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(Washington Post front page) College students struggle with mental health as pandemic drags on

People handed flowers to strangers on campus this week, and wrote encouraging notes in chalk. Students played with baby goats and tail-wagging dogs brought in to comfort them. Classes were canceled Tuesday, pop-up counseling centers appeared in dorms and concerned parents brought cookies and hugs to campus.

It has been a week of grief and disbelief at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. There have been reports of two deaths by suicide since the semester began, according to the university, and an attempted suicide last weekend that prompted an outpouring of sadness and worry.

The reasons behind any suicide are complex, and little is publicly known about these deaths. But the response on the Chapel Hill campus has been immediate and intense. And it has resonated nationally, coming at a time when many young people are feeling particularly burdened.

College students nationwide are more stressed — with the coronavirus pandemic adding loneliness, worry about illness, economic distress, relentless uncertainty and churn to a time of life that is already challenging for many. Demand for mental health services had already been high, but a recent study of college students found increased levels of anxiety and isolation during the pandemic.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Education, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Psychology, Theology, Young Adults

Archbp Foley Beach writes about Michael Nazir-Ali’s decision to join the Roman Catholic Church

Posted in Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Ecumenical Relations, GAFCON, Roman Catholic

(AP) New wind farms would dot US coastlines, including Carolinas, under Biden plan

Seven major offshore wind farms would be developed on the East and West coasts and in the Gulf of Mexico under a plan announced Wednesday by the Biden administration.

The projects are part of President Joe Biden’s plan to deploy 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy by 2030, generating enough electricity to power more than 10 million homes.

Interior Secretary Deb Haaland said her department hopes to hold lease sales by 2025 off the coasts of Maine, New York and the mid-Atlantic, as well as the Carolinas, California, Oregon and the Gulf of Mexico. The projects are part of Biden’s plan to address global warming and could avoid about 78 million metric tons of planet-warming carbon dioxide emissions, while creating up to 77,000 jobs, officials said.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, Ecology, Economy, Energy, Natural Resources, President Joe Biden, Science & Technology

(NYT front page)–Hopes Are Rising As Brutal Surge Starts To Recede

After a brutal summer surge, driven by the highly contagious Delta variant, the coronavirus is again in retreat.

The United States is recording roughly 90,000 new infections a day, down more than 40 percent since August. Hospitalizations and deaths are falling, too.

The crisis is not over everywhere — the situation in Alaska is particularly dire — but nationally, the trend is clear, and hopes are rising that the worst is finally behind us.

Again.

Over the past two years, the pandemic has crashed over the country in waves, inundating hospitals and then receding, only to return after Americans let their guard down.

Read it all (the headline is from the print edition).

Posted in America/U.S.A., Health & Medicine

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Teresa of Avila

O God, who by thy Holy Spirit didst move Teresa of Avila to manifest to thy Church the way of perfection: Grant us, we beseech thee, to be nourished by her excellent teaching, and enkindle within us a lively and unquenchable longing for true holiness; through Jesus Christ, the joy of loving hearts, who with thee and the same Holy Spirit liveth and reigneth, one God, for ever and ever.

Posted in Church History, Spirituality/Prayer

Please pray for the Election Convention of the Anglican Diocese of South Carolina tomorrow

From there:

We’re days away from our Electing Convention and have just a few reminders:

1) Only one delegate from each parish or mission will be seated inside the sanctuary with the clergy – this is in response to a request for social-distancing protocols. Remaining delegates will be seated outdoors under a tent with access to the live-streamed meeting.

2) The Convention will be live-streamed from this link.

2) Masks must be worn inside throughout the convention, except for those who are speaking from the podium microphone.

3) Following registration we will have a service of Holy Eucharist. After the election and brief response from our Bishop Coadjutor Elect, we will enjoy a celebratory luncheon on the grounds.

4) View the video below for an explanation of how votes are tabulated.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Parish Ministry

A prayer for the day from Daily Prayer

O God, who desirest no sacrifice, but a humble and contrite spirit; who wilt accept no gifts, but such as come from a good and honest heart: Save us, we pray thee, lest we come before thee with hands not free from stain; and mercifully accept the offering of ourselves, who have nothing worthy to offer but what is from thee, and dare not offer what is not hallowed by thee; for Jesus Christ’s sake.

Daily Prayer, Eric Milner-White and G. W. Briggs, eds. (London: Penguin Books 1959 edition of the 1941 original)

Posted in Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Scripture Readings

I bless the LORD who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me. I keep the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved….Thou dost show me the path of life; in thy presence there is fulness of joy, in thy right hand are pleasures for evermore.

–Psalm 16:7-8;11

Posted in Theology: Scripture

(Bloomberg) Steaks Could Soon Become Champagne-Like Luxury

The boss of Europe’s top meat processor said beef will become a luxury like champagne because of the climate impact of producing it.

“Beef is not going to be super climate friendly,” Danish Crown Chief Executive Officer Jais Valeur said in an interview with Danish newspaper Berlingske. “It will be a luxury product that we eat when we want to treat ourselves.”

Read it all.

Posted in Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Ecology

(TLS) Giles Foden on the salient ideas, elegant writing and ethical commitment of this year’s Nobel laureate, Abdulrazak Gurnah

ew announcements could give greater pleasure to followers of the broad church of African literature than that of the East African-born novelist Abdulrazak Gurnah as winner of this year’s Nobel Prize in Literature. We would all like to give the honorific Swahili greeting shikamoo – “I touch your feet” – but we can’t do that literally right now, and he wouldn’t like it anyway, I reckon, being a very self-effacing man, despite his great talent.

Born in 1948 on Zanzibar, then still a British colony, Gurnah came to the United Kingdom in 1968. This was the year of Enoch Powell’s “Rivers of Blood” speech and four years after the violent Zanzibar revolution that eventually led to the union of Zanzibar and Tanganyika as present-day Tanzania – a moment later dramatized in his debut novel, Memory of Departure (1987). He studied at Canterbury Christ Church University and earned a PhD at the University of Kent in 1982, before teaching for a few years at a university in northern Nigeria. He then returned to Kent, rising through troublesome academic ranks to become Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, until his retirement in November 2018, an occasion on which I was honoured to give a valedictory lecture. At the end of that peroration, I rashly predicted the likelihood of Nobel laurels. The best bet I never made. Gurnah’s academic work during this period, like that of his fellow laureate J. M. Coetzee, focused on colonial and post-colonial writing – branching out, when the field went mainstream, into some creative-writing tuition.

All through this time – the early part of which saw post-colonial writing going against the grain of predominantly white, neocolonial establishment authority – Gurnah was writing groundbreaking fiction. To date, he has produced ten novels that grapple with the subjects of the immigrant experience, displacement, memory and colonialism. These concerns – the transnational, the trauma narrative – are very current now, but they were just a speck on the horizon when Gurnah began developing his oeuvre. He was a prime mover in this respect, and that is part of what has catalysed this award. As the chair of the Nobel committee, Anders Olsson, remarked, “Gurnah has consistently and with great compassion penetrated the effects of colonialism in East Africa, and its effects on the lives of uprooted and migrating individuals”.

This element of compassion was clearly an important factor for the Nobel committee.

Read it all (subscription).

Posted in Books, England / UK, History, Tanzania

Bishop Andrew Forster’s Presidential Address to the Diocesan Synod of Derry and Raphoe in 2021

It’s no exaggeration to say that all our lives have been dominated by Covid since March 2020. It has certainly overshadowed my first two years almost as Bishop. I was only able to enjoy a very short window of normality before events took their course and everything changed.

In that almost year and a half since, I have looked on with admiration and a true sense of pride at the way our diocese has responded to a challenge unprecedented in our lifetimes. I want to place on the record my deep and heartfelt appreciation to those of you, right across the diocese, who made sure that both the worship of God and the ministry of the church were able to continue in the most harrowing of circumstances.

In next to no time, many of our clergy familiarised themselves with previously alien platforms like Facebook Live and YouTube, using them to provide online services. Parishioners supported food banks. Parishes provided meals for the elderly housebound. Church members supported the lonely through regular phone calls, collecting medicines and delivering shopping. Sunday schools moved online and ‘home packs’ were provided for children. People showed their Blitz spirit. They rallied round.

The enforced and, indeed, unwelcome changes that the pandemic demanded of us nevertheless showed us that we are far more capable, far more adaptable and far more creative than we ever could have believed.

Read it all.

Posted in Church of Ireland

(NPR) Eddie Jaku, Holocaust survivor and self-proclaimed happiest man on Earth, dies at 101

Despite his experiences, he refused to let loss or hate consume him.

“I do not hate anyone,” Jaku said. “Hate is a disease which may destroy your enemy but will also destroy you in the process.”

Choosing kindness and tolerance was also the premise of Jaku’s memoir, The Happiest Man on Earth, which he published last year at age 100.

Jaku was also part of the group of survivors that co-founded the Sydney Jewish Museum in 1992, and volunteered there for the past three decades, according to a remembrance from Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg.

Read it all.

Posted in Australia / NZ, Death / Burial / Funerals, History, Judaism

Church of England Evangelist Rico Tice on what is the gospel

It starts at about 32:15 in and is worth its weight in gold.

Posted in Anthropology, Christology, Church of England (CoE), Eschatology, Evangelism and Church Growth, Parish Ministry, Soteriology, Theology

Prominent Anglican bishop Michael Nazir-Ali received into Catholic Church

A prominent Anglican bishop once considered a potential future Archbishop of Canterbury has entered into full communion with the Catholic Church.

The Rt. Rev. Michael Nazir-Ali, the former bishop of Rochester, England, has joined the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, The Spectator reported on Oct. 14.

The magazine said that Nazir-Ali could be ordained as a Catholic priest as early as the end of October within the ordinariate, a body created by Benedict XVI in 2011 for groups of former Anglicans wishing to preserve elements of their patrimony.

In an Oct. 14 statement, the ordinariate said that Nazir-Ali was received into full communion by the group’s Ordinary, Msgr. Keith Newton, on Sept. 29, the Feast of St. Michael and All Angels.

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Ecumenical Relations, Roman Catholic

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Samuel Isaac Joseph Schereschewsky

O God, who in thy providence didst call Joseph Schereschewsky from his home in Eastern Europe to the ministry of this Church, and didst send him as a missionary to China, upholding him in his infirmity, that he might translate the holy Scriptures into languages of that land: Lead us, we pray thee, to commit our lives and talents to thee, in the confidence that when thou givest thy servants any work to do, thou dost also supply the strength to do it; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Posted in Church History, Spirituality/Prayer

A prayer for the day from Frank Colquhoun

Hear us, O Lord, as we come to thee burdened with our guilt, and bow in faith at thy feet. Speak to us thy word of absolution; say to our souls, Thy sins be forgiven thee; that with good courage we may rise up and go forth to serve thee, now and all our days, to the glory of thy holy name.

Posted in Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Bible Readings

“Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s foes will be those of his own household. He who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and he who loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and he who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for my sake will find it. “He who receives you receives me, and he who receives me receives him who sent me. He who receives a prophet because he is a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward, and he who receives a righteous man because he is a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. And whoever gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he shall not lose his reward.”

–Matthew 10:34-42

Posted in Theology: Scripture

A recent Kendall Harmon Sunday Sermon–Wrestling with the Seriousness of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:1-21)

Posted in * By Kendall, * South Carolina, Anthropology, Christology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Sermons & Teachings, Soteriology, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(Christian Today) Alister McGrath on faith, science and why we should be excited by theology

CT: You begin your book with this declaration: “I never expected to be a Christian theologian, mainly because I never expected to be a Christian.” What was the main thing that drew you to Christianity at Oxford in the 1970s?

AM: I was an atheist when I arrived at Oxford, although I had some growing doubts about whether atheism was really as simple and rational as I had thought. My doubts increased as it became clear that my atheist friends at Oxford couldn’t prove that their beliefs were right. I gradually came to see that atheism was a matter of faith, not something that could be proved.

These friends believed that there was no God, but could not show that this was right. I had been attracted to atheism as a teenager because of its apparent certainty, and I now began to realize that it was actually a faith. As I met and talked to lots of students and academics who were Christians, I began to realize that I had misunderstood what Christianity was all about.

One of the reasons for my teenage atheism was that I believed that God was a total irrelevance. God was in heaven; but I was on earth, in the midst of time and space. God had no connection with or presence within my world, and could say or do nothing of any relevance to me.

But my Christian friends at Oxford told me about the Christian doctrine of the incarnation. I could see that, if this was right, it was a game-changer….

Read it all.

Posted in Anthropology, Apologetics, Books, Church of England (CoE), Science & Technology

([London] Times) More than 350 C of E churches at risk of closure by 2026

Hundreds of Church of England churches could be closed and sold or demolished in the next five years, with plans to make it “faster and easier” to dispose of them, charities and priests have warned.

A Church document says that as many as 368 churches have been earmarked for closure within the next two to five years, a rate of closure that would be up to eight times faster than before the pandemic.

It also proposes reducing the amount of consultation needed before closing a church, limiting the rights of local people to object or appeal, and reducing the input from heritage bodies.

Read it all (subscription required).

Posted in Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Stewardship

(Philadelphia Inquirer front page) Record number of people quit jobs as priorities shift

The number of people quitting their jobs has surged to record highs, pushed by a combination of factors that include Americans sensing ample opportunity and better pay elsewhere.

Some 4.3 million people quit jobs in August — about 2.9 percent of the workforce, according to new data released Tuesday from the Labor Department. Those numbers are up from the previous record, set in April, of about 4 million people quitting, reflecting how the pandemic has continued to jolt workers’ mind-set about their jobs and their lives.

The phenomenon is being driven in part by workers who are less willing to endure inconvenient hours and poor compensation, who are quitting instead to find better opportunities. According to the report, there were 10.4 million job openings in the country at the end of August — down slightly from July’s record high, which was adjusted up to 11.1 million, but still a tremendously high number. This gives workers enormous leverage as they look for a better fit.

The implications of this shift could be long-lasting.

Read it all.

Posted in Anthropology, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market

(NYT) Past Pandemics Remind Us Covid Will Be an Era, Not a Crisis That Fades

The skeletons move across a barren landscape toward the few helpless and terrified people still living. The scene, imagined in a mid-16th-century painting, “The Triumph of Death” by Pieter Bruegel the Elder, illuminated the psychic impact of the bubonic plague.

It was a terror that lingered even as the disease receded, historians say.

Covid-19’s waves of destruction have inflicted their own kind of despair on humanity in the 21st century, leaving many to wonder when the pandemic will end.

“We tend to think of pandemics and epidemics as episodic,” said Allan Brandt, a historian of science and medicine at Harvard University. “But we are living in the Covid-19 era, not the Covid-19 crisis. There will be a lot of changes that are substantial and persistent. We won’t look back and say, ‘That was a terrible time, but it’s over.’ We will be dealing with many of the ramifications of Covid-19 for decades, for decades.”

Read it all.

Posted in Health & Medicine, History

A prayer for the day from Christina Rossetti

O Lord, because we often sin and have to ask for pardon, help us to forgive as we would be forgiven; neither mentioning old offences committed against us, nor dwelling upon them in thought; but loving our brother freely as thou freely lovest us; for thy name’s sake.

Posted in Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Bible Readings

King Zedeki′ah sent Jehu′cal the son of Shelemi′ah, and Zephani′ah the priest, the son of Ma-asei′ah, to Jeremiah the prophet, saying, “Pray for us to the Lord our God.” Now Jeremiah was still going in and out among the people, for he had not yet been put in prison. The army of Pharaoh had come out of Egypt; and when the Chalde′ans who were besieging Jerusalem heard news of them, they withdrew from Jerusalem.

Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah the prophet: “Thus says the Lord, God of Israel: Thus shall you say to the king of Judah who sent you to me to inquire of me, ‘Behold, Pharaoh’s army which came to help you is about to return to Egypt, to its own land. And the Chalde′ans shall come back and fight against this city; they shall take it and burn it with fire. Thus says the Lord, Do not deceive yourselves, saying, “The Chalde′ans will surely stay away from us,” for they will not stay away. For even if you should defeat the whole army of Chalde′ans who are fighting against you, and there remained of them only wounded men, every man in his tent, they would rise up and burn this city with fire.’”

Now when the Chalde′an army had withdrawn from Jerusalem at the approach of Pharaoh’s army, Jeremiah set out from Jerusalem to go to the land of Benjamin to receive his portion there among the people.

–Jeremiah 37:3-21

Posted in Theology: Scripture

(Yorkshire Post) Archbp Stephen Cottrell–Why the voices of the poor need heeding in Challenge Poverty Week

Tackling poverty must be one of our key national focuses. Even before the pandemic, the wealth gap had widened and regional inequality was stark. Household wealth in the South-East is more than twice as high as in the North East, and poverty is holding back millions of families and children.

We must resolve to find ways to redesign our economic systems, to loosen poverty’s grip, so everyone can live a full and dignified life. We cannot and must not have a recovery where the wealthy can speed off down the fast lane, while others are left broken down on the hard shoulder.

The Bible teaches us to love our neighbours, and to treat them as we would like to be treated. In the book of James, we are cautioned against showing hospitality or favouritism to wealthy guests while neglecting poor ones. Too often though, isn’t that what some of our ingrained systems do? People with first-hand experience and insight of poverty are left out of key discussions.

There are alternatives. The Poverty Truth Network is driven by the mantra that “nothing about us without us is for us”. Its approach, putting people together in the same room to pool their wisdom and find solutions to poverty, should not be seen as radical. It should be the norm.

Read it all.

Posted in Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Poverty, Religion & Culture

(CT) Died: Evelyn Mangham, Who Convinced Evangelicals to Welcome Refugees

Churches weren’t always ready to help Evelyn Mangham. When she cold-called them in 1975 seeking sponsors for refugees from the Vietnam War, they often had other plans and other financial commitments.

But in call after call with Christian and Missionary Alliance (CMA) churches, and then any congregation affiliated with the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE), Mangham pushed, quoted Scripture, told stories about Vietnamese people from her 20 years as a missionary, and applied moral pressure.

One pastor told Mangham his congregation couldn’t help because they were in the middle of a building project—working on a new parking lot. She sputtered, “But these are people.”

By the end of the year, she had convinced evangelical churches to sponsor 10,000 refugees from Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia.

Read it all.

Posted in Anthropology, Church History, Death / Burial / Funerals, Ethics / Moral Theology, Evangelicals, Immigration, Vietnam

(NYT) Boosters Are Complicating Efforts to Persuade the Unvaccinated to Get Shots

Vaccinated people have been burning up the phone lines at the community health center in rural Franklin, La., clamoring for the newly authorized Covid booster shot.

But only a trickle of people have been coming in for their initial doses, even though the rate of full vaccination in the area is still scarcely 39 percent.

The dichotomy illustrates one of the most frustrating problems facing public health officials at this stage of the pandemic: Almost all the eligible adults who remain unvaccinated in the United States are hard-core refusers, and the arrival of boosters is making efforts to coax them as well as those who are still hesitating even more difficult. In the September vaccine monitor survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation, 71 percent of unvaccinated respondents said the need for boosters indicated that the vaccines were not working.

“This vaccine has tested me like nothing before and I’ve been doing this for 40 years,” said Dr. Gary Wiltz, director of the Franklin health center. “I can’t tell you how many people we’ve tried to cajole into taking it.”

Read it all.

Posted in America/U.S.A., Health & Medicine

(IFS) Aaron Renn–Is the Pandemic Changing the Nature of Home Life for Many for the better?

Most white-collar workers in America were forced to work at home during the pandemic. Many of them discovered they liked it and want to keep doing it. Many companies, especially in the tech industry, have responded with policies allowing work from home permanently. This includes firms like Twitter and Spotify. Nationwide Insurance is closing several offices and allowing companies in those locations to work remotely. Others like Ford are embracing a hybrid model with a mix of in office and remote work. Pre-pandemic, the share of people working from home was already rising, going from 3.3% in 2000 to 5.7% in 2019. Even if only a small share of workers stays fully remote, this will be millions of additional workers. While work from home is not the same as a home-based business, it still represents a radical reorientation of the location where work is performed. It’s as if the textile business reverted from factory-centered back to the putting-out system.

Add it together, and this is a radical shift for many families. They are now working from home, caring for children at home, schooling their children at home, doing their own yard work, cooking at home, and improving their home themselves.

This may not be a reversion to pre-industrial homesteading, but it does represent a significant re-functionalization of the home within a post-industrial context for millions of families. Whether this will persist for the long term is yet to be seen, but with inflation and shortages continuing to squeeze the economy, the Do-It-Yourself family will likely be with us for at least a while longer. By choice or under duress, some Americans are going to have to start saying goodbye to their servants.

Read it all.

Posted in Anthropology, Children, Ethics / Moral Theology, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Marriage & Family

A Prayer for the Feast of Saint Wilfrid

Posted in Church History, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Edith Cavell

Living God, who art the source of all healing and wholeness: we bless thee for the compassionate witness of thy servant Edith Cavell. Inspire us, we beseech thee, to be agents of peace and reconciliation in a world beset by injustice, poverty, and war. We ask this through Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, who livest and reignest with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Posted in Church History, Health & Medicine, Spirituality/Prayer