Thursday, June 27, 2013

After DOMA: Our Missionary Future

Yesterday the Supreme Court ruled on two cases dealing with the issue of same sex unions.  Many scholars agree that the implications of those rulings will result in the full and eventual state recognition and sanction of “gay marriage.” 

At one level, the rulings are not surprising.  The Supreme Court is famous for following opinion and trends rather than leading it.  In these cases, a majority of our society has already accepted the logic and moral perspective of the “marriage equality” movement.  The Supreme Court has simply ratified a change in the culture that has already occurred.  The anthropological issues we are confronting – Where do humans come from? How do we live? What are we for? questions of desire, design and destiny –  have been with us for centuries.

Having placed these rulings in their proper context, the Court’s rulings this week cause us to reflect more deeply on what we believe and hope for.  To the degree one believes Judeo-Christian marriage is a) a common good for society, b) a sign from God intended to reveal his loving intentions for the world and his people, and c) a cultural achievement (heterosexual monogamous marriage must be taught, embodied and transmitted generationally), then yesterday’s ruling has enormous implications for the life and witness of the Church.  To the degree we at Truro believe we are called to promote the common good of marriage and to teach and embody the significance of Christian marriage, we must try to grasp the missionary moment before us.

For the past five years, Elizabeth and I have done extensive teaching and ministry on the matter of marriage.  In the past four years we together have led nearly 200 couples through the Marriage Course, we have counseled dozens of others at church and home, we have hosted three conferences on Marriage and Family and we have taught the Theology of the Body to show that our convictions arise from the deepest currents of Scripture and the Church’s Tradition.  It appears to me that God has been preparing us for this moment, so we can reach out to our culture in love and humility. 

The probing questions I lay before us now are these:  why have we, for a decade, been on this journey of proclaiming the goodness and divine origin and purpose of marriage, teaching marriage and rebuilding marriages?  Even now fourteen members of the parish are in Bovolone, Italy learning more on the sacred work of marriage.  Could this work be, in part, to prepare us for such a time as this?  Is God showing us our new missionary purpose and suggesting how we might build bridges of love and understanding to those who don’t know the reality of this “great mystery” (Ephesians 5)? 

Just as I believe God calls and equips individuals, in part, through the particular trials and tragedies they endure, I believe God calls churches and communities of believers through their collective trials.  God is the ultimate recycler.  Everything can be redeemed (and I mean everything) when placed on the altar of his perfect love and our humble obedience. 

Your brother in Christ,

Tory Baucum+

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

St Augustine's Cross

St Augustine's Cross is one of the highest honors bestowed by the Archbishop of Canterbury upon a member of the Anglican Communion.  The Cross is awarded for exemplary service to the Church in ways that advances the mission of the gospel and the deeper unity of the Christian Church.  This past week the St. Augustine's Cross was awarded to Anglican Archbishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon for his tireless work in Christ-honoring interfaith relations among Christians and Muslims in his native Nigeria.  For the rest of the story see:

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Wisdom from Rabbi Sacks
 In a crisis, Rabbi Sacks admonishes us not to ask "What have I done to deserve this?" but rather ask "What am I now being summoned to do?".  Interested in learning more, then please click here:

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Missio Alliance Launches....

Welcome to the Missio Alliance Website
A New Website: Check it out.

We have been helping launch this movement of evangelical Christians committed to mission and it is great to see God prospering it.  Our first conference was held at Alfred Street Baptist Church.  Every other year the Missio Alliance will host a major national conference.  In intervening years, regional conferences will be held across the country.  More to come......

Friday, June 14, 2013

Pope meets Archbishop of Canterbury, seeks to promote marriage as UK heads to gay marriage

Article by Associated Press.

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis waded diplomatically into the gay marriage debate Friday, telling the Archbishop of Canterbury he wants to work together to promote family values “based on marriage.”

Francis, who vigorously opposed gay marriage in his native Argentina, and Archbishop Justin Welby chatted, prayed and had lunch together at the Vatican in their first encounter since both were installed in March.

Welby, the spiritual leader of the 77 million-strong Anglican Communion, has opposed proposed legislation in Britain that would legalize gay marriage, saying it seeks to abolish and redefine the institution and would weaken one of the cornerstones of society.

To read complete article on Washington Post website, click here.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Archbishop Welby and Pope Francis Meet Tomorrow (Friday, June 14)

The two church leaders share a commitment to global justice, ethical regulation of financial markets and conflict resolution.  Archbishop Justin Welby (L), photo by Meegee2/Wikimedia Commons; Pope Francis (R):  Casa Rosada/Wikimedia Commons
The two church leaders share a commitment to global justice, ethical regulation of financial markets and conflict resolution.  Archbishop Justin Welby (L), photo by Meegee2/Wikimedia Commons; Pope Francis (R):  Casa Rosada/Wikimedia Commons

I encourage all of Truro to pray for these good leaders and especially for their meeting tomorrow.  I see many similarities between them and was struck by the providential selection of both men.  These similarities were also brought out during Nicky Gumbel's interview of Cardinal Schonborn last month. Here are the items I am praying for:

1) A deeper solidarity rooted in a common apostolic faith and consciousness.  A greater unity based on that commonality.
2) A shared commitment to strengthen the common good in Western society through a recovery of the sacredness and centrality of marriage to that good.
3) A preferential option for the impoverished and for a renewed baptism in the Spirit in both Churches, especially evidenced in mission and evangelization.