Monday, July 31, 2006
[Stand Firm] 31 Jul 2006--"We are disappointed, but not surprised, that eight dioceses have leaders who have rejected these efforts, this new leadership, and the Episcopal Church. Whether appealing for alternate primatial oversight, requesting direct oversight by the Archbishop of Canterbury, seeking to withdraw their dioceses into a new province, or highlighting how they think this church has abandoned the gospel, their actions show that they continue to walk apart from the Episcopal Church. As they do so, they make themselves a stumbling-block to the faithful, and a millstone around the church's neck."
Revisionism is characterized by its redefinition of everything - the Bible, Anglican tradition, and of course, schism.
[ChristianityToday.com] 31 Jul 2006--America's religious landscape has changed dramatically, giving the Church unprecedented potential to share Christ with the world in our own backyard.
[ChristianityToday.com] 31 Jul 2006--Are seekers welcome in your church's small groups? Step inside the world of seeker small groups with a panel of experienced leaders to discover why they work, when they fail and how to do them in your church.
Saturday, July 29, 2006
[Church of the Redeemer] 29 Jul 2006--The purpose of Church of the Redeemer is nothing less than the fulfillment of Luke 4:18-19. In a word, this purpose is Redemption.
Redemption is the gracious, loving power of the Almighty Father God found in the person of Jesus Christ and released through His Holy Spirit to liberate people from bondage, to recreate them from the inside out, to give them a loving relationship with Himself, to center them in Christian community, and to send them forth to proclaim liberation to others.
Church of Redeemer serves Nashville, Tennessee and the surrounding area. Redeemer is affiliated with the Anglican Mission in America.
[Stand Firm] 29 Jul 2006--Kevin Kallsen was, um... "kind" enough to point out the investiture of Marc Andrus as Bishop of California, where a man who authorized same-sex blessings (Bishop of North Carolina Michael Curry) delivered the homily, a woman who authorized same-sex blessings assisted in the eucharist (none other than PB-Elect Katharine Jefferts Schori), the setting was the cathedral whose dean believes we should "re-imagine" Christianity as Buddhism with vestments (Rev. Alan Jones), and the service included dancing dragons and an interpretive dance piece with Mary Magdalene as the theme.
As Dave Barry might say, I am not making this up.
More articles from Stand Firm can be found at http://www.standfirminfaith.com/index.php/site/index.
[The Living Church] 29 Jul 2006--The Archbishop of Canterbury has written the primates of the Anglican Communion seeking their reflections on the response to the Windsor Report by the 75th General Convention of The Episcopal Church.
[The Living Church] 29 Jul 2006--The Rt. Rev. Dorsey Henderson, Bishop of Upper South Carolina, is the senior bishop on the Title IV Review Committee and will be responsible for overseeing the first meeting date and the process of appointing officers. Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold made a number of changes to the committee last month during the 75th General Convention in Columbus, Ohio.
[The Christian Post] 29 Jul 2006--Did you know that God uses a very predictable process to build your character? I call this process the "Six Phases of Faith." If you don’t understand this process, you’ll get discouraged when problems arise. You’ll wonder, "Why is this happening to me?"
[The Christian Post] 29 Jul 2006--Bishop Edward L. Salmon Jr. of the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina, a vocal opponent of ordination of gay clergy, is retiring and three clergymen have been nominated to replace him, the church said Friday.
[Church Society] 29 Jul 2006--It is argued that Bishops as they exist in the Church of England today are simply Presbyters (priests) who are set aside (consecrated) for a wider area of ministry.
[ChristianityToday.com] 29 Jul 2006--Balancing the purposes of your church.
[smallgroups.com] 29 Jul 2006--Most of us are convinced spiritual growth is supposed to be natural and normal for healthy believers. Because of this we put a collection of growing believers, seekers and new believers together in a small group, give them a Bible and a curriculum and set them on their way to grow spiritually. And amazing stuff often occurs! People make exciting discoveries about how God designed life to be lived. They readjust their lifestyles to incorporate biblical values. Life destroying habits are broken. Lives are changed. In short, grace happens.
[ChristianityToday.com] 29 Jul 2006--Five principles for selecting the right study for your group.
Friday, July 28, 2006
[St. Patrick's Church] 28 Jul 2006--St. Patrick was the wealthy son of a clergyperson who lived in Roman Britain during the fifth century. As a young man, he rejected the faith of his family and lived a wild life with his wealthy friends. When he was a teenager, raiders from Ireland kidnapped Patrick, took him to Ireland and sold him into slavery. For six years, he faced hunger, privation and nakedness as he served his master as a shepherd.
During his servitude, Patrick returned to the faith of his family. While he was alone in the fields, he turned to God and found solace through faith in Jesus Christ. After a number of years, Patrick received a vision from God that called him to escape and return to his home. By God’s protection, he returned home. In time, he sensed a calling to be a priest in the Church. During his preparation for this vocation, Patrick again heard God’s call. This time it was a call to return to the Irish and bring to them the message of God’s extravagant love revealed in Jesus Christ.
Patrick obeyed this heavenly voice and returned to Ireland as a Bishop to make disciples of Jesus Christ and organize communities of Christians throughout the land. Within Patrick’s lifetime, a multitude of faith communities was founded and within a few generations, the Irish people were converted from paganism to Christianity. The Irish or Celtic Church then sent missionaries all over Scotland , England and Northern Europe .
The Celtic Church was marked by a number of features that made it flourish:
- A focus on founding deep communities of faith for outreach and service to the Irish people.
- Intensive, intentional disciple-making through the liturgy, practical spiritual instruction and deep friendships.
- A holistic faith that embraced all of creation as a means to understand and draw closer to God
- An emphasis on mission and self-giving to the surrounding culture as central to the Christian life.
- A wedding of the historic Christian faith with the forms of Irish culture.
In our increasingly post-Christian and post-modern culture, many women and men are fully disconnected from Christianity. We look to Patrick, and the story of God’s work through him, as an inspiration and model for us as a faith community. Our dream is to be a community of Christians who are being formed as committed disciples and who are living our lives in light of God’s Kingdom purposes. We dream of being the kind of community where persons who are deeply disconnected from the average church can be welcomed into our midst and connect with God. We want to embody God’s story in a meaningful way through our whole life – through our work and families as well as through artistry and craftsmanship. We also dream of being a base to send women and men around the nation and the world to multiply and grow churches. May St. Patrick’s story guide us as we endeavor to live out God’s call for us as a missional community.
St. Patrick's Church serves Lexington, Kentucky. St. Patrick's is an affiliate church of the Anglican Mission in America.
[Anglican Communion Network] 28 Jul 2006--Over 80 representatives from the dioceses and convocations of the Anglican Communion Network will gather at Trinity Cathedral in downtown Pittsburgh from 1:00 p.m. July 31 through 1:00 p.m. on August 2 for the Network’s Annual Council Meeting. This will be the third meeting of its kind since the birth of the Network in January 2004. Delegations are composed of two clergy and two lay representatives as well as the diocesan bishop or convocational dean from each of the Network’s ten dioceses and six convocations. Other invited guests will include representatives from the Network’s missionary organizations, nine Common Cause Roundtable partners, the ACN Steering Committee and the Moderator’s Cabinet.
[Anglican Media Melbourne] 28 Jul 2006--The Rev. Canon Dr. Leon Morris died on July 24, aged 92. The Diocese of Melbourne has published an obituary by Dr. Peter Adam and Dr. Paul Barker.
[EV News] 28 Jul 2006--It is hard to keep up with the pace of change in the Episcopal Church of the USA. It sometimes seems that barely a day passes without another church being involved in moves to leave. If you have the time the best site to keep up with all the developments is David Virtue’s virtueonline from which the following is largely assembled.
[Church Society] 28 Jul 2006--Isn't male leadership a thing of the past, like slavery?
What about Deborah?
When is a head not a head
A matter of justice
'But I feel called by God.'
A gospel imperative
[ChristianityToday.com] 28 Jul 2006--Are you in a church that seems so incredibly busy that nothing seems to get done? Are the people in the church weary from activities? Do the ministers rarely get a break from their seven-day-a-week responsibilities?
For more articles on small church outreach, go to http://www.christianitytoday.com/outreach/features/pastor-smallchurch.html.
Thursday, July 27, 2006
[American Anglican Council] 27 Jul 2006--"Are You Listening?" is the theme for two meetings scheduled in Macon and Atlanta in August to allow Episcopalians to join the conversation about same- sex unions and the formation of a liturgy for blessing such unions. The meetings -- Saturday, Aug. 5, St. Paul's, Macon, and Saturday, Aug. 12, at at the Cathedral of St. Philip, are hosted by a bishop's study committee established by vote of the 2004 Annual Council. The committee is chaired by the Rev. Roger Ard. Both meetings run from 10 a.m. to noon. "One of the gifts that we hold in the Episcopal Church is our willingness to converse about difficult issues," Ard said. "We understand, even embrace, our diversity. We try to maintain an openness that allows us to hear each other in our differences. It is how we come to understand what God is saying to us and how the Holy Spirit is working within the church, both corporately and individually." This diocesan committee has been meeting and studying for the past two years. "Now it wants to invite you into the conversation," said Ard. (Advance registration is not required.)
[The American Prospect] 27 Jul 2006--It was a modest and, I thought, obvious proposal that I put forward two weeks ago on this page: That liberals give up the notion of creating a cohesive religious left movement that could act as an effective counterforce to the animus of the religious right. Instead, I argued, liberals would do well to claim our own moral agency by virtue of our own humanity and the essential values of liberalism, which encompass the most admirable tenets of the world's great religions.
[Stand Firm] 27 Jul 2006--How Plano pastor David Roseberry became the leading edge of a schism in the Episcopal Church over gays in the ministry.
More Stand Firm articles can be found at http://www.standfirminfaith.com/index.php/site/index.
[The Living Church] 27 Jul 2006--John Lankenau, the church attorney, has begun his investigation of a formal complaint against the Bishop of Connecticut, the Rt. Rev. Andrew D. Smith, according to three sources who requested anonymity because they are not authorized to speak on matters before the committee.
[The Living Church] 27 Jul 2006--In announcing its intention July 24 to withdraw from the Province 7 regional association of The Episcopal Church, the Diocese of Fort Worth was merely formalizing a deliberate practice that was first embraced some three years ago, according to the Very Rev. Ryan Reed, dean of St. Vincent’s Cathedral, Bedford, Texas, and president of the standing committee.
[Church Society] 27 Jul 2006--The letters of Paul to Timothy and Titus give instruction as to how the Christian Church and ministry were to be patterned as the Church moves out of the apostolic era. Paul is giving guidance to these two men and in particular instructing them about how others should be appointed to Christian leadership.
[Willow Creek Association] 26 Jul 2006--Becoming a Contagious Christian is a proven course designed to equip believers for effective evangelism in today's world. It avoids stereotyped approaches that feel intimidating to many Christians. Instead, it shows ordinary believers how they can share the Gospel in a natural and powerful way while being the person God made them to be.
Each session's exercises, discussions, self-assessments, and video vignettes give step-by-step guidance to help participants become effective communicators for Christ to those around them.
The most common comment from those who have come through this course has been "it has allowed me to be me when I share my faith and my confidence has grown.
[Willow Creek Association] 27 Jul 2006--God has created each person to be both fulfilled and fruitful in a meaningful ministry. Each person is needed in the church not because there are slots to fill but because it is in and through ministry that God's grace is released. This expanded edition of Bruce Bugbee's What You Do Best in the Body of Christ guides readers to discover their God-given design and the role God has created for them in and through the local church. Readers will learn the basic concepts related to spiritual gifts, personal style, and ministry passion.
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
Anglican Communion Network proposes using Thirty-Nine Articles as 'as correctives to doctrinal abuses'
[ENS] 26 Jul 2006--Members of the Anglican Communion Network (ACN) will be asked to consider the tenets of a "Theological Statement" and a "Mission Covenant Declaration" during the group's annual council, meeting July 31 - August 2 in Pittsburgh.
[The News-Sentinel] 26 Jul 2006--Schism and rumors of schism have troubled the Episcopal Church for more than three decades. But talk of the venerable church being split into different camps has never been more serious than now.
[Star-Telegram] 26 Jul 2006--Conservative leaders of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth have made another move to distance themselves from what they consider the liberal, pro-gay leadership of the national church.
[WDC Media News] 26 Jul 2006--A traditional Anglican minister is criticizing his former bishop in the Episcopal Diocese of Arkansas for allowing parishes to move forward with blessing homosexual relationships.
[News.com.au] 26 Jul 2006--Ireland's national museum today hailed what it said was one of the most significant discoveries in decades - and perhaps centuries - after an ancient prayer book was found by chance in an Irish bog.
[Church Society] 26 Jul 2006--Behind the issue of the roles of men and women in Christian ministry lies the question of authority. In fact this matter lies behind most religious disputes.
[Integrity] 26 Jul 2006--Another call has come in. “We’re looking for a worship leader; can you help us?” Often, the pastor calling is looking for someone with a defined skill set, a refined character and an inclined heart toward transplanting to their church location. Most times, the request is coupled with a caveat that the pay is minimal or non-existent, the worship leader must be willing to move to their area, find a job, and voluntarily lead worship. However, at other times, the church is prepared to pay someone, either part-time or full-time, to be their worship pastor. In these cases, my list becomes shorter, and I look for the qualities and experience that mark those I consider to be “Great Worship Leaders.”
[worshipmusic.com] 26 Jul 2006--Three pages of Celtic worship collections CDs and songbooks - for your house church, home fellowship, or small group. Also a number of pages featuring the music of internationally known worship leader and song writer Robin Mark ("These are the days of Elijah," "Be unto your Name" and others).
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
[EV News] 25 Jul 2006--Church Society has called on the heads of the 38 provinces of the Anglican Communion to take steps to break formally with the Episcopal Church of the United States (ECUSA).
[Anglican Mission in America] 25 Jul 2006--The Anglican Mission in America was born in Amsterdam in August of 2000 following three years of preparation.
At Amsterdam, Archbishops Kolini of Rwanda and Yong of South East Asia gave the signal “Full Speed Ahead” to what had been the First Promise Movement and AACOM (Association of Anglican Congregations on Mission),and the Anglican Mission in America was born. Bishops Chuck Murphy and John Rodgers—who had been consecrated Missionary Bishops to the United States from Rwanda and South East Asia January 29, 2000, Singapore—became the overseers of a dynamic Anglican mission on American shores. Four additional bishops were consecrated in Denver in 2001, and things have been full speed ahead ever since.
The Anglican Mission provides a way for congregations and clergy to be fully Anglican—connected to the worldwide Anglican Communion through the leadership in Rwanda and South East Asia—while, at the same time, being free of the crises of faith, leadership and mission in the Episcopal Church USA.
Specifically, AMiA is now focusing on planting new Anglican congregations from coast to coast throughout the United States.
In global developments, Christianity is becoming the fastest growing faith, at a time when it is diminishing in the United States. Professor Philip Jenkins of Penn State (The Next Christendom) and others have noted this phenomenal shift “southward,” as Africa, Asia and South America are witnessing extraordinary growth in the Christian church. Closer to home, Christianity in the U.S is losing ground, as we have become the largest English-speaking collection of un-churched and spiritually disconnected people in the world.
As Newsweek magazine proclaimed in a major article in 2001, “Countries that were once considered Christian homelands have become the mission territories of the new millennium.”
We are becoming the mission field
That is our story at AMiA. We are a missionary outreach to the United States sanctioned jointly by the Anglican Archbishops of South East Asia and Rwanda. The Anglican Mission in America is directly connected to its Archbishops, under their authority. God is doing a major work in their countries and they are willing to share that blessing with us, at great cost to themselves.
We invite you to prayerfully join with us in this exciting mission venture.
For more information regarding the Anglican Mission in America, visit the AMiA website.
[Stand Firm] 25 Jul 2006--There has been no response from the Archbishop of Canterbury of course to the seven diocese requesting Alternate Primatial Oversight. This is uncharted territory and we need to continue to pray for courage and godly wisdom for Rowan Williams, the man in a difficult predicament at his moment in Anglican history. Canon Anderson said that as we know, the issues of sexuality are only the symptoms of the real differences dividing the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion, which are best understood by how the following two questions are answered: 1. Is Jesus THE way to salvation, "the way, the truth, and the life," as he said he is, or is he just A way, one pathway among many? and 2. Is the Bible the word of God, (is "all Scripture God breathed" as the apostle Peter tells us it is) or is it just some words from God among other things? These are the deeper things that divide us and they form the basis for our irreconcilable differences--two different religions: one is the faith once delivered to the saints, the faith of the Bible and the traditions of the holy catholic and apostolic faith; and the other a religion combining unitarianism, secular humanism, cultural relativism and new age spirituality with some of the teachings of Jesus.
[The Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth] 25 Jul 2006--WHEREAS the Bishop and Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth in good faith appealed to the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Primates of the Anglican Communion, and the Panel of Reference for immediate alternative Primatial oversight and pastoral care so that a unifying solution can be found to preserve an authentic Anglican community of witness within the United States of America and provide pastoral and apostolic care to biblically orthodox Anglicans in this country regardless of geographical location....
[Church Society] 25 Jul 2006--What can we learn from the Bible about the nature of Christian leadership and how does this relate to Anglican ministry today?
[servantevangelism.com] 25 Jul 2006--Release your fears about reaching out to others and try the easy ideas proposed by three authors who know what works. Each holds different views on effective evangelism, but the result is a synthesis that wins hearts. You'll learn how to genuinely love your friends and family members into an intimate and life-transforming relationship with Jesus Christ without being pushy or obnoxious. Great primer for those who've tried servant evangelism and don't know what to do next!
[servantevangelism.com] 25 Jul 2006--What sets this product apart from similar products in this category? First, sometimes outreach training tries to motivate us by laying out our Christian responsibility to evangelize, then subtly (or not-so-subtly) attempts to shame us toward greater boldness. This curriculum is shame-free. Everyone gets to talk openly about where they really are and would like to be evangelistically. Although there are many fresh ideas put forward, no one is pushed or browbeaten into adopting methods that don’t fit them.
Second, the kit is truly “plug-and-play.” Practically anyone who can operate a DVD player can lead these eight sessions. The DVD, Leader Guide and reproducible handouts provide everything you need to lead a life-changing group with a bare-minimum of advance preparation time.
[Serve!] 25 Jul 2006--I’ve been a complete flop when it comes to evangelism! I can remember many of my attempts at "leading someone to Jesus." They were awkward for me, and probably much worse for the poor people who had to watch me crash and BURN somewhere along the “Roman Road.”
Monday, July 24, 2006
[Fulcrum] 24 Jul 2006--A background article written for the discussions at General Synod, York, July 2006.
[CBS] 24 Jul 2006--This November, the first woman ever elected to lead a major Christian congregation will be inaugurated as the presiding bishop of the Episcopalian Church, CBS News correspondent Russ Mitchell reports....
[The Leader Board] 24 Jul 2006--Our DNA is about mission. We have had a clear and focused mission from the beginning of our ministry. It is taken from the book of Matthew: Make disciples and teach them to obey the commands of Christ. (Matthew 28:18-19)
For more articles from Stand Firm, go to http://www.standfirminfaith.com/index.php/site/index.
[The Living Church] 24 Jul 2006--Four bishops with jurisdiction in the state of California have asked a disciplinary panel to approve an expedited deposition of the Rt. Rev. John-David Schofield, Bishop of San Joaquin.
No trial for Bishop Schofield if revisionists Bruno, Lamb, Mathes, and Swing have their way.
[Global South Anglican] 24 Jul 2006--“The Communion needs to come to a more sober estimate of itself and submit again to the authority of the written Word of God. It is incumbent upon the Primates to set servant models for the rest of their bishops, and reform the Communion Office and Instruments accordingly.”
[Cross†Way] Issue Winter 2001 No. 83--Church Association Tract 420 was developed from an address given by The Rev Norman Baptie to the CA Autumn Conference in 1913. Inevitably it represents the understanding of one man about 'evangelical churchmanship', but it gives an interesting vantage point from which to assess our own understanding and our evangelical credentials. Baptie identifies six characteristics of the Evangelical Churchman....
[ChristianityToday.com] 24 Jul 2006--Whatever happened to the idea of rescuing people from hell?
[The Evangelism Toolbox] 24 Jul 2006--An invaluable tool for soul winning and personal ministry, the "Handbook" was compiled by the Christian Guidance Department of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association to help you help others from a biblical perspective. Topically arranged for quick reference.
One of a number of useful resources online for those seeking to reach the lost.
Saturday, July 22, 2006
[Galesburg Register-Mail] 22 Jul 2006--Traces of the white letters that once spelled "Episcopal" still can be seen on the dark red sign outside Grace Church.
But the absence of those letters symbolizes where Grace Church stands following the 75th General Convention of the Episcopal Church, which was held in June in Columbus, Ohio.
[Times Online] 22 Jul 2006--No, this is not another post on the Middle East, or Africa, or Northern Ireland. The clergy at the reconciliation and peace centre at Coventry Cathedral have been turning skills honed in negotiating peace between gun-toting war lords and missile-launching terror bombers to that other intractable conflict zone shaking our world at its foundations at present - the war in the Anglican Communion. The Community of the Cross of Nails, founded by Andrew White and Justin Welby, has this week been hosting a meeting of leading Anglican primates. My source tells me that no statements will be issued, no policy decided. In fact, it has been remarkably eirenic.
Maybe this is because the attendees whose names I've been able to discover seem largely weighted to one particular side of the battle. David Moxon of New Zealand, Clive Handford of Cyprus and the Gulf, Andrew Hutchison of Canada* and, of course, Frank Griswold of the US are I believe among those attending. I've also been advised that Cape Town and Burundi might be there. There are others too, some blog readers might be better informed than me. Let me know if you know more.
[The Toronto Star] 22 Jul 2006--After the U.S. church's general convention held in Columbus, Ohio, last month, it may well take direct divine intervention to save the 77-million-member communion of 38 national or regional churches from disintegrating.
Rather than mollifying conservatives, the convention further widened the liberal-conservative divide over homosexuality, intensified the invective, and strengthened the possibility of a full-blown schism.
[Stand Firm] 22 Jul 2006--After some further reflection, it appears that “Fred” has been right all along, and this has nothing to do with property. This is the Via Media strategy played out. +Swing, +Bruno, +Mathes, and +Lamb are attempting to circumvent the normal canonical process of presentment against +Schofield, and get a declaration that the Bishop of San Joaquin has abandoned the communion of the Episcopal Church. This is Connecticut Six writ large. Yesterday, I made the statement that this is a stepping back from the brink. In the morning light, I see things much differently....
More articles from Stand Firm can be found at http://www.standfirminfaith.com/index.php/site/index.
[The Courier-Journal] 22 Jul 2006--A priest who broke with the Episcopal Church to form an Elizabethtown, Ky., parish under a foreign Anglican bishop is helping to organize a parish in Louisville.
[Anglican Church League] 22 Jul 2006--“The apostles have received from God a gospel, a deposit, a pattern of sound teaching, a good deposit, a particular message about Jesus Christ, risen from the dead. And this deposit, pattern, gospel, must be suffered for, guarded, kept, and remembered.
This is not a recipe for innovation; for constantly seeking after what is new. In fact, to do so is to place yourself in danger and in the wrong company. ‘For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth...’ (2 Tim. 4:3–4).
...The task of Christian ministry is not to be an innovator, it is to faithfully pass on the apostolic gospel.
The first step in this process, of course, is to be someone who listens to God’s Word and learns from hearing the voice of their master. We actually need to work hard at this, for the Bible says we are dull of hearing, blind of sight, dense of mind, and hard of heart...”
[Churchman] 22 Jul 2006--If I am not mistaken there is a concerted attempt being made at present to redefine what it means to be an evangelical Christian. A number of prominent people around the world are trying to broaden the term, to encompass a variety of perspectives which were once quite alien to evangelical thought and practice....
[InterVarsity] 22 Jul 2006--Witnessing Communities demonstrate the biblical values to prepare, pray, care, share and declare Jesus as Lord in their evangelism by pursuing a seven-step strategy of fruitful witness. The staff from the Great Lakes East and West Regions have revised their witnessing community diagram and added a checklist to help leadership teams plan their strategy to grow as effective witnessing communities.
This PDF download includes a diagram and a checklist that would be useful to any church, home fellowship or small group seeking to grow as an effective witnessing community.
[InterVarsity] 22 Jul 2006--Seven Essentials of Evangelism is an assessment tool developed by InterVarsity's Midwest Graduate Faculty Ministry. This tool will help you identify areas of strength and weakness in your evangelism ministry.
This assessment can be easily adapted to your church, home fellowship or small group.
Friday, July 21, 2006
[Episcopal Diocese of Central Florida] 21 Jul 2006--We are facing a pastoral emergency within our own Diocese right now. We are losing members in all orders of ministry and we have even lost one entire congregation, approximately two-thirds of another, and one-third of still another. Our ability to carry out the Great Commission is hindered as many members withhold financial contributions due to uncertainty regarding the future of The Episcopal Church. The focus, time and energy of our most gifted clergy are being diverted away from mission and ministry by this crisis. Our witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ is strained by these errors, and the controversy and conflict they have produced.
Therefore, we are making this appeal to you for Alternative Primatial Oversight. We urge you to recognize this is a necessary measure to prevent further loss of members, money, and ministry. Such Oversight will provide temporary structural stabilization to allow us to focus once again on the twin priorities of the Diocese: the Great Commission and the Great Commandment.
[The Church of England Newspaper] 21 Jul 2006--An Anglican congregation in the Algarve is urgently seeking alternative Episcopal oversight after its minister was subjected to a ‘campaign of harassment’ amid claims that the diocese of Europe pushed him out of his ministry. The Almancil church on the Algarve is the first in the Church of England parish to seek alternative Episcopal oversight after a very public falling out with other congregations in the chaplaincy and with diocesan leaders.
Anarchy in the Algarve - Anglican Mainstream
[The Post-Standard] 21 Jul 2006--State Supreme Court Justice Edward Carni today denied a request for a restraining order against a Syracuse Episcopal parish whose leaders reject the denomination’s policy on homosexuality, saying the disagreement boils down to a question of ownership.
For more articles from Stand Firm, go to http://www.standfirminfaith.com/index.php/site/index.
[The Times and Democrat] 21 Jul 2006--The Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina, of which the Orangeburg parish is a member, has asked the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev. Rowan Williams, for "alternative primatial oversight," the Rev. Frank Larisey explained to his congregation at the Church of the Redeemer in Orangeburg July 9.
This does not mean that the diocese is leaving the Episcopal Church, as has been reported in other media, Larisey says; "we are not -- we are the real thing."
[Church of Nigeria News] 21 Jul 2006--The Priesthood in the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) is not an all-comers-affair.
This assertion was made Sunday in Abuja by the Primate of the Anglican Church, the Most Rev Peter Akinola while presiding at the ordination of three deacons and four priests at the Cathedral Church of the Advent, Gwarinpa.
Akinola said the Church was looking for well trained pastors who would breach the shortage of manpower in the diocese of Abuja, in order to achieve the evangelism mission project of the Church to double its present 19 million population in the country.
[EV News] 21 Jul 2006--It is not surprising to see the Church of Ireland produce such a report as this. The revisionists amongst its leadership need a means by which to justify their departure from classical understandings of Biblical teaching. The summary at the end of this report sets out to sound authentically Anglican but actually misrepresents both genuine Anglican doctrine and orthodox Christian belief.
[United Methodist News Service] 21 Jul 2006--Author David Murrow says a typical guy feels as comfortable in church as Tom Sawyer in Aunt Polly's parlor.
[Church Society] 21 Jul 2006--Whatever may be said to the contrary, the Bible is the true basis of Evangelicalism, and without confidence in the Holy Scriptures the movement must perish. Assertions such as this have led to the sneer that the Christianity of the Evangelical is a mere Bibliolatry. While denying this, we may reply to those who in their attacks give a surprising amount of prominence to the Prayer Book, that even if it were true, Bibliolatry would be infinitely superior to Liturgiolatry. But how may a true Evangelical express more exactly his belief in the Bible? It is insufficient to say, "we believe it to be inspired”. The most extreme of rationalistic critics could say as much. The vital point at issue is whether the Bible is to be substantially thought of as a record of historical fact or merely as a collection of myths made at a late date.
[InterVarsity] 21 Jul 2006--Our mandate has never been to make converts but to make disciples. Jessica Fick, Western Michigan team leader draws principles from I Timothy to develop a follow-up strategy for new Christians.
[InterVarsity] 21 Jul 2006--In my nine years of staff work at UCLA, I have found that effective and fruitful incarnational/ relational evangelism to postmoderns is very difficult and elusive. In fact, next to Racial Reconciliation, it has been the single most elusive and frustrating part of staff work for me until God gave us some breakthroughs starting in 1997. These are some of the questions which have haunted me (and which I now have some sense of conviction about)....
[InterVarsity] 21 Jul 2006--In subtle ways, I’ve picked up the wrong image of an effective evangelist. I’ve listened to the witty lines and slick responses of some well-known evangelists and tried to come up with my own versions. My assumption has been that Joe Unbeliever has no desire or interest in spiritual things (much less in Jesus), and it is my job to give him that interest; either by pointing out the unhappiness in his life (“You’ve got to be unhappy about something!”) or suggesting that we Christians have something that he doesn’t (peace that passes all understanding, joy beyond description, love that gushes and overflows). Of course, I’m not a total doofus—I know that pointing out Joe Unbeliever’s weaknesses, failures and dissatisfaction with life would make me seem arrogant and presumptuous. Besides, I’ve always felt dishonest about claiming to have never-ending peace, joy and love when my everyday experience is, um, different. So what am I supposed to do? I’ve been stifled by this dilemma.
Thursday, July 20, 2006
[Anglican Mission in America] 20 Jul 2006--The affinity based relationship enjoyed between individual Anglican Mission parishes and their bishop has its challenges as well as its benefits. Unlike the more familiar diocesan model of the episcopacy, Mission bishops may work and live many states away from the parishes they serve. That means long distances traveled for episcopal visits, and extended time away from a bishop’s home parish.
[St. Louis Post-Dispatch] 20 Jul 2006--A former Episcopal congregation - the Anglican Church in St. Charles County - has found a new direction that focuses on the Bible and honoring Christ.
[Anglican Communion Network] 20 Jul 2006--The Common Cause Theological Statement affirms basic Christian and Anglican beliefs not as historical documents, but as living truth....
I had previously posted an article on the Common Cause Theological Statement and Covenant but it did not contain the text of the proposed documents.
[Stand Firm] 20 Jul 2006--I originally wrote this article for Stand Firm after Easter of this year. Given the recent news in Central New York, and my recent vow (which despite Greg's persistent lack of faith, I have maintained) to take a time out from writing anything new this week, I thought it might be a good and appropriate time to republish it....
More articles from Stand Firm can be found at http://www.standfirminfaith.com/index.php/site/index.
[titusonenine] 20 Jul 2006--The Bishop and the Standing Committee of the Diocese of Tennessee have received several requests and suggestions that they consider asking for Alternative Primatial Oversight of the Diocese of Tennessee. The Bishop and the Standing Committee take these requests seriously and receive input from and listen to all concerns that are voiced within the diocese....
[The Christian Challenge] 20 Jul 2006--Two summary articles on The Episcopal Church's 75th General Convention written by the Editor of The Christian Challenge:
1. General Convention 2006: Clarity, At Last - But No Calm
2. General Convention's Windsor Report - A Closer Look
[The Christian Challenge] 20 Jul 2006--A month after the Episcopal General Convention failed to answer the Windsor Report's call for a moratorium on public same-sex blessing rites, Arkansas Episcopal Bishop Larry Maze has announced that certain congregations will "likely move forward" on gay blessings in the weeks ahead.
[The Syracuse Post-Stand] 20 Jul 2006--The Episcopal Diocese of Central New York filed a lawsuit Wednesday against St. Andrew's Church in Syracuse, asking state Supreme Court Justice Edward Carni to grant the diocese a restraining order against the parish so that it cannot sell the church real estate at 5013 S. Salina St.
[Fulcrum] 20 Jul 2006--The task of bearing humble witness to this ultimate of all realities is entrusted to all who have received the Spirit given at Pentecost. It is a commission, not to dominate the world, but to serve it, not to divide the world, but to unite it, not to extinguish human freedom but to invite all women and men to find in Christ that fullness of life for which they were created.
[Cross†Way] Issue Winter 2003 No. 87--It is disturbing how many in our churches are unwilling even to consider the possibility of false teachers being among us. It ought to be painfully evident from history that such have been a regular feature of the life of the church. Sadly, in our day most would rather not consider it a possibility and therefore keep their minds firmly shut and change the subject when it is mentioned....
[ChristianityToday.com] 20 Jul 2006--How the right approach to your sessions can make your meetings more meaningful
[ChristianityToday.com] 20 Jul 2006--Wanting to cultivate a more intimate and active faith, thousands of people are going home for church as part of the growing organic church movement. Why? And what does this mean for your church's future?
[ChristianityToday.com] 20 Jul 2006--An international Bible teacher and daughter of evangelist Billy Graham, Anne Graham Lotz has spoken in arenas, prison cells, stadiums, sanctuaries and seminaries. In the last five years, she has led 23 of her "Just Give Me Jesus" events, calling the Church to revival. She conveys that same message in her latest book, I Saw the Lord (Zondervan). Recently, she sat down with Outreach to talk about heaven, hell and what she believes is the Church's greatest outreach killer.
[InterVarsity] 20 Jul 2006--Building authentic friendships is a powerful way to share your faith. Read the story of how an authentic friendship led a person to become a Christian. Also, learn some practical ways to build your own authentic friendships.
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
[The Vine] 19 Jul 2006--When the Rev. Canon Dr. Michael Green spoke at The Way Forward: Equipping the Saints conference in May, one of his talks really challenged me to think about our focus in God’s church. He contrasted the first century church in Jerusalem with the church in Antioch. Jerusalem had been the center of Jewish worship since the year 1000 BC, when King David conquered the city and established it as the capital of Israel. Jerusalem had the great golden temple, the Ark of the Covenant, and giant courtyards from which to worship the Lord God. On the day of Pentecost, 50 days after Jesus rose from the dead, about 3000 committed their lives to Jesus and joined the rapidly growing church. On that day, most probably thought Jerusalem would become the world-wide center of Christianity. Yet, the church in Jerusalem became ingrown and quit reaching out to unbelievers. They became comfortable with the saints, rather than help those with real spiritual problems come to wholeness in Jesus Christ. The church in Jerusalem began to fade.
[Anglican Church League] 19 Jul 2006--Two stimulating and helpful talks given by Archbishop Peter Jensen at the recent Latimer Conference in New Zealand.
Very much worth reading and passing on.
(Documents in PDF format.)
[Tallahassee Democrat] 19 Jul 2006--"We've had a lot people ask us to pray for their children," said Trish Silcox, a member of St. Luke's Anglican Fellowship on Apalachee Parkway. "It's like going out canvassing but this time I know the candidate and I know he's a man of integrity."
[Stand Firm] 19 Jul 2006--It has been a week to remember. The responses from all of you and from people all over the world (Italy, Brazil, Tunisia, Waxahachie?) have been so heartening. I have had to catch my breath. Thank you!
As I mentioned last week (please read here if you were absent) Christ Church cannot go in the direction of the Episcopal Church, therefore we have formally announced our intention to disassociate. But I feel led to say something at a pastoral level that will touch many families in our church…
For more articles from Stand Firm, go to http://www.standfirminfaith.com/index.php/site/index.
[The San Diego Union Tribune] 19 Jul 2006--A Fallbrook church has become the third local Episcopal congregation to split from the San Diego diocese and the U.S. denomination in a widening dispute over theology, homosexuality and Anglican authority.
[The Living Church] 19 Jul 2006--Most of the commentary on the recent General Convention has focused on the impact its decisions will have on the relationship of The Episcopal Church with the rest of the Anglican Communion. However, this observer believes that, behind these major decisions, something else was going on at General Convention — something that is in some ways more subtle, but quite possibly far more important, at least for Episcopalians of a catholic disposition.
[The Christian Post] 19 Jul 2006--A recent survey found that a majority of young teens said there are correlations between the messages of the Bible and the way they apply those messages to their lives.
[ChristianityToday.com] 19 Jul 2006--What one senior pastor from a small-sized church learned as he prayed for his small group ministry to flourish.
[Churchman] 19 Jul 2006--We live in difficult and dangerous times for the Church of England. This church – raised up and so often preserved by God’s hand; doctrinally, liturgically and historically a beacon to the nation and beyond; confessionally faithful to his sufficient and unerring word – is now facing its most difficult problems, its greatest dangers, since it began. The problems and dangers come in different ways and from different directions.
[Pastors.com] 19 Jul 2006--Pastor, do you ever struggle with motivating your members to share their faith? We all have wrestled with that from time to time. Here is a way to explain to your members why they need to share their faith.
[Pastors.com] 19 Jul 2006--Today, a lot of Christians are what I call “floating believers.” It is an expression of America’s rampant individualism. Anywhere else in the world, being a believer is synonymous with being connected to a local body of believers. Pastors, we need to be teaching those in our congregations why joining a church family is so important. Here are a few ideas to help you do that.
[Pastors.com] 19 Jul 2006--Bringing enjoyment to God, living for his pleasure, is the first purpose of our lives. Worship includes anything we do that brings pleasure to God. Understanding that truth will transform not only your congregational worship but also every aspect of your church members' daily lives. What is the secret to a lifestyle of worship?
[Pastors.com] 19 Jul 2006--On the surface, the notion of “targeting” people might seem suspect – even wrong. But the truth is, targeting specific kinds of people for evangelism is a biblical principle – and one that’s as old as the New Testament. When a Canaanite woman asked Jesus to minister to her demon-possessed daughter he publicly stated that the Father had told him to focus on “the house of Israel” (Matt. 15:22-28). Although Jesus went ahead and healed the Canaanite woman’s daughter because of her faith, he publicly identified his ministry target: the Jews. This was not his idea. It came from the Father.
[Pastors.com] 19 Jul 2006--Based on the best-selling book, The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren, this unique small group edition will help your members discover who they are, why they were created, and how to fulfill God’s purpose for their lives. It is perfect for small groups, Sunday school, new believer classes, and book clubs.
Groups will journey together down the path of purpose as they hear Pastor Warren teach six weekly small group sessions. Also included are six small group leader training sessions and a powerful but personal Gospel message presented by Pastor Warren that can be used at any time during the series.
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
[NewsbyUs] 18 Jul 2006--My article “How To Stop Gay Activism In The Episcopal Church” brought an astonishing confession from a gay Episcopal “Reverend” evidencing the true goal of false acolytes now conquering major religious institutions: Spirituality and the Bible itself are to be replaced with gay and lesbian street philosophy.
[ChristianityToday.com] 18 Jul 2006--We can't win non-Christians if we don't know how they think, and we can't know how they think if we never enter their world.
[The Living Church] 18 Jul 2006--So is a formal separation ahead? I still think so. We have drifted so far apart from each other that reconciliation, the new favorite word of the Presiding Bishop and friends, is no longer achievable. I’m not willing to predict when that may happen or what form it may take, but some sort of realignment of the Anglican presence in North America is on the horizon. We were given an early glimpse of it with the rapid-fire unfolding of events on June 28 [p. 5]. As I’ve written before, I’ll be happy to admit I’m wrong.
[The Living Church] 18 Jul 2006--We are grateful to Archbishop Rowan Williams for his recent reminder to the church that “...(as has often been forgotten) the Lambeth Conference did resolve that for the time being those churches that did ordain women as priests and bishops and those that did not had an equal place within the Anglican spectrum.” The Anglican concept of an open process of reception holds that the verdict is still out on this one, until the whole catholic church comes to a consensus, on one side or the other of this contentious issue.
[Church Society] 18 Jul 2006--Does it really matter what the clergy wear? - especially in these days of ecumenical experiment and debate? Since 1965 Canon Law has permitted varying kinds of vesture in the Church of England, so surely we do not need to make a fuss over these issues any more? At first glance that seems a reasonable argument, until you recall how much the things we do in worship affect the way we think about it. If such things were not important, why all the reordering of our churches, moving the communion table from the east end to the nave, and removing pews to form ‘worship areas’? Similarly, what the clergyman wears affects people’s understanding of the services and are ‘teaching aids’ of a sort. To wear one form of ministerial dress when the Word of God is read and preached, and a more elaborate form of dress for sacramental services, will say more to the onlooker than many clergy will wish to imply.
[evantell.org] 18 Jul 2006--In this book Larry Moyer offers a practical guide to personal evangelism.
[dickscoggins.com] 18 Jul 2006--This Manual has grown out of the experiences of the Fellowship of Church Planters in beginning a movement of House Churches in R.I. and New England. The papers which make up the manual were developed to deal with barriers and breakthroughs in the work. We desire to pass on what we have learned to others who are engaged in this sort of work. In almost every case many mistakes were made as we struggled to learn what we needed to get us to the next step in planting reproducing churches. Our hope is that this manual will shorten others road. But some things can only be learned the hard way!
This Manual is filled with useful ideas that can be used in developing a network of Anglican fellowships in your area.
Monday, July 17, 2006
[New York Times] 17 Jul 2006--Amid the heated debates over culture and religion in this country, All Angels Church in New York City has become a battleground that defies easy categorization.
[The Philadelphia Inquirer] 17 Jul 2006--When the Rev. William White pulled his parish at Second and Market Streets out of the Church of England, he chose an auspicious day: July 4, 1776.
With that, White and his stately brick Christ Church - where George Washington, Ben Franklin and James Madison worshiped in Philadelphia - formed a brand-new American denomination.
But the same challenge to tradition that created the Episcopal Church in 18th-century America, and compelled it to embrace women's rights and gay rights in the 20th, now threatens to fracture it - and split worldwide Anglicanism as well.
[The Sun Chronicle] 17 Jul 2006--All Saints Episcopal Church in Attleboro is finding itself at a crossroads with its diocese and its national church.
[The Christian Century] 17 Jul 2006--Signs of a full-blown split between the Episcopal Church and most of the worldwide Anglican Communion appeared only days after the U.S. church's General Convention refused to renounce the election of gay bishops.
[Stand Firm] 17 Jul 2006--There are several kernels of truth but many half-truths in the “letter” written by David Brannenof St. Andrew’s Anglican Church, Versailles, which appeared in the Saturday, July 8 Lexington Herald-Leader’s Faith and Values section.
To read more articles from Stand Firm, go to http://www.standfirminfaith.com/index.php/site/index.
[Global South Anglican] 17 Jul 2006--Who are these Anglicans outside Britain and America? Why do they matter? My aim here is to help British and American Anglican friends to come to a better understanding of the “Global South”.
[ChristianityToday.com] 17 Jul 2006--An African bishop tells North American Christians the most helpful gospel-thing they can do.
[Church Society] 17 Jul 2006--Ritualism then is in its faith and forms Romanism; and, in order not to misrepresent it, we shall take its own organs to describe its practices, and learn its words and ways from its tracts, magazines, catechisms, manuals of devotion, and the newspapers, which the Ritualists publish.
[Pastor.com] 17 Jul 2006--We'd all like to see our church members become more effective in personal evangelism. If you want a plan that'll communicate with the widest variety of spiritual seekers in your community, you'll need a simple one that isn't weighed down by terms only known in the Christian community. Here's the plan we use at Saddleback. Feel free to use it in your own church context.
[Pastor.com] 17 Jul 2006--When unbelievers watch genuine worship, it becomes a powerful witness. On the day of Pentecost, God’s presence was so evident in the disciples' worship service that it attracted the attention of unbelievers throughout the entire city! Acts 2:6 says, “... a crowd came together.”
Why were those 3,000 people converted? Because they felt God’s presence and they understood the message. I believe both of these elements are essential for worship to be a witness.
[Pastor.com] 17 Jul 2006--I'm often asked what I’d do differently if I could start Saddleback over. My answer is this: From the first day of the new church I’d put more energy and money into ensuring a first-class music ministry that matched our target. Music is an integral part of our lives. We eat with it, drive with it, shop with it, relax with it, and some even dance to it! The great American past time is not baseball – it is music and sharing our opinions about it!
Saturday, July 15, 2006
[Zenit News Agency] 15 Jul 2006--Recent decisions by the Anglican Church in Britain and the United States have raised the specter of further splits. Last weekend, the Church of England's Synod voted in favor of allowing women to be ordained bishops.
[Stand Firm] 15 Jul 2006--Kendall Harmon: there's a "complete lack of marital and sexual discipline for the clergy" in ... the Episcopal Church USA.
More articles from Stand Firm can be found at http://www.standfirminfaith.com/index.php/site/index.
[The Living Church] 15 Jul 2006--Ever since the Windsor Report was published in 2004, Episcopalians have been told that it will be up to the General Convention to make an official response to the recommendations contained in that document. The 75th General Convention, meeting for 10 days in Columbus, Ohio, has crafted its response, and it is a colossal disappointment.
[The Living Church] 15 Jul 2006--The bishops of California, Los Angeles and San Diego are preparing presentment charges which may be filed as early as next week against the Rt. Rev. John-David Schofield, Bishop of San Joaquin, according to three persons who attended a diocesan meeting July 8 at St. John’s Church, Los Angeles.
[ChristianityToday.com] 15 Jul 2006--People with the gift of giving need cultivation and a challenge.
[ChristianityToday.com] 15 Jul 2006--How to compose dynamic, intimate, and lasting small groups.
[ChristianityToday.com] 15 Jul 2006--Home Bible studies don't always operate by the textbook.
[The Christian Post] 15 Jul 2006--A major organization of lay members says the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) "crossed a critical line of demarcation" last month by allowing local congregations and regional bodies some leeway to install openly gay clergy or lay officers who live with same-sex partners.
[Church Society] 15 Jul 2006--“The hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.” “God is a spirit, and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.”
These words institute a contrast between the worship of the Old Testament and the worship of the New. Our Lord does not mean that no true worship had ever been offered to God before, or that He had been satisfied with an unreal service, or that priests, and prophets, and kings, and holy men of old had rested in the letter which killeth, “having the form of godliness and not the power.” What God is now He always has been. What the spirituality of His nature requires now it always has required. But the Jewish system placed an emphasis on the sanctity of particular places and persons, upon the obligation of daily, weekly, and yearly sacrifices, and on the forms of an elaborate ceremonial. This was to be laid aside as having served the end for which it was
ordained. Henceforth an external ceremonial was not to be interposed between man and God.
Man’s homage “to the High and Lofty One who inhabiteth eternity” was no longer to be
authoritatively united to an elaborate form of service. The true idea of worship, as the faith, the
hope, the joy of the soul in God, was to be clearly and fully recognized. “God is a spirit, and they
that worship Him must worship Him in spirit,”–not with a worship material, sensuous, rudimentary,and imperfect,–“and in truth;” not with a typical shadowy worship such as that enjoined by the Mosaic law, or with a merely external service.
Now this statement of our Lord, of what Christian worship ought to be, presents us with an
argument for the simplicity of Christian Ritual....
[The Prayer Book Society of the USA] 15 Jul 2006--"Worship simply, engage in mission joyfully."
Excellent advise from the Rev. Dr. Peter Toon.
Friday, July 14, 2006
[The Journal-Register] 14 Jul 2006--What he calls the Episcopal Church's "decline," based in part on its acceptance of homosexuality, is the reason the bishop of the Springfield diocese is pushing for permission from the Anglican faith's world leader to be overseen by someone outside the United States.
[Times Online] 14 Jul 2006--The head of the Church Army has launched a surprise attack on the Church of England, accusing it of losing faith in the fundamentals of the Christian faith. Capt Philip Johanson said it was increasingly the case that people converting to Christianity were not going to church on Sundays. Some new converts had never been to church at all, he said, and preferred to their new-found faith with friends they met in the pub, or on the internet....
To read more articles from Stand Firm, go to http://www.standfirminfaith.com/index.php/site/index.
[Global South Anglican] 14 Jul 2006--Among the most significant considerations before the upcoming Annual Council of the Anglican Communion Network (July 31 – August 2 in Pittsburgh) are a “Theological Statement” and a “Mission Covenant Declaration,” proposed by the Common Cause Roundtable. The Common Cause Roundtable chaired by Bishop Robert Duncan in his role as Moderator of the Anglican Communion Network, and composed of two leaders each from eight major Anglican entities, has proposed these documents for adoption by each of the partner bodies.
[Church Society] 14 Jul 2006--It will clear my way at the outset, if I remind you that the “Church Principles” of which I am going to speak to-day are the principles of the Established Church of England. The “Catholic Church” is a favourite expression which is continually used in the present age. But it is one of those great, swelling, high-sounding, vague expressions which mean anything, everything, or nothing, according to the animus of him who uses them, and I shall pass it by. “Primitive” principles, “mediaeval” principles, “ancient” principles, “Catholic” principles I shall not dwell upon, though I could say much. I shall stick to my text. The principles I am here to consider are the principles of that Reformed Church of England, which was emancipated from Rome 300 years ago, the Church whose foundations were cemented with the blood of Cranmer, Ridley, Latimer, and their martyred companions, the Church which was temporarily overthrown by the semi-Romanism of Laud, drained of its life-blood by Charles II’s Act of Uniformity, revived by the noble work of Whitfield, Romaine, and Venn in the last century, and which, in spite of many traitors within and many Liberationists without, is still recognized by Queen, Lords, and Commons as the Established Church of the realm. Esto perpetua. The principles of the Church I am here to exhibit and defend....
This is the fourth in a series of articles related to the controversies over doctrine and worship, that have had a profound impact upon the Anglican Church.
[ChristianityToday.com] 14 Jul 2006--Our kids are going to form their first impressions of God and the local church through our ministry, so we want that picture to accurately reflect how awesome it is to have a relationship with the God of the universe. We want them to love his Word, to want to be a part of a small community, and to be committed to using their spiritual gifts within the body someday, so we'd better do an excellent job of painting the picture for them now, while they are young. As we strive to make these things happen in our ministry, and do it with excellence, we make it the best hour of every kid's week!
[ChristianityToday.com] 14 Jul 2006--Every children's ministry is different. Yet we all share common ground when it comes to volunteers: we never have enough and recruiting is a challenge.
[ChristianityToday.com] 14 Jul 2006--Too many suburban Christians are in the world—and also of it.
A Spiritual Health Hazard: White Picket Fences and Two Car Garages - ChristianityToday.com
[The Sydney Morning Herald] 14 Jul 2006--Conservatives in the Uniting Church have precipitated an internal split by moving to form their own assembly, comprised of members who oppose to the appointment of practising homosexuals as ordained ministers.
Evangelical leaders are angry because are angry because the church's 11th national assembly decided this week not to overturn a 2003 ruling that gave regional presbyteries the right to appoint homosexuals to the ministry.
Gay clergy split Uniting Church - The Age
Church rebels split over gay priests - The Australian
Thursday, July 13, 2006
[The Church of England Newspaper] 13 Jul 2006--A new legislative group has been given the ‘brief from hell’ to find new legislative arrangements for ordaining women bishops without splitting the Church of England asunder. After two years of seeking a way forward in legislation to create provisions both for ordaining women and to satisfy opponents in the House of Bishops, the General Synod decided to put the task in the hands of a special legislative group. The ‘flying’ Bishop of Beverley, the Rt Rev Martyn Jarrett, said that he could not believe that the new legislative group would be any more successful than the Guildford group which put together proposals for Transferred Episcopal Arrangements, or indeed the House of Bishops which has failed to come up with any sort of plan.
[beliefnet.com] 13 Jul 2006--Almost unnoticed amid its clamorous debate over human sexuality, the Episcopal Church has directed an internal committee to address "anti-Jewish prejudice" in Christian Scriptures and liturgical texts.
[OpinionsEditorials.com] 13 Jul 2006--At the 75th General Convention of the Episcopal Church, which took place last month, decisions were made that further pushed the church away from Scripture and on its own earthly path towards irrelevance. After the convention the Rev. Canon David Anderson made it clear that the Episcopal Church USA was given the opportunity to recover from past errors when the worldwide Communion asked for an expression of “regret for decisions made in 2003 and subsequent actions, as well as moratoria on consecrations of non-celibate homosexuals and same-sex blessings.”
[Stand Firm] 13 Jul 2006--We believe that our greatest enemy at this moment is apathy. Speaking for our AAC chapter, we invite the people of Oregon and our surrounding Washington neighbors to join us in asking ourselves some provocative questions: What is on God’s heart? What is it that will compel us to reach higher and stretch further than we think we can? What is it that is so big that it can only be accomplished with God’s help? How can we go out and meet our future as faithful people? How is the Holy Spirit calling us to action?
More articles from Stand Firm can be found at http://www.standfirminfaith.com/index.php/site/index.
[Global South Anglican] 13 Jul 2006--A new day is dawning”, so Bishop Bob Duncan, moderator of the Anglican Communion Network, introduced his 23 June 2006 pastoral letter soon after the end of ECUSA’s General Convention. ECUSA has indeed made clear that it “embraced the course of ‘walking apart’” from the rest of the Communion. This is the starting point from which Provinces and the Communion as a whole need to consider their courses of actions. More importantly, we need to understand that ECUSA’s actions brought about the confusing ad hoc episcopal cross-border interventions.
[Global South Anglicans]12 Jul 2006--Amongst conservatives in the United States, two different understandings of Communion and how to maintain it appear to be vying for ascendancy in our present season.
[Church Society] 13 July 2006--Now I am not one of those who object to all changes and reforms of old things. Nothing of the kind. I heartily thank God for most of the changes of the last half century, whether political, or social, or scientific, or educational. I should not be an honest man if I did not declare my conviction that on the whole they are great improvements. But there is one subject about which I cannot take up new views, and that subject is the English Reformation. I cannot agree with those who now tell us that the Reformation was a blunder—that the Reformers are overpraised—that Protestantism has done this country no good—and that it would matter little if England placed her neck once more under the foot of the Pope of Home. Against these new-fangled opinions I enter my solemn protest. want no departure from the old Protestant paths which were cast up by Cranmer, Ridley, andLatimer, three hundred years ago. In short, about the value of the English Reformation I want no new views. I unhesitatingly maintain that “the old are better.”
The subject of this paper may seem a very simple one. But I fear there is a strange amount of
ignorance about it, and a widely-spread disposition to undervalue the Protestant Reformation. Time has a wonderful power of dimming men’s eyes, and deadening their recollection of benefits, andmaking them thankless and ungrateful. Three busy centuries have slipped away since England broke with Rome, and a generation has arisen which, like Israel under the Judges, knows little of the days of the Protestant Exodus, and of the struggles in the wilderness. Partly too, from acowardly dislike to religious controversy, partly from a secret desire to appear liberal and condemnnobody's opinions, the Reformation period of English history is sadly slurred over both inUniversities and Public Schools. It seems an inconvenient subject, and men give it the coldshoulder. Be the cause what it may, the Reformation period is too often shunted on a siding, andhas not that prominent place in the education of young England which such a character-formingperiod most richly deserves. The whole result is that few people seem to understand either theevils from which the Reformation delivered us, or the blessings which the Reformation brought in. In short, many now-a-days regard the subject of Popery as a “bore.” They blindly persuade themselves that there is no mighty difference between Protestants and Papists at bottom. They say in their hearts, “A plague on both your houses! it is six of one and half a dozen of another.” To remove some of this ignorance, and let in a little light, is the simple aim of my paper. I want to make some of my countrymen understand that WE OWE AN ENORMOUS DEBT TO THE PROTESTANT REFORMATION.
This is the third article in a series in which AnglicansAblaze revisits the controveries that have divided the Anglican Church in the past and that continue to impact the Church in our day and time.
[ChristianityToday.com] 13 Jul 2006--How consumerism undermines our faith and community.
[ChristianityToday.com] 13 Jul 2006--How small group leaders cultivate spiritual growth.
[Matthias Media] 13 Jul 2006--In four simple, hour-long studies "Investigating Christianity" takes an interested non-Christian through the Bible's basic teaching about God, man, Jesus Christ and how to be right with God. These studies have been tried and tested over many years and in many contexts, and have proven to be very successful in taking interested enquirers that next step to understanding the gospel and committing their lives to Christ. An inexpensive and attractively presented resource.
[Matthias Media] 13 Jul 2006--So Many Questions provides self-guided, video-based training in how to answer common questions about Christianity.
In a series of 17 short 20- minute sessions, So Many Questions takes you through the most common questions, helping you think through what to say, and providing an 'expert' answer from which to learn. Plus you'll also discover the basic principles that govern all answers....
Requires Video and Workbook for each participant.
Also available on DVD.
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
[Pittsburgh Tribune-Review] 12 Jul 2006--Nine parishes in the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh are considering legal action to stop a plan by Bishop Robert Duncan that they say could "effectively remove the diocese from the church."
[Episcopal News Service] 12 Jul 2006--I note here that a two-tier solution to our present strains raises serious questions about how we understand ourselves as being the church. I am put in mind of Paul’s understanding of the church as the body of Christ of which we are all indispensable members in virtue of our baptism. I think as well of Jesus’ declaration in the Gospel of John that he is the vine and we are the branches and that apart from him we can do nothing.
Such a two-tiered view of our common life suggests to me amputated limbs and severed branches without any life-giving relationship to the One who is the source of all life. A pragmatic solution in this regard is at the expense of the deeper truth that the eye cannot say to the hand, I have no need of you.