Monday, January 18, 2016

Standing for the sanctities of Marriage, Life and Justice

As much restorative work has begun, it must continue to press on, for there is much more to accomplish in directing the Faith towards the most righteous path...

Thurs/Fri - Anglicans discipline the Episcopal Church over doctrinal changes to the sacrament of Marriage
ChristianityToday: The senior bishops of the Anglican Communion released a final statement, noting their "unanimous decision ... to walk together, however painful this is, and despite our differences, as a deep expression of our unity in the body of Christ."

The primates said their action against The Episcopal Church would also be applied to other provinces "when any unilateral decisions on matters of doctrine and polity are taken that threaten our unity." Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby emphasized at a press conference that the action "is not a sanction. It's a consequence." ...

This week's special summit of the global leaders of the Anglican Communion was widely expected to result in a schism, or at least a walkout by conservatives. Instead, it was one of the worldwide denomination's liberal provinces—The Episcopal Church (TEC) in the United States—which received censure: suspension from Anglican committees and decision-making for three years. ...

Meeting in the crypt of Canterbury Cathedral in England, the majority of the communion's 38 primates voted to suspend TEC for voting last summer to allow its clergy to perform same-sex marriages.

“The traditional doctrine of the church in view of the teaching of Scripture, upholds marriage as between a man and a woman in faithful, lifelong union. The majority of those gathered reaffirm this teaching,” read the primates' statement, which was released early after it was leaked to the media.

[On the Episcopal Church's unilateral decision last summer] “Such actions further impair our communion and create a deeper mistrust between us,” the statement read. “This results in significant distance between us and places huge strains on the functioning of the Instruments of Communion and the ways in which we express our historic and ongoing relationships.”

TEC will no longer be able to represent the Anglican Communion at ecumenical or interfaith gatherings, be appointed or elected to internal standing committees, or take part in decisions relating to doctrine or polity.

“Unlike the recommendations of the Windsor Report, which called for the ‘voluntary withdrawal’ of the Episcopal Church from the life of the Communion, today’s vote directs the archbishop to discipline the American church,” wrote George Conger, who broke the story at Anglican Ink.

The vote passed by a two-thirds margin.
Related link: Update from Archbishop Foley Beach on the Primates Meeting 2016

Sat - Marching for the sanctity of Life across America

In anticipation of the national March for Life on D.C., local marches for Life have begun across the states over the weekend...
DMN: Hundreds of abortion opponents gathered in downtown Dallas on Saturday afternoon to mark the upcoming 43rd anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision Roe vs. Wade.

The rally, held near the Earle Cabell Federal Building where the landmark case was filed in 1970, was part of the annual North Texas March for Life that included a memorial Mass at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center.

On Jan. 22, 1973, the Supreme Court ruled 7-2 that the Constitution protects a woman’s right to an abortion. But states retain wide latitude in determining under what circumstances the procedure can be performed.

Bishop Kevin Farrell, of the Catholic Diocese of Dallas, asked the marchers to continue protesting Roe vs. Wade, even if the “years seem to roll on and our hopes are dashed.”

“This is where Roe v. Wade began,” he said. “We cannot walk away and not commit ourselves to at least changing the mind and the heart of at least two or three individuals in the coming year.”
Related link: Pro-life supporters stage rallies across Dallas
CT: Archbishop Blase Cupich urged anti-abortion activists on Sunday to call for reforms on the federal stage, framing abortion as a national issue in need of attention at a rally and march in Chicago.

Despite temperatures in the single digits, hundreds of anti-abortion advocates from Illinois and neighboring states joined the annual March for Life Chicago in Federal Plaza, where Cupich, joined by anti-abortion lobbyists, faith leaders and public officials, asked the crowd to take their stance on abortion to a broader audience.

"This isn't just about Chicago or people in neighborhoods where we come from," Cupich said. "This is about our nation and the soul of our nation. ... We want to make sure we send a message that what we do here today has a message beyond the borders of the state, beyond the borders of the city and speaks to the world about the importance of protecting life."

In the sermonlike address, Cupich, who was flanked by supporters with signs reading "Chicago is Pro-Life," also implored people to individually "make room at the table" for the unborn.

"The womb should not be their tomb," Cupich said. "Their lives matter. We should make room at the table for them, each and every child."
Related link: Thousands brave cold to attend Chicago anti-abortion march
THV11: Thousands of people marched to the steps of the Arkansas State Capitol Sunday as part of the 38th Annual March for Life.

"We are still marching, because there are new generations that must address this issue,” said Governor Asa Hutchinson.

The event, organizers said, is held each year to raise awareness about the lives lost since the Roe V. Wade decision of 1973.

"Will we, ladies and gentlemen, continue marching until this blight on America is resolved? The answer is yes,” Gov. Hutchinson added.

Other pro-life politicians also took the podium, rallying the crowd to vote for legislation that would ban abortions and also defund Planned Parenthood.

"It's because of that equal dignity and respect, that John Bozeman and I have worked as your senators to defund the barbaric practices of trafficking human body parts,” said U.S. Senator Tom Cotton.

An OBGYN from the Cornerstone Women's Clinic was present at the rally. He sees pregnant women walking in and out of his office daily, and he expressed a pro-life mind set to THV11 on Sunday.

"It's not mom, it's not dad. This is a separate entity. It's a baby, and that baby has value. From moment one, that value is strong, and we should be there to support it and encourage it all the way to birth,” added Dr. Kevin Breniman.

Mon - Celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr.'s service and witness to justice
ACNA: On this the celebration of the birth and life of Martin Luther King, Jr., I am reminded that as a pastor and Christian leader, Dr. King remains a lasting and important influence in my own life.

On this the celebration of the birth and life of Martin Luther King, Jr., I am reminded that as a pastor and Christian leader, Dr. King remains a lasting and important influence in my own life. His Biblical prayers to our Lord clearly informed his leadership and gave him a clear sense of mission and purpose that changed the United States and the world.

For example, this prayer from Dr. King distills how he loved and how he served:
“Thou Eternal God, out of whose absolute power and infinite intelligence the whole universe has come into being, we humbly confess that we have not loved thee with our hearts, souls and minds, and we have not loved our neighbors as Christ loved us. We have all too often lived by our own selfish impulses rather than by the life of sacrificial love as revealed by Christ. We often give in order to receive. We love our friends and hate our enemies. We go the first mile but dare not travel the second. We forgive but dare not forget. And so as we look within ourselves, we are confronted with the appalling fact that the history of our lives is the history of an eternal revolt against you. But thou, O God, have mercy upon us. Forgive us for what we could have been but failed to be. Give us the intelligence to know your will. Give us the courage to do your will. Give us the devotion to love your will. In the name and spirit of Jesus, we pray. Amen.”
As Dr. King faced oppression and opposition with non-violence, dignity, and prayer; and as he faced his challenges with the hope we all have in Jesus Christ as revealed in Holy Scripture, may you be emboldened to love God, to love one another, to stand for the Truth, and to seek justice, even as we face adversity and persecution in our own day. He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:8, ESV).
Related links: Martin Luther King Jr.: A History
"I Just Want to Do God's Will ..."
Martin Luther King, Jr.’s, Legacy

For our Christian nation to remain so, despite the forces that work against it, we must remain ever vigilant in standing for these sacred rights.
ALMIGHTY God, who hast given us this good land for our heritage; We humbly beseech thee that we may always prove ourselves a people mindful of thy favour and glad to do thy will. Bless our land with honourable industry, sound learning, and pure manners. Save us from violence, discord, and confusion; from pride and arrogancy, and from every evil way. Defend our liberties, and fashion into one united people the multitudes brought hither out of many kindreds and tongues. Endue with the spirit of wisdom those to whom in thy Name we entrust the authority of government, that there may be justice and peace at home, and that, through obedience to thy law, we may show forth thy praise among the nations of the earth. In the time of prosperity, fill our hearts with thankfulness, and in the day of trouble, suffer not our trust in thee to fail; all which we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

O GRACIOUS Father, we humbly beseech thee for thy holy Catholic Church; that thou wouldst be pleased to fill it with all truth, in all peace. Where it is corrupt, purify it; where it is in error, direct it; where in anything it is amiss, reform it. Where it is right, establish it; where it is in want, provide for it; where it is divided, reunite it; for the sake of him who died and rose again, and ever liveth to make intercession for us, Jesus Christ, thy Son, our Lord. Amen.

O GOD, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, our only Saviour, the Prince of Peace; Give us grace seriously to lay to heart the great dangers we are in by our unhappy divisions. Take away all hatred and prejudice, and whatsoever else may hinder us from godly, union and concord: that as there is but one Body and one Spirit, and one hope of our calling, one Lord, one Faith, one Baptism, one God and Father of us all, so we may be all of one heart and of one soul, united in one holy bond of truth and peace, of faith and charity, and may with one mind and one mouth glorify thee; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
ADDENDUM: Here's Archbishop Foley Beach discussing the March for Life...

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