In the name of the Father, the Son and the Propet Mohammad

News clip from the Seattle Times:
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Episcopal Church Appoints First Openly-Muslim Bishop

Shortly after noon on Fridays, the Rev. Ann Holmes Redding ties on a black headscarf, preparing to pray with her Muslim group on First Hill.

On Sunday mornings, Redding puts on the white collar of an Episcopal priest. She does both, she says, because she’s Christian and Muslim.

Redding, who until recently was director of faith formation at St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral, has been a priest for more than 20 years. Now she’s ready to tell people that, for the last 15 months, she’s also been a Muslim — drawn to the faith after an introduction to Islamic prayers left her profoundly moved.

Her announcement has provoked surprise and bewilderment in many, raising an obvious question: How can someone be both a Christian and a Muslim..? She says she felt an inexplicable call to become Muslim, and to surrender to God — the meaning of the word “Islam.”

“It wasn’t about intellect,” she said. “All I know is the calling of my heart to Islam was very much something about my identity and who I am supposed to be.

“I could not not be a Muslim…”

Redding’s bishop, the Rt. Rev. Vincent Warner, says he accepts Redding as an Episcopal priest and a Muslim, and that he finds the interfaith possibilities exciting.
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eh?

Andrew C

Scots Wha Hae

I was looking at the website for the Scottish Parliament and happened to notice that you could view the website in several languages. English and Gaelic of course, Urdu, French and the usual suspects….but what a smile came upon my fissog (face) when I noticed that they had a rendition of the website in my natural tongue..Scots (although its not Ayrshire Scots, but there you go!)

Here is a little taster:
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Wha are the MSPs an whit can they dae for me?

MSPs are Members o the Scottish Pairlament. They mak laws an decisions on devolvit
maitters.

Ivery 4 year elections til the Scottish Pairlament is hauden. In the election fowk in
Scotland vote for candidates an the candidates that wins become MSPs.

There are 129 MSPs, made up o 73 constituency MSPs an 56 regional MSPs. Ye are representit by 1 constituency MSP an 7 regional MSPs.

Yer MSPs need tae ken whit maitters tae ye tae help the Scottish Pairlament wark for
ye, suppose ye didna vote for them.

Gin ye contack an MSP anent something that concerns ye they micht:

* speak in a debate on a maitter ye hae raised
* introduce a Bill tae chynge the law
* lodge a motion for debate in the Pairlament
* speir the Scottish Executive anent a maitter ye hae raised
* lodge an amendment tae a Bill
* refer ye til anither bodie or organisation
* advise ye that nae faurer action can be taen

Ye can tryst tae meet yer MSPs at the Pairlament, in their local office or throu their regular
surgeries in yer local area.

Tae find oot wha yer MSPs are an hoo tae contack them, ye can luik on the Scottish
Pairlament wabsite, speir at yer local Pairtner Library or contack the Public Information
Service (details is on the hinderend o this leaflet).

Abortion

BBC news reports that abortions in England are up 4% on last year, including an increase amongst those under 18. This corresponds with the increase in the abortion pill as opposed to operations.

Report highlights child poverty

From the BBC:

More than 90,000 children in Scotland live in “severe poverty”, according to a study by Save the Children (STC).

The charity has classified just under 10% of the country’s one million youngsters as living in its worst poverty bracket.

It comprises children aged 15 or under living with two parents who bring home less than £7,000 a year after paying for housing costs.

The statistic is in the charity’s Living Below the Radar report.

STC’s findings, which were published on Tuesday, suggest that one third of children in severe poverty cannot afford play equipment such as a bike or a football, while a quarter miss out on going to toddler or play groups once a week.

The report also found that about 20% of the under-privileged youngsters cannot afford to celebrate occasions like Christmas or birthdays.

Reflection 3 – Transparency

One of the values that is very close to my heart is the idea of transparency. I firmly, firmly believe that the best way we can glorify God is by simply being ourselves. With that, I mean ‘warts and all.’ There is a strong temptation for those in leadership to pretend to be something they are not and this adds complication and stress which cannot be expressed outwardly and so ends up being unhealthily internalised. I try to be honest with the things that confuse me, honest about the things I don’t understand and direct about the things I believe to be unacceptable.

If a person is one thing on a Sunday and something else at home then there are issues of integrity. If I go around pretending I’m the absolute perfect Christian because I am an officer, then I do my people a dis-service. I know some officers who seem to be the soundest people you can come across, then you hear of a dramatic calamity where lives fall apart. I believe that if we can be open with our struggles then we don’t fall by failing to live up to our own realistic expectations.

Holiness is about transparency too…if I don’t allow my life to be transparent, then I will never be aware of the things that I need to let other believers see in me, so that they can then keep me accountable and encourage me to change. Transparency also enables the Christian to move deeper into Christ because they are more readibly willing to admit their failings, to be corrected, and to move on into further levels of submission to Jesus.

How do you become open? I don’t know. I learned it out of desparation. At my home corps as a boy, I had to be open because the body of Christ was the only safe place for me….it was the only place where I could get the support I needed. I didn’t hesitate about confessing the need for help in any particular area.

What am I saying? Simply that it is sometimes better to be open with our struggles than to pretend they don’t exist and tie ourselves in knots trying to live life bound up in keeping alive a lie. I hope I am making sense!

Misrepresentation

I read this on Eleanor Burne-Jones’ blog, and I have no way to contact her directly so will do so here. She writes this:

So far as I understand it, and I am still trying to get this clarified, as a soldier in the Salvation Army I have no right to be discipled, mentored or directed to some active service by my officer. I can be kept out of active service indefinitely, with no reason given to me in writing, with no right of appeal, with no grievance procedure if I feel I have been unfairly treated, and with no procedure to follow if I wish this to be reviewed. When this happens to soldiers we are simply expected to sit and let it happen. That seems to be the cultural assumption?

It is sad that that is her experience at the moment, however, this is not how it is supposed to work at all, by far. I don’t know the specific circumstances, but offer this response here seeing as there is no way to do that on her blog.

– Firstly, in orders and regulations for Officer, an officers is charged with the responsibility for the development and employment of his soldiers in the fight…second only to evangelism, it is his/her key task.
– Secondly, it is the corps officers ‘privilege’ to ask the soldier to take up or lay aside a task and soldiers are encouraged to accept this decision, however, if you are being kept out of service for an issue that appears to be a disciplinary one, then the divisional commander should have been invovled in that process.
– Thirdly, assuming a soldier has a valid case, the soldier always has the right to contact the divisional commander to explain the position. The divisional commander is ultimately responsible for discipline and will intervene in any situation if he considers there to be an injusice, either against a soldier or an officer.
– Fourthy, s reminder that inspite of church being the church, it will always always have a human element to it. When we become soldiers, we agree to show the spirit of Salvationism whether in times of popularity or persecution….that is valid for ocassions such as this…it is something we all have to do at times, even our Lord had to do it! God is our defence and ultimately he will vindicate us if indeed we have a case to be vindicated. He is good all the time.

Sorry you are being misrepresented Eleanor, but clearly the Army’s processes have been under-represented to you. God bless you as you seek resolution. May it never detract from the keeping of your covenant and in serving Jesus wholeheartedly.

blessings
Andrew