The Rev'd Prof David P. Gushee writes: I am a Christian ethicist, and a pastor, and wearing both hats I have been asked to address climate change. I understand that this church, and other churches in the region, have committed to the eco-church movement. A great commitment. Today let us think about how scripture can inform such a commitment in the current moment. These texts that I have selected for today and that are available to you are very useful to help frame Christian thinking about ecological matters, with interesting implications for the problem of climate change. But I suggest to you that even these best and most relevant resources in scripture reveal some challenges for dealing with what we are now facing. ...
Rabbi Jonathan Romain (Chair - Dignity in Dying) write an Open Letter: Dear colleagues,
If you have not already come across them, I thought you might like to see two news items:
1. The Times survey earlier this month amongst clergy which, among many other topics it covered, revealed increased support for assisted dying among Church of England priests, and critically that opposition to law change among them has dropped.
The survey shows a clear direction of travel among Church of England ministers. Not only has support for compassionate choice at the end of life gone up from 22 to 35 per cent, opposition to assisted dying has reduced significantly from 70 to 55 per cent. ...
In a 'Letter to the Editor', Vivienne Hayward responds to The Rev'd Dr. Canon Hayley Matthews' recently published paper 'Towards a radical theology of lay ministry':
As a cradle Anglican and a lay woman I strongly affirm Canon Hayley Matthew’s post Towards a Radical Theology of Lay Ministry in which she describes ‘disciples mak[ing] disciples, through service to their communities, exemplary work ethics, pastoral care, lunchtime conversations about where we went last weekend, seasons of invitation and kindly cards of condolence—nothing ground breaking at all, in fact, just the gentle lapping of a love that will not let us go.’ ‘This is the essence of Lay Ministry,’ she says, ‘to bring the Gospel to wherever we are ... by being the Good News wherever we are placed.’
As a teacher I also strongly affirm that ‘it is vitally important to develop a solid foundation for our faith internally if we are to express it externally, but equally important that we are then disciples with a confident grasp of the Gospel. Consequently, we can have those awkward conversations over the water cooler about why someone’s parent is suffering so as their life nears its end, or how God can let their colleague’s child succumb to cancer.’
No Anglican that I know would dispute this. The question is, though, ‘to what end?’ about which there is certainly no consensus. Central to this difference of understanding is the meaning of ‘salvation’. ...
Paul Oestreicher writes: This seems a good moment gratefully to share with you some of the milestones on my pilgrimage, as my OBE citation says, for ‘peace, human rights, reconciliation, and the Church’. These are the things that will continue to motivate me. A state award – I had already received a German one – is only acceptable as an affirmation of these values and of all those who have worked with me to embody them.
Rabbi Dr. Jonathan Romain -
There is a massive change going on in religious attitudes to assisted dying (by which a person is given a prescription for a lethal potion, which they themselves then order and take). However, far from being a modern issue, the problem of having to endure a painful end to one’s life has long been recognised ...
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