Anglican and Oriental Orthodox Churches Reach Historic Agreements


A new publication containing the Agreed Statement on Christology of the Anglican–Oriental Orthodox International Commission 2014 was launched during Vespers in St Asaph Cathedral by the Co–Chairs of the commission, the Rt Revd Gregory K Cameron Bishop of St Asaph, and His Eminence Metropolitan Bishoy of Damietta, in the presence of the Rt Revd Dr Geoffrey Rowell, former Co–Chair of the Commission and co–signatory to the Statement.

The Commission completed its work on the Procession of the Holy Spirit, agreeing on the omission of the Filioque clause that had been appended to the Niceno–Constantinopolitan Creed in the Latin Western tradition. The Co–Chairs signed an Agreed Statement on the procession of the Holy Spirit, which is Part A of our ongoing work on our theological understanding of the Holy Spirit. A detailed discussion of the action of the Holy Spirit in the Church followed, including a discussion of the four marks of the Church, namely: oneness, holiness, catholicity and apostolicity. The Commission has designated a drafting group which prepared a preliminary draft and will continue to work on Part B of our theological understanding of the Holy Spirit.

The Commission discussed the present situation of Christians in the Middle East and heard reports on the difficulties facing Churches, particularly in Syria and Iraq. There was a consideration of the most practical ways in which the Anglican Communion in its various countries could respond effectively to the refugee crisis in the Middle East and Europe.

Read it all here.

Dutch Reformed Church – NG Kerk – in South Africa Votes in Favour of Gay Unions

And homosexual Ministers are no longer required to remain celibate. I saw the news in Die Burger today. px

NG Kerk sê finaal ja: Gay mense is welkom:

Met amper geen besoekers in die besoekersgalery het die NG Kerk gay mense volledig in die kerk – as gelykes – verwelkom.

Die afgevaardigdes het Vrydag in Pretoria met 114 stemme die gewysigde voorstel ingestem. 63 stemme was daarteen.

Gay predikante hoef nie meer selibaat te wees nie en kan in ‘n burgerlike verbintenis wees.

Die selibaatheidsklousule wat in die besluit van 2007 ingeskryf is, is heeltemal verwyder.

Die besluit bevestig weer dat ‘n huwelik tussen een man en een vrou is.

Dit is egter nou amptelik dat “burgerlike verbintenisse van persone van dieselfde geslag wat gekenmerk word deur liefde en trou” bevestig kan word deur predikante wat “hul weg oopsien” om dit te doen.

Die algemene sinode het reeds Donderdag in ‘n toetsstem die voorstel van dr. André Bartlett, wat die raamwerk van die finale besluit is, aanvaar….

More here.

Bishop(ess) Proposes Church Remove all Christian Symbols… to Create Space for Muslims

In Sweden.

Calling Muslim guests to the church “angels“, the Bishop later took to her official blog to explain that removing Christian symbols from the church and preparing the building for Muslim prayer doesn’t make a priest any less a defender of the faith. Rather, to do any less would make one “stingy towards people of other faiths”.

The bishop insisted this wasn’t an issue, after all airports and hospitals already had multi-faith prayer rooms, and converting the dockyard church would only bring it up to speed. Regardless, the announcement has aroused protest.

Father Patrik Pettersson, one of the priests in her diocese and active in the same parish as the Seaman’s mission church has hit back in a blog of his own, complaining there is no way you could equate a consecrated church with a prayer room, remarking “I should have thought a bishop would be able to tell the difference”.

How novel. Oh, by the way, the Bishopess is also the world’s first openly lesbian bishop. I wouldn’t bet on Muslim being as reciprocating…


From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

2282 – “…Grave psychological disturbances, anguish, or grave fear of hardship, suffering, or torture can diminish the responsibility of the one committing suicide.”
2283- “We should not despair of the eternal salvation of persons who have taken their own lives. By ways known to him alone, God can provide the opportunity for salutary repentance. The Church prays for persons who have taken their own lives.”


Robin Williams: Top 10 Reasons to be an Episcopalian



10. No snake handling.
9. You can believe in dinosaurs.
8. Male and female God created them; male and female we ordain them.
7. You don’t have to check your brains at the door.
6. Pew aerobics.
5. Church year is color-coded.
4. Free wine on Sunday.
3. All of the pageantry – none of the guilt.
2. You don’t have to know how to swim to get baptized.
And the Number One reason to be an Episcopalian:
1. No matter what you believe, there’s bound to be at least one other Episcopalian who agrees with you.



The Tragic Death Of The Funeral

The Tragic Death Of The Funeral

Like most people, I don’t particularly relish encounters with death. But, welcome or not, I’ve had my fair share. I’ve clasped a woman’s hand as her breathing slowed, became sporadic, and finally ceased. Through the cramped hallways of an ancient farmhouse, down which no stretcher could be maneuvered, I helped heft the sheet-wrapped body of a family’s matriarch to carry her to the waiting hearse. When a small Oklahoma church mourned a member who’d fallen asleep at the wheel, late at night, early in life, I was there, thinking of the joyless “Joy the World” the band of believers had choked out the day before that December 26th funeral. In each of these situations, the death of the young or the old, there was within me a desire to lighten the load of grief borne by the survivors, to shine a ray of life into the gloom of death.

Because of that desire, when I first heard about families opting to have a so-called “Celebration of Life” service for their departed loved ones, instead of a funeral, my interest was piqued. Perhaps here was a viable alternative. The name alone effuses a positive, uplifting appeal that “funeral” or “memorial service” can’t begin to match. Celebrations are good, right? And, life, well, who can possibly have any qualms about that? Perhaps this approach to confronting death, at least the ceremonial part of saying goodbye, would help alleviate some of the pain associated with, and expressed in, a more traditional rite. Maybe it was time to have a funeral for the funeral.

So what makes a Celebration of Life different? Rather than a focus upon the loss of a loved one, this service rewinds the present into the past, to draw the mourners back into the life lived by the deceased. It’s like a miniature, enacted biography of the person, with a focus upon those qualities, interests, and achievements that his family and friends found most endearing about him. Whereas a traditional funeral is structured around a liturgy, in this ceremony stories about the person—serious or lighthearted—take center stage. It is his funeral, after all, so shouldn’t it be about him?

Read on here.