Sunday, June 30, 2013

Changes at Lambeth Palace

From here:

Things are changing - including a jogging Archbishop.
The Most Rev Justin Welby, has revived the position of “Bishop at Lambeth” which fell into disuse under his predecessor Lord Williams, appointing the Rt Reverend Nigel Stock, the current Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, to the role.

At the same time Lambeth Palace announced that the Archbishop’s most senior official, his chief of staff, Chris Smith, is leaving “to pursue other interests.”

His job is being split with Kay Brock, a former senior aide to the Queen, taking on the title while Bishop Stock will look after a range of internal church matters.

The announcement is the first of what is expected to be a series of changes as the Archbishop takes the axe to what has been dubbed the “court” at Lambeth Palace.

Read it all here.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Bono on the Blues, King David, Jesus, and Punk Rock

Read it all here:

U2 frontman Bono exchanged Bible references and bantered about music, theology and evangelicals’ role in AIDS activism in a recent radio interview with Focus on the Family president Jim Daly.

Growing up in Ireland with a Protestant mother and a Catholic father, Bono imitated C.S. Lewis in “Mere Christianity,” where Lewis argued that Jesus was a lunatic, liar or Lord.

“When people say ‘Good teacher,’ ‘Prophet,’ ‘Really nice guy,’…this is not how Jesus thought of himself,” Bono said. “So, you’re left with a challenge in that, which is either Jesus was who he said he was or a complete and utter nut case.”

“And I believe that Jesus was, you know, the Son of God,” Bono said, according to a transcript provided to RNS. “I understand that for some people and we need to…if I could be so bold, need to be really, really respectful to people who find that ridiculous.”

In the interview that will be broadcast on Tuesday (June 25), Bono made comparisons between biblical characters and music.

“First of all, David’s a musician so I’m gonna like him,” Bono said. “What’s so powerful about the Psalms are, as well as they’re being gospel and songs of praise, they are also the Blues. It’s very important for Christians to be honest with God, which often, you know, God is much more interested in who you are than who you want to be.”

As Bono praised David’s “honest language with God,” Daly noted that “sometimes it gets you into hot water with the more orthodox folks, because they see you as edgy, maybe too edgy at times.”

It’s a criticism that Bono’s used to hearing.

“You’ve gotta be very careful that grace and politeness do not merge into a banality of behavior, where we’re just nice, sort of ‘death by cupcake,’” Bono said. “Politeness is, you know, is a wonderful thing. Manners are in fact, really important thing. But remember, Jesus didn’t have many manners as we now know.”

Bono recalled the section in Luke 9 when Jesus told a man not to wait and bury his father but to follow Jesus immediately. Daly responded to Bono’s summary, “Seems cold-hearted.”

Bono replied, “No, seems punk rock to me. He could see right into that fellow’s heart. He knew he wasn’t coming and he was just, it was pretense. We’ve gotta be a bit more cutting edge, not look to the signs of righteousness. Look to the actions.”

Bono made an explicit connection between his faith and his work with the ONE Campaign, the humanitarian organization he founded to fight poverty and disease.

“It’s very annoying following this person of Christ around, because he’s very demanding of your life,” he said while chuckling. “You don’t have to go to university and do a Ph.D. to understand this stuff. You just go to the person of Christ.”

Daly threw a C.S. Lewis quote at Bono: “When a man is getting better, he understands more and more clearly the evil that’s left in him. When a man is getting worse, he understands his own badness less and less.” Bono jokingly replied, “Yeah, that could turn up on the next U2 album, but I won’t give him or you any credit.”

In his work on HIV/AIDS, malaria, poverty and other areas, Bono noted the challenge of finding the right issue to take on.

“We have a pastor who said to us, ‘Stop asking God to bless what you’re doing, Bono.’ Which by the way, I constantly do. He said, ‘Find out what God is doing, ’cause it’s already blessed,’” Bono said. “And when you align yourself with God’s purpose as described in the Scriptures, something special happens to your life. You’re in alignment.”

Most of the 9 million HIV/AIDS victims who were saved are alive because of treatments funded by the U.S., Bono said.

“I am here to thank the American people for that,” he said. “And I also want to thank the evangelical community for that, because it wouldn’t have happened without their leadership, because they like myself, pestered George Bush and the administration, who actually deserve praise for starting this out.”

Read it all here.

Friday, June 21, 2013

A report from the ACNA College of Bishops

From here:

June 21, 2013

“But go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.” (Matthew 10:6-8)

ACNA College of Bishops
Leaders of the Anglican Church in North America gathered at Nashotah House Theological Seminary in Nashotah, Wisconsin, as the Provincial Council met on June 18-19, 2013 and the College of Bishops on June 20-21. Our time together included worship, prayer, Bible study, fellowship and deliberations about our life and mission to reach North America with the transforming love of Jesus Christ.

The historic conflicts out of which we began produced in us a commitment to pursue a change in heart and a change in how we go about applying Biblical standards in our common life. We are committed to a change in behavior from our previous experience, embracing transparency and charity as we practice Biblical fidelity. Happily, we are progressing in our pursuit of a Biblical, missionary, and united Anglicanism in North America, even as we face great challenges.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ redeems, transforms and offers the only real hope to the world. We have experienced the change and power it brings and are passionately committed to furthering that grace in North America and the world beyond.

Archbishop Duncan’s State of the Church Address

Archbishop Duncan, in his opening address to the Provincial Council, described “the immense favor God has granted us” in the Church’s first four years, reflected in unity despite significant differences. He said that his prayer for the Church is that “its founding vision – ‘a biblical, missionary and united Anglicanism in North America’ – will always remain its vision and its commitment.”

Quoting Yogi Berra, Archbishop Duncan said, “The main thing is keeping the main thing the main thing.” The challenge facing the Church is to “put away lesser differences and band together to imagine and structure a future for a renewed and re-invigorated Anglicanism.”

He noted that the formation of the Province in 2009 marked a reversal of the historic pattern of disintegration of Anglicanism in North America. He quoted English church historian Colin Podmore, who said of our founding: “This coming together was unusual in all of Church history.”

Archbishop Duncan said that an organization’s first stage is typically characterized by agreement, but “then come the growing pains: the normal conflicts and legitimate disagreements over how to resolve important questions of organizational life.” He identified issues to be addressed by the Council and the College of Bishops, including: the progress of Anglican1000; “overlapping” dioceses; the minimum size of a diocese; how we relate to our global partners; financial support of the Province; and approving liturgies “with a right and generous spirit.”

He also cited reasons to celebrate, such as the new churches planted and the new converts who have come to faith in Jesus Christ; the progress on an Anglican Catechism and on classical Anglican liturgies; the Church’s public witness on the sanctity of life and religious freedom; growth of our military and institutional chaplains; partnerships in the Global South and Global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (GAFCON/GFCA) and ecumenical relationships; and the work of the Anglican Relief and Development Fund.

Archbishop Duncan noted with gratitude the presence of the Bishop of South Carolina and other representatives of that diocese, as well as observers from the Jubilee Pentecostal Fellowship of Churches and the Bishop of Recife, Brazil.

In conclusion, Archbishop Duncan encouraged the Council:

“The main thing is the kingdom of heaven, and by God’s grace it has come very near to us. We have received God’s favor, not because we deserved it, but because God gave it…‘Freely we have received. Freely give.’ The main thing is keeping the main thing the main thing.”

(The full text of the Archbishop’s address can be read here.)

Anglican1000 Report

The Vicar of Anglican1000, the Rev. Alan Hawkins brought an informative and encouraging report to the Provincial Council concerning the work God is doing through Anglican1000. Since Archbishop Duncan’s inspiring call at his investiture to plant 1000 churches in five years, God has done great things: the subject of the conversation has been changed to “church planting;” resources have been mobilized and deployed to train and support churches and planters; and over 300 new churches have been planted through the ministry of the Anglican Church in North America and its constituent dioceses and sub-jurisdictions. Praise God!

The focus of Anglican1000 for the next year will be a series of regional training summits in key locations around North America: Chicago, Seattle, Boston, Atlanta, Toronto, Phoenix and Houston. Skilled trainers have dedicated seven weeks of their lives over this period to gather with leaders and planters in each of these cities and teach the basics of church planting.

Will 700 more churches be planted? If every church takes up the “1-2-3 Challenge,” the answer will be “yes!” (Visit the Anglican1000 website for details.) Yet while we believe the goal of 1000 new churches is important, even more important is birthing and nurturing mission and church planting as a way of life in our Province. The Lord Jesus came “to seek and save that which is lost” (Luke 19:10). His heart is to see many sons and daughters brought to glory.

A thriving church is a church that is multiplying the Gospel in word and deed, by strategic and loving engagement with its community and by participating in the single most significant method of making new disciples of Jesus in our generation: planting new churches.

We are grateful for the God-inspired vision of Archbishop Duncan, carried on initially by Canon David Roseberry, and now brought to fruition by Vicar Alan Hawkins and his team. Pray, proclaim, plant!

An Anglican Catechism

The Catechism Task Force, which has been developing a comprehensive Catechism over the past two years, presented a report to the College. To Be A Christian: An Anglican Catechism is now is in final refinement for a working document to be published by the end of the year.

Prayer Book and Common Liturgy

A very helpful report was received from the Prayer Book and Common Liturgy Task Force. The Ordinal, version 4.0 was slightly revised by the College and given final approval. Initial approval was given for use in the Church of two rites for the celebration of Holy Communion – one that is normative for a Sunday morning service and a shorter one which may be used at other times.

We worshiped using the proposed rites for the Eucharist and for Daily Morning and Evening Prayer, which were also approved for use in the Church. 

We heard reports on other liturgies currently being developed for baptism and confirmation, and noted that all the liturgies seek to retain the richness of the theology of the historic Books of Common Prayer, expressed in a more contemporary language.

Finances and Stewardship

For the fourth year since our founding, the Province is finishing the fiscal year in the black. There is a challenge, as well, as not a large enough percentage of our Provincial income comes from diocesan giving. At this stage of our corporate life, what the dioceses give has to be supplemented by other individual gifts in order to fully fund the Province’s lean budget. While we have adopted the tithe (10%) as the standard of giving for individuals, congregations and dioceses, tithing is not yet fully practiced. Noting that we have taken many other steps which have required faith and sacrifice, there was a renewed commitment to teach about Biblical stewardship and for dioceses to fulfill the full 10% giving to the Province.

Religious Freedom and Islam

In his sermon at his investiture in 2009, Archbishop Duncan said, “We’ve got to be about the business of engaging Islam…because there is only one way to the Father, it’s the only way. It’s a matter of life and death.” Accordingly, the Anglican Church in North America is a leading voice in matters of religious freedom and understanding the challenges of a resurgent Islam.

Given that our Church is committed to promoting and respecting the sanctity of every human life from conception to natural death – a commitment expressed explicitly in our Canons – nearly half our College of Bishops marched in the fortieth anniversary March for Life in January 2013, in Washington, D.C.

The Province is committed to educating our dioceses and congregations about the challenges and growth of Islam and to provide ways for the love of God and the Gospel message of Jesus Christ to be demonstrated to all faith groups.

Recognizing that the suffering and persecution of Christians by other faith groups (especially Islam) is an increasing trend, the Anglican Church in North America stands alongside Christians everywhere, especially those in the Global South, whose lives and livelihoods are being devastated through the suffering and persecution. We call upon the faithful across North America to pray fervently for an end to religious violence.

2012 Congregational Report

More than two-thirds of Anglican Church in North America congregations reported statistics for the 2012 Congregational Report (formerly known as the Parochial Report). While this is an increase over the number of responses received in 2011, we must continue to do better, striving for full reporting from every member congregation in future years. Doing so will enable us to know better who we are and what we are doing as a Church.

The numbers reported were positive, indicating that we remain true to our mission of “reaching North America with the transforming love of Jesus Christ.”

For 2012, our congregations reported that 2,382 individuals were baptized and 1,758 were confirmed. For every two children baptized, one adult was baptized. 

Additionally, the number of adult confirmations in 2012 increased threefold compared to previous years. Finally, more than 1,900 conversions for Christ were reported for 2012.

Matters of Jurisdiction

The Anglican Church in North America is an Anglican Province of dioceses and jurisdictions with both geographic proximity and affinity relationships, which participate equally and fully in the life of the Province.

Both geographical dioceses and affinity jurisdictions are being used by Almighty God to further the mission of the Province to reach North America with the Gospel.

It has become clear at this stage of the life of the Province that the multiplicity of overlapping jurisdictions throughout North America and Canada presents a relational challenge for the bishops, dioceses and congregations of our Church.

While affinity-based jurisdictions and overlapping dioceses are not unknown in other Provinces of the Anglican Communion, the Provincial Council expressed a determination to move towards geographical structures as normative and affinity structures as the exception. 

The Provincial Council also affirmed that unity in the Province will be strengthened as bishops, clergy and churches from overlapping jurisdictions join together in fellowship, spiritual growth, and mission. To that end, both the Provincial Council and the College of Bishops are committed to discerning practical methods for collaborative mission and ministry in several specific geographic regions.

New Dioceses and New Bishops

Noting the growth and commitment to church planting of a number of groups applying to be admitted as dioceses, the Provincial Council approved the following as new dioceses: the Diocese of Churches for the Sake of Others, the Diocese of the Southwest, the Diocese of the Upper Midwest, the Missionary Diocese of All Saints’, the Missionary Diocese of CANA East, the Missionary Diocese of CANA West, and the Missionary Diocese of the Trinity.

The College elected the Rev. Stewart Ruch, III, rector of Church of the Resurrection, Wheaton, IL, as bishop of the new Diocese of the Upper Midwest and the Rev. Peter Manto, rector of Trinity Reformed Episcopal Church, Mason, OH, as Suffragan Bishop of the REC Diocese of the Central States. The Rev. David Bryan was confirmed as a nominee for Bishop in PEARUSA to serve the Southeast Regional Network. In addition, Bishop John Miller, now serving as rector of Christ Church, Vero Beach, FL in the Gulf Atlantic Diocese, was restored to full fellowship in the College.

Theological Task Force on Holy Orders

The Theological Task Force on Holy Orders is currently working on Phase 2 of its study, in which it aims to articulate the principles of biblical interpretation that will be used to guide its work. These principles, set forth in a draft preliminary report presented to the College of Bishops, were drawn from the foundational documents of the Anglican Church in North America: the Constitution and Canons, the GAFCON Jerusalem Declaration, The Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion and the 1662 Book of Common Prayer.

The bishops gave approval to the preliminary work, and the Task Force will now produce a document that will form its report to the College of Bishops for this phase of the study. 

The Task Force aims to have Phase 2 completed for the January 2014 meeting of the College of Bishops. When the final form is approved by the bishops, it will be released to the rest of the Church.

Global Partnerships

We are deeply encouraged by the partnership we experience with the Global South and the GAFCON/GFCA Provinces. We rejoice in the fellowship and mission cooperation of these relationships and look forward to sending a strong delegation of more than 130 representatives from all of our dioceses in the United States and Canada to the GAFCON 2 meeting in Nairobi. This October gathering promises to lay out concrete ways to cooperate in the pursuit of Gospel mission as Global Anglicans.

Anglican Relief and Development Fund

The Anglican Relief and Development Fund (ARDF) is the official relief and development agency of our Province. Since its founding in 2005, members of the Anglican Church in North America have provided over $5.5 million in funding for 124 development projects in 34 countries. In so doing, we have dramatically strengthened our partnerships in the Global South. In addition to development work, we are engaged in relief efforts around the world and in North America. To best respond to those in need, the College of Bishops recently adopted a new emergency response protocol. The Provincial Office responded with ARDF to the recent deadly tornadoes in Moore, OK, successfully putting this protocol to work. We issued a call to prayer, bulletin inserts from ARDF, and direct e-mail and social media appeals. The response has been overwhelming: ARDF received over $72,000 for relief work in Oklahoma City. These funds are being transferred to the International Diocese and its congregation, St. James Anglican, which is working with partners in the Oklahoma City area to support the victims of the disaster.

We remember in prayer our brothers and sisters who live under circumstances of persecution or as victims of natural disasters, especially tornado victims in Oklahoma and wildfire victims in Colorado. 

We have been greatly blessed by the good news of the Gospel and we seek to share that hope in word and deed with all who suffer. Knowing the great love which God has lavished upon us, we are eager to continue reaching out to others in mission.

Freely we have received, freely we give.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Today at the Cafe: When the deal goes down ...

Tom Jones cover of the new classic from Modern Times by Bob Dylan. Dedicated to my fellow Dylan fan, who can know that Jesus will be there no matter what.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

ACNA 5th Provincial Council underway at Nashotah House

Archbishop Duncan address the Provincial Council.
I am here in Wisconsin - first time in Wisconsin - for the 5th Provincial Council of the Anglican Church in North America.  The meeting at Adams Hall is standing room only and it's been uplifting to see so many from so far come together to share mission and ministry.  Great to see the visitors that are here as well.  Stay tuned for updates!

It is my first time in Wisconsin - growing up in the Navy did not present an opportunity to live in the Mid-West.  In fact, the only time I went to the Mid-West was when I was 12 when we moved from Charleston, South Carolina to San Diego, California and camped our way across country.  

My dad's great-grandparents used to own a summer home in the northern part of Michigan which I have pictures of through the years when my dad visited as a child, but I have been in this part of the country.  

Adams Hall at Nashotah House where Council is meeting.
Flew into Milwaukee yesterday.  The meetings are taking place at Nashotah House, an Anglican/Episcopal seminary.  It is in a lovely setting with lots of woods and lakes and fields surrounding it.  A contemplative place, it is a great environment to have a council such as this.

UPDATENew dioceses have been admitted into the ACNA and voting is underway for new members of the Executive Committee.  You can see photos here and here.

DAY TWO: It is such a beautiful day here in Wisconsin - the sky is clear blue, it is in the mid-70s, the windows are open and it is just beautiful! The morning has been spent going over the budget, hearing ministry reports, welcoming special guests, and singing Amazing Grace.

UPDATE: Archbishop Bob Duncan addresses the council:

So good to see old friends and meet lots of new people from all over the United States and Canada!

The streams of Anglicanism in the Anglican Church of North America.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Late Nite at the Cafe: Audrey Assad

"I hear faith moves mountains, it moves my feet ... maybe I am a mountain because it is moving me to follow you."

Thursday, June 06, 2013

LIVE: Ancient Evangelical Future Conference 2013

Live from Trinity School for Ministry, an Episcopal/Anglican Seminary in Ambridge, PA.


Forgotten 'Angelic' Anglican Readers of Scripture

Coming up next:

The Creed as Hermeneutical Lens for Reading Scripture -- and Vice-Versa

Revelation According to the Rules: Reading the Apocalypse with the Fathers

Evangelicals, the Bible, and the Need for Creed

The Canterbury Trail Revisited

Thursday, June 6

8:30 AM Morning Prayer

9:15 AM Opening Remarks

The Rev. Dr. Joel Scandrett

9:30 AM Session One

Evangelicals, the Bible, and the Need for Creed

Dr. Christopher Hall

Respondent – The Rev. Dr. Thomas Buchan

11:30 PM Break

12:00 PM Noonday Prayer and Lunch

1:30 PM Session Two

Revelation According to the Rules:

Reading the Apocalypse with the Fathers

The Rev. Dr. Peter Leithart

Respondent – Dr. Wesley Hill

3:30 PM Workshops

“The Creed, Spiritual Direction, and Worldview

Formation” – The Rev. Dr. Jack Gabig

“Theology in Application”

The Rev. Dr. Martha Giltinan & Dr. Philip Harrold

4:30 PM Evening Prayer

5:30 PM Dinner

7:00 PM Session Three

The Creed as Hermeneutical Lens for

Reading Scripture – and Vice-Versa

Monday, June 03, 2013

Bob Dylan Inducted Into American Academy of Arts and Letters

From here:

Bob Dylan was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters yesterday (May 15, 2013), marking the first time a musician has been tapped as an honorary member for the prestigious award.

"I feel extremely honored and very lucky to be included in this pantheon of great individual artists who comprise the Academy of Arts and Letters," Dylan, who was unable to attend the induction in person, said in a statement read at the ceremony. "I look forward to meeting all of you some time soon."

"For more than 50 years, defying categorization in a culture beguiled by categories, Bob Dylan has probed and prodded our psyches, recording and then changing our world and our lives through poetry made manifest in song – creating relationships that we never imagined could exist between words, emotions and ideas," read the citation awarded to Dylan.

Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Michael Chabon gave the keynote address, appropriately titled "Rock & Roll," and laughed at how he was obsessed with the opening line to Dylan's "Chimes of Freedom," in which Chabon mistook the word "toll" for something else, The Associated Press reports.

Read it all here.