an information resource
for orthodox Anglicans

We might have to change the English flag, but Alban is a better choice for patron saint than George

April 23rd, 2014 Jill Posted in News Comments Off

By Peter Saunders, CMF

St George's Day, 23 April, may go almost unnoticed in England, but the dragon slayer is also the patron saint of many other countries, cities and regions – where traditions range from street parties and carnivals to the simple act of handing out red roses.

An interesting article on the BBC website today reminds us that Palestinians have particular reason to display the symbol and revere the early Christian martyr. For them he is a local hero who opposed the persecution of his fellow Christians in the Holy Land.

St George was a Roman soldier during the Third Century AD, when the Emperor Diocletian was in power.

It is said that he once lived in al-Khadr near Bethlehem, on land owned by his mother's family.

The saint is remembered for giving away his possessions and remaining true to his religion when he was imprisoned and tortured before he was finally executed.
 
Read here
 
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The Resurrection of Holy Russia

April 21st, 2014 Jill Posted in News Comments Off

By Metropolitan Jonah

The West’s Absolute Misunderstanding of Russia

Soon we enter into the Paschal mystery, accompanying Jesus to His Passion, the Cross, death, tomb, His harrowing of Hell, and Resurrection. This is the core of the Christian year, the celebration of the essence of the Christian Faith. We accompany Jesus to His Passion, as He accompanies us through our suffering and death, and resurrects us in Himself on the awesome Day of His Coming. We celebrate not only Jesus’ resurrection, but our own; not just His triumph over death, but our own in Him.

Nowhere in the Christian world is the Resurrection of Christ, the Paschal Mystery, celebrated as grandly as in Russia. The hours long solemn and usually sober services become a dance to the syncopated beat of the chant, the people swaying and even dancing in joy at Christ’s Resurrection. The festive greeting Christ is Risen! is shouted from the altar and answered by thousands of people not only in but surrounding the temples, Truly He is Risen! Even at football games, half the stadium, as if on cue, will shout Christ is Risen! and the other half, Truly He is Risen. Churches and houses, businesses and stores, even government buildings and public squares proclaim the Paschal joy of Christ’s Resurrection. Festal processions of tens of thousands of people, led by hundreds of vested clergy, wind through the streets of Moscow, Red Square and the Kremlin, singing the Paschal hymns, as all the bells in all the churches and bell towers, from the Kremlin to the countryside, toll in joy.

This was unimaginable thirty years ago. It is still unimaginable to many in the West, and outrageously politically incorrect. Who could permit the faithful Christians to process from their churches, some at the heart of the center of the government buildings, with Christ is Risen! hung on the Capitol, the Supreme Court and the White House? It might offend someone! Choirs of students gathering in the quads and halls of the State Universities to sing the Paschal hymns and shout Christ is Risen! Call the Police! The CIA! The NSA… Homeland Security!

Russia rejoices so completely in Christ’s resurrection because it was crucified and has been raised from the dead. The blood of twenty million martyrs for Christ and the suffering of tens of millions that had been imprisoned in the gulags cry out the Paschal greeting Christ is Risen! because it is their life and experience.

Read here


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Stolen Childhood Conference

April 20th, 2014 Jill Posted in News Comments Off

A conference to explore the dangers to which our children are increasingly exposed in society today, and the reasons for this, putting forward strategies for change at both government and family levels.

Hosted by the Lords and Commons Family and Child Protection Group

Date: Wednesday, 30th April 2014

Venue: The Emmanuel Centre

9-23 Marsham Street

Westminster SW1P 3DW

Time: 10 am – 5 pm (Registration from 9:30am)
 

Cost: £20 Registration Fee

Read here

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Rembrandt: The Risen Christ Appearing to Mary Magdalene

April 20th, 2014 Jill Posted in News Comments Off

by Marleen Hengelaar-Rookmaaker, Artway

Rembrandt situates Mary Magdalene and Jesus near the opening of the tomb, in close reference to John’s account of the events on this morning of mornings. Mary Magdalene has stayed behind alone at the grave after Peter and John have gone back to Jerusalem. She thinks that the body of Jesus must have been moved to some other place, but which one? She bends over to look inside the tomb and sees two angels sitting there. ‘Why are you weeping?’ they ask her. ‘They have taken away my Lord and I do not know where they have laid him.’ Then she looks around and sees a man standing there, whom she assumes is the gardener.

This is the moment that is depicted in the painting. Mary Magdalene looks up with a glance that is turned inwards. ‘Kyrie,’ ‘Sir,’ she says in Greek, ‘if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him.’ Then Jesus calls her by her name: ‘Mary!’ On her face we see recognition break through, mixed with ‘No, but this can’t be true!’ She recognizes his voice and says ‘Rabboni!,’ ‘Master/teacher,’ in her own familiar Aramaic language. She calls him ‘master,’ as she is indeed one of his disciples, one of the women who went with Jesus and ministered to him and the disciples with their money and care. Then Jesus asks her not to hold on to him (she must have thrown her arms around him) and tells her to go and tell the disciples that he will ascend to the Father. This is why the church fathers gave Mary Magdalene the title of honour of ‘apostle to the apostles.’ She was the first to preach the good news of the resurrection. She was also the first to behold the risen Lord. A woman!

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Thine be the glory (Handel, Judas Maccabeus)

April 20th, 2014 Jill Posted in News Comments Off

Thine be the glory, risen, conquering Son;
endless is the victory, thou o'er death hast won;
angels in bright raiment rolled the stone away,
kept the folded grave clothes where thy body lay.

Refrain:
Thine be the glory, risen conquering Son,
Endless is the vict'ry, thou o'er death hast won.

Lo! Jesus meets us, risen from the tomb;
Lovingly he greets us, scatters fear and gloom;
let the Church with gladness, hymns of triumph sing;
for her Lord now liveth, death hath lost its sting.

No more we doubt thee, glorious Prince of life;
life is naught without thee; aid us in our strife;
make us more than conquerors, through thy deathless love:
bring us safe through Jordan to thy home above.

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Taking illegal drugs is no less evil than sexual harrassment

April 18th, 2014 Jill Posted in News Comments Off

By Julian Mann, Conservative Home

Why are the police treating sexual harassment as a graver evil than the taking of illegal drugs?

Both are socially evil and should be prosecuted on the basis of sufficient evidence. But the police appear to be taking complaints of sexual harassment much more seriously than the concerns of local residents about crowds of people smoking cannabis in public places, such as parks and recreation grounds.

Looking at the scale of political correct values, it is not too difficult to understand why sexual harassment in the workplace against a junior employee by a person in a powerful position is perceived as such a serious evil. Feminists such as Harriet Harman, Labour’s Deputy Leader, have a particular concern that male-dominated working environments are conducive to the sexual harassment of women.

But the victims of drug-motivated crime, especially burglary, are often women too, and vulnerable ones at that. It is bewildering why politically correct values as a system of moral values is not as concerned about them as it is about women in the workplace. This is mystery beyond my comprehension – that and the feminist silence over the deliberate choice by some mothers to have abortions because their unborn children are female.

Read here

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David Cameron is right about loving one’s neighbour but has he missed the whole point of Easter?

April 17th, 2014 Jill Posted in News Comments Off

By Peter Saunders, CMF

Tony Blair’s spin doctor Alistair Campbell famously said that the Labour government didn’t ‘do God’ but the Prime Minister’s Easter address to church leaders has him trending on twitter as #CameronJesus. Today he has called for Christians to be ‘unashamedly evangelical’.

David Cameron’s pronouncements have sparked controversy and criticism from both sides of the political spectrum. Is the astronomical rise of charity food banks a consequence of the Coalition government’s welfare policy creating a new class urban poor? Is the exodus of traditional Tory voters to UKIP linked to Cameron embracing same sex marriage? What would Jesus, who had a heart for the poor and upheld the principle of ‘one man, one woman for life’, say to Cameron about both these issues?
 
Would he side with the 40 Anglican bishops and 600 church leaders who wrote a letter this week calling on all political parties to tackle the causes of food poverty? Or with conservative evangelicals who sought to prevent the legal redefinition of marriage? Or both? Or neither?
 
Read here
 
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News Bulletin, 17 April 2014

April 17th, 2014 Jill Posted in News Comments Off

Gay clergyman weds – C of E urged to act

Cameron commits to defending Christians

Ricky Gervais ‘all for’ euthanasia

400-year-old Bible returns ‘home’

Christian golf champion wins second Masters

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Time for the Church to cut the knot

April 17th, 2014 Jill Posted in Church of England, Disestablishment, News Comments Off

By Jonathan Chaplin, Theos  (from July 2012)

Three issues vexing the Church of England right now, and two more that could lurch into view very soon, suggest that the time has come for the Church to initiate steps towards disestablishment.

The Church is already embroiled in two controversies which bring to the fore the irksome constraints on its freedom of action that even our diminished form of establishment still imposes. The first is its increasingly angst-ridden struggle to approve women bishops. The decision on 9th July to defer a vote on the substantive issue until November gives the Church a breathing space to craft a more judicious accommodation between its deeply divided wings than has so far been available. Now one might have thought that this is a dilemma for the Church to resolve entirely through its own internal decision-procedures. But by virtue of establishment the Church doesn’t have purely “internal” decision-procedures, since the legislative proposals (“Measures”) of its governing body, General Synod, require parliamentary approval, first by the Ecclesiastical Committee and then by both Houses of Parliament (at which point the Measure becomes an Act of Parliament). Members of this Committee are now openly warning that if the Church doesn’t approve women bishops in ways compliant with the state’s equality laws, Parliament may overrule it. This is not a fanciful prospect, since it blocked or delayed other Measures as recently as 1984, 1989 and 2002. An exasperated Sir Tony Baldry, the MP charged with officially speaking for the Church in the Commons, has also warned that Parliament might decline to retain bishops in the House of Lords if the Church stalls any longer.

But whatever one’s view of women bishops (I am in favour), the mere fact that an organ of state should have any say at all either in the substance or the timing of such a profoundly theologically contested decision is surely at best faintly ridiculous and at worst constitutionally offensive. The Church should seize this moment to insist on full control of its own decisions and move to end parliamentary accountability entirely.

The second issue is the imminent prospect that the state will legalise same-sex marriage. Warnings of a constitutional train wreck in which the theological authority of the Church might be dramatically pitted against the political authority of the state may have been overblown. But if Parliament changes the general legal meaning of marriage by redefining it as a union of only “two persons” rather than of a man and a woman, it will thrust the Church into the position of having to function as registrar of “marriages” it currently cannot recognise. Both opponents and supporters of same-sex marriage should be alarmed at the prospect of the Church being required by the state to act against its considered theological convictions. Those who today might rejoice at the Church being pressed against its will to implicitly sanction a “progressive” view of marriage, might tomorrow lament its being blocked from, say, pursuing a “progressive” investment policy by a right-wing competition law.

Read here

Read the opposing view in Part 2 of this series: Why the Anglican establishment is good for a liberal society  by Nigel Biggar 

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God so loved the world (Stainer)

April 17th, 2014 Jill Posted in News Comments Off

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Even casual use of cannabis alters brain, warn scientists

April 16th, 2014 Jill Posted in News Comments Off

By Rebecca Smith, Telegraph

Experimenting with cannabis on a casual basis damages the brain permanently, research has found.

It is far from being a “safe” drug and no one under the age of 30 should ever use it, experts said.

People who had only used cannabis once or twice a week for a matter of months were found to have changes in the brain that govern emotion, motivation and addiction.

Researchers from Harvard Medical School in America carried out detailed 3D scans on the brains of students who used cannabis casually and were not addicted and compared them with those who had never used it.

Two major sections of the brain were found to be affected.

The scientists found that the more cannabis the 40 subjects had used, the greater the abnormalities.

Read here

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Easter: judgement and hope

April 15th, 2014 Jill Posted in News Comments Off

By Andrew Symes

The first example of a Church of England clergyman entering into a same sex ‘marriage’ took place on Saturday 12 April. Reports of the event can be found here and here.
It is obvious that this is the first of many, creating ‘facts on the ground’ which will normalize such relationships within the church. As Andrew Carey says: “If gay marriage becomes relatively widespread among clergy it will become impossible to have discipline. This will amount to a change in teaching and it will then be difficult to resist demands for clergy to be able to solemnise gay marriage.” (Church of England Newspaper, 3 April 2014).
We will come to the question of discipline in a moment. But first, what are we to call these relationships? Those who hold to the traditional teaching on sexual morality are divided over this. For some, the biggest problem seems to be not disrespect to Bishops, flagrant sin, and the violation of God’s created order that has just happened, but the potential of discourtesy from conservatives in the way we put quotation marks around same sex ‘marriage’, or any other expression of concern about the change in the law. However, as Anglican theologian Martin Davie courteously points out:  “… saying that the government changed the law in a legally valid way is not the same as saying that the government had the moral right to change the law in the way that it did.” Using the example of the apartheid laws in South Africa, and following the thought of Augustine and Aquinas, Davie concludes that the new definition of  marriage “may be lawful in the eyes of the state, but it is not lawful in the sight of God and therefore cannot be lawful in the eyes of the Church.”
Someone needs to keep saying this!
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Funeral and memorial services for the Revd John Richardson

April 14th, 2014 Jill Posted in News Comments Off

Funeral: City of London Crematorium, Manor Park, 11.45am, Tuesday, April 15 (tomorrow)

Parish Service: Henham parish church, 4pm, Tuesday, April 15 (tomorrow)

Thanksgiving Service: St Peter’s, Harold Wood, 7.30pm, Wednesday, June 11 – further information/invitation in due course.

 

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The Ministry Continues: A Position Statement from the Trustees of Anglican Mainstream

April 14th, 2014 Jill Posted in News Comments Off

1. The coming into effect of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 may have changed English law but it has not changed Anglican Mainstream’s commitment to promote, teach and maintain the commonly agreed Scriptural truths of the Christian faith. For Anglicans these truths are expressed by the historic Creeds, the 39 Articles, and the 1662 Book of Common Prayer. They provide the source of true unity and fellowship, and the basis of our mission and service to a needy world. Those truths remain and, as the Church of England’s house of bishops’ statement has explicitly confirmed, the church’s doctrine of marriage remains unchanged.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Ride On ! Ride On In Majesty

April 13th, 2014 Jill Posted in News Comments Off

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News Bulletin 11 April 2014 — The Christian Institute

April 11th, 2014 Jill Posted in News Comments Off

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Anglican Unscripted Episode 96

April 8th, 2014 Jill Posted in News Comments Off

STORY INDEX
00:00 Hard Choices
23:19 St Justin the Hesitant
32:00 Peter Ould
43:07 AS Haley
50:43 Closing and Bloopers

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National outrage over girl being taken from her parents by the state

April 7th, 2014 Jill Posted in News Comments Off

From Mass Resistance

Justina Pelletier's shocking story has caused enormous outrage around the country and across the political spectrum. This nightmare needs to stop now.

Justina, a 16-year-old girl from West Hartford, CT, was being treated for a rare genetic disorder last year at Tufts Medical Center in Boston. At one point, a doctor from Boston Children's Hospital in Boston examined her and decided that she instead had a mental disorder. When her parents and the Tufts doctors disagreed, Children's Hospital and the Mass. Department of Children and Families (DCF) took her into state custody and put her in a psychiatric ward, where she has been for 14 months. It is outrageous.

A hostile Juvenile Court judge has repeatedly refused to release her. The judge even put a "gag order" on her parents. The parents are now only allowed to see Justina for an hour each week, and are not allowed to talk to her new doctor, according to her father. Since Justina has not been getting proper medical treatments, her health has deteriorating terribly, according to reports. There is fear that she may even die.

Read here

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News Bulletin, 4 April 2014

April 4th, 2014 Jill Posted in News Comments Off

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Mozilla CEO booted out for backing marriage

April 4th, 2014 Jill Posted in News Comments Off

by Kelly Bartlett, Conjugality

After only ten days in the job, Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich has been forced to step down for supporting gender integration in marriage. Eich co-founded Mozilla and invented JavaScript, the most commonly used computer programming language, but he’s in the news now for defending gender diversity.
 
Six years ago Eich donated US$1,000 to support Proposition 8, which states, “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.” Many gay rights activists jumped to the conclusion that everyone who endorsed Prop 8, including Eich, must be anti-gay.
 
In a statement provided by Mozilla, Eich explained why he walked:

"I have decided to resign as CEO effective today, and leave Mozilla. Our mission is bigger than any one of us, and under the present circumstances, I cannot be an effective leader. I will be taking time before I decide what to do next."

Note that there is no mention of homosexuality or sexual orientation in that amendment, or for that matter, on a marriage license. Instead, Prop 8 deals strictly with gender. Nevertheless, proponents of gender-segregated marriage are outraged that Eich had the audacity to support gender integration. (Are they equally angry at President Obama, who also endorsed pro-gender marriage up until 2012?)
 
Read here
 
Read also:  Gay Intolerance – another glaring example by Michael Brown, Christian Post
 
 
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