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A Prayer to Begin the Day from the American Prayer Book

Almighty and most merciful God, grant, we beseech Thee, that by the indwelling of Thy Holy Spirit we may be enlightened and strengthened for Thy service; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Posted in Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Scripture Readings

Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness;

To the end that [my] glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever.

–Psalm 30:11-12 (KJV)

Posted in Theology: Scripture

(CT) Fighting the Pandemic with Our Hearts and Our Smarts–A development economist and a disaster-relief expert on how to approach Covid19

My dentist was becoming a Shrewd Samaritan. But how is a Shrewd Samaritan different from others with good intentions toward the needy?

If we want to genuinely help people living in poverty—and a world in the middle of a global pandemic—rather than just feeling good about believing we have helped, we are not merely to be Good Samaritans, like the man commended in the famous parable in Luke 10. We should also be Shrewd Samaritans—shrewd like the manager in the less-famous parable in Luke 16, whom Jesus also points to as an example.

In the original Greek, the word for the manager in the parable is oikonómon, which literally means “Econo-Man.” We must be people with big hearts like the Good Samaritan but with minds like the Econo-Man. This means learning to love our global neighbors wisely, one might say even “shrewdly,” by making the best use of our resources—our time, talents, and money—on behalf of those who are victims of injustice, disease, violence, and poverty.

Shrewd Samaritans have made progress through what I call the seven I’s. They have moved past ignorance, indifference, and idealism and toward investigation, introspection, and impact. They have even come to identify with those they seek to serve.

Shrewd Samaritans understand the underlying causes of poverty and need. They can identify interventions that are likely to be effective in different contexts. Their motivation is fueled by the Christian call to love our neighbors, but their means are influenced by an understanding of cause and effect and even by good science. Shrewd Samaritans are wedded to a biblical view of humanity and informed by a desire for human flourishing in all respects: physical, psychological, social, and spiritual.

Read it all.

Posted in Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Pastoral Theology, Theology

(Church Society) CEEC National Director announced

We are delighted to share the news that CEEC has announced the appointment of the Rt Revd Keith Sinclair, currently Bishop of Birkenhead in the Diocese of Chester, as its National Director.

Bishop Keith’s retirement from the See of Birkenhead in March 2021 was announced earlier this month. He will assume this new role on 27 April 2021, the 100th anniversary of the birth of CEEC’s founder, the late Revd Dr John Stott CBE. Bishop Keith is a Church Society member and spoke at the 2019 Church Society conference, Redeeming Love and Faith. Church Society is a member organisation of CEEC and our Director, Lee Gatiss, is on the CEEC Council.

The appointment of a National Director for CEEC represents a significant development in the level of their activities in terms of CEEC’s ability to engage with the issues facing the Church of England from the perspective of evangelical Anglicans who subscribe to the Authority of Scripture and the historic formularies of the Church.

For the Church of England, this is a time of both great challenge and opportunity. However, it would be wrong to ignore the fact that theological differences and tensions exist within the Church which threaten to fracture the life and witness of parishes and dioceses up and down the country. For this reason, CEEC believes that this is an appropriate time to invest in additional personnel resources to ensure that traditional Christian teaching, as found in Scripture, is heard as clearly as possible through the mission and witness of evangelical Anglicans. It is noted that such evangelical Anglicans represent a very significant portion of Church of England weekly attendance.

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), Evangelicals

Major C of E clergy wellbeing study results shared

Key insights from an ongoing Church of England research programme into clergy flourishing are to be distributed to curates across the country as part of an initiative to promote clergy wellbeing, it was announced…[this week].

Findings from the first phase of the Living Ministry project – a 10-year study into clergy flourishing and wellbeing – have been incorporated into a new booklet, How Clergy Thrive, published by Church House Publishing.

The booklet, sponsored by Clergy Support Trust, is a practical resource for all clergy. It summaries qualitative and quantitative findings from the research in areas including the spiritual, relational, physical and mental as well as material wellbeing of clergy and ordinands.

The study identifies six principles that contribute to the wellbeing of ordained ministers, including handling expectations, recognising times of vulnerability, healthy boundaries and the importance of affirmation.

Read it all.

Posted in Anthropology, Church of England (CoE), Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology

(WSJ) In Xi Jinping’s China, Nationalism Takes a Dark Turn

The wave of nationalism sweeping through China, amplified by party propaganda, the political ambitions of Xi Jinping and the country’s success in containing Covid-19, is taking a darker turn, with echoes of the country’s Maoist past.

Angry mobs online have swarmed any criticism of China’s leaders or a perceived lack of loyalty to the country. Targets are being harassed and silenced. Some have lost their jobs.

Among those who have been attacked this year are public figures who have raised questions about officials’ early handling of the coronavirus. They include a writer from Wuhan named Fang Fang, who wrote online about the struggles of local residents and accused government officials of being slow to respond to the outbreak.

Thousands of Chinese internet users called her a traitor. An anonymously written poster hung at a Wuhan bus station told her to “shave your head or kill yourself to atone for your sins against the people”—and a photo of it spread widely online. A famous tai chi master called on allies to assault her, using their “clenched fists of justice.”

Fang Fang later issued a plea to her fellow citizens on the Twitter -like platform Weibo: “China cannot return to the Cultural Revolution.”

Chinese politics researchers say surging nationalism is in part a natural response to the country’s rising stature around the world. Some Chinese people say their feelings are rooted in genuine pride for their country.

The government has also taken a heavy hand in stoking the sentiment.

Read it all.

Posted in China

(Psephizo) Ian Paul and David Keen–What is happening to Church of England attendance?

Here’s the thing. Half of our churches, 8000 of them, have 26 adults or fewer on a Sunday. If you had 26 people to form a Christian presence in a community, you wouldn’t start from here. You wouldn’t have a listed building which costs thousands to heat and insure. You wouldn’t have the protocols for running the church written into law. You wouldn’t have so many aspects to Sunday worship (warden, verger, organist, reader, prayer leader, vicar, sidesperson) that there’s barely anyone there who isn’t there because they’re on a rota. You wouldn’t open an Anglican Extra, you’d have an Anglican Express. In fact, you probably wouldn’t open a building at all.

Covid will make the figures for 2020 such a mess that there probably isn’t any point collecting them, and 2021 may not be much better. As many have observed, it is accelerating changes that were already happening. Businesses on the edge are shutting down. Trends towards online shopping have increased. What does that mean for the church? There is nothing in the stats to suggest that we are about to turn a corner. Or if we are, it’s turning in the opposite direction to the one we want. There are islands – many islands (1600 according to the stats) of growth, many others holding their own, and making a life-changing contribution to local individuals and communities.

But, but…… the parish system hasn’t changed since it was introduced towards the end of the Dark Ages. The overall structure of the CofE hasn’t changed for a century. The buildings we operate on haven’t changed for (insert your own figure here). The structure of deployment, church life, legal framework seems set in concrete. Witness the absurd debate about communion since lockdown. Don’t get me started.

Maybe the Bishops should have shut us down for longer at the start of covid. Because we shape our tools, and then our tools shape us. Any church that doesn’t have a life without it’s building, or its Sunday gathering, has been so shaped by them that it has ceased to be a church.

Read it all.

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

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Saint James of Jerusalem

Grant, we beseech thee, O God, that after the example of thy servant James the Just, brother of our Lord, thy Church may give itself continually to prayer and to the reconciliation of all who are at variance and enmity; through the same our Lord Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and ever.

Posted in Church History, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer to Begin the Day derived from the thought of John Donne

Accept, O Lord God, our Father, the sacrifices of our thanksgiving; this, of praise, for Thy great mercies already afforded to us; and this, of prayer, for the continuance and enlargement of them; this, of penitence, for such only recompense as our sinful can endeavour; and this, of the love of our hearts, as the only gift Thou dost ask or desire; and all these, through the all-holy and atoning sacrifice Of Jesus Christ Thy Son our Saviour.

–Frederick B. Macnutt, The prayer manual for private devotions or public use on divers occasions: Compiled from all sources ancient, medieval, and modern (A.R. Mowbray, 1951)

Posted in Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Scripture readings

‘But I trust in thee, O Lord,
I say, “Thou art my God.”
My times are in thy hand’

–Psalm 31:14-15a

Posted in Theology: Scripture

The Latest Edition of the Anglican Diocese of South Carolina Enewsletter

In lieu of this year’s cancelled Clergy Conference—Bishop Lawrence held two smaller gatherings October 19-21, the first held for Rectors and the second hosting Vicars, Associates & Deacons. The theme of the retreats was “Seeing Covid-19 as a Season of Exile.” The brief gatherings included teachings from Jeremiah—his life and writings and from insights gleaned from Eugene Peterson’s book, Run With the Horses: The Quest for Life at its Best, small group discussions, fellowship, and personal time for reflection on the call of God.

Some of the questions they considered included:

1. How has Covid-19 been for you, your family, or your congregation?
2. How is your congregation adapting to this exilic environment?
3. Where are you in need of such a renewal and new commitment now?
4. What has God appointed you to do or be—to what work has he given you now?
5. When Jeremiah bought the field at Anathoth he was buying into God’s promise. During this time of Covid-19 and social unrest how is God calling you to buy into what you believe?

“It was time well spent!” said the Rev. Karl Burns, Rector of Church of Our Saviour, Johns Island, “The Bishop’s teaching from Jeremiah was relevant and it was just good to be with my fellow rectors in a relaxed environment. Just to be able to sit and share in the atmosphere of where we are was very good.”

Read it all.

Posted in * South Carolina, Media, Ministry of the Laity, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry

(Local Paper) University of South Carolina cancels spring break in hopes of avoiding possible COVID-19 spike

The University of South Carolina decided to cancel an annual college rite, spring break, to avoid a potential COVID-19 outbreak from thousands of students returning to campus after traveling.

The week of days off usually scheduled in March will be sprinkled throughout the spring semester, the state’s largest college announced in an email to parents and students Thursday. USC is calling the days off “wellness days” scheduled for: Thursday, Feb. 25; Friday, March 12; Tuesday, March 30; and Wednesday, April 21.

“I certainly understand your disappointment with this announcement,” USC Provost Bill Tate said in an email sent to university community. “However, I, and the medical community, firmly believe it is the right thing to do in light of the unprecedented worldwide pandemic.”

College of Charleston, South Carolina’s third-largest school, canceled spring break as well. Clemson University, second only to USC in enrollment in the state, has not announced a decision.

Read it all.

Posted in * South Carolina, Education, Health & Medicine, Young Adults

(DG) John Piper–Policies, Persons, and Paths to Ruin–Pondering The Implications Of The 2020 Election

This article is probably as close as you will get to an answer on how I will vote in the upcoming presidential election.

Probably?

Right. Only God knows what may happen in the next days.

Nothing I say here is intended to dictate how anyone else should vote, but rather to point to a perspective that seems to be neglected. Yes, this perspective sways my vote. But you need not be sinning if you weigh matters differently.

Actually, this is a long-overdue article attempting to explain why I remain baffled that so many Christians consider the sins of unrepentant sexual immorality (porneia), unrepentant boastfulness (alazoneia), unrepentant vulgarity (aischrologia), unrepentant factiousness (dichostasiai), and the like, to be only toxic for our nation, while policies that endorse baby-killing, sex-switching, freedom-limiting, and socialistic overreach are viewed as deadly.

The reason I put those Greek words in parentheses is to give a graphic reminder that these are sins mentioned in the New Testament. To be more specific, they are sins that destroy people. They are not just deadly. They are deadly forever. They lead to eternal destruction (2 Thessalonians 1:9).

They destroy persons (Acts 12:20–23). And through persons, they destroy nations (Jeremiah 48:29–31, 42).

Read it all.

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

Posted in America/U.S.A., Ethics / Moral Theology, Evangelicals, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

(W Post) Nigerian protesters say security forces fired on them, fueling global outrage

Global outrage mounted Wednesday after security forces in Africa’s largest city opened fire into a crowd of protesters, deepening unrest spurred by anger at Nigerian police.

Ten people died and dozens were wounded after uniformed men took aim at demonstrators the night before at a Lagos toll gate plaza, Amnesty International said, a clash captured from multiple angles on social media.

The violence followed two weeks of largely peaceful demonstrations that prompted Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari to dissolve the undercover police unit at the center of the dispute and that critics have long blasted as abusive.

But hundreds returned to the streets Wednesday — despite a 24-hour curfew enforced by riot officers — and thousands more joined solidarity marches in other countries, saying past attempts at ending police brutality in Nigeria had fallen short. Protesters in Lagos, a metropolis of approximately 20 million, said they would not stop until wrongdoers in law enforcement are brought to justice.

Read it all.

Posted in Ethics / Moral Theology, Globalization, Law & Legal Issues, Nigeria, Police/Fire, Violence

Pedro Gabriel–Those Pope Francis quotes: Video editing and media controversy

I find it interesting how the Pope spoke here about the media taking his words out of context. I also find it interesting that the Pope specifically said that none of this means approving homosexual acts. This completely alters the implication of the quote that was presented to us. Of course, if you read the entire interview, you will see the Pope railing against abortion and saying, explicitly, “I am a conservative.”

What is even more interesting is that the quotes that appear in the clip from the documentary are scrambled. Additionally, there is absolutely no mention of homosexual unions in the interview—or at least in the official transcript. When I have time, I will watch the full interview, but there is no reference to it in the Vatican News transcript.

If we watch the clip from the documentary, we can see that during the part where the Pope speaks about civil unions, the background is the same as that of the 2019 interview. It appears that the part where Francis talks about approving civil unions must have been edited out of the final product. (Although, again, this is a provisional conclusion on my part, it may change after I watch the full interview).

How did Evgeny Afineevsky, the director of the documentary, get his hands on footage that was apparently edited out of the interview? CNA reports that “the documentarian … was given unprecedented access to Pope Francis until filming completed in June.” Perhaps this explains how he obtained this previously unaired snippet.

Still, the way the video preview rearranges the order in which his words actually appear in the interview should give us pause. Maybe after we see the interview in its full context, we will have a different impression of his words altogether, especially since the Holy Father uses the Spanish term “convivencia civil,” which can be either “civil union” or “civil coexistence.” If he means the latter, he may simply be referring to laws that protect the human rights of homosexuals. Note that he mentions that “this way, they can be legally covered.”

This is just my theory, but I think it’s quite possible that the snippet about civil unions came from a different part of the interview than the discussion of the family. Maybe Francis was discussing his political role in Argentina during an attempt to legalize civil marriage there. This is plausible, because in the interview they do discuss his time as an archbishop in Argentina.

Read it all.

Posted in Ethics / Moral Theology, Media, Pope Francis, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

(CNA) Pope Francis Calls for Civil Union Law for Same-Sex Couples, in Shift From Vatican Stance

In a documentary that premiered Wednesday in Rome, Pope Francis called for the passage of civil union laws for same-sex couples, departing from the position of the Vatican’s doctrinal office and the pope’s predecessors on the issue.

The remarks came amid a portion of the documentary that reflected on pastoral care for those who identify as LGBT.

“Homosexuals have a right to be a part of the family. They’re children of God and have a right to a family. Nobody should be thrown out, or be made miserable because of it,” Pope Francis said in the film, of his approach to pastoral care.

After those remarks, and in comments likely to spark controversy among Catholics, Pope Francis weighed in directly on the issue of civil unions for same-sex couples.

“What we have to create is a civil union law. That way they are legally covered,” the pope said. “I stood up for that.”

Read it all.

Posted in --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Pastoral Theology, Pope Francis, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Sexuality, Theology

A Prayer to Begin the Day from the Church of England

Faithful Lord,
whose steadfast love never ceases
and whose mercies never come to an end:
grant us the grace to trust you
and to receive the gifts of your love,
new every morning,
in Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Posted in Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Bible Readings

Trust in the Lord, and do good;
so you will dwell in the land, and enjoy security.
Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him, and he will act.

–Psalm 37:3-5

Posted in Theology: Scripture

New Anglcian Church plant opens its doors for Sunday worship in Waxahachie, Texas

A new church plant, St. Mark the Evangelist Anglican Church, opened its doors to Waxahachie and is bringing Sunday worship to the community come Nov 1.

“We’re a new church plant in Waxahachie and we’ve been worshipping for a couple of months now on Wednesday evenings over at the First Look Pregnancy Center on Ferris, but we are going to be starting an addition to Wednesday evenings, Sunday morning worship and we’re going to be downtown on The English Merchants Parlour,” said the Rev. Jason VanBorssum.

The church began when a small group came together after their previous church closed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“There was a small group that was a part of another church the priest retired and he decided when coronavirus happened that they would kind of close down as a church and these folks were kind of left on their own,” shared VanBorssum. “They reached out to my bishop – we are part of a Reformed Episcopal Church, which is part of the larger Anglican Church in North America … and they said ‘we’d like to continue on as a church, could we be brought in with you all?’ and that launched a conversation and I was sent down to Waxahachie and lead them.”

Read it all.

Posted in Parish Ministry

(NPR) Studies Point To Big Drop In COVID-19 Death Rates

Two new peer-reviewed studies are showing a sharp drop in mortality among hospitalized COVID-19 patients. The drop is seen in all groups, including older patients and those with underlying conditions, suggesting that physicians are getting better at helping patients survive their illness.

“We find that the death rate has gone down substantially,” says Leora Horwitz, a doctor who studies population health at New York University’s Grossman School of Medicine and an author on one of the studies, which looked at thousands of patients from March to August.

The study, which was of a single health system, finds that mortality has dropped among hospitalized patients by 18 percentage points since the pandemic began. Patients in the study had a 25.6% chance of dying at the start of the pandemic; they now have a 7.6% chance.

That’s a big improvement, but 7.6% is still a high risk compared with other diseases, and Horwitz and other researchers caution that COVID-19 remains dangerous.

Read it all.

Posted in Health & Medicine, Science & Technology

(NYT) The Police Can Probably Break Into Your Phone

In a new Apple ad, a man on a city bus announces he has just shopped for divorce lawyers. Then a woman recites her credit card number through a megaphone in a park. “Some things shouldn’t be shared,” the ad says, “iPhone helps keep it that way.”

Apple has built complex encryption into iPhones and made the devices’ security central to its marketing pitch.

That, in turn, has angered law enforcement. Officials from the F.B.I. director to rural sheriffs have argued that encrypted phones stifle their work to catch and convict dangerous criminals. They have tried to force Apple and Google to unlock suspects’ phones, but the companies say they can’t. In response, the authorities have put their own marketing spin on the problem. Law enforcement, they say, is “going dark.”

Yet new data reveals a twist to the encryption debate that undercuts both sides: Law enforcement officials across the nation regularly break into encrypted smartphones.

Read it all.

Posted in Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Police/Fire, Science & Technology

(Wash Post) Bradford Wilcox+Lyman Stone–Divorce is down, despite covid-19

Judging by recent media coverage, Dan would seem to be the poster child for a wave of pandemic-related divorces that have swept America since March. “Why the coronavirus pandemic is leading so many couples to divorce,” read one New York Post headline this spring. The New York Times recently took a similar line: “Considering a Coronavirus Divorce? You’re in Good Company.”

But in real life, the net effects of the pandemic are not nearly as negative as many media reports would suggest.

Consider Katie, a 37-year-old wife and mother living in Virginia. The lockdown was initially stressful for her and her husband as they scrambled to forge a new schedule to cover their two jobs and child care for their toddler. But once they rearranged their schedule, things got better — in part because her husband took on a greater share of child care than he had prior to the pandemic and in part because they began taking walks and talking more in covid time. “It may sound strange, but the stay-at-home order and pandemic truly strengthened our marriage,” Katie observed.

Distress about the state of our unions certainly seems warranted. The tensions arising from being with your partner all day, every day; the disagreements about how to handle sanitation, socializing and schooling; and the stresses occasioned by lost lives, lost jobs and political tempests seem to never end. A major new survey of American families, the American Family Survey (AFS), found that 34 percent of married men and women ages 18 to 55 report the pandemic has increased stress in their marriage.

Yet Katie is not alone. Most married people in America report their unions have gotten stronger, not weaker, in the wake of covid-19. The AFS found that 58 percent of married men and women 18 to 55 said the pandemic has made them appreciate their spouse more, while 51 percent said their commitment to marriage had deepened. Only 8 percent said that the pandemic had weakened their commitment to one another.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, America/U.S.A., Health & Medicine, Marriage & Family, Sociology

(Science Mag) Dust Bowl 2.0? Rising Great Plains dust levels stir concerns

Earlier this month, a storm front swept across the Great Plains of the United States, plowing up a wall of dust that could be seen from space, stretching from eastern Colorado into Nebraska and Kansas. It was a scene straight from the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, when farmers regularly saw soil stripped from their fields and whipped up into choking blizzards of dust.

Better get used to it. According to a new study, dust storms on the Great Plains have become more common and more intense in the past 20 years, because of more frequent droughts in the region and an expansion of croplands. “Our results suggest a tipping point is approaching, where the conditions of the 1930s could return,” says Gannet Haller, an atmospheric scientist at the University of Utah who led the study.

The dust storms not only threaten to remove soil nutrients and decrease agricultural productivity, but also present a health hazard, says Andy Lambert, a co-author on the study and a meteorologist at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory in Monterey, California. The dust contains ultrafine particles that can penetrate cells in the lungs and cause lung and heart disease.

Read it all.

Posted in Science & Technology

(TLC Covenant) Facing Episcopal Church Decline – the Latest Numbers

Average Sunday attendance

Figures for average Sunday attendance (ASA) provide a more objective metric and a more striking message. During the 1990s average Sunday attendance was relatively stable but from around 2000 deep decline set in. This is ongoing. TEC’s average Sunday attendance dropped by over 40 percent between 2000 and 2019. The decline of attendance was most rapid between 2005 and 2010. But recent years have seen a very substantial drop – a fall of 61,000, over 10 percent, in the last four years

Episcopal Church Average Sunday Attendance 2000-19

2000 856,579
2005 787,271
2010 657,831
2015 579,780
2019 518,411

Read it all.

Posted in TEC Data, TEC Parishes

A Prayer to Begin the Day from Christina Rossetti

Lord Jesus, All-pure, purify us that we may behold All-holy, sanctify us that we may stand before Thee. All-gracious, mould us that we may please Thee. Very love, suffer us not to set at naught Thy love; suffer not devil, world, flesh, to destroy us; suffer not ourselves to destroy ourselves; us with whom Thou strivest, whom Thou desirest, whom Thou lovest.

–Frederick B. Macnutt, The prayer manual for private devotions or public use on divers occasions: Compiled from all sources ancient, medieval, and modern (A.R. Mowbray, 1951)

Posted in Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Bible Readings

The seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!” And he said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I have given you authority to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy; and nothing shall hurt you. Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you; but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”

In that same hour he rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, “I thank thee, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to babes; yea, Father, for such was thy gracious will. All things have been delivered to me by my Father; and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son and any one to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”

Then turning to the disciples he said privately, “Blessed are the eyes which see what you see! For I tell you that many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.”

–Luke 10:17-24

Posted in Theology: Scripture

(SHNS) Terry Mattingly–Remembering Bishop Bill Frey

Episcopal bishops in the 1980s were already used to urgent calls from journalists seeking comments on issues ranging from gay priests to gun control, from female bishops to immigration laws, from gender-free liturgies to abortion rights.

But the pace quickened for Bishop William Frey in 1985 when he was one of four candidates to become presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church. A former radio professional, Frey was known for his bass voice and quick one-liners. His Lutheran counterpart in Colorado once told him: “You look like a movie star, sound like God and wear cowboy boots.”

Other Denver religious leaders sometimes asked, with some envy, why Episcopalians got so much ink.

“I can’t understand why some people want the kind of media attention we get,” he told me during one media storm. “That’s like coveting another man’s root canal.”

A Texas native, Frey died in San Antonio on Sunday after years out of the spotlight. In addition to his Colorado tenure, his ministry included missionary work in Central America during the “death squads” era and leading an alternate Episcopal seminary in a struggling Pennsylvania steel town.

Read it all.

Posted in Death / Burial / Funerals, Marriage & Family, Seminary / Theological Education, TEC Bishops

(ENS) 2019 parochial reports show continued decline and a ‘dire’ future for The Episcopal Church

Read it all.

Posted in TEC Data, TEC Parishes

Mark Wroe announced as the Next Bishop of Berwick

Mark was educated at St Mary’s University, London and Anglia Polytechnic University and trained for ministry at Ridley Hall, Cambridge. He served his title at All Saints Chilvers Coton with St Mary the Virgin, in the diocese of Coventry and was ordained Priest in 1997. In 2000, Mark was appointed Priest-in-Charge, and latterly Vicar of St Alban Windy Nook, Gateshead in the diocese of Durham. Mark took up the roles of Priest-in-Charge of St Barnabas and St Jude, and Vicar of Holy Trinity Jesmond in the Diocese of Newcastle in 2007. In 2017, Mark was additionally appointed Area Dean of Newcastle Central Deanery.

Mark took up his current role as Archdeacon of Northumberland in 2019, having been Acting Archdeacon since 2018. He is married to Caroline (a renal consultant and research professor) and they have three school age children. Born in Newcastle upon Tyne and growing up in Chester-le-Street, County Durham, Mark knows the North East well.

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops

(AP) Top Anglican bishops slam ‘disastrous’ bill as Brexit talks teeter

The UK’s most senior Anglican bishops warned Monday that legislation breaching part of the Brexit divorce agreement the government signed with the European Union will set a “disastrous precedent” and could undermine peace in Northern Ireland.

The warning came as Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government told British businesses to prepare for a no-deal economic break with the EU in 10 weeks’ time, after the UK declared negotiations on future trade ties at an end unless the bloc makes major concessions.

In a letter published in the Financial Times, the top archbishops in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland said the government’s Brexit-related Internal Market Bill would give the government power to break international law and had “enormous moral, as well as political and legal, consequences.”

“We believe this would create a disastrous precedent,” said the letter, signed by Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, who heads the Church of England, and four other archbishops

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Europe, Politics in General, Religion & Culture