The Sunday Roundup
November 22, 2009
Christ the King
Phoenix Happenings … Christ the King and Servant of All By Timothy Leffler … Around the Church and the World
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This Sunday Holy Eucharist: 8:00 AM / 9:15 AM / 11:00 AM Bible Study: 9:30 AM (Conf. Room) Sung Compline: 8:00 PM Brunch: 12:45 PM at FEZ Restaurant located on Central Ave., south of Indian School next to FedEx Office.
Integrity@Trinity’s Movie Night Presents:
Fall Double Features Saturday, November 21 – 6 PM – Atwood Hall Featuring: The Charlie Brown Thanksgiving Special and Chocolat
Trinity Cathedral serves breakfast to the homeless every Thanksgiving and Christmas day as part of our ministry to the wider community. This wonderful ministry could not go forward without the help of volunteers like you. Please join us for the best two hours you will spend this year! Available Volunteer Stations: + Cooks + Service Line + Table Service + Table Conversation Leaders + Cellphone Calls +Set Up* +Take Down / Cleanup* Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day 7 AM ~ 9 AM * Earlier arrival time for set up, later departure for take-down To sign up, go to this link: http://bit.ly/77r4tG If you don’t have internet access, you can call Ian at 602-366-5360 to sign up. Make this Thanksgiving meaningful for you and the homeless we serve bysigning up to volunteer.
CALL FOR VOLUNTEERS
Christ the King and Servant of All By Timothy Leffler
Studying Godâ€™s Word
Pope Pius XI universally instituted The Feast of Christ the King on December 11, 1925 in his encyclical Quas Primas. There is a link to the full text of the document at the end of this article. Pope Pius connected the denial of Christ as king to the rise of secularism. At the time of Quas Primas, secularism was on the rise, and many Christians, even Catholics, were doubting Christ's authority, as well as the Church's, and even doubting Christ's existence. Pius XI, and the rest of the Christian world, witnessed the rise of dictatorships in Europe, and saw Catholics being taken in by these earthly leaders. The Feast of Christ the King was instituted during a time when respect for Christ and the Church was waning, when the feast was most needed. In fact, it is still needed today, as these problems have not vanished, but instead have worsened. Today, the same distrust of authority exists, although the problem has gotten worse. Individualism has been embraced to such an extreme, that for many, the only authority is the individual self. The idea of Christ as ruler is rejected in such a strongly individualistic system. Jesus knew the oppressive nature of secular kings, and in contrast to them, he connected his role as king to humble service, and commanded his followers to be servants as well. In passages of Scripture, his kingdom is tied to his suffering and death. While Christ is coming to judge the nations, his teachings spell out a kingdom of justice and judgment balanced with radical love, mercy, peace, and forgiveness. When we celebrate Christ as King, we are not celebrating an oppressive ruler, but one willing to die for humanity and whose "loving-kindness endures forever." Christ is the king that gives us true freedom, freedom in Him. Thus we must never forget that Christ radically redefined and transformed the concept of kingship. (Taken from http://www.churchyear.net/ctksunday.html) There, now you have an academic description of why we have this Feast Sunday. Today is the last Sunday of Ordinary Time or the last Sunday of the liturgical year. One week from today we will be in the season of Advent, which is the beginning of the liturgical year and my second favorite season in the liturgical year. My favorite season is Lent. These two seasons call us into a time of contemplation, remembrance, and preparation. The Jewish people were waiting for the promised Messiah to come and free them. When you look at the history of the Jews provided In the Old Testament you find that they were waiting to be freed from what was really a cycle of bondage. They were looking for a mighty king to come, overthrow their captors, and establish his supreme authority and kingdom. A powerful ruler to free his people and protect them from the rest of the world. This is very similar to some of the reasons for the creation of this feast as Pius XI expressed in his encyclical:
1. That nations would see that the Church has the right to freedom, and immunity from the state (Quas Primas, 32). 2. That leaders and nations would see that they are bound to give respect to Christ (Quas Primas, 31). Is this an accurate description of what Jesus sought to teach us about His kingdom and true leadership? Absolutely not! The Feast of Christ the King should help us remember the leadership style that Jesus taught by word and example, that of the servant leader. Jesus was steadfast in his teaching on this subject; Matthew 20:16, 26-27, Mark 9:35, 10:31, 43-44, Luke 13:30. In these verses we find statements like the first shall be last and the last shall be first and he who would be the greatest must be the servant of all. This is what Jesus taught and, more importantly, what He lived! As Disciples of Christ, we are called to live the same life that He modeled for us in the New Testament. Ours should be a life of following Jesus and serving all mankind. As members of Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, we are expected to live out the words of our Baptismal Covenant:
Will you seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself?
I will, with Godâ€™s help.
Celebrant Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being? People I will, with Godâ€™s help. We have two upcoming opportunities to fulfill our Covenant. The first is this coming Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, at the Thanksgiving Homeless Breakfast. The second is on Friday, December 25, Christmas Day, at the Christmas Homeless Breakfast. People whose needs are the greatest need our help! Whether it is serving up their food and drink, sitting at a table and talking with them, or helping them call a loved one on one of the donated cell phones, you can make a difference in peoples lives. I ask you to prayerfully consider serving Christ and your fellow human beings in this way. Those whom you serve will be blessed, as will you. Have a Blessed and Happy Thanksgiving!
Uganda's proposed AntiHomosexuality Bill causes concern and caution
Around the Church and the World
By Matthew Davies, November 20, 2009 [Episcopal News Service] A proposed bill currently before the Ugandan Parliament that, if passed, would extend prison sentences for homosexuals and introduce the death penalty in certain cases has generated outrage from a number of religious groups while some Anglican leaders are being more cautious with their responses. "The Episcopal Church, like the Anglican Communion as a whole, is very clear in its support for the human rights of all people, including gay and lesbian persons," said Alexander Baumgarten, director of the Episcopal Church's Office of Government Relations. "For us in the Episcopal Church, that means we oppose all abuses of human rights, whether in our own midst or in other parts of the world, and we seek to make that opposition known through our ministry of advocacy." The Chicago Consultation on Nov. 20 called on four prominent church leaders to raise their voices in opposition to the bill. In letters sent to Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, House of Deputies President Bonnie Anderson, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, and Archbishop Henri Orombi of Uganda, the consultation called the bill "draconian anti-gay legislation" and urged the leaders to speak out against it. Baumgarten noted that for the past several weeks, the Episcopal Church "has encouraged Episcopalians who have contacted us on this issue to be in touch with their own elected officials. As of the present moment, we are very encouraged by the engagement of the U.S. State Department, which has called the law a 'significant step backwards for human rights,' and has given public assurances that it is addressing the matter with the Ugandan government. It is our understanding that neither the Ugandan government nor the Church of the Province of Uganda (Anglican) has taken a position on this legislation." Homosexuality is currently illegal in Uganda and carries a penalty of up to 14 years imprisonment. If passed, the proposed bill would extend the punishment to life imprisonment and introduce the death penalty for "aggravated homosexuality," which includes assault against people under the age of 18 and those with disabilities.
Numerous human rights organizations have criticized the bill, first introduced on Oct. 13, saying it would criminalize the work of national and international activists and organizations working for the defense and promotion of human rights in Uganda. "The Bible tells us to love our neighbors, and Jesus teaches us to care for the vulnerable and the marginalized. The proposed Ugandan legislation is as far from those commandments as it could be," said the Rev. Lowell Grisham, co-convener of the Chicago Consultation, according to a Nov. 20 press release. "The Anglican Communion has committed itself to the pastoral care of gay and lesbian people. At a time like this, we implore its leaders to speak out." According to its website, the Chicago Consultation is "a group of Episcopal and Anglican bishops, clergy and lay people, [that] supports the full inclusion of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Christians in the Episcopal Church and the worldwide Anglican Communion." The consultation notes that the bishops at the 1998 Lambeth Conference, in Resolution 1.10, committed themselves to the pastoral care of gays and lesbians and that the Episcopal Church's General Convention 2006 passed Resolution D005 opposing the criminalization of homosexuality. The Anglican Church of Canada's Council of General Synod on Nov. 15 expressed its dismay and concern about the draft legislation, saying that the proposed bill "would severely impede the human rights of Ugandan citizens both at home and abroad by infringing freedom of speech, peaceful assembly, freedom of organization, and legitimate advocacy of civil rights. It would impose excessive and cruel penalties on persons who experience same-sex attraction as well as those who counsel, support, and advise them, including family members and clergy." The Anglican Church of Uganda on Nov. 6 issued a press release saying that it is studying the bill and does not yet have an official position on the proposed legislation. However, the release restated the Ugandan church's position that "homosexual behavior is immoral and should not be promoted, supported, or
condoned in any way as an 'alternative lifestyle.'" Ekklesia, which describes itself as "an independent, not-for-profit think-tank which examines the role of religion in public life," is calling on Christians around the world to sign a petition in opposition of the bill. Launched Nov. 19, the petition calls upon the Archbishop of Canterbury "to end his silence on the matter, to condemn the bill in public and to urge Ugandan Christians to oppose it." "Across North America, Europe and Africa, people of goodwill oppose this draconian legislation," the Chicago Consultation's Grisham said. "But within the Anglican Communion, only the Church of Canada has found its voice. We are eager to hear our leaders speak out on behalf of frightened, isolated and persecuted gays and lesbians in Uganda, and on behalf of all Anglicans who believe in the dignity of every human being."
BETHLEHEM: Bishop gives permission for same-gender blessings By Mary Frances Schjonberg, November 17, 2009 [Episcopal News Service] Episcopal Diocese of Bethlehem Bishop Paul Marshall said Nov. 16 that he has established "interim measures" to allow clergy to bless same-gender relationships. "I am not generally broadcasting this decision yet (although I suspect the word will be quickly out) because it is up to the clergy of a place to decide if they are interested, and then to take it up within the parish system," Marshall wrote in his letter. The bishop wrote that clergy must tell him about their decision to bless same-gender unions, along with assuring him that "at least a substantial number of the vestry are in agreement, or at the very least understand what is involved with the rector or priest-in-chargeĘźs decision in making this change â€Ś [and] how (or whether) you are communicating this decision to the parish." He said that "it is not usually appropriate for interim or supply clergy to lead such a change." Marshall also said that same-gender couples must receive pre-marital counseling, divorced people must receive his permission to enter into such a union and that at least one person in the relationship must be baptized. All of those requirements are expected of heterosexual couples. For same-gender couples who have been "legally joined in another state" either through marriage or civil union, Marshall said the Book of Common Prayer's Blessing of a Civil Marriage rite should be used.
For those not united through a civil ceremony, Marshall said clergy should use a rite developed by the Diocese of Washington. The bishop of that diocese, John Chane, said Nov. 16 that he favored legislation pending before the Washington, D.C. Council to legalize same-gender marriage. Marshall added a caveat to his permission. "People whose unions are blessed need to understand that in Pennsylvania they are not married, and that your holding yourself out as doing a 'marriage' without a license to perform it is a legal offense," he wrote. "So, all questions of theology aside, it is best to avoid the word in this Commonwealth and at this time." Marshall limited his permission to perform such blessings to parish clergy of the congregation and noted that "ordinarily, a bishop presides when one of the parties being joined is a priest or deacon." The Episcopal Church's General Convention last July passed Resolution C056, saying that bishops, "particularly those in dioceses within civil jurisdictions where same-gender marriage, civil unions, or domestic partnerships are legal, may provide generous pastoral response to meet the needs of members of this church." The resolution also called for the collection and development of theological and liturgical resources for blessing samegender unions.
WASHINGTON: Bishop supports same-gender marriage in District of Columbia By Mary Frances Schjonberg, November 16, 2009 [Episcopal News Service] Episcopal Diocese of Washington Bishop John Bryson Chane said Nov. 16 the he supports legislation legalizing samesex marriage in the District of Columbia. Chane announced his endorsement in a column on the website of the Washington Post newspaper, headlined "Christian case for same-sex marriage." The bill, titled "Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Equality Amendment Act of 2009," was introduced in the Washington D.C. Council in October. After public hearings, its sponsors promised revisions, including to make it easier for clergy to refuse to conduct such marriages without violating the District's anti-discrimination laws. A vote on the bill is expected before Christmas and it is expected to pass the council. Whether the bill is enacted depends on Congress, which can review D.C. legislation. In May, the council approved a bill legalizing same-sex marriages performed in other states.
"I would say respectfully to my fellow Christians that people who deny others the blessings they claim for themselves should not assume they speak for the Almighty," Chane wrote. "The church has deepened its understanding of the way in which faithful couples experience and embody the love of the creator for creation. In so doing, it has put itself in a position to consider whether same-sex couples should be allowed to marry. "Theologically, therefore, Christian support for same-sex marriage is not a dramatic break with tradition, but a recognition
provide generous pastoral response to meet the needs of members of this church." The resolution also called for the collection and development of theological and liturgical resources for blessing samegender unions. The Washington Post reported October 30 that more than 200 area clergy had come out in support of the bill. The Roman Catholic Archdiocese, however, said November 11 that it would discontinue social-services programs (including those involving adoption, health care and care for the homeless) if the bill passes. Chane said the next day that it is not surprising that the Episcopal Church and the Roman Catholic that the church始s understanding Church "have reached different The Rt. Rev. John Bryson Chane Bishop of the Diocese of Washington of marriage has changed conclusions" about the bill, given that dramatically over 2,000 years." the two churches "have significant Chane also praised the theological differences on the issue of D. C. Council for its sensitivity to issues of religious same-sex relationships." liberty. "Episcopalians understand that none of us "D.C.'s proposed marriage equality law has the right to violate the human rights of another explicitly protects the religious liberty of those who individual. That始s the law of the District of Columbia," believe that God始s love can be reflected in the loving Chane said. "More important, it's at the core of the commitment between two people of the same sex and Gospel. I hope that the least among us will not be of those who do not find God there," Chane wrote. victimized by the struggle over this legislation, and I "This is as it should be in a society so deeply rooted in pray that people of faith will come forward to provide the principles of religious freedom and equality under food and shelter if the need arises." the law." The Episcopal Diocese of Washington Like some other Episcopal Church bishops, consists of 89 congregations, including Washington Chane permits the clergy in his diocese to bless National Cathedral, and more than 40,000 baptized same-sex relationships. He said the diocese is members in the District of Columbia and the Maryland examining the church's canons to determine whether counties of Montgomery, Prince George's, Charles priests will be allowed to sign marriage licenses if and Saint Mary's, according to a diocesan news same-sex marriage becomes legal. release about Chane's statement. The Episcopal Church's General Convention last July passed Resolution C056, saying that bishops, "particularly those in dioceses within civil jurisdictions where same-gender marriage, civil unions, or domestic partnerships are legal, may
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