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Katherine Jefferts Schori takes down the Apostle Paul: The Church of England Newspaper, June 2, 2013, p 7. June 6, 2013

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, The Episcopal Church.
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The Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church has denounced the Apostle Paul as a jealous bigot for not seeing the gifts of God at work in the slave girl whom he released from demonic bondage as reported in Acts 16:16-34.

In a sermon delivered at All Saints Church in Curaçao in the diocese of Venezuela on 12 May 2013, Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori stated that as the forces of historical inevitability led to the end of industrial slavery, so too would the march of progress lead to a change in attitude towards homosexuality.

“We live with the continuing tension between holier impulses that encourage us to see the image of God in all human beings and the reality that some of us choose not to see that glimpse of the divine, and instead use other people as means to an end.  We’re seeing something similar right now in the changing attitudes and laws about same-sex relationships, as many people come to recognize that different is not the same thing as wrong.  For many people, it can be difficult to see God at work in the world around us, particularly if God is doing something unexpected.”

To illustrate her point presiding bishop turned to Acts 16:16-34, noting that in this passage “Paul is annoyed at the slave girl who keeps pursuing him, telling the world that he and his companions are slaves of God.  She is quite right.  She’s telling the same truth Paul and others claim for themselves.”

“But Paul is annoyed, perhaps for being put in his place, and he responds by depriving her of her gift of spiritual awareness.  Paul can’t abide something he won’t see as beautiful or holy, so he tries to destroy it.  It gets him thrown in prison.  That’s pretty much where he’s put himself by his own refusal to recognize that she, too, shares in God’s nature, just as much as he does – maybe more so!,” the presiding bishop said.

However, when an earthquake frees him, Paul repents of his mistake.  “This time, Paul remembers who he is and that all his neighbors are reflections of God, and he reaches out to his frightened captor.  This time Paul acts with compassion rather than annoyance, and as a result the company of Jesus’ friends expands to include a whole new household.  It makes me wonder what would have happened to that slave girl if Paul had seen the spirit of God in her.”

In support her argument for radical inclusion and diversity of all doctrine Bishop Jefferts Schori stated: “God is at work everywhere, even if we can’t or won’t see it immediately.”

She concluded her sermon by stating that we are not justified by our faith but by our respect for diversity.

“Looking for the reflection of God’s glory all around us means changing our lenses, or letting the scales on our eyes fall away.  That kind of change isn’t easy for anyone, but it’s the only road to the kingdom of God.”

Salvation comes not from being cleansed of our sins by the atoning sacrificial death of Jesus Christ, but through the divinization of humanity through the work of the human will.

“We are here, among all the other creatures of God’s creation, to be transformed into the glory intended from the beginning.  The next time we feel the pain of that change, perhaps instead of annoyance or angry resentment we might pray for a new pair of glasses.  When resentment about difference or change builds up within us, it’s really an invitation to look inward for the wound that cries out for a healing dose of glory.  We will find it in the strangeness of our neighbor.  Celebrate that difference – for it’s necessary for the healing of this world – and know that the wholeness we so crave lies in recognizing the glory of God’s creative invitation.  God among us in human form is the most glorious act we know.”

Traditional commentaries on this passage of Acts do no equate the spirit of divination manifested in th slave girl with Holy Spirit as the Greek original ἔχουσαν πνεῦμα πύθωνα is translated as having a Pythian spirit. The Pythian spirit was “the same sort of spirit that stood behind the most famous of all Greek oracles, the Delphic oracle of Apollo whose priestess was called a pythoness”, notes The IVP Bible Background Commentary: NT, 369, and was demonic.

TEC marriage task force formed: The Church of England Newspaper, February 24, 2013 p 7. March 23, 2013

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Marriage, The Episcopal Church.
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The Presiding Bishop and President of the House of Deputies of the Episcopal Church have named 12 people to serve on the church’s Task Force on the Study of Marriage.

In a statement released on 14 Feb 2013, Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori said the group would help the church chart its way forward as it seeks to find a theological rationale for the changes introduced last year. At the July 2012 General Convention the Episcopal Church authorized temporary provisional rites for blessing same-sex unions and authorized a study group to examine the doctrine of marriage.

The presiding bishop explained: “The theology of marriage has evolved over time, with biblical examples including polygamy, concubinage, and other forms of relationship no longer sanctioned in The Episcopal Church.”

“We no longer expect that one partner promise to obey the other, that parents give away their children to be married, or that childbearing is the chief purpose of marriage. This task force is charged not only to take the pulse of our current theological understanding of the meaning of marriage, but to assist the faithful in conversation and discernment about marriage, in particular what the Church might hold up as “holy example” of the love between Christ and his Church.”

While the Episcopal Church has never sanctioned polygamy and concubinage, in the Twentieth century it modified its practices on divorce and remarriage. The aims of marriage as ordered in the 1662 Book of Common Prayer: procreation, remedy for sin, and mutual care, have been reordered in successive American prayer books and are currently given as mutual joy, mutual care and the procreation of children.

President Gay Jennings observed: “The Episcopal Church’s theology and practice of marriage has changed significantly over the centuries, and we need to understand more clearly what we as a church mean when we use that word.”

The 12 member task force, whose members are drawn from the church’s liberal wing, are to deliver their report to the 2015 meeting of General Convention.

Anglican Unscripted, Oct 9, 2011 October 10, 2011

Posted by geoconger in Anglican.TV, Canon Law, Property Litigation, South Carolina, Traditional Anglican Communion.
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Episode 13 of Anglican Unscripted aired on Oct 9. The caption for the show reads:

Episode 13 brings a fresh perspective on the Diocese of South Caroline Vs 815. Kevin and George also discuss the death of Steve Jobs and Kevin gives his unique perspective on Steve Jobs’ legacy. Alan Haley provides detailed legal options for the Diocese of South Carolina… perhaps too detailed. And, Today-in-history is about the first Anglo-Catholic.