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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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The Church of England is at a crossroads in her calling to bring hope and transformation to our nation. The presenting issue is that of human sexuality, in particular whether or not the Church is able to affirm sexual relationships beyond opposite sex marriage. But the tectonic issues beneath, and driving, this specific question include what it means to be faithful to our apostolic inheritance, the Church’s relationship with wider culture, and the nature of the biblical call to holiness in the 21st Century. …
We do not believe … that it is within our gift to consider human sexual relationships and what constitutes and enables our flourishing as sexual beings to be of ‘secondary importance’. What is at stake goes far beyond the immediate pastoral challenges of human bisexual and same-sex sexual behaviour: it is a choice between alternative and radically different visions of what it means to be human, to honour God in our bodies, and to order our lives in line with God’s holy will.
At this crucial juncture, as our bishops pray and discern together regarding how the Church of England should walk forward at this time, we urge them not to depart from the apostolic inheritance with which they have been entrusted. …”
Read it all on Psephiso or Gafcon UK
I have noticed, however, among those of us whose lives appear already back to normal that there is a “weariness “or perhaps a lingering emotional strain from the events of the last week—an accumulating toll I suppose. We cancelled several diocesan meetings in order to allow people to attend to their personal cares or the needs of their neighbors. I’ve noticed many of our congregations have done the same—some of necessity and some from a sensitive wisdom regarding capacity. There are seasons not to be driven to do but to be, to pray, to intercede—and along with a helping hand—to give thanks. Put simply, from all the reports we’ve received from our congregations, we in the diocese have sustained very minimal damage to our church and parish properties, and with the exception of fallen trees and a drastically changed beach and Privateer Point we were relatively unscathed at St. Christopher which, given it’s barrier island location, is quite remarkable. Indeed from Grand Strand to Hilton Head, from Cheraw and Marion to Blackville and Walterboro the report is that we are fortunate beyond anything we could have expected.
There are also many examples of parishioners and congregations reaching out to those in need around the diocese—St. Bart’s, Hartsville, hosting a spaghetti dinner for those without electricity and for students at Coker College; Trinity, Myrtle Beach, opening their doors for folk to recharge cell phones; the congregations on Edisto Island assisting those on the island with food and safe water; St. James,’ Blackville, helping parishioners when a tree fell on their home; St. Helena’s, Beaufort, collecting food to help 50 families in their local community —and far too many other examples to list. Along with such actions may I urge our parishes and missions to have a sustained time of thanksgiving for God’s protection and provision this Sunday perhaps using one of the General Thanksgivings (BCP p. 836) or an adaptation thereof as well as intercessions for those still in need.
Read it all.
6. We affirm that the clear teaching of Jesus, and the Bible as a whole, is that marriage is an estate for all people, not just for believers. It is a holy institution, created by God for a man and a woman to live in a covenantal relationship of exclusive and mutual love for each other until they are parted by death. God designed marriage for the well-being of society, for sexual intimacy between a husband and a wife, and for procreation and the nurturing of children (Genesis 2:18-25).
7. We contend that sexual intercourse between two persons of the same sex is contrary to God’s design, is offensive to him and reflects a disordering of God’s purposes for complementarity in sexual relations. Like all other morally wrong behaviour, same-sex unions alienate us from God and are liable to incur God’s judgment. We hold these convictions based on the clear teaching of Scripture. We hold them not in order to demean or victimise those who experience same-sex attractions, but in order to guard the sound doctrine of our faith, which also informs our pastoral approach for helping those who struggle with same-sex impulses, attractions and temptations.
8. In this respect, the Church cannot condone same-sex unions as a form of behaviour acceptable to God. To do so would be tampering with the foundation of our faith once for all laid down by the apostles and the prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone (Ephesians 2: 20-22; 1 Corinthians 3:10-11; Jude 3).
9. Any pastoral provision by a church for a same-sex couple (such as a liturgy or a service to bless their sexual union) that obviates the need for repentance and a commitment to pursue a change of conduct enabled by the power of the Holy Spirit, would contravene the orthodox and historic teaching of the Anglican Communion on marriage and sexuality.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Global South Churches & Primates Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion) Same-sex blessings * International News & Commentary Middle East Egypt * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology Theology: Scripture
We affirm the biblical and historic faith that our Anglican forebears have faithfully handed down to us at great cost and which continues to shape our discipleship and mission:
a. We are part of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church worshipping the one true God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We profess the faith uniquely revealed in the Holy Scriptures – the canonical books of the Old and New Testament that contain all things necessary for salvation, and set forth in the catholic creeds, which faith the Church is called upon to proclaim afresh in each generation.
b. The doctrine in our churches, as our Anglican forebears bequeathed to us, is grounded in the Holy Scriptures and in such teachings of the ancient Fathers and Councils of the Church as are agreeable to the said Scriptures. In particular such doctrine is to be found in the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion, the Book of Common Prayer 1662 and the Ordinal.
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As I write, GAFCON is about to launch a project which I believe will be very significant for the future of the Anglican Communion. Under the leadership of Director Dr Samson Mwaluda, the recently retired Bishop of Taita Taveta in Kenya, the GAFCON Bishops Training Institute begins its first conference in Nairobi on 29th September for some twenty recently consecrated bishops drawn from GAFCON affiliated provinces. We already have a waiting list for our next conference!
I thank God that we are taking this step because the potential of leadership, for good or for bad, is very great. We see this truth in the life of Jesus. Much of his earthly ministry was devoted to teaching and training disciples and his most severe warnings of future judgement were spoken to religious leaders who twisted the Scriptures and served their own interests.
Jesus himself is the Good Shepherd who lays down his life for the sheep (John 10:11) and he is our example, in contrast to the hired man who runs for safety when the wolf attacks (John 10:12). Jesus is also the chief Shepherd (1 Peter 5:4) to whom all those of us who are entrusted with the care of God’s people will have to give account, but as Anglicans who hold to the historic episcopate, we look especially to our bishops to set wholesome examples as shepherds and overseers of the flock of God.
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The bishop noted some of the changes in society, but more particularly, in ministry and leadership, which had occurred since his consecration in 1997.
He compared figures from 1997–2016 and encouraged Synod that the diocese was well positioned for the future with 300 people commissioned and licensed for the work of ministry on a diocesan level.
There continued to be opportunities for curates and a desire in the diocese to invest in fresh new ministries. This year the number of presbyters ordained was the second largest in 20 years and six individuals were likely to begin the Foundation year at CITI – three in their twenties, two in their thirties, and one in their forties.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of Ireland * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained Pastoral Care * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * International News & Commentary England / UK --Ireland
Eleven clergy of the Diocese of West Ankole have brought a lawsuit in the Kampala High Court against the Primate of the Church of Uganda.
They allege that the Most Rev Stanley Ntagali had violated church canons and slandered the leaders of the diocese when he appointed his own commission to select candidates to replace the Rt Rev Yona Katoneene.
The lawsuit alleges that when Archbishop Ntagali created an eight-member committee on 2 October 2015 to oversee the selection process, he usurped the authority of the local committee, violated canon law and slandered West Ankole was a “failed” diocese.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of Uganda * Culture-Watch Law & Legal Issues Religion & Culture * International News & Commentary Africa Uganda * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology
Britain’s shallow, celebrity-obsessed culture could leave as toxic a legacy for future generations as the pollution of the planet, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Williams of Oystermouth has warned.
Today’s children are growing up in a culture with few if any real “heroes”, he said, while ideas of “nobility” and even “honour” are quietly disappearing.
The result could be as damaging to the nation’s “moral and imaginative ecology” as the destruction of the environment, he argued.
Britain is in danger of become a more “boring” and “mean-minded” place as a result, he added.
Read it all (another from the long line of should have already been posted material).
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury --Rowan Williams * Culture-Watch Blogging & the Internet --Social Networking Media Movies & Television Religion & Culture Science & Technology * International News & Commentary England / UK * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology
But if there is a growing gap between the beliefs of the elites and the laws of the nation on one hand, and the Christian Church on the other, then the Bible and church history give clear guidance: the Church’s responsibility is to do precisely the opposite of what Mr Archer suggests, and stick to its principles courageously, compassionately and prophetically, as for example the Anglican Church did in South Africa, otherwise it becomes a puppet of the State and a religious cipher in society.
Mr Archer goes on to predict, with approval, that Parliament will in time act to “urge” the Church of England to change its official teaching and practice regarding sexual ethics and marriage. He may be right, and readers should not be surprised in the coming months to see influential leaders such as Mr Archer siding with Government and media to put pressure on the Church in this way.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) * Culture-Watch History Marriage & Family Religion & Culture Sexuality --Civil Unions & Partnerships * International News & Commentary England / UK * Theology Anthropology Ecclesiology Ethics / Moral Theology Theology: Scripture
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
The Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland, The Most Revd Dr Richard Clarke, delivered his Presidential Synod Address at the 2016 Armagh Diocesan Synod in the Alexander Synod Hall, Church House, Armagh on Tuesday 18th October 2016. He spoke on the themes of applying the ‘five marks of mission’ identified by the Anglican Communion: to proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom; to teach, baptise and nurture new believers; to respond to human need by loving service; to transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and pursue peace and reconciliation; and to strive to safeguard the integrity of creation, and sustain and renew the life of the earth. Archbishop Clarke said: ‘Every part of the worldwide Church has to work through them, work out the implications for their own setting, and then put them into practice,’ and continued: ‘Proclaiming the Good News of the Kingdom does not mean handing people a package, it means encouraging them to join with us on a journey … We are asking people to become, not “people like us”, but to become what we all strive to be, children of the Kingdom of God.’
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7. We do not believe therefore that it is within our gift to consider human sexual relationships and what constitutes and enables our flourishing as sexual beings to be of ‘secondary importance’. What is at stake goes far beyond the immediate pastoral challenges of human bisexual and same-sex sexual behaviour: it is a choice between alternative and radically different visions of what it means to be human, to honour God in our bodies, and to order our lives in line with God’s holy will.This is a strong rebuke to those Church leaders who want to relegate the issue of sexuality to the level of ‘adiaphora’ while focussing on institutional conformity. It is also a call to integrate our understanding of sexuality into a wider, positive vision of living as the people of God, rather than seeing it as just a pastoral issue for a minority.
8. At this crucial juncture, as our bishops pray and discern together regarding how the Church of England should walk forward at this time, we urge them not to depart from the apostolic inheritance with which they have been entrusted.Of course, it could be argued that some Bishops have already departed from this inheritance! But the letter wisely does not refer to this.
9. Any further changes to practice or doctrine in these important areas will set the Church on a path of fundamental disunity. It would cause a break not only with the majority of the Anglican Communion, but with the consistent mind of the worldwide Church down many centuries. It will trigger a process of division and fragmentation among faithful Anglicans in England. Responses would vary, but the consequences for the life and mission of the Church will be far-reaching, both nationally and globally.A serious warning which will no doubt be seen as a threat to schism. It’s significant that this letter came out just a few days after similar clear statements from the Global South and GAFCON. But it’s not saying to the Bishops “if you change, we will split”, but rather “if you change you have created a split”. There is no attempt at trying to reconcile the different views, or calls for further talks. This appears to be acknowledging that the Pilling/ Shared Conversations project, with its idea that different views and practices on sexuality can coexist in a united Church, has not succeeded.
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Patriarch Kirill drew Archbishop Justin Welby’s attention to the Russian Orthodox Church’s concern over the liberalization of the Church of England’s teaching on church order, particularly, the ordination of women as priests and bishops and on the family and morality. His Holiness Kirill expressed hope that the Church of England will oppose challenges of the modern world and seek to preserve the Gospel’s teaching.
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The visit represents the first time that Archbishop Justin and Patriarch Kirill have met, but it is the second time a Patriarch of Moscow and an Archbishop of Canterbury have met at Lambeth Palace in recent times. The first meeting was that of Archbishop Michael Ramsey with His Holiness Alexey I in 1964.
The relationship between the two churches has endured for more than three centuries, through some very difficult times as well periods when the two countries have stood side by side. This relationship has been cemented through many personal contacts and through the spiritual and cultural interchange which has enriched both churches.
After welcoming Patriarch Kirill and his delegation to Lambeth Palace, Archbishop Justin had a personal conversation with Patriarch Kirill. Uppermost in the conversation was their shared compassion for Christian, and other, minorities in many parts of the world, especially in the Middle East, where they have been systematically targeted and persecuted and their communities decimated.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby * International News & Commentary Europe Russia * Religion News & Commentary Ecumenical Relations Other Churches Orthodox Church
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.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Global South Churches & Primates * Christian Life / Church Life Church History * International News & Commentary Africa Middle East Egypt * Theology
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) CoE Bishops Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion) Same-sex blessings * Culture-Watch Marriage & Family Psychology Religion & Culture Sexuality --Civil Unions & Partnerships * International News & Commentary England / UK * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology Theology: Scripture
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).
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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
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.
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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
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
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The Anglican Diocese of Calabar on Monday pointed out that the practice of true federalism in Nigeria is the only panacea to Nigeria’s multifaceted problems.
Bishop of the Diocese, Rt. Rev. Tunde Adeleye, who stated this at a press briefing to mark the 2nd session of 9th Synod of the Diocese in Calabar, averred that states should be given more powers to manage some pressing local affairs, while the Federal Government should maintain its roles on national security and diplomatic matters.
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The human tragedy that is the Calais ‘jungle’ camp has been a constant cause for concern and prayer in the Diocese. Being but a few miles from our own coastline, its devastating impact on those that live and volunteer there, the local French community, lorry drivers and port workers, holiday-makers and security staff, has been impossible to ignore.
Although clearly an intolerable situation, news of its imminent dismantling does little to dispel concern for everyone involved. Our prayer now is that the clearance process be carried out with humanity and in the recognition of the human dignity of each person present. We acknowledge too the need for swift and urgent protection for the many unaccompanied young people and children present in the camp who are now faced with increased danger.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) CoE Bishops * Economics, Politics Immigration * International News & Commentary England / UK Europe France * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology
The appeal to pastoral accommodation as a way forward has now been analysed both in principle and in relation to three examples. This has shown there are major problems with appealing to pastoral accommodation to justify commonly proposed developments affirming of sexual same-sex unions without either changing the church’s teaching or demonstrating and getting agreement that the developments are in principle consistent with that teaching. This does not rule out such developments as clergy in same-sex sexual unions (including marriages) or the liturgical recognition of such unions. It does though mean that if they are to be proposed (by the bishops or anyone else) then some other justifications than simply an appeal to pastoral accommodation are needed and these other rationales will need to be developed and weighed by the church. An appeal to pastoral accommodation properly understood and as we have used it in the past simply will not work.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) CoE Bishops Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion) Same-sex blessings * International News & Commentary England / UK * Theology Anthropology Ecclesiology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology Theology: Scripture
I have just returned from participating in the Sixth Global South “South-to-South” Encounter of Archbishops, Bishops, Clergy, theologians and other leaders from 16 Provinces in the Global South (plus other orthodox Anglican representatives from Bangladesh, USA, Canada, and Australia). It was a privilege to represent the Province of North America (Anglican Church in North America) and to serve on the team that helped to draft the Communique from Cairo October 6, 2016.
With everything still fresh in mind, I’d like to point out seven (7) take-aways from the Global South Communique...
..then the Communique turns its attention to the Mother Church itself, the Church of England (COE). In the context of just condemning those Provinces so closely linked, geographically and historically, to England, the Communique goes on to say “We are deeply concerned that there appears to be a potential move towards the acceptance of blessing of same sex union by COE.” (para. 31). The Global South is watching the Mother Church closely. In typically gracious fashion, the Global South cites the “potential move.” It hasn’t happened, yet. But it is on the table; the recommendations of the Pilling Report are before the COE General Synod. With grace, the Communique notes the unique role of the COE in the life of the Communion: how its decisions as the Mother Church impact the Communion more deeply, how its Primate (the ABC) is “first among equals.” But the Global South is watching nonetheless. And then it concludes with a not-so-subtle warning: the acceptance of the blessing of same sex union by COE “would have serious implications for us should it occur.” (para. 31).
What are those implications? How should we imagine them in the context of the statement about the role of the ABC as “first among equals”? The presence of the Bishops of Winchester and Durham, the next most senior Sees in the COE after Canterbury and York, highlights the gravity of the situation in the COE. The Global South is watching, and waiting.
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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.
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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."
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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
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..
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.
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A Canadian Anglican has been chosen to head one of the world’s most prestigious universities.
Stephen Toope, who has served on a number of high-profile church bodies, was recently nominated as vice-chancellor of the University of Cambridge, according to U of T News. Assuming the appointment will be approved by the university’s governing body, Toope will begin in his new role Oct. 1, 2017. He will be the 346th vice-chancellor in the university’s 800-year history, and is believed to be the first non-Briton to serve in the position.
Toope, who is currently director of the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs, said he was completely surprised when he received the offer, unaware the university had even been searching for someone to fill the post.
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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
Leaders of the Global South have attacked “the inability of existing Communion instruments to discern truth and error and take binding ecclesiastical action”.
In a closing communiqué following the meeting in Egypt, they lamented the failure “to discipline those leaders who have abandoned the biblical and historic faith, to check the marginalisation of Anglicans in heterodox Provinces who are faithful, and in some cases have even sanctioned or deposed them.”
The statement also expressed their grief that some Churches had given “authorisation of liturgies and making pastoral provisions for blessing of civil unions of same-sex couples and blessing or solemnising of same-sex marriage… and ordination those who live in same-sex union…
“Churches that condone these practices are severing themselves from their own spiritual roots… they also undermine their moral witness to their own societies, and cause huge confusion among the Anglican faithful in our Churches in this globalising world.”
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William Wilberforce convinced his generation that slavery was a sin – a sin that was a curse of the country in which he lived. That belief has not changed. Yet slavery still demeans more than 30 million in our world. This is the reality for thousands, possible tens of thousands, in our own country, not because we think it is acceptable, but because our sin lies in blindness and ignorance.
I have had to learn that myself. Change that and the problem will be transformed. At the heart of that slightly demanding and complex reading a few moments ago, is freedom.
Paul is writing in a world where 30 per cent of the population were slaves and slavery was visible all around, absolutely unchallenged.And he tells the Galatian Christians that in Christ there was no difference between the slave and the free.
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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.
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The Commission has been very active over the last few years and as it is anticipated that there will be fewer vacant sees in the near future, it is timely to review the way in which it works. The focus of the group will be to explore and provide the theological framework for the Commission as it discharges its responsibilities and to make any recommendations on process in the light of this. The group will be inviting a number of people to meet with it as well as receiving written submissions. It is very conscious of its responsibility to ensure that the full richness and diversity of Church voices are represented and starts its work this week.
It is anticipated that the group will make a report to the Archbishops who have commissioned the work. They have committed to sharing it with General Synod in 2018.
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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.”
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"It’s been a surreal week. Last Wednesday and Thursday I met the Pope, first for a big service then for a conversation. The service was beautiful, full of a sense of the presence of God. Towards the end the Pope gave a gift, for me and my successors, a beautifully carved wooden Bishop's staff, modelled on one given to St Augustine by Pope Gregory the Great in 597 – over 1,400 years ago.
"In turn I gave him the cross I was wearing; it is called a Coventry Cross, and is the shape of three nails, modelled on the ones made at Coventry Cathedral after it was bombed in 1940. In the past 70 years they have become a global symbol of peacemaking and reconciliation.
"At that deeply emotional moment, triggered by the cross of nails, I remembered Aleppo, and those driven from homes all round the world as refugees. And then yesterday evening I met Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani 19-year-old shot for campaigning for education for girls, and still doing so. An extraordinary evening.
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Several months ago we were praying that the Lord would guide us during the conference, specifically that it would not be political, but spiritual, seeking the guidance of the Holy Spirit. We did experience his movement among us, and the communique reflects the love of God, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit. It expressed very clearly where we stand, in a non-aggressive and non-divisive way. On the contrary, it shows how unity among the people of God brings blessing. (Psalm 133)
- Archbishop Mouneer Hanna Anis, Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East
It expresses our collective frustration, hope, and counsel to the Anglican Communion leadership on the state of our communion. It shows our faith, determination, and effort to restore this communion to wholeness. And it shows we are getting ready for the possibility of further deterioration, that we should be able to speak and act decisively.
- Archbishop Nicholas Okoh, Province of Nigeria
With the confusing messages from the centers of Anglicanism regarding Biblical morality, it clearly communicates our message, allowing us to focus on our mission to lead people to Jesus Christ.
- Archbishop Foley Beach, Anglican Church in North America
When we see conflicts and suffering in the world, this communique tells us we have to work faster and more corporately to help. But it also expresses our dissatisfaction and disappointment over the inability of the communion to address fundamental issues which are distracting us from the mission of the church. The truth of the gospel will only have power if it is not compromised.
- Archbishop Ng Moon Hing, Province of Southeast Asia
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In a letter to parishioners, Archbishop Herft said he would stand aside with immediate effect, to "focus my attention on the royal commission's ongoing inquiry into the Diocese of Newcastle".
The Archbishop gave evidence at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in August.
He finished his testimony with an apology to the people of Newcastle, where he served as bishop between 1993 and 2005.
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Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, has called for a nationwide meeting to assess the progress made since Indigenous Anglicans first declared their intention to work toward self-determination in the 1994 Covenant.
“It is time, I think...for us to convene some kind of a gathering in , which will really bring together people from all across the church who are interested in and committed to Indigenous Anglican ministries,” he said, adding that he hopes to organize the gathering jointly with National Indigenous Anglican Bishop Mark MacDonald.
According to Hiltz, the gathering would be an opportunity for Anglicans to share about the work that is being done across the country, and perhaps learn from what has worked and what hasn’t.
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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.
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Pope Tawadros II, patriarch of the Coptic Orthdox Church (pictured) also extended his welcome to the delegates of the Anglican Global South. Through Metropolitan Bishoy he expressed his delight in the Christological agreement signed between the Anglican and Oriental Orthodox Churches in 2014, as well as the 2015 agreement on the procession of the Holy Spirit from the Father.
“[We] back you in your defense of the commandments of the Holy Scriptures,” said Pope Tawadros to the Global South delegates, through Metropolitan Bishoy, while noting serious disagreements that exist between the Coptic Orthodox and the Anglican Church as a whole.
“Yet we carry on our dialogue with the Anglican Communion in order to encourage the Anglican conservatives to continue abiding to the true and genuine Biblical principles.”
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The Archbishop of Canterbury spent two days in Rome this week, accompanied by 17 leaders from other Anglican Provinces worldwide, as well as pairs of Anglican and Roman Catholic bishops who discussed ways of forging closer partnerships in mission.
At an audience in the Vatican on Thursday, Pope Francis said that it was “a beautiful sign of fraternity” to see the Primates of so many Anglican Provinces celebrating the fruits of the first meeting 50 years ago between his predecessor Pope Paul VI and Archbishop Michael Ramsey.
“Let us never grow tired of asking the Lord together and insistently for the gift of unity,” the Pope said. All church leaders were being challenged to go out and bring God’s “merciful love to a world thirsting for peace”
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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’.
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"Into this mix of war, migration and climate change, economic deprivation, inequality and corruption, we see added the growth of extremist groups advocating religiously motivated violence, affecting most, probably even all, of the great world faiths. The internet enables their poison to spread around the world with lightning speed, catching the naïve and lost, and leading them into paths of destruction. Secular values disregard the unborn, especially those with disabilities, and discard the aged. Family life is marginalised in the cause of economic necessity.
"Facing all these perils, and a million more, is the body of Christ, the church, against which, as was promised to St Peter, the gates of hell shall not prevail. We have much cause for concern, but none for fear, for we are embraced by Christ, our Good Shepherd. In fact, we are filled with joy and hope, through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit who is given to us.
"Yet in our disunity we grieve the Spirit of God, and we damage every aspect of our lives in Christ. Our witness is damaged, for we are not seen as one, and thus the world is less able to see that Jesus comes from the Father. Our fellowship is impaired, for we cannot share in the Eucharist. Our delight in Christ is overshadowed by our grief at divisions within his family.
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[Michael] Glerup’s lectures were sandwiched between two Bible studies led by senior leaders in the Global South. Archbishop Ng Moon Hing of Southeast Asia spoke on the church and the challenge of unity, while Archbishop Stanley Ntagali of Uganda spoke on the church and the challenge of false teaching.
Disunity has been a hallmark of both human and church history, Hing said, and neither theocracy nor democracy has a good track record in overcoming it. Paul’s ethic in Ephesians 2, however, establishes a new pattern in which a Christian is to be simultaneously a responsible citizen of God’s kingdom, and a faithful member of God’s household.
The disease is connected to false teaching, said Ntagali, but like the corruption rampant in many parts of the Global South, this is a symptom rather than the disease itself.
It is secularism that has become the dominant philosophy of the world, he said, with God no longer at the center. This allows some to claim the Christian name while not following Christ, while others claim the grace of God as a license to do what they want.
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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.
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The ordination of women and “more recent questions regarding human sexuality” are serious obstacles in the path to unity between Anglicans and Roman Catholics; but they “cannot prevent us from recognising one another as brothers and sisters in Christ”, Pope Francis and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, said in a Common Declaration.
Speaking of the meeting between Pope Paul VI and Archbishop of Canterbury Michael Ramsey in 1966 – the first such public meeting of a Pope and Archbishop of Canterbury since the Reformation – and their Common Declaration, Pope Francis and Archbishop Welby said that their predecessors had “recognised the ‘serious obstacles’ that stood in the way of a restoration of complete faith and sacramental life between us. Nevertheless, they set out undeterred, not knowing what steps could be taken along the way, but in fidelity to the Lord’s prayer that his disciples be one.
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Times have changed, Ms. Sandys said on Monday as the statue arrived at the cathedral, swaddled in the kind of dark gray blankets that movers wrap around furniture.
“It was startling then,” said Ms. Sandys, who is a granddaughter of Winston Churchill and whose name is pronounced “sands.” “Now? Well, we have women bishops now.”
The current dean of the cathedral, the Very Rev. James A. Kowalski, saw the return of the statue as “an opportunity to reframe the conversation and, frankly, do a better job than the first time.”
And this time, the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of New York, Andrew M. L. Dietsche, wrote an article for the cathedral’s booklet — an approving article. “In an evolving, growing, learning church,” he wrote, “we may be ready to see ‘Christa’ not only as a work of art but as an object of devotion, over our altar, with all of the challenges that may come with that for many visitors to the cathedral, or indeed, perhaps for all of us.”
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Archbishop Chew began by emotionally recalling his participation in the initial Global South gathering in Nigeria in 1994, then called the South-South Encounter. It helped us get to know each other, he said, and whether the way we did it was right or wrong, it clearly led to what followed.
That meeting was followed up by the 1997 conference in Malaysia, which galvanized the conservative primates of the Global South to achieve Resolution 110 of the 1998 Lambeth Conference, rejecting homosexual practice as incompatible with scripture.
Building on this history, he asked the delegates to reflect with him on Ezekiel 37’s valley of dry bones. “Can these bones live?” asked God to the prophet, to which Ezekiel wisely responded, “Lord, you know.”
Archbishop Chew suggested that similarly, in light of the crises in the Anglican Communion, a proper response is to be silent and wait on God. When division is deep-seated, action cannot overcome action, but only God’s transformation of hearts.
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The archbishop encouraged delegates to take two lessons from this history. First, drawing on the conference theme from I Corinthians 4:2, the church must be “found faithful” to the gospel received from the apostles. Second, the truth will prevail in the end.
He decried an “ideological slavery” in which some in the Western church use their money and influence to push their agenda on the Global South. They undermine the scripture and the traditions of the church in redefining the definition of marriage, he said, and their unilateral choices to ordain homosexual bishops is fraying the fabric of the worldwide Anglican Communion.
“I want to weep,” Archbishop Anis said, “as Jesus did over Jerusalem.”
He also challenged delegates over the weaknesses of churches in the Global South. Corruption, tribalism, polygamy, poor treatment of women, and the prosperity gospel all show the need for greater theological education.
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It was measure of how warm a relationship the Archbishop of Canterbury has with Pope Francis.
When asked by a child this summer who would win if they had a fight, Archbishop Welby joked the Pope would, for sure.
"He has a bigger stick than me, and has a bigger hat than me - and he's better than me."
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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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[The] Rev. Dr Keith Mascord appears to be the first Anglican casualty of the same-sex marriage debate.
The Anglican Archbishop of Sydney Dr Glenn Davies has decided not to renew Rev. Mascord's ministry licence.
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(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.
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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)
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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
This is the situation that faces the Global South gathering next week in Cairo. What can you and I do about it?
1. Pray: Please pray for the Global South and GAFCON leaders who will be gathered in Cairo. Pray for humility among all those gathered, “for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23). Pray that these Godly and faithful leaders will find their unity in the mind of Christ (Philippians 2:5-11), an undivided mind surrendered to the Father’s will and mission.
2. Share: You know, we’ll never find the cure until we begin with an accurate diagnosis of our brokenness. The American Anglican Council does not write the diagnoses we offer to be salacious—but rather to bring matters into the light so that we may have genuine fellowship, authentic Christianity, with each other and so that the blood of Jesus may cleanse us from all our sins (I John1:7-9). Please share this article, and other diagnoses we have written about so that we can pray with insight and foresight.
3. Recommit yourself and your local Anglican Church to “authentic Christianity” No matter what happens in Cairo, we need to follow Jesus in everything he said and did. We need to make disciples of all nations, sharing the transforming love of Jesus Christ in as many ways as we can, in the power of the Holy Spirit, and begin in the neighborhoods and communities God has placed us.
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The two proposals before the Synod which drew most public attention were:
Firstly, that bishops should be allowed to license clergy who identify as LGBTI, and are in legal same-sex civil unions under South African law, to minister in parishes. The proposers of the motion before Synod withdrew this proposal before debate began.
Secondly, it was proposed that a Bishop may “provide for prayers of blessing to be offered for those in same sex civil unions.” The motion before the Synod did not propose that clergy should be able actually to marry same-sex couples under Church law.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Southern Africa Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion) Same-sex blessings * Theology Anthropology Eschatology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology Theology: Scripture
he initial motion before the Synod also proposed that bishops could provide for clergy who identify as LGBTI and are in legal same-sex civil unions to be licensed to minister in parishes. But the proposers withdrew this section before debate began.
Opposition to the proposal was strongest among bishops, with 16 voting against and six in favour. Sixty-two percent of lay representatives to the synod voted against it (41 votes to 25), and 55 percent of clergy (42 to 34).
The church includes Anglicans in Angola, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland and on the island of St Helena. Same-sex marriage is allowed only under South African civil law.
Before announcing the result, Archbishop Thabo spoke of the “palpable pain” in the church over the vote....
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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
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
He is known as the ‘Red Carpet Curate’, but the ministry of the Rev Peterson Feital is far more significant than the tabloid nickname would suggest.
Last year he was appointed the first Missioner to the Creative Industries by the Diocese of London. It was just the latest of innovative new appointments that is being made by the Church of England as it seeks out new mission opportunities.
But what does this post of Missioner really entail? Sitting in the heart of Soho, he told me about the vision he has for his strategic role. Surrounded by creatives on every side – London’s arts and media specialists contribute over £70 billion a year to the UK economy – he is very aware of the unusual environment in which he finds himself.
The people he has in his patch include film-makers, actors, designers, advertising executives and many other professionals. But their lifestyles are rather different to the people around them.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) * Culture-Watch Art Religion & Culture Theatre/Drama/Plays Urban/City Life and Issues * International News & Commentary England / UK
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I will take comments on this submitted by email only to KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Bishops * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A. * Theology Ethics / Moral 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
In response to the news that an agreement has been reached in North Belfast in relation to contested parades, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, joined with the Archbishop of Armagh, Dr Richard Clarke, to express their support for this significant initiative:
"We have been aware that various people and groups have been working hard to reach an agreement which would bring to an end the parading stand-off in North Belfast, a part of the city which has borne economic hardship and carries a heavy legacy from the Troubles. The news of this agreement is to be warmly welcomed and we commend all who have taken risks and found a way to serve the common good in the journey towards a peaceful and reconciled future. Our prayers and continued support are with those who now carry responsibility for making it work."
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) Church of Ireland * Culture-Watch History Religion & Culture Urban/City Life and Issues Violence * International News & Commentary England / UK --Ireland * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology
Anyone who has been baptised will be able to receive Holy Communion in church, regardless of whether they have also been confirmed, under new guidance coming into effect in November.
The Church in Wales is re-adopting the practice of the early church on admission to Communion – the sharing of bread and wine – in an effort to strengthen ministry to children and young people in particular.
In recent times, people wishing to receive Communion have usually had to have been confirmed first – confirming promises made on their behalf at their baptism as infants.
However, from the First Sunday in Advent – November 27 – everyone who has been baptised will be able to receive Holy Communion. The policy will be rolled out across the parishes and ministry areas over the next year.
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Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ! By the grace of God and for the glory of Christ, we have been called to serve with you at Church of the Good Shepherd, and we could not be more excited....
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Cummins Theological Seminary, Summerville, SC, is pleased to announce the election of the Rt. Rev. Mark J. Lawrence, 14th Bishop of the Diocese of South Carolina, to the Board of Trustees of the Seminary. Bishop Lawrence was unanimously elected by the 44th Annual Synod of the Reformed Episcopal Diocese of the Southeast, meeting in Charleston, SC, on Friday, September 16, 2016.
This is an historic moment in the reconciliation of these two dioceses. The Reformed Episcopal Diocese began in 1874 when former slaves, after the Civil War and Reconstruction, were not allowed to worship in the parishes of the Diocese of South Carolina. They sought refuge in the newly founded (1873) Reformed Episcopal Church (REC). These former slaves wrote to the Rt. Rev. George D. Cummins, founding bishop of the REC, and the General Council, asking for a church home in the REC.
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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 Parish Ministry Ministry of the Ordained Preaching / Homiletics * Theology Theology: Scripture
Catholic priest Fr Edward O'Donnell has been installed as an ecumenical canon at St Anne's Cathedral in Belfast.
He is one of three ecumenical canons appointed at the cathedral.
In his role at St Anne's he can preach, lead prayers and read scripture. He can also assist at the cathedral's traditional Black Santa Christmas collection for charity.
It is the first time in St Anne's history that a Catholic priest has been appointed to such a role.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of Ireland * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * International News & Commentary England / UK --Ireland * Religion News & Commentary Ecumenical Relations Other Churches Roman Catholic
“Lewis was committed to classical liberalism in the tradition of John Locke and John Stuart Mill,” according to Professors Dyer and Watson, meaning he believed in the wisdom of limited government, equality under the law, and a robust private sphere. Lewis also presciently warned that Christians were tempted to abuse political power in ways that were bad for both Christianity and the state. He believed that theocracy was the worst form of government and detested the idea of a “Christian party,” which risked blaspheming the name of Christ.
“The danger of mistaking our merely natural, though perhaps legitimate, enthusiasms for holy zeal, is always great,” Lewis wrote. “The demon inherent in every party is at all times ready enough to disguise himself as the Holy Ghost; the formation of a Christian Party means handing over to him the most efficient makeup we can find.”
Lewis knew that a faith-informed conscience could advance justice and that Christianity played an enormous part in establishing the concept of natural rights and the dignity of the human person. But he also believed that legislation is not an exact science; that a Christian citizen does not, in the words of Professors Dyer and Watson, “have the authority to represent his or her prudential judgment as required by Christianity”; and that no political party can come close to approximating God’s ideal. Christianity is about ends, not means, according to Lewis, and so he spent a good deal of his life articulating what he believed was the telos, the ultimate purpose, of human beings. Lewis was convinced that partisan political engagement often undermined that effort.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal * Christian Life / Church Life Church History * Economics, Politics Politics in General * International News & Commentary England / UK * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology
According to statistics and a recent pew sheet of my church; the Anglican Church has been in decline in the West for over 100 years. Numbers of Anglicans in Australia have also been in steady decline since 2001.
Being part of a traditional parish in the Diocese of Sydney, the challenge of growth and decline is more than just cyclical, it is generational. While the majority of the diocese has moved its worship form away from traditional setting, parishes like St Paul's Burwood has the challenge of protecting and using the liturgy regularly while still focusing on outreach.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Australia * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Evangelism and Church Growth * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * International News & Commentary Australia / NZ
After the 9/11 attacks, Osama Bin Laden's al-Qaeda had approximately 300 militants. ISIS alone now has, at a low estimate, 31,000 fighters across Syria and Iraq. Understanding how ideology has driven this phenomenon is essential to containing and defeating violent extremism.
But violent ideologies do not operate in a vacuum. A fire requires oxygen to grow. A broader political culture overlaps significantly with some of the assumptions of the jihadi ideology, without necessarily being extreme or agreeing with its violence.
The jihadi ideology preys upon those who are sympathetic to some of its aims. Unless we understand how the ideology relates to wider beliefs, we cannot uproot it.
Read it all (and note the link to download the full report).
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby * Culture-Watch Books Religion & Culture Violence * Economics, Politics Terrorism * Religion News & Commentary Other Faiths Islam * Theology Anthropology Eschatology Ethics / Moral Theology
The final issue I want to mention is religiously-motivated violence. For the first time for any of us, and in fact for our predecessors, for many, many years – since long before there was national education – the issue of conflict and of religion is generating a powerful and, indeed, at times uncontrollable and destructive influence in our society and around the world, to an extent that has put it at the top of the political agenda, and which affects the life of our own nation as well as abroad. No one before you in the last 10 years as secondary heads has had to face the kinds of issues with religiously-motivated violence since the 17th century to this extent.
It has come back, and that means religious literacy is essential to building the kind of society that we need in the future, whether you believe in the faith of a particular group or of no particular group. Religious literacy has become essential to understanding people’s motivation and ideas. That’s a new experience for all of us, and for our politicians, and for our education system.
There was a study published recently on jihadi violence and the underlying drivers of it, called Inside the Jihadi Mind. One of the things that comes out most importantly is that the heart of their theology – which is the heart of their propaganda, so this is the driving force – is an apocalyptic understanding of human history, not as a loose term but in its strictest technical terms: they believe that the world is about to end, that the Prophet will return with Jesus, and will defeat the western powers.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) * Culture-Watch Children Education Religion & Culture Violence * International News & Commentary England / UK * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology
Culture has changed dramatically in the past century as Christendom has given way to secularism and pluralism. This new reality has now arrived in the urban south. We must ask if Christianity has anything to say in response. Join us for Listen & Speak as we discuss a Christian posture towards culture. Featuring pastor and author Scott Sauls and storyteller Andrew Peterson.
You can check out the website there and you can register here.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Adult Education Ministry of the Laity Ministry of the Ordained * Culture-Watch Multiculturalism, pluralism Religion & Culture * South Carolina * Theology Apologetics Seminary / Theological Education
Rachel Treweek, the bishop of Gloucester, has said she is highlighting the issue of body image among children to challenge perceptions that physical appearance determines self-worth.
[Last week]...Treweek – the first female bishop to sit in the House of Lords – will visit All Saints Academy in Cheltenham to talk to a group of 13- to 16-year-olds in the first of a series of school visits in her constituency to discuss the issue.
It follows a report from the Children’s Society last month that found one out of three girls aged 10 to 15 was unhappy with her appearance and felt ugly or worthless.
Read it all from the Guardian.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) CoE Bishops * Culture-Watch Children Education Health & Medicine Psychology Women * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology
You can listen directly here or download it there.
(Photo: Travis Dew)
The Church of England has released two statistical reports, which sounds very dull, but stick with me. “Ministry Statistics in Focus: Stipendiary clergy projections” looks at how many stipendiary clergy there might be over the next 20 years, given different scenarios. “Ordained Vocations Statistics” sets out the number of those heading into training for ordained ministry over the past few decades and the profile by gender, age, etc. Both reports describe the patterns of the past. More than that, they illuminate the present and stimulate questions about the future.
I can find myself in these statistics. This may come as a surprise to those who know me, as I am lay. They don’t have any numbers about lay people, so how do I find myself in the documents? The report about stipendiary clergy projections doesn’t even have much about self-supporting ministers or those with PTO, because we can’t currently produce any accurate baseline numbers. Research and Stats are working on that, so expect better information next year. Surely the only reports I should be able to find myself in are the ones about church attendance?
But when I look at these reports, I can see in the retirement statistics the previous Bishop of Ely, +Anthony Russell, who confirmed me.
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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
This sure is matter of love; but came there any good to us by it? There did. For our conception being the root as it were, the very groundsill of our nature; that He might go to the root and repair of our nature from the very foundation, thither He went; that what had been there defiled and decayed by the first Adam, might by the Second be cleansed and set right again. That had our conception been stained, by Him therefore, primum ante omnia,to be restored again. He was not idle all the time He was an embyro all the nine months He was in the womb; but then and there He even ate out the core of corruption that cleft to our nature and us, and made both us and it an unpleasing object in the sight of God.
And what came of this? We who were abhorred by God, filii irae was our title, were by this means made beloved in Him. He cannot, we may be sure, account evil of that nature, that is now become the nature of His own Son is now no less than ours. Nay farther, given this privilege to the children of such as are in Him, though but of one parent believing, that they are not as the seed of two infidels, but are in a degree holy, eo ipso; and have a farther right to the laver of regeneration, to sanctify them throughout by the renewing of the Holy Ghost. This honour is to us by the dishonour of Him; this the good by Christ an embyro.
--From a sermon preached before King James, at Whitehall, on Sunday, the Twenty-fifth of December, 1614
Brinkley did attract many young clergy to Cloyne. During the winter of 1831–32 the area was badly affected by famine and disease. There was a cholera outbreak in Cork City. A number of these young men died – Thomas Walker, rector of Buttevant, died of Typhus; he was 29. Six weeks later his curate, Robert Disney died. Not far from here, the rector of Tallow, the 33 year old Henry Brougham died. On 7th July 1832 cholera reached Skibbereen on the same day as an anti–tithe meeting. There was cholera in Schull too, and Castletownshend.
In the wider polity of society and State, in this period, burning questions were: the repeal of the Test and Corporation Acts (1828), tithes and the tithe war (1831–36), Catholic Emancipation (1829), the introduction of a system of national education in 1831 (Lord Stanley). In December 1834 at Bartlemy Cross near Rathcormac, for example, the Tithe Wars came to a head; up to 20 people were killed and many injured.
In Brinkley’s time, the very Diocese of which he was Bishop was under threat by the proposals of ecclesiastical reform. The Church Temporalities Act 1833 was seen by many, including such as John Keble, as imperiling the Church itself. It led to a highly symbolic confrontation between Church and State. After Brinkley’s death as current holder of the Bishopric, Cloyne would be united with Cork and Ross.
All these things happened during his time here.
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“What is the bible like? Like a letter which a soldier wrote to his wife about the disposition of his affairs and the care of his children in case he should chance to be killed. And the next day he was shot, and died, and the letter was torn and stained with his blood. Her friends said to the woman: the letter is of no binding force; it is not a legal will, and it is so injured by the facts of the writers own death that you cannot ever prove what it means. But the lady said: I know the man, and I am satisfied I can see what he means. And I shall do it because it is what he wanted me to do, and because he died the next day.”
--quoted by yours truly in the sermon this morning
In the wake of July’s vote on same-sex marriages at General Synod, Indigenous Anglicans intend to “proceed towards self-determination with urgency,” the Anglican Church of Canada’s three Indigenous bishops say.
General Synod voted this summer to provisionally approve changes to the marriage canon, which would allow same-sex marriages. The proposed changes must pass a second reading, slated for the next General Synod in 2019, before they can take effect.
On Thursday, September 22, National Indigenous Bishop Mark MacDonald; Bishop Lydia Mamakwa, of the Indigenous Spiritual Ministry of Mishamikoweesh; and Bishop Adam Halkett, of Missinipi, released ajoint statement they say was requested by an Indigenous circle that met after the results of July’s vote were revealed. The bishops begin by saying that they do not speak for all Indigenous peoples, although, they add, they have consulted “broadly and deeply” with many. The statement voices displeasure both with the decision and the process it was made, and expresses desire for a more self-determined Indigenous Anglican community in Canada.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Church of Canada * Culture-Watch Marriage & Family Religion & Culture Sexuality --Civil Unions & Partnerships * International News & Commentary Canada * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology Theology: Scripture
The ICBC also highlights that Māori and Pacific voices have been notably absent in public conversations over assisted suicide, raising questions whether the debate so far has accurately reflected this country’s cultural diversity on these issues.
The submission also flags:
1. The limits of claiming assisted dying as a personal ‘right’. The ICBC propose that an individual choice to die does not exist in a vacuum. The ICBC reminds Kiwis that no person is free of social responsibility for others who may suffer as a result of their choice to die.
2. Overseas experience indicates that assisted suicide promotes suicide by normalising it.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Death / Burial / Funerals * Culture-Watch Aging / the Elderly Children Health & Medicine Law & Legal Issues Life Ethics Marriage & Family * International News & Commentary Australia / NZ * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology
The majority position of the Way Forward Working Group (composed of some of the best legal and theological minds of our church) agreed that blessing committed same-sex couples is not a departure from the Doctrine and Sacraments of Christ, and therefore not prohibited by Te Pouhere (our church’s constitution). Many places provide such blessings, and people in committed same-sex relationships hold a bishop’s licence. Under the 2016 revision of Te Pouhere, bishops can even authorise such blessings in places under their jurisdiction.
I propose that our doctrine of marriage be changed to being between a couple, with the intent that it be lifelong and monogamous. Such a change would enable the sort of diversity illustrated in my first paragraph. The change would remove the current hypocrisy around marrying divorcees, clarify practice in relation to committed same-sex relationships, and facilitate honesty and openness.
Within this, I propose we affirm the current position that any minister shall have full discretion to decline to conduct any marriage service or blessing, and that we also affirm and encourage vocations to religious life, singleness, and chastity.
Yours in Christ,
(Rev) Bosco Peters
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia * Culture-Watch Marriage & Family Religion & Culture Sexuality --Civil Unions & Partnerships * Theology Anthropology Ethics / Moral Theology Pastoral Theology Theology: Scripture
The Church of England has just released two related reports on numbers in ordained ministry. These are not related to annual ministry figures; the last figures (from 2015) were released in June, and caught the headlines for a number of reasons. These reports are related more to the aims of the Renewal and Reform process, and look back at the historical context as well as projecting forwards. Although there is no new research data included, the reports do contain some important observations which have implications for both national and diocesan approaches.
The first thing to say is that these reports are really helpful, with relevant information, well presented, and with interesting narratives to complement the information. This is a reflection of two important changes, one in strengthening the analysis of what is happening through the Research and Statistics team (they are very impressive—do go and visit them if you are passing through Church House) and the other in focussing more clearly on vocations at a national level within Ministry Division, not least through the appointment of Catherine Nancekievill as Head of Discipleship and Vocation. Is it too optimistic to think that the C of E is actually getting its act together in this area…?
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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 * Theology Seminary / Theological Education
Wycliffe Hall is delighted to announce that The Very Revd. Dr. Justyn Terry is to be our new Academic Dean, giving strategic oversight to all our teaching programmes, both academic and ministerial, and driving for co-ordination and quality.
The Principal of Wycliffe Hall, Michael Lloyd, writes: ‘Justyn has, for the past eight years, been Dean and President of Trinity School for Ministry, in the wonderfully named Ambridge USA, so he brings an extraordinary wealth of experience to this new job. I am thrilled at this appointment, and am looking forward with great excitement to working with Justyn. His outstanding gifts will help Wycliffe provide women and men with the best possible training for a lifetime’s service of God. Please do pray for Justyn and Cathy and their daughters, Sophia and Lydia, as they adjust to life back in the UK.’
Justyn is the author of several books, including The Justifying Judgment of God: a Reassessment of the place of Judgment in the Saving Work of Christ, The Gospel according to Galatians: The Good News of Jesus Christ for a Secular Age, and The Five Phases of Leadership: An Overview for Christian Leaders. He is currently Emeritus Professor of Systematic Theology at Trinity School for Ministry.
Justyn will begin two days a week in October, and then be full-time from 1st January 2017.
Thirty-six IARCCUM Anglican and Catholic bishops, representing 19 different regions where Anglicans and Catholics live side by side in significant number, will meet in Canterbury and Rome for a summit meeting in October of this year. The bishops will arrive in Canterbury for the first leg of their meeting on 30th September. They will be staying at the Lodge in Canterbury Cathedral, will take part in the liturgical life of the Cathedral, and will make a pilgrim visit to the shrine of St Thomas à Becket, where Pope John Paul II and Archbishop Robert Runcie prayed together.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) CoE Bishops * International News & Commentary England / UK Europe Italy * Religion News & Commentary Ecumenical Relations Other Churches Roman Catholic * Theology Ecclesiology
Praying for our Presidential Election
Every Monday thru 11/7
5:30-6:30pm in the Church
Here is another opportunity to "Be the Church" and be intentional about prayer. Every Monday until the Presidential election, come gather in the church for concentrated intentional prayer for the upcoming election. Can't make it by 5:30? That's okay; just join as you can during this hour as we pray for our Heavenly Father to pour out His Spirit for wisdom and guidance in the coming election.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Adult Education Ministry of the Laity Ministry of the Ordained Pastoral Care Spirituality/Prayer * South Carolina
Education is at the heart of the work the Church of England does for the common good. Through its 4,500 primary and 200 secondary schools, it educates around one million children a day. It is estimated that around 15 million people alive today attended a Church of England school.
The fundamental purpose of Church of England education is to nurture people to live life in all its fullness, inspired by Jesus’s message in the Gospel of John: “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it abundantly.[John 10:10]” Non-church schools also have inspiring visions, albeit articulated in different language; to inspire and educate the whole person, building them up to flourish in the world.
As teachers across the country well know, the education of children, in church and non-church schools, is taking place against a backdrop of deep uncertainty and rapid change.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) * Culture-Watch Children Education Religion & Culture * International News & Commentary England / UK * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
Attendance at cathedral worship continues to increase with mid-week attendance rising and Sunday attendance stable in 2015, according to the latest Cathedral Statistics, published today. The figures confirm the trend of gradual growth in cathedral attendance noted in the report From Anecdote to Evidence published in 2014.
On average, 36,700 people (adults and children) attended services each week at the 42 cathedrals in England during 2015. This is an increase of 18% from 31,200 in 2005. Midweek attendance increased from 12,700 to 18,900, contributing most of the increase. Attendance at Sunday services has remained generally stable, at around 17,900 in 2015. Numbers on community rolls increased by 5% from 15,100 in 2014 to 15,900 in 2015.
Other regular services, such as fresh expressions and schools services conducted at least once a month and not part of the weekly pattern of services, attracted 471,300. More than 1.1 million people attended 5,310 public/civic events held in cathedrals.
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Average Sunday attendance for over-18s had fallen from 30,424 in 2014 to 29,019 in 2015: a fall of five per cent. Easter communicants were down one per cent to 51,435, while the number of Christmas communicants had fallen three per cent to 49,972.
“I’d like to make clear I am not here as a doom-and-gloom merchant, merely to present the facts,” the chairman of the Representative Body, James Turner, said.
“Attendances appear to be falling, but that is not the case in nearly half of our parishes. We fear the church is losing touch with our young people, but there are indications that, through hard work and intentional investment, good things are happening around the country.
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The great catechist of the Early Church, St. Augustine, knew better. L. Gregory Jones, in his valuable essay on baptism and catechesis in the patristic era, pointed out that for Augustine instruction of the mind and the conversion of the heart were not alternatives, but two sides of the same coin, as the human person is drawn by grace through an extended period of catechetical instruction to exchange error and sin for the knowledge and love of the true God.
This “instruction,” Jones writes, should be conceived of broadly; in the patristic era, it included “learning Scripture through study and hearing homilies … and the shaping of their affections … and being mentored in actual Christian living.” Augustine’s teaching immersed catechumens in the biblical narrative, not simply as “our story” to be expressed in this way or that, but in the intellectually rich mode of faith seeking understanding of the true God.
As a trained rhetor, Augustine was no dry pedant, but sought to “stir genuine delight in his listeners” so that they would come to love that which their minds were beginning to understand. Catechumens were assigned mentors to guide them relationally through the journey of conversion, for Augustine knew that “Christ is announced through Christian friends.” These sponsors were charged with keeping watch over the moral and spiritual formation of new believers, and in Lent would be asked whether their charges had kept from grievous sin and stuck to their Lenten disciplines.
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Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal * Christian Life / Church Life Church History Parish Ministry Adult Education Ministry of the Laity Ministry of the Ordained * Culture-Watch Books * Theology Theology: Scripture
Declines in Episcopal Church membership continue a downward spiral that began in the early 2000s. Updated statistics made available this week by the Episcopal Church Office of Research show a denomination continuing a gradual, uninterrupted decline in 2015. The U.S.-based denomination shed 37,669 members in 2015, a decline of -2.1 percent, while attendance declined -20,631, down -3.4 percent. A net 43 parishes closed, bringing the denominational total to 6,510 congregations.
The pattern is consistent with past years, in which dioceses in New England, the Rust Belt and predominantly rural areas post sharp declines, while dioceses in the South either retain their numbers or decline at a more gradual rate.
Episcopal Church officials, including former Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori — who completed a nine-year term in office in late 2015 — have predicted that decline would level off after years of internal dispute and the departure of dioceses, congregations and individual members. While there were no major congregational departures in 2015, the denomination still exceeded its baseline rate of decline of approximately 28,000 members a year by a substantial margin. Presiding Bishop Michael Curry has struck an optimistic tone, encouraging the church to embrace its role in “the Jesus Movement” even as he seeks to address a workplace culture marked by “fear, mistrust and resentment” at the church’s national headquarters.
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