said: "We were overwhelmed this week to receive a very special donation from our close neighbours and friends, Liverpool Cathedral."
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Stewardship * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * International News & Commentary England / UK * Religion News & Commentary Ecumenical Relations Other Churches Roman Catholic
Regardless of what you might choose for yourself, why should you deny others the right to make this choice? For those suffering unbearably and coming to the end of their lives, merely knowing that an assisted death is open to them can provide immeasurable comfort.
I welcome anyone who has the courage to say, as a Christian, that we should give dying people the right to leave this world with dignity. My friend Lord Carey, the former archbishop of Canterbury, has passionately argued for an assisted-dying law in Britain. His initiative has my blessing and support — as do similar initiatives in my home country, South Africa, throughout the United States and across the globe.
In refusing dying people the right to die with dignity, we fail to demonstrate the compassion that lies at the heart of Christian values. I pray that politicians, lawmakers and religious leaders have the courage to support the choices terminally ill citizens make in departing Mother Earth. The time to act is now.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Southern Africa * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Death / Burial / Funerals * Culture-Watch Aging / the Elderly Health & Medicine Law & Legal Issues Life Ethics * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology
Ken Millen was born in 1930 and grew up here on North C Street, a neighborhood of treeless blocks along the Wishkah River, which occasionally swallows a chunk of a deteriorating house and carries it away.
“Ol’ Ken lived there all his life,” said Lauri Penttila, nodding down the alley toward a blue-and-white 900-square-foot house, which recently was fitted with new windows, siding and a roof.
“I thought I knew him pretty well,” Penttila said. “Until now.”
Much of the city shares that feeling.
Read it all.
O God, who by thy Holy Spirit didst move Teresa of Avila to manifest to thy Church the way of perfection: Grant us, we beseech thee, to be nourished by her excellent teaching, and enkindle within us a lively and unquenchable longing for true holiness; through Jesus Christ, the joy of loving hearts, who with thee and the same Holy Spirit liveth and reigneth, one God, for ever and ever.
St Theresa of Avila: mystic, Doctor of the Church, reformer of the Carmelite Order with St John of God.— Fr Brad Sweet (@BradBradsweet) October 15, 2016
(15 Oct) pic.twitter.com/JuFqix805e
O God, who hast willed that the gate of mercy should stand open to the faithful: Look on us, and have mercy upon us, we beseech thee; that we who by thy grace are following the path of thy will may continue in the same all the days of our life; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
The laity in the Church of England must be treated as equal with the clergy if the Church is to grow, a new report on lay leadership will conclude.
The report, compiled by the Lay Leadership Task Group, was approved by the Archbishops’ Council last month. It is to be presented to the Ministry Council on 10 November, when it will be made public, and will go to the House of Bishops for consideration with a view to its presentation to the General Synod in February.
A C of E spokesman said this week that the crux of the report “identifies the need for two shifts in culture and practice” which were deemed by the Archbishops’ Council to be “critical to the flourishing of the Church and the evangelisation of the nation”
Read it all..
Last night we attended the Lamb Institute annual dinner on James Island, South Carolina. It was moving, inspiring and thrilling to hear one of God's special servants, Suzie McCall, share what God has been, is and will be doing there.
"LAMB is a Christ-centered, multifaceted ministry based in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. We seek to share the hope found in Christ Jesus as we care for, educate, protect, and empower those suffering extreme poverty, abuse, and exploitation in Honduras. LAMB was founded in 1999 by lifelong missionary, Suzy McCall, as a training school for Hondurans called to world mission.
Today, LAMB operates an elementary school for children in one of the most violent and poverty stricken areas of Tegucigalpa, a large youth outreach program, a growing microcredit program with over 300 small business owners, a safe house for victims of human trafficking, multiple community programs, and a residential home outside the city for over 70 children who came from situations of abuse and neglect."
Please visit their website and consider supporting them in the future.
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Missions * Culture-Watch Children Education Health & Medicine Poverty * International News & Commentary Central America --Honduras * South Carolina
On October 15, 1906, Samuel Isaac Joseph Schereschewsky, the Jewish-born, rabbinical school-trained, former Anglican bishop of Shanghai, died in Tokyo, after a lengthy illness, at age 75. Apart from the novelty interest of a converted Jew becoming a church official and serving in the exotic East, Schereschewsky is remembered for having produced a much-respected translation into Mandarin Chinese of the Hebrew Bible, among other sacred texts, which became the standard 20th-century translation.
Samuel Schereschewsky was born on May 6, 1831, in Tauroggen, a Jewish shtetl in the Russian empire, in what is today southwest Lithuania. Both of his parents – the former Rosa Salvatha, of Sephardi-Jewish heritage, and Samuel Joseph Schereschewsky – died when he was very young. Samuel was apparently raised by a much older half-brother, a timber merchant who was the product of his father’s first marriage.
At age 15, he left his brother’s home, and held jobs as a glazier and as a Hebrew tutor before entering the rabbinical seminary in Zhytomir, in Ukraine.
Read it all.
O God, who in thy providence didst call Joseph Schereschewsky from his home in Eastern Europe to the ministry of this Church, and didst send him as a missionary to China, upholding him in his infirmity, that he might translate the holy Scriptures into languages of that land: Lead us, we pray thee, to commit our lives and talents to thee, in the confidence that when thou givest thy servants any work to do, thou dost also supply the strength to do it; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
The Episcopal Church today commemorates Joseph Schereschewsky, Bishop, Scholar 1906 pic.twitter.com/DAqLUedpyw— Anglican Church SPB (@anglicanspb) October 14, 2014
O Lord and heavenly Father, who hast given unto us thy people the true bread that cometh down from heaven, even thy Son Jesus Christ: Grant that our souls may so be fed by him who giveth life unto the world, that we may abide in him and he in us, and thy Church be filled with the power of his unending life; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.
The bells at York Minster are to fall silent for the festive period after the cathedral’s management sacked all of its voluntary bellringers without warning.
The world-famous bells will not be heard again until after the new year, meaning a break with the tradition of ringing them on Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve as well as on Remembrance Sunday.
At a special meeting on Tuesday night all 30 volunteer bellringers were told that bellringing activity at the Minster would cease with “immediate effect” while the management recruited a paid head bellringer, who would in turn select new volunteers in 2017.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) * Christian Life / Church Life Liturgy, Music, Worship Parish Ministry * Culture-Watch History Music Religion & Culture * International News & Commentary England / UK
There is another moment — actually, a single hour — that I will never forget.
On the final day, as we waited for Laura’s organ donor surgery, all I wanted was to be alone with her. But family and friends kept coming to say their goodbyes, and the clock ticked away. About 4 p.m., finally, everyone had gone, and I was emotionally and physically exhausted, in need of a nap. So I asked her nurses, Donna and Jen, if they could help me set up the recliner, which was so uncomfortable, but all I had, next to Laura again. They had a better idea.
They asked me to leave the room for a moment, and when I returned, they had shifted Laura to the right side of her bed, leaving just enough room for me to crawl in with her one last time. I asked if they could give us one hour without a single interruption, and they nodded, closing the curtains and the doors, and shutting off the lights.
I nestled my body against hers. She looked so beautiful, and I told her so, stroking her hair and face.
Read it all from the New York Times. If you have a moment, this is a lovely video report also.
One of the forerunners of the Ordinariate is the remarkable parish of Our Lady of the Atonement in San Antonio, Texas.
As a young Anglican seminarian, Christopher Phillips trained for the ministry at Salisbury in England. On his return to the United States he and his wife Joanne, living at that time in Rhode Island, felt the call to be received into full communion with the Catholic Church.
It was 1981 and Pope John Paul II had just given permission for married Anglican priests who become Catholic to be granted a dispensation from the vow of celibacy, thereby allowing them to be ordained as Catholic priests. Permission was also granted for groups of Anglicans to set up “personal parishes” using an Anglican-style liturgy under the supervision of their Catholic bishop.
At the same time Christopher and Joanne were discerning the way forward, a small group of Episcopalians in San Antonio had decided to leave the Episcopal church and seek re-union with Rome. They asked Christopher if he would move to Texas to be their pastor.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained * Culture-Watch Marriage & Family * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A. England / UK * Religion News & Commentary Other Churches Roman Catholic
O Thou who hast prepared a place for my soul, prepare my soul for that place. Prepare it with holiness; prepare it with desire; and even while it sojourneth upon earth, let it dwell in heaven with thee, beholding the beauty of thy countenance and the glory of thy saints, now and for evermore.
In Divided By Faith esteemed sociologists Emerson and Smith make the following assertion: Racial practices that reproduce racial division are invisible to most whites. If this is true, then our churches need people at the table who help make the invisible visible.
Offer platforms to the issues. Offer platforms to minorities who might feel marginalized. Years ago, I appreciated events like "A Time to Speak" held at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis to discuss race relations in America. These types of events confront racism head-on.
But platforms aren't reserved for conferences and moderated national panels. The local church has an underused platform. Think about your church's sermon series over the past nine months. Was racial tension in America addressed? Was any time set aside during service for prayer after tragedies occurred around our nation?
Read it all.
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry * Culture-Watch Race/Race Relations Religion & Culture * Economics, Politics Politics in General * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A. * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology
THE Dean of Peterborough, the Very Revd Charles Taylor, has bowed out of office with a stinging attack on envious people at the centre of the Church of England who resent “uppity” cathedrals and who wish to impose a “monochrome blandness” on the Church.
In late July, it was revealed that a cashflow crisis at Peterborough Cathedral meant that staff were in danger of not being paid. A loan was secured from the Church Commissioners. At the same time, it was announced that Dean Taylor was planning to retire.
In his farewell sermon on Saturday, Dean Taylor, who is 63, dropped a strong hint that the decision to leave had been forced upon him. Despite hundreds of letters of support, he said, he had not made any public remark about “the circumstances surrounding my ‘retirement’ — although some have alleged that the manner in which it was effected was legally dubious, morally reprehensible, and pastorally disgraceful. Well, they might care to think that. I could not possibly comment.”
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * International News & Commentary England / UK * Theology
The first vision was experienced by a monk named Godwine, "a man of great simplicity and innocence", who was a former sacristan of the monastery. While asleep on the eve of Wilfrid's feast, he was woken by sounds in the choir: he heard the singing of the familiar chants appointed for the beginning of the vigil - Domine, labia mea aperies; Deus, in adiutorium meum intende - and the Psalm, Domine, quid multiplicati sunt. Then he heard voices singing Unum Deum in Trinitate fideliter adoremus, cuius fide Deo uiuit sanctus presul Wilfridus - "Let us faithfully worship one God in the Trinity, through faith in whom holy Bishop Wilfrid lives in God". When he heard this, Godwine thought he must have overslept, so he jumped up and hurried to the choir, chastising himself for his laziness. He reached the entrance to the choir and hesitated, realising that he didn't recognise the voices which were singing as those of his brother monks.
Then he looked into the choir, and it was empty. Since he could still hear the singing, he thought his eyes must be blurred by sleep, so he went to his usual place in the choir; but as he stood there he could see everything clearly, and there was no one there. But he could still hear singing - a multitude of voices in harmony. "But now it seemed to him that he was not hearing them singing psalms nearby, but rather from above, as if they were in the rafters of the church; and so, ascending as they sang and escaping as they ascended from the ears of the brother listening to them, these holy angels who had come, praising in hymns God who lives gloriously in his saint, once again sought the heavenly realms."
Read it all.
Yet Jesus Christ is also the Life. This means he is the one who conquers death and offers life eternal to all. But as many biblical scholars have noted, “eternal life” is about a life of unimaginable quality. A life of beauty.
“Beauty,” wrote psychologist Rollo May, “is the experience that gives us a sense of joy and a sense of peace simultaneously. … Beauty is serene and at the same time exhilarating; it increases one’s sense of being alive. … Beauty is the mystery which enchants us.”
Beauty fills us with joy and peace precisely because it indirectly and mysteriously manifests the one who is the Life. One might even paraphrase our Lord and say that Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the beautiful. Or to put it more succinctly, it is in Jesus Christ that we can know, relish, and live into what we here at CT call a “beautiful orthodoxy.” It is in Christ alone that we can know, relish, and live into the truly good, the truly true, and the truly beautiful as manifested in Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Liturgy, Music, Worship Parish Ministry * General Interest Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc. Photos/Photography Weather * South Carolina
O God, who hast made of one blood all the peoples of the earth, and sent thy Son to preach peace to those who are far off and to those who are near: Grant that we, following the example of thy servant Philip, may bring thy Word to those who seek thee for the glory of thy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
O Blessed Jesus, who hast redeemed us to God by thy blood, and hast consecrated us in baptism to be temples of the Holy Ghost: Make us, we beseech thee, both in body and soul, meet for thy dwelling place; that our hearts may be houses of prayer and praise, of pure desires and holy thoughts of thee, whose we are and whom we serve, and to whom be glory, now and for evermore.
Another of the king's chief men, approving of his words and exhortations, presently added: "The present life of man, O king, seems to me, in comparison of that time which is unknown to us, like to the swift flight of a sparrow through the room wherein you sit at supper in winter, with your commanders and ministers, and a good fire in the midst, whilst the storms of rain and snow prevail abroad. The sparrow, I say, flying in at one door, and immediately out at another, whilst he is within, is safe from the wintry storm; but after a short space of fair weather, he immediately vanishes out of your sight, into the dark winter from which he had emerged. So this life of man appears for a short space, but of what went before, or what is to follow, we are utterly ignorant. If, therefore, this new doctrine contains something more certain, it seems justly to deserve to be followed." The other elders and king's counsellors, by divine inspiration, spoke to the same effect.
Read it all.
But Dusty Bryant, Worship and Life Groups pastor at Lighthouse, lives across the street from her house in Nelliefield Plantation.
The two had the same idea: to bring people together to break bread at a “front lawn worship service.”
“I knew that a lot of places of worship had to make that hard call to cancel services early in the week,” Bryant said. “And I thought, what a great opportunity to be able to come together with our neighbors, those we see and know and talk to each and everyday, and pray together, give thanks together, celebrate together.”
Read it all from the local paper.
O Lord God of time and eternity, who makest us creatures of time that, when time is over, we may attain thy blessed eternity: With time, thy gift, give us also wisdom to redeem the time, lest our day of grace be lost; for our Lord Jesus’ sake.
Blessing and honour, and thanksgiving and praise,
more than we can utter,
more than we can conceive,
be unto thee, O holy and glorious Trinity,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
by all angels, all men, all creatures,
for ever and ever.
Remember, O Lord, what thou hast wrought in us, and not what we deserve; and, as thou hast called us to thy service, make us worthy of our calling; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
What then should we remember? We should remember that like Israel in exile, and like Paul in prison, as members of the church of Jesus Christ, we are aliens who live in exile. As strangers in a culture that more and more has forgotten the God of Christian faith, we may discover that we have enemies, as Israel did and as did Paul. And those enemies may defeat us. But even if that kind of large scale defeat never happens, I can guarantee that at some point in our lives or in our ministries, we will encounter other kinds of suffering, and other disappointments. As Demas abandoned Paul, we may be abandoned even by those whom we love and care for. Even worse, we may discover to our own chagrin and shame, that we ourselves have abandoned or betrayed others. No serious Christian wants to be the kind of person who would lead someone to pray the kind of prayer for justice we read in today’s Psalm passage. But we might be that person! It is in those moments of defeat and shame and guilt that we are called to remember the defeat and shame of the cross, and to remember that on the cross, God was with us in Christ, and he has defeated shame and death, and he has taken upon himself our guilt and shame, and the guilt even of our worst enemies who have defeated and shamed us. As Jesus forgave the enemies who crucified him, so we are free to forgive even as God in Christ has forgiven us when we were his enemies. In the cross of Christ, God is always with us, and he will never abandon us. Remember that and have hope.
Read it all.
Canadians are grappling with one of the most difficult legal issues we have faced in decades: our collective responsibility to facilitate medically assisted death for those who choose it and satisfy the legal criteria. Since the Supreme Court decided in 2015 that Canadians have a Charter-protected right to a dignified death of their choosing, governments, doctors, hospitals and citizens have struggled to accept and move forward with a workable regime. One of the biggest impediments, however, is institutional resistance. Hospitals that claim a right to conscientious objection may well prove the Achilles heel in government efforts to breathe life into a right to die.
Catholic hospitals, which are publicly funded, take the position that as institutions they have religious rights under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. This position was recognized by some Supreme Court judges in a 2015 case known as Loyola High School v Quebec. Three judges concluded that a religious institution, as a collective, could claim a right to freedom of religion under Section 2(a) of the Charter. However, the three judges added a key caveat to this conclusion: “… an organization meets the requirements for s. 2(a) protection if (1) it is constituted primarily for religious purposes, and (2) its operation accords with these religious purposes.” Publicly funded hospitals do not satisfy this test and therefore have no claim to freedom of religion.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Death / Burial / Funerals * Culture-Watch Aging / the Elderly Children Health & Medicine Law & Legal Issues Life Ethics Marriage & Family Religion & Culture * International News & Commentary Canada * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
Loving God, Shepherd of thy people, we offer thanks for the ministry of Henry Melchior Muhlenberg, who left his native land to care for the German and Scandinavian pioneers in North America; and we pray that, following the teaching and example of his life, we may grow into the full stature of Christ; who livest and reignest with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
O Thou, from whom to be turned is to fall, to whom to be turned is to rise, and in whom to stand is to abide for ever: Grant us in all our duties thy help, in all our perplexities thy guidance, in all our dangers thy protection, and in all our sorrows thy peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
How can one billion people be doing something without the world standing up to take notice?
More specifically, how can one billion people be doing something within a very narrowly defined niche, and the leaders in that niche not value it?
But that’s what has happened in the church world.
Over one billion people choose to worship Jesus in small churches. Yet virtually every book on how to do church implies that this is a problem to be fixed, rather than an opportunity to take advantage of.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Ministry of the Laity Ministry of the Ordained * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A. * Theology
Pope Francis spoke to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, and the Primates of the Anglican Communion in a Vatican audience on Thursday.
The Holy Father recalled the historic meeting between Blessed Paul VI and Archbishop Michael Ramsey 50 years ago, which has led to a gradual rapprochement based on theological dialogue.
He then reflected with them on the three themes of ‘prayer, witness, and mission’ as a basis for ‘our continuing common journey’.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) * Christian Life / Church Life Church History * Religion News & Commentary Ecumenical Relations Other Churches Roman Catholic Pope Francis * Theology
yndale has been called the architect of the English language, and in many cases he invented words to better convey the original:
And scores of his phrases have proved impossible to better in the last five centuries…
“Let there be light”
“In the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was God”
Wonderful stuff--make sure to read it all.
Today we remember William Tyndale,Translator of the Scriptures and Reformation Martyr who died in 1536 https://t.co/VPpCqJhV9X— Church of England (@c_of_e) October 6, 2016
Almighty God, who didst plant in the heart of thy servants William Tyndale and Miles Coverdale a consuming passion to bring the Scriptures to people in their native tongue, and didst endow them with the gift of powerful and graceful expression and with strength to persevere against all obstacles: Reveal to us, we pray thee, thy saving Word, as we read and study the Scriptures, and hear them calling us to repentance and life; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
O Lord, renew our spirits and draw our hearts to thyself, that our work may not be to us a burden but a delight; and give us such a mighty love to thee, who thyself didst work as a craftsman in wood, as may sweeten all our obedience. O let us not serve thee in a spirit of bondage, as slaves, but with cheerfulness and willingness, cooperating with thee in thy work of creation; for the glory of thy holy name.
O God, our heavenly Father, whose glory fills the whole creation, and whose presence we find wherever we go: Preserve those who travel, surround them with your loving care; protect them from every danger; and bring them in safety to their journey's end. Give them rest and peace in this time of taking shelter and speed their safe delivery home through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Fifty years ago our predecessors, Pope Paul VI and Archbishop Michael Ramsey met in this city hallowed by the ministry and blood of the Apostles Peter and Paul. Subsequently, Pope John Paul II with Archbishop Robert Runcie, and later with Archbishop George Carey, and Pope Benedict XVI with Archbishop Rowan Williams, prayed together here in this Church of Saint Gregory on the Caelian Hill from where Pope Gregory sent Augustine to evangelise the Anglo-Saxon people. On pilgrimage to the tombs of these apostles and holy forebears, Catholics and Anglicans recognize that we are heirs of the treasure of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the call to share that treasure with the whole world. We have received the Good News of Jesus Christ through the holy lives of men and women who preached the Gospel in word and deed and we have been commissioned, and empowered by the Holy Spirit, to be Christ’s witnesses “to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1: 8). We are united in the conviction that “the ends of the earth” today, is not only a geographical term, but a summons to take the saving message of the Gospel particularly to those on the margins and the peripheries of our societies.
In their historic meeting in 1966, Pope Paul VI and Archbishop Ramsey established the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission to pursue a serious theological dialogue which, “founded on the Gospels and on the ancient common traditions, may lead to that unity in truth, for which Christ prayed”. Fifty years later we give thanks for the achievements of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission, which has examined historically divisive doctrines from a fresh perspective of mutual respect and charity. Today we give thanks in particular for the documents of ARCIC II which will be appraised by us, and we await the findings of ARCIC III as it navigates new contexts and new challenges to our unity.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby * Christian Life / Church Life Church History * Religion News & Commentary Ecumenical Relations Other Churches Roman Catholic Pope Francis
As a doctor and as a theologian, the ethical dimensions of this bill must be considered in light of medical practice, as well as more foundational beliefs about the nature and value of human dignity.
The most vocal proponents of the bill include the patients’ rights advocacy group Compassion and Choices. The group has called for a formal structuring of an aid-in-dying practice guideline as part of a program they see as nationally desirable and inevitable, despite the medical establishment’s long-standing opposition to the practice.
The group’s agenda centers on the patient’s right of autonomy as the sole determinant of action and on the assumption that dying patients have inadequate choices available to them as they prepare for death.
But the proposed legislation is fundamentally flawed and out of touch with normative ethical medical and public-policy decisions.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Death / Burial / Funerals * Culture-Watch Aging / the Elderly Health & Medicine Life Ethics * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology
O Lord God, in whom we live and move and have our being, open our eyes that we may behold thy fatherly presence ever about us. Draw our hearts to thee by the power of thy love. Teach us to be anxious for nothing, and when we have done what thou hast given us to do, help us, O God our Saviour, to leave the issue to thy wisdom. Take from us all doubt and mistrust. Lift our thoughts up to thee in heaven; and make us to know that all things are possible to us through thy Son, our Redeemer Jesus Christ.
As local pastor Stan Prior eloquently delivered his motivational message Sunday morning, a 10-year-old child reportedly somehow snuck into the service with his parents. While the church would normally let the infraction go with just a warning, on this fateful Sunday, the child exposed Prior’s sermons as simply rehashes of Disney movies.
As the pastor began by telling the audience a phrase he’d learned over his years of biblical study: “Hakuna Matata.” “It means no worries,” he said thoughtfully, but the child stood up and said, “Hey, that’s from The Lion King!” before ushers rushed over and wrestled the young troublemaker to the ground, taking him and his parents into the green room for questioning.
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Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained Preaching / Homiletics * Culture-Watch Movies & Television Religion & Culture * General Interest Humor / Trivia
The scene still haunts me: It was perhaps the most awful moment of the past year. Against the pale blue sky on a crystal clear Florida day, the space shuttle challenger exploded before our very eyes. Seven brave astronauts, who just a few hours before were chatting with the press, schmoozing with proud relatives and friends, were suddenly gone.
I bring this to your attention because life and death is a major theme of Yom Kippur. We read in our Mahzor
Who shall live, and who shall die?On Rosh Hashanah, it is inscribed and on Yom Kippur, it is sealed.
Who shall attain the measure of man’s days and who shall not?
Read it all.
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Death / Burial / Funerals Preaching / Homiletics * Culture-Watch History Religion & Culture * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A. * Religion News & Commentary Other Faiths Judaism * Theology Anthropology Eschatology Ethics / Moral Theology
Thirty years ago, amid the somber prayers of Judaism’s holiest day, Rabbi Kenneth Berger rose to deliver the Yom Kippur sermon. He spoke to his congregants about a tragedy many of them, including his daughter, had witnessed eight months earlier in the Florida sky: the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger.
Rabbi Berger focused on one particular detail, the revelation that Challenger’s seven astronauts had remained alive for the 65,000-foot fall to the ocean. He called the homily “Five Minutes to Live,” and he likened the crew members to Jews, who are called during the High Holy Days to engage in the process of “heshbon ha-nefesh,” Hebrew for taking stock of one’s soul.
“Can you imagine knowing that in a few moments death was imminent?” Rabbi Berger said at the Congregation Rodeph Sholom in Tampa, Fla. “What would we think of if, God forbid, you and I were in such circumstances? What would go through our mind...?”
He touched on the ordinary ways that people forget to express love for their families, blithely assuming there will always be another day. He recounted the story of a Jewish father, facing imminent death during the Holocaust, who bestowed a final kiss on the young son he was sending away to safety.
“That scene still haunts me,” Rabbi Berger said as the sermon closed, returning to the Challenger. “The explosion and then five minutes. If only I… If only I… And then the capsule hits the water, it’s all over. Then you realize it’s all the same — five minutes, five days, 50 years. It’s all the same, for it’s over before we realize.
“‘If only I knew’ — yes, my friends, it may be the last time. ‘If only I realized’ — yes, stop, appreciate the blessings you have. ‘If only I could’ — you still can, you’ve got today.”
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Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Death / Burial / Funerals Preaching / Homiletics * Culture-Watch History * Religion News & Commentary Other Faiths Judaism * Theology Anthropology Eschatology
Most high, all powerful, all good Lord!
All praise is Yours, all glory, all honor, and all blessing.
To You, alone, Most High, do they belong.
No mortal lips are worthy to pronounce Your name.
Be praised, my Lord, through all Your creatures,
especially through my lord Brother Sun,
who brings the day; and You give light through him.
And he is beautiful and radiant in all his splendor!
Of You, Most High, he bears the likeness.
Be praised, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars;
in the heavens You have made them bright, precious and beautiful.
Most high, omnipotent, good Lord, grant unto thy people grace to renounce gladly the vanities of this world; that, following the way of blessed Francis, we may for love of thee delight in thy whole creation with perfectness of joy; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
Happy feast day of Saint Francis of Assisi! The most popular and Holy Saint without doubt, who rebuilt Christ's Church and bore His wounds pic.twitter.com/LwRLodv73d— Man of Catholicism (@Catholicismguy) October 4, 2016
O gracious and holy Father, give us wisdom to perceive thee, diligence to seek thee, patience to wait for thee, eyes to behold thee, a heart to meditate upon thee, and a life to proclaim thee; through the power of the Spirit of Jesus Christ our Lord.
The Pope and the head of the Church of England will say prayers together for the first time since England’s break from Rome gave rise to the Anglican church, the Vatican announced Monday.
The historic and hugely symbolic move will come on Wednesday at vespers, or evening prayers, in the ancient church of San Gregorio al Celio in the Italian capital.
It will be the first time a pontiff has joined with an Archbishop of Canterbury in joint public prayer since the schism in 1534 was triggered by English monarch Henry VIII’s clash with Rome.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) * Christian Life / Church Life Spirituality/Prayer * Religion News & Commentary Ecumenical Relations Other Churches Roman Catholic Pope Francis
(Dio of SC photo)
In continuity with this vision of the task of Christian preaching, the Creation Project’s John Stott Award for Pastoral Engagement was created to support pastors and congregations who are willing to venture into the intersection of science and theology with confidence in the truthfulness of Scripture and in open and earnest dialogue with the insights of modern science. Through the provision of financial resources and year-long institutional support, the Stott Award is designed to promote pastoral and ecclesial engagement with the doctrine of creation through various programs and initiatives, including the formation of a congregational focus group, a mid-term consultation with the Creation Project Fellows held on Trinity’s campus, and the development of a sermon series on the doctrine of creation in conjunction with a church-wide educational initiative.
As part of the Science and Theology Award, Snyder will be required to form a study group, made up of local parishioners, who will study what it means to be made in the image of God, based on Genesis 1 & 2, and how this informs our everyday living and ethical decision-making. The findings of this joint study group will be used to formulate a preaching and teaching series for his whole parish in the Spring of 2017.
The award also requires Snyder to travel to Chicago in January 2017 to participate in a colloquium with fellow award winners.
Read it all.
O Lord, because we often sin and have to ask for pardon, help us to forgive as we would be forgiven; neither mentioning old offences committed against us, nor dwelling upon them in thought; but loving our brother freely as thou freely lovest us; for thy name’s sake.
It will take place at All Saints Cathedral in Cairo, Egypt, this week from October 3-8, under the leadership of Archbishop Mouneer Anis. Bishop Mark Lawrence was invited and is attending. You can read more about the conference there.
(The Diocese of Egypt with North Africa and the Horn of Africa photo)
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces The Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East Global South Churches & Primates * Christian Life / Church Life Spirituality/Prayer * International News & Commentary Middle East Egypt * Theology
A Third Trumpet from the South
The Third Anglican Global South to South Encounter
Red Sea (Egypt), 25-30 October 2005
The Third Anglican South-to-South Encounter has graphically demonstrated the coming of age of the Church of the Global South. We are poignantly aware that we must be faithful to God's vision of one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church. We do not glory in our strengths but in God's strength. We do not shrink from our responsibility as God's people because of our weaknesses but we trust God to demonstrate His power through our weakness. We thank God for moving us forward to serve Him in such a time as this.
1. A total of 103 delegates of 20 provinces in the Global South (comprising Africa, South and South East Asia, West Indies and South America), representing approximately two-thirds of the Anglican Communion, met for the 3rd Global South to South Encounter from 25-30 October 2005 at Ain El-Sukhna by the Red Sea in Egypt. The theme of the Encounter was "One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church: Being A Faithful Church For Such A Time As This".
2. We deeply appreciated the Archbishop of Canterbury for the time he spent with us, his listening ear and encouraging words. We took to heart his insight that the four marks of the Church are not attributes we possess as our own right, nor goals to attain by human endeavour, but they are expressed in us as we deeply focus on Jesus Christ, who is the Source of them all (John 17:17-21).
3. We were really warmed by the welcome that we received here by the President, the government and the people of Egypt. We valued the great efforts made by the state security personnel who are making the land of Egypt a secure and safe place to all her visitors. We were touched by the warm hospitality of the Diocese of Egypt.
4. We have witnessed in Egypt a wonderful model for warm relations between Christians and Muslims. We admire the constructive dialogue that is happening between the two faiths. We appreciated the attendance of the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Dr Mohammed Said Tantawi, the representative of Pope Shenouda III and other religious leaders at the State Reception to launch our Encounter. We were encouraged by their wise contributions.
B. We Gathered
5. We gathered to seek the face of God, to hear His Word afresh and to be renewed by His Spirit for total obedience to Christ who is Lord of the Church. That is why the gathering was called an "Encounter" rather than a conference. The vital question we addressed was: What does it mean to be one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church in the midst of all the challenges facing the world and the Church?
6. The world of the Global South is riddled with the pain of political conflict, tribal warfare and bloodshed. The moral and ethical foundations of several of our societies are being shaken. Many of our nations are beset by problems of poverty, ignorance and sickness, particularly the HIV and AIDS that threaten millions, especially in Africa. In addition to that, thousands of people have suffered from severe drought in Africa, earthquakes in South Asia, and hurricanes in the Americas - we offer our support and prayers to them.
7. Apart from the world condition, our own Anglican Communion sadly continues to be weakened by unchecked revisionist teaching and practices which undermine the divine authority of the Holy Scripture. The Anglican Communion is severely wounded by the witness of errant principles of faith and practice which in many parts of our Communion have adversely affected our efforts to take the Gospel to those in need of God's redeeming and saving love.
8. Notwithstanding these difficult circumstances, several parts of our Communion in the Global South are witnessing the transforming power of the Gospel and the growth of the Church. The urgency of reaching vast multitudes in our nations for Christ is pressing at our door and the fields are ready for harvest.
9. Surrounded by these challenges and seeking to discover afresh our identity we decided to dig deeper into God's Word and into the tradition of the Church to learn how to be faithful to God's gift and call to be His one, holy, catholic and apostolic people. We deliberately chose to meet in Egypt for two reasons:
a. Biblically, Egypt features prominently in the formative period of the calling of God's people (Exodus 19). Moreover, Egypt was part of the cradle that bore the entry of the Savior into the world (Hosea 11:1; Matthew 2:13-15).
b. Meeting by the Red Sea, we could not help but be inspired by the historic crossing of God's people into the realm where He purposed to make them a "light to the nations" (Isaiah 42:6). Part of that blessing was fulfilled when Alexandria became a center of early Christianity, where church fathers formulated and held on to the Christian faith through the early centuries.
C. We Discovered Afresh
10. We discovered afresh the depth and richness of our roots in the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church. Carefully researched papers were presented at the Encounter in the context of worship, prayer, Bible Study and mutual sharing. We recognize the dynamic way in which the four marks of the Church are inextricably interwoven. The salient truths we encountered inspired us and provided a basis for knowing what God requires of us.
The Church is One
11. The Church is called to be one. Our unity is willed by our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, who prayed that we "all might be one." (John 17:20-21) A great deal of confusion has arisen out of misunderstanding that prayer and the concept of unity. For centuries, the Church has found unity in the Person and teaching of Jesus Christ, as recorded in Scripture. We are one in Him, and that binds us together. The foundation and expression of our unity is found in Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord.
12. While our unity may be expressed in institutional life, our unity is grounded in our living relationship with the Christ of Scripture. Unity is ever so much more than sharing institutionally. When we are "in Christ," we find that we are in fellowship with others who are also in Him. The fruit of that unity is that we faithfully manifest the life and love of Christ to a hurting and groaning world (Romans 8:18-22).
13. Christian unity is premised on truth and expressed in love. Both truth and love compel us to guard the Gospel and stand on the supreme authority of the whole Word of God. The boundary of family identity ends within the boundary of the authentic Word of God.
The Church is Holy
14. The Church of Jesus Christ is called to be holy. All Christians are to participate in the sanctification of their lives through submission, obedience and cooperation with the Holy Spirit. Through repentance the Church can regain her rightful position of being holy before God. We believe concurrently that holiness is imparted to us through the life, ministry, death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ (Heb 10:21-23). He shares His holiness with us and invites us to be conformed to His likeness.
15. A holy Church is prepared to be a "martyr" Church. Witness unto death is how the Early Church articulated holiness in its fullest sense (Acts 22:20; Rev 2:13, 12:11).
The Church is Catholic
16. The Catholic faith is the universal faith that was "once for all" entrusted to the apostles and handed down subsequently from generation to generation (Jude 3). Therefore every proposed innovation must be measured against the plumb line of Scripture and the historic teaching of the Church.
17. Catholicity carries with it the notion of completeness and wholeness. Thus in the church catholic "when one part suffers, every part suffers with it" (1 Cor 12:26). The local church expresses its catholicity by its devotion to apostolic teaching, its attention to prayer and the sacrament, its warm and caring fellowship and its growth through evangelism and mission (Acts 2:42-47).
The Church is Apostolic
18. The Church is apostolic in its doctrine and teaching. The apostolic interpretation of God's salvation plan effected in Christ Jesus is binding on the Church. God established the Church on the "foundation of the apostles and prophets with Christ Jesus Himself as the chief cornerstone" (Eph 2:20).
19. The Church is apostolic in its mission and service. "As the Father has sent Me, so I send you." (John 20:21) In each generation He calls bishops in apostolic succession (Eph 4:11-12) to lead the Church out into mission, to teach the truth and to defend the faith. Accountability to God, to those God places over us and to the flock is an integral part of church leadership.
D. We Commit
20. As a result of our Encounter, we emerge with a clearer vision of what the Church is called to be and to do, with a renewed strength to pursue that vision. Specifically, we made commitments in the following areas.
The Authority of the Word of God
21. Scripture demands, and Christian history has traditionally held, that the standard of life, belief, doctrine, and conduct is the Holy Scripture. To depart from apostolic teaching is to tamper with the foundation and to undermine the basis of our unity in Christ. We express full confidence in the supremacy and clarity of Scripture, and pledge full obedience to the whole counsel of God's Word.
22. We in the Global South endorse the concept of an Anglican Covenant (rooted in the Windsor Report) and commit ourselves as full partners in the process of its formulation. We are seeking a Covenant that is rooted in historic faith and formularies, and that provides a biblical foundation for our life, ministry and mission as a Communion. It is envisaged that once the Covenant is approved by the Communion, provinces that enter into the Covenant shall be mutually accountable, thereby providing an authentic fellowship within the Communion.
23. Anglicans of the Global South have discovered a vibrant spiritual life based on Scripture and empowered by the Spirit that is transforming cultures and communities in many of our provinces. It is to this life that we seek to be formed and found fully faithful. We reject the expectation that our lives in Christ should conform to the misguided theological, cultural and sociological norms associated with sections of the West.
Mission and Ministry
24. Churches in the Global South commit to pursue networking with one another to add strength to our mission and ministry. We will continue to explore appropriate structures to facilitate and support this.
25. Shared theological foundations are crucial to authentic fellowship and partnership in mission and ministry. In that light, we welcome the initiative to form the Council of Anglican Provinces of the Americas and the Caribbean (CAPAC). It is envisaged that CAPAC will not only provide a foundation on the historic formularies of Anglican faith but also provide a structure with which member churches can carry out formal ministry partnerships with confidence.
26. Global South is committed to provide our recognition, energy, prayers and experience to the Networks in the USA and Canada, the Convocation of Nigerian Anglicans in the USA, those who make Common Cause and the Missionary District that is gathering congregations that circumstances have pressed out of ECUSA. We are heartened by the bold witness of their people. We are grateful that the Archbishop of Canterbury publicly recognized the Anglican Communion Network in the USA and the Anglican Network in Canada as faithful members of the Anglican Communion.
27. As for the other provinces and dioceses around the world who remain steadfastly committed to this faith, we look forward to further opportunities to partner with them in the propagation of the Gospel. We will also support those orthodox dioceses and congregations which are under difficult circumstances because of their faithfulness to the Word. We appreciate the recent action of the Primate of the Southern Cone who acted to stabilize the volatile situation in Recife, Brazil.
In this regard, we take this opportunity to acknowledge the immense contribution of the Primate of South East Asia to the development of the Global South and to the preservation of orthodoxy across the worldwide Anglican Communion.
28. In order to provide teaching that preserves the faith and fits our context, it is crucial to update the curricula of our theological institutions in the Global South to reflect our theological perspective and mission priorities. We note from the All Africa Bishops Conference their concern that far too many Western theological education institutions have become compromised and are no longer suitable for training leaders for our provinces. We call for the re-alignment of our priorities in such a way as to hasten the full establishment of adequate theological education institutions across the Global South so that our leaders can be appropriately trained and equipped in our own context. We aim to develop our leaders in biblical and theological training, and seek to nurture indigenous theologians. We will provide information on institutions in the Global South, and we will encourage these institutions to explore ways to provide bursaries and scholarships.
The Current Crisis provoked by North American Intransigence
29. The unscriptural innovations of North American and some western provinces on issues of human sexuality undermine the basic message of redemption and the power of the Cross to transform lives. These departures are a symptom of a deeper problem, which is the diminution of the authority of Holy Scripture. The leaders of these provinces disregard the plain teaching of Scripture and reject the traditional interpretation of tenets in the historical Creeds.
30. This Encounter endorses the perspectives on communion life found in sections A & B of the Windsor Report, and encourages all Provinces to comply with the request from the Primates' Communiqué in February 2005 which states:
"We therefore request all provinces to consider whether they are willing to be committed to the inter-dependent life of the Anglican Communion understood in the terms set out in these sections of the report."
31. The Windsor Report rightly points out that the path to restoring order requires that either the innovating provinces/dioceses conform to historic teaching, or the offending provinces will by their actions be choosing to walk apart. Paragraph 12 of the Primates Communiqué says:
"Whilst there remains a very real question about whether the North American churches are willing to accept the same teaching on matters of sexual morality as is generally accepted elsewhere in the Communion, the underlying reality of our communion in God the Holy Trinity is obscured, and the effectiveness of our common mission severely hindered."
32. Regrettably, even at the meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) in Nottingham in 2005, we see no evidence that both ECUSA and the Anglican Church of Canada are willing to accept the generally accepted teaching, nor is there evidence that they are willing to turn back from their innovations.
33. Further, the struggles of the Communion have only been exacerbated by the lack of concrete progress in the implementation of the recommendations of the Windsor Report. The slow and inadequate response of the Panel of Reference has trivialized the solemn charge from the Primates and has allowed disorder to multiply unnecessarily. We recognize with regret the growing evidence that the Provinces which have taken action creating the current crisis in the Communion continue moving in a direction that will result in their "walking apart." We call for urgent and serious implementation of the recommendations of the Windsor Report. Unscriptural and unilateral decisions, especially on moral issues, tear the fabric of our Communion and require appropriate discipline at every level to maintain our unity. While the Global South calls for the errant provinces to be disciplined, we will continue to pray for all who embrace these erroneous teachings that they will be led to repentance and restoration.
34. Our on-going participation in ministry and mission requires godly and able spiritual leadership at all times. We are encouraged that many inspirational leaders in our midst bear witness to the Scriptures and are effectively bringing the Gospel to surrounding cultures. We commit ourselves to identify the next generation of leaders and will seek to equip and deploy them wherever they are needed.
35. We need inspirational leaders and accountability structures. These mechanisms which we are looking into must ensure that leaders are accountable to God, to those over us in the Lord, to the flock and to one another in accordance to the Scriptures. This last aspect is in keeping with the principle of bishops and leaders acting in council. In this way, leaders become the role models that are so needed for the flock.
36. The Global South emphasizes the involvement and development of youth in the life of the Church. The youth delegates encouraged the whole gathering by the following collective statement during the Encounter:
"Many youths in the Global South are taking up the challenge of living in moral purity in the face of the rising influence of immoral values and practice, and the widening epidemic of HIV and AIDS. Young people will be ready to give their lives to the ministry of the Church if she gives them exemplary spiritual leadership and a purpose to live for. Please pray that we will continue to be faithful as the Church of 'today and tomorrow'. It is also our heart's cry that the Communion will remain faithful to the Gospel."
37. As the church catholic we share a common concern for the universal problem of debt and poverty. The inequity that exists between the rich and the poor widens as vast sums borrowed by previous governments were not used for the intended purposes. Requiring succeeding generations of people who never benefited from the loans and resources to repay them will impose a crushing and likely insurmountable burden. We welcome and appreciate the international efforts of debt reduction and cancellation, for example, the steps recently carried out by G8 leaders.
38. A dimension of responsible stewardship and accountability is the clear call to be financially self-sustaining. We commend the new initiative for financial self-sufficiency and development being studied by the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa (CAPA). This is not only necessary because of the demands of human dignity; it is the only way to have sustainable economic stability.
HIV and AIDS
39. A holy Church combines purity and compassion in its witness and service. The population of the world is under assault by the HIV and AIDS pandemic, but the people of much of the Global South are hit particularly hard because of poverty, lifestyle habits, lack of teaching and the paucity of appropriate medication. Inspired by the significant success of the Church in Uganda in tackling HIV and AIDS, all our provinces commit to learn and apply similar intentional programmes which emphasize abstinence and faithfulness in marriage. We call on governments to ensure that they are providing adequate medication and treatment for those infected.
40. The holy Church will "show forth fruits that befit repentance" (Matt 3:8). Many of us live in regions that have been deeply wounded by corruption. Not only do we have a responsibility to live transparent lives of utmost honesty in the Church, we are called to challenge the culture in which we live (Micah 6:8). Corruption consumes the soul of society and must be challenged at all costs. Transparency and accountability are key elements that we must manifest in bearing witness to the cultures in which we live.
41. Many of us from across the Global South live juxtaposed with violent conflict, most egregiously manifest in violence against innocents. In spite of the fact that the conflicts which grip many of our provinces have resulted in many lives being lost, we are not defeated. We find hope in the midst of our pain and inspiration from the martyrs who have shed their blood. Their sacrifice calls us to faithfulness. Their witness provokes us to pursue holiness. We commit ourselves to grow to become faithful witnesses who "do not love their lives even unto death" (Rev 12:11).
E. We Press On
42. We emerge from the Encounter strengthened to uphold the supreme authority of the Word of God and the doctrinal formularies that have undergirded the Anglican Communion for over four and a half centuries. Communion requires alignment with the will of God first and foremost, which establishes our commonality with one another. Such expressions of the will of God which Anglicans should hold in common are: one Lord, one faith, one baptism; Holy Scripture; apostolic teaching and practice; the historic Creeds of the Christian Church; the Articles of Religion and the doctrinal tenets as contained in the 1662 Book of Common Prayer. Holding truth and grace together by the power of the Holy Spirit, we go forward as those entrusted "with the faith once delivered" (Jude 3).
43. By the Red Sea, God led us to renew our covenant with Him. We have committed ourselves to obey Him fully, to love Him wholly, and to serve Him in the world as a "kingdom of priests and a holy nation" (Exodus 19:6). God has also helped us to renew our bonds of fellowship with one another, that we may "stand firm in one spirit, contending as one man in the faith of the Gospel" (Phil 1:27).
44. We offer to God this growing and deepening fellowship among the Global South churches that we might be a servant-body to the larger Church and to the world. We see ourselves as a unifying body, moving forward collectively as servants of Christ to do what He is calling us to do both locally in our provinces and globally as the "scattered people of God throughout the world" (1 Peter 1:1).
45. Jesus Christ, "that Great Shepherd of the sheep" (Heb 13:20, Micah 5:4), is caring for His flock worldwide, and He is gathering into His one fold lost sheep from every tribe and nation. We continue to depend on God's grace to enable us to participate with greater vigour in Christ's great enterprise of saving love (1 Peter 2:25, John 10:14-16). We shall press on to glorify the Father in the power of the Spirit until Christ comes again. Even so, come Lord Jesus.
The Third Anglican Global South to South Encounter Red Sea, Egypt 25-30 October 2005
Renew is a collaboration of Reform, directed by Susan Leafe, member of General Synod, Church Society led by Rev Dr Lee Gatiss, and Anglican Mission in England led by Canon Andrew Lines, the general secretary of Crosslinks.
Together they stand for the complementarian view of gender, though attendance at the conference is not thus restricted. Bishop Rod Thomas reported that following his visits to dioceses he was now an assistant bishop in 10 dioceses which allows him to minister beyond the needs of those who take the complementarian approach.
It was stressed that “AMIE represents a genuine twin-track Anglican approach – both within and outside CofE but at the heart of Global Anglicanism because of its confessional approach. “ Canon Lines said: “AMIE is not encouraging people to leave the CofE . AMIE provides an option for those who for different reasons are unable to fulfill their ministries within the structures.”
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Evangelism and Church Growth * International News & Commentary England / UK
The world watched in amazement as, on the day of their son’s funeral, nearly 30 Amish men and women, some the parents of the victims, came to the cemetery and formed a wall to block out media cameras. Parents, whose daughters had died at the hand of their son, approached the couple after the burial and offered condolences for their loss.
Then, just four weeks after the shooting, the couple was invited to meet with all the families in a local fire hall. One mother held Roberts’s gaze as both women’s eyes blurred with tears, she said. They were all grieving; they were all struggling to make sense of the senseless.
But the Amish did more than forgive the couple. They embraced them as part of their community. When Roberts underwent treatment for Stage 4 breast cancer in December, one of the girls who survived the massacre helped clean her home before she returned from the hospital. A large yellow bus arrived at her home around Christmas, and Amish children piled inside to sing her Christmas carols.
“The forgiveness is there; there’s no doubt they forgive,” Roberts said.
Read it all from the Washington Post.
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Death / Burial / Funerals * Culture-Watch Children Marriage & Family Psychology Religion & Culture * Theology Anthropology Christology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology Theology: Scripture
Write deeply upon our minds, O Lord our God, the lessons of thy holy Word, that only the pure in heart can see thee. Leave us not in the bondage of any sinful inclination. May we neither deceive ourselves with the thought that we have no sin, nor idly acquiesce in aught of which our conscience accuses us. Strengthen us by thy Holy Spirit to fight the good fight of faith, and grant that no day may pass without its victory; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
O God, who by the teaching of thy faithful servant and bishop Remigius didst turn the nation of the Franks from vain idolatry to the worship of thee, the true and living God, in the fullness of the catholic faith; Grant that we who glory in the name of Christian may show forth our faith in worthy deeds; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
Eternal God, Thou uncreate and primal Light, Maker of all created things, Fountain of pity, Thou Sea of Bounty, fathomless deep of Loving-Kindness: lift Thou up the light of Thy countenance upon us! Lord, shine in our hearts, true Sun of Righteousness, and fill our souls with Thy beauty.
Teach us always to keep in mind Thy judgments, and to discourse of them, and own Thee continually as our Lord and Friend. Govern by Thy will the works of our hands; and lead us in the right way, that we may do what is well-pleasing and acceptable to Thee, that through us unworthy Thy holy name may be glorified.
To Thee alone be praise and honor and worship eternally. Amen.
--James Manning,ed., Prayers of the Early Church (Nashville: The Upper Room, 1953)
[Kenneth] Woodward locates the Methodist Moment as having begun in modern U.S. politics back in 1972, but he notes that it passed quickly after the flop of Methodist George McGovern’s presidential campaign. Yet Woodward finds good reason to talk about a named “moment” because, as it slows or morphs, it leaves behind a changed landscape—think of a glacial moraine, which marks where a glacier once changed a mountainside, then lives on in stony and rocky residue. We live off that residue in the new landscape. Woodward lists many features of this Methodist influence in political movements, some of which he does not favor at all, and others which have to be reckoned with anew.
My interest in “episodes” and “moments” derives from my impulse to caution against utopian visions of causes, the belief that this time “we” have invented or devised or worked for a continually energetic movement or achievement. The concept of the “moment” is a reminder that nothing lasts, but that participants in efforts to change, though they do not win, may well be deserving of investment, renewal, revisitation. Only believers in inevitable and enduring progress, or who idolize their own efforts and causes, forget that episodes and moments come and go—for better and/or for worse.
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Bryant has seen many familiar faces on the embalming table. He embalmed his mother, honoring one of her more difficult requests. “She didn’t want anybody else but me to do it. So my mother can say at least I minded her one time,” he says. He’s embalmed his father, brother, aunts, uncles, nephews, and classmates from grade school. When one heavy-drinking friend turned up at the funeral home, Bryant tsk-tsked at the body. “I told him, ‘Man, I tried to tell you this was going to catch up with you.’ ”
Bryant is a trim man who wears a Fitbit and works out at Life Time Fitness three or four times a week. It’s one way he copes with the challenges of the job: embalming a child, or someone who’s committed suicide. Once, he worked on a man who’d been shot 54 times. “Dealing with death every day is not for everybody,” he says. “It can be overwhelming.” He takes time off to visit Spain or Morocco with a group of funeral directors (his wife of 33 years is not keen on traveling; his four adult children are out of the house), but he always misses his work.
“I was born to be an embalmer,” Bryant says. “I’ve never been afraid of this. I never struggled with it in school. I picked it up”—he snaps his fingers—“like that. I don’t know what it’s like to have a job; I just get up every day and do something I love to do.”
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Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Death / Burial / Funerals * Culture-Watch Health & Medicine * Economics, Politics Economy Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A. * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology
The Church of England should not have a monopoly on Anglicanism in England, the priest set to plant a new church in Scarborough, outside diocesan structures...says.
“In the business world, monopolies are not encouraged; so I do not see why there should be one Anglican service provider in England,” the Revd Lee McMunn said on Wednesday. “Surely we can allow people the option to choose, whether that is future ministers or future members of congregations.”
His Anglican Mission in England (AMiE) church in Scarborough will be the first of hundreds, if the organisation’s church-planting plans are fulfilled. This month, AMiE announced plans to plant 25 churches by 2025, and 250 by 2050. It is seeking to draw up a map of “promising and needy places to plant new gospel churches”, and to recruit people to start AMiE churches and serve as “assistant ministers”. It is also hoping that Anglican churches will form partnerships with AMiE churches, providing money and “mutual training”.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) Global South Churches & Primates * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Evangelism and Church Growth * Theology Christology Ecclesiology Soteriology
This past summer, three elderly members of my summer parish in rural Québec received a diagnosis of cancer at the local hospital, a small-town facility an hour’s drive from cosmopolitan Ottawa and even farther from hyper-secular Montréal. Yet after the diagnosis had been delivered, the first question each of these people was asked was “Do you wish to be euthanized?” That is what the new Canadian euthanasia regime has accomplished in just a few months: It has put euthanasia at the top of the menu of options proposed to the gravely ill.
Then there is Belgium, where, as reported in NR’s October 10 print issue, a minor was recently euthanized by lethal injection. You might think that, with the suburbs of Brussels having become the de facto capital of the ISIS caliphate (Euro-subdivision) and a birth rate so far below replacement level that native Belgians will soon be a rare anthropological specimen, the good burghers of Flanders and Wallonia would have something better to do than hasten the deaths of teenagers, even when the teenagers in their distress request just that. But if you thought that, then, as Richard Nixon famously said, “That would be wrong.”
The more apt mot about all of this lethality masquerading as compassion, however, is from the quotable quotes of another Richard, Richard John Neuhaus, who famously said of the morally egregious and its relationship to law, “What is permitted will eventually become obligatory.” Canada isn’t quite there yet, nor is Belgium; but they’re well on their way, not least because their single-payer health-care systems will increasingly find euthanasia cost-effective — and because the arts of pain relief combined with human support will atrophy in those countries as the “easy way out” becomes, well, easier and easier.
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Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Death / Burial / Funerals * Culture-Watch Aging / the Elderly Children Health & Medicine Marriage & Family Psychology Religion & Culture * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A. Canada * Religion News & Commentary Other Faiths Secularism * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology
Today we remember Jerome, translator of the Scriptures. Rembrandt etching of Jerome & lion c.1633-35. [Prints 50/7] pic.twitter.com/jKAB8trIf7— LambethPalaceLibrary (@lampallib) September 30, 2016
O Lord, thou God of truth, whose Word is a lantern to our feet and a light upon our path: We give thee thanks for thy servant Jerome, and those who, following in his steps, have labored to render the Holy Scriptures in the language of the people; and we beseech thee that thy Holy Spirit may overshadow us as we read the written Word, and that Christ, the living Word, may transform us according to thy righteous will; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
Today we remember Jerome, whose translations were crucial to the spread of Christianity and Christian study: https://t.co/3qB3w3N5ZD— Church of England (@c_of_e) September 30, 2016
O Almighty God, eternal, righteous, and merciful, give us poor sinners to do for thy sake all that we know of thy will, and to will always what pleases thee; so that inwardly purified, enlightened, and kindled by the fire of thy Holy Spirit, we may follow in the steps of thy well-beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.
A new collection of resources to strengthen and support the use of the Bible in the life of the Church has been published by the Anglican Communion. Described as a tool-kit, the Deeper Engagement collection of educational resources has been prepared by the Communion’s Bible in the Life of the Church (Bilc) project “to encourage us, as churches, to engage more deeply with the Bible,” the co-ordinator Stephen Lyon said in a letter to Primates.
Deeper Engagement is a collection of around 120 different educational resources from different parts of the Communion. They have been gathered “to help us in our engagement with Scripture,” Mr Lydon said. “Most have been used to great effect already and those responsible for creating them are enthusiastic about sharing them with others in the Communion.”
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Adult Education Ministry of the Laity Ministry of the Ordained * Theology Seminary / Theological Education Theology: Scripture
...do not imagine that indifference on these matters offers you an escape route. If you doubt that infant baptism or the Real Presence are issues worth dividing over, then you will find no real place at the Reformation table, either. As Lyndal Roper’s excellent new biography of Luther shows, the Real Presence was central to Luther’s thinking, and to say otherwise is to domesticate him beyond recognition. On this point, even Calvin and Zwingli could be categorized under the “S”-word as far as Luther was concerned. And perhaps we had better not mention what a serious deviation from the Nicene doctrine of the Trinity would have earned you. Michael Servetus could sadly testify to that.
The problem is that the Reformation is only really congenial to modern American evangelicalism if it is reduced to little more than the doctrine of justification by grace through faith. The sixteenth-century Reformation was about a whole lot more—and a whole lot that sits uncomfortably with the modern evangelical faith. So, like Bonhoeffer and C. S. Lewis, the Reformers and the Reformation must be bowdlerized, and by a strange domesticating metamorphosis, become modern American evangelicals. The truth is: The priorities and concerns of American evangelicalism have a highly tenuous and ambiguous relationship to those we find embodied in the confessions and catechisms of the Reformation and exemplified in the attitudes and actions of the Reformers.
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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, dragon-slayer, guardian of humanity and weigher of souls, was immensely popular in the medieval period, and in this post are four pieces about St Michael by medieval English writers: a Latin sequence by the eighth-century Northumbrian scholar Alcuin; an English homily from c.990 by Ælfric; a prayer in verse by John Lydgate (c.1370–c.1451); and a homily by John Mirk (fl. c.1382–c.1414). Illustrations are from English manuscripts in the British Library and from some churches I've recently visited.
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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.
O Lord, take thou full possession of my heart, raise there thy throne, and command there as thou dost in heaven. Being created by thee, let me live to thee. Being created for thee, let me ever act for thy glory. Being redeemed by thee, let me render to thee what is thine, and let my spirit ever cleave to thee alone; for thy name’s sake.
It was the one-two punch of cellphones and email that first pulled clergy into the social-media age, followed by digital newsletters, Facebook pages and constantly changing congregational websites. Even in small churches, the work of the "church secretary" has evolved, from answering the office telephone and preparing an ink-on-paper newsletter to serving as an all-purpose online networker.
"The old boundaries are vanishing and, for pastors in some parts of the country, they're almost completely gone," said Vaters, reached by telephone. "That mobile phone is always with you. … Once your church passes 200 members you have to manage things in a different way. You just can't afford to be as accessible to all those church members all of the time."
So what happens today when a member of a congregation rings the pastor's cellphone? Vaters recently addressed that question in a post at Christianity Today's Pivot blog for small-church leaders. The blunt headline: "Why Most Pastors Aren't Answering Your Phone Calls."
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Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained Pastoral Care * Culture-Watch Health & Medicine Psychology Religion & Culture Science & Technology * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology
The fourth film in the series exploring the vision and narrative looks at how, in a world crying out for God's love, we can once again become a growing church for all people in all places. With Secretary General William Nye, Church Army's CEO Mark Russell, and the Revd Smitha Prasadam.
You may find more information here.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Evangelism and Church Growth * Culture-Watch Media Religion & Culture * International News & Commentary England / UK
Gracious God, we offer thanks for the lives and work of Richard Rolle, Walter Hilton, and Margery Kempe, hermits and mystics, who, passing through the cloud of unknowing, beheld thy glory. Help us, after their examples, to see thee more clearly and love thee more dearly, in the Name of Jesus Christ our Savior; who with thee and the Holy Spirit livest and reignest, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
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