• Book Reviews 17 hours ago

    The Book of Common Prayer: A Biography

    The Book of Common Prayer: A Biography

    by Michael Parker
    by Alan Jacobs Princeton University Press. Princeton, N.J. 247 pages In 2011, when Princeton University Press launched its new series “Lives of Great Religious Books,” it could boast several renowned contributors including Garry Wills and Martin E. Marty. Past and forthcoming books in this eclectic collection include: Augustine’s “Confessions,” Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s “Letters and Papers from Prison,” John Calvin’s “Institutes of the Christian Religion,” C.S. Lewis’s “Mere Christianity,” and many more. The brain child of Fred Appel, senior editor at PUP, the series is meant to give the biography of books… continue reading...
    ShareShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail to someone
  • Outpost Blog 17 hours ago

    Viewing death, grief and resurrection as a shared sacrament

    Viewing death, grief and resurrection as a shared sacrament

    by Christopher Schilling
    Last week, I was present for my thirtieth death at my hospital since I began my Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) residency. While I’ve found myself less anxious last week than the first time I was summoned by a nurse to be with a grieving family, I still wrestle with my own insecurities about my ability to be a spiritual presence with grieving sons, daughter, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles and friends I’ve never met. When I began my CPE residency, I thought I had already accomplished the goal of understanding death… continue reading...
    ShareShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail to someone
  • Outlook Features 2 days ago

    Synods to restructure, not disappear

    Synods to restructure, not disappear

    by Mihee Kim-Kort
    The number of synods across the denomination will be cut from 16 to between 10 and 12. The 221st General Assembly rejected a minority report and a substitute recommendation, opting to approve the recommendation of the Mid Councils Committee that will require the restructure to be enacted and reported by the 2016 General Assembly. The Mid Councils Committee was the last standing committee — the last to wrap up its work — at this year’s assembly in Detroit. Most of its work and conversation revolved around the Mid Council Commission… continue reading...
    ShareShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail to someone

With Mosul’s Christians gone, Islamic State troops take over 4th-century monastery

ERBIL, Iraq (RNS) A day after most of Mosul’s Christians fled, Islamic State fighters stormed the fourth-century Mar Behnam Monastery near the city. They forced two priests, a monk and a guard taking refuge there to leave the Syriac Catholic compound, residents said. Like many Christians from Mosul, which lies in the province of Nineveh, home to many historic Christian places of worship, the refugees traveled to the relative safety of Kurdish-controlled areas. Faced with an ultimatum to convert to Islam, pay a religious tax or be killed, by Saturday (July 19) most of Mosul’s Christians had fled. The following day, militants descended on the monastery. Iraq’s second-largest city is now controlled by militants led by the Islamic State group, formerly known as ISIS, which has also taken over large swaths of the country, in addition to parts of Syria. Iraq’s army, which Christians say never adequately protected them, fell quickly. The Christians of Mosul are thought to have … [Read more...]

The Book of Common Prayer: A Biography

k10076

by Alan Jacobs Princeton University Press. Princeton, N.J. 247 pages In 2011, when Princeton University Press launched its new series “Lives of Great Religious Books,” it could boast several renowned contributors including Garry Wills and Martin E. Marty. Past and forthcoming books in this eclectic collection include: Augustine’s “Confessions,” Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s “Letters and Papers from Prison,” John Calvin’s “Institutes of the Christian Religion,” C.S. Lewis’s “Mere Christianity,” and many more. The brain child of Fred Appel, senior editor at PUP, the series is meant to give the biography of books — for they too have lives — from the time of their writing, to their initial reception and through their subsequent impact over time. A recent and much-welcomed addition to this series is Allan Jacob’s “The Book of Common Prayer: A Biography.” Largely written by Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Cranmer, the Prayer Book first appeared in 1549 amid the tumult of the English … [Read more...]

Viewing death, grief and resurrection as a shared sacrament

Schilling final Fotor

Last week, I was present for my thirtieth death at my hospital since I began my Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) residency. While I've found myself less anxious last week than the first time I was summoned by a nurse to be with a grieving family, I still wrestle with my own insecurities about my ability to be a spiritual presence with grieving sons, daughter, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles and friends I've never met. When I began my CPE residency, I thought I had already accomplished the goal of understanding death through my own life experiences. From seeing my mother pass away when I was 23 from small-cell lung cancer to losing grandparents, classmates and friends since then, I felt that I could be present with dying patients and that I could comfort family members who grieved because I too knew what it was like to lose someone I loved. However, while I found myself not only spending several months overwhelmed with my own insecurities of what I was supposed to do when I … [Read more...]

Rockets or not, Birthright still going to Israel

(RNS) Rocket fire from terrorists in Gaza may have scared off U.S. and European airlines, but Taglit-Birthright Israel is still sending thousands of young Jews to the famed summer Israel experiences. “There are seven trips arriving from North America tomorrow (Thursday, July 24),” said Gail Hyman, vice president for communications at Birthright, which has sent about 400,000 Jews ages 18 to 26 on free, 10-day educational junkets to Israel. About 36 people are on each trip. “We’ve sent 6,000 in this period since the conflict began, and only had 10 people leave early, which says something about what it must feel like to be there,” Hyman said. Israel says more than 2,000 rockets have been fired at Israeli communities since July 8, when the fight with Hamas and other Palestinian factions began. Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system intercepted 420 of those. Yet rockets have killed at least three civilians, and a rocket that landed about a mile from Israel’s Ben Gurion … [Read more...]

Nursing home evangelism: Preaching at the last ‘bus stop to eternity’

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (RNS) Rhonda Rowe and her team gathered around a diagram of the nursing home’s floor plan and determined how to split up to avoid praying with anyone twice. Rowe made her way to a room where a 93-year-old woman lay in her bed while her 87-year-old roommate sat in a wheelchair. Rowe knelt between them and went through her “Nursing Home Gospel Soul-Winning Script.” “Fill me with your Holy Spirit and fire of God,” the 93-year-old repeated. “I’m on my way to heaven. I have Jesus in my heart.” Rowe was soon off to the next room, but before she left, acknowledged that she might never see them again on earth. “I’ll see you girls in heaven!” she chirped. Welcome to the world of nursing home evangelism, where teams of lay evangelists target senior citizens for one last chance in this life for glory in the next. Rowe, who attends The River at Tampa Bay Church, was in town for a three-week “Celebrate America” revival in downtown Washington led by the church’s … [Read more...]

Synods to restructure, not disappear

Mihee

The number of synods across the denomination will be cut from 16 to between 10 and 12. The 221st General Assembly rejected a minority report and a substitute recommendation, opting to approve the recommendation of the Mid Councils Committee that will require the restructure to be enacted and reported by the 2016 General Assembly. The Mid Councils Committee was the last standing committee — the last to wrap up its work — at this year’s assembly in Detroit. Most of its work and conversation revolved around the Mid Council Commission II (MC2) report. As the moderator moved the motion, an amendment was presented by a commissioner on the floor that read: “Move that the process of determining the number and boundaries of synods with focus on mission priorities is to be led by a meeting facilitator who has experience in mediation and conflict resolution. There will be a total of 4 face-to-face meetings over 2 years, unless the business can be concluded sooner. These meetings may be a … [Read more...]

Tagged With: GA221