Daily Archives: May 28, 2007

Some Parishes find ways to form Anglican links abroad

As they professed their faith, Hector Zavala, Anglican bishop of the Diocese of Chile, laid his hands on the heads of three young people yesterday and welcomed them into his flock.

The cleric, wearing vestments decorated with indigenous patterns and the Chilean national flower, was leading the first confirmation ceremony at his mission church in the United States – whose congregation worships in the heart of Baltimore County’s Green Spring Valley.

The Church of the Resurrection is one of many in the United States forming relationships with foreign bishops after growing increasingly dissatisfied with the perceived liberal direction of the Episcopal Church, the U.S. arm of the international Anglican Communion.

For several Resurrection members, the 2003 election of the Rev. V. Gene Robinson, who is openly gay, as bishop of New Hampshire was a recent – but not the only – evidence of a church straying from biblical values and truths.

Reisterstown resident Vince Clews, a founding member of Church of the Resurrection, said its formation after Robinson’s election may imply homophobia but had more to do with public statements by Episcopal bishops who don’t believe in tenets such as the divinity of Jesus, his resurrection or virgin birth.

“I left because the idea of a bishop or priest saying the Nicene Creed or Apostles Creed as they do every Sunday and not believing half of what they’re saying … makes no sense to me,” said Clews, a freelance writer. “That is not worship. That is being led by a liar.”

Many of the overseas dioceses were once a destination for mission workers, and money, from American parishes. “Those who were missionized are in a sense launching missions of their own,” said David Hein, a Hood College religion professor and author of the book The Episcopalians.

Resurrection, whose congregation worships at the historic Rainbow Hill mansion in the 10700 block of Park Heights Avenue near Stevenson, is the northernmost outpost of its South American diocese. Its pastor, the Rev. Eliot Winks, was ordained at a Pittsburgh ceremony in 2005 by the bishop of the Diocese of Bolivia on behalf of Zavala.

Zavala said his diocese’s pastoral support of the Baltimore County mission church is part of a temporary solution to support parishes whose members feel disenfranchised by the Episcopal Church.

“From our point of view, belonging to a wider community, we want them to continue being Anglicans,” Zavala said after yesterday’s confirmation service – held on Pentecost Sunday, which Christians celebrate as the day the apostles received the Holy Spirit. “The way to do this is through us, while we resolve the tensions in the Anglican Communion.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Latest News, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts

Breakthrough in Breast Cancer Screening

A revolution in cancer screening and treatment within 15 years is heralded today with the announcement of a leap in the ability to identify genes that cause the disease.

Researchers are confident that their findings will allow a screening programme, in which the inherited risk of developing cancer can be assessed for every patient, to be in place in an estimated 12-15 years.

Four common genes were identified and a fifth is on the verge of being pinpointed by researchers investigating the causes of breast cancer, almost doubling the number of known rogue genes.

One of the new genes, when found in a mutated form, increases the risk of developing the cancer by up to 60 per cent ”” giving a woman a one in six chance of the disease. Its most damaging variant is carried by one in six women, making it much more common than previously identified genes that contribute to breast cancer.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Health & Medicine

Today's Quiz: What is the Fastest-growing High School Sport in America right now?

A 2005 survey showed 2,604 high school teams, compared with 851 in 1995.

Guess first before looking.

Posted in * General Interest

Casualties of War

Nine stories well worth listening to. I was particularly struck this morning by the first one, in which Joseph Welliver describes how even to try to grieve properly in a wartime setting places oneself and one’s fellow soldiers at risk.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Military / Armed Forces

A Visit with Fort Myer's Army Old Guard

Horses drawing a caisson offer a stirring and somber site at Arlington National Cemetery funerals. The horses are cared for by the U.S. 3rd Infantry’s Army Old Guard Caisson Platoon, based at Fort Myer in Arlington, Va.

Listen to it all from NPR.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Military / Armed Forces

Those Americans who Gave Their Lives in Iraq

A soberingly long list.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Iraq War, Military / Armed Forces

A Local Editorial: Memorial Day

“The soldier above all other people prays for peace, for he must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war.”

”” Gen. Douglas MacArthur

Today is Memorial Day, a day for sober reflection on too-seldom shared sacrifices made by the men and women of our armed forces. These are the patriots who when called upon give their lives, their hopes, their dreams, for their country, for America.

Theirs is an unbroken record of valor extending from Gettysburg’s Cemetery Ridge, to shell-pocked fields in France in two great World Wars, to Pork Chop Hill in Korea, to steaming jungles in Vietnam, and today to brutal sands and bloody streets in Iraq and Afghanistan.

They are the ones who never fail to answer when the war tocsin sounds. They are the ones who too often return in flag-draped coffins, or with missing limbs and permanently scarred bodies. They are the ones who make possible the relatively easy and prosperous lives enjoyed by their countrymen at home while they who wear the uniform bleed in distant lands.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Military / Armed Forces

Rows of New Markers, and Untold Sacrifice by Civil War Soldiers

Conrad Joachim, a German immigrant, marched off to war from his home on Greenwich Street in Manhattan on May 13, 1862, enlisting as an assistant surgeon in the 15th New York Heavy Artillery. Charles Joachim, whom historians believe to be his son, had already joined the same unit.

Four months later, Conrad was dead; and in another year, so was Charles, at about the age of 20. They were buried in the same grave at Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, beneath a marble headstone that is an exquisitely carved open book inscribed with both their names. But the stone slowly sank into the earth as the centuries turned twice, and the cemetery and the city were completed around them.

The Joachim family’s sacrifice may have been forever lost to history if not for a formidable labor of detective work involving hundreds of volunteers and lasting longer than the Civil War itself. Now the Joachims are among more than 1,200 Civil War soldiers with new gravestones at Green-Wood. And today, for the first time, the cemetery is honoring the full known complement of veterans of the country’s deadliest war.

Dozens of veterans’ descendants, some from as far away as Spain, will be joined at 9 a.m. by volunteers and Civil War re-enactors for a public ceremony. There will be a parade, a color guard, a fife and drum corps, crashing salutes from an artillery battery and speeches of welcome and remembrance. Then, descendants and history lovers will read the names of the veterans.

Over five years, the volunteers have scoured not only Green-Wood’s grounds, but also cemetery records, pension and enlistment archives, government databases, regimental histories, published obituaries and death notices. They have also found and interviewed soldiers’ descendants.

The project identified not 200 Civil War veterans ”” as had originally been expected ”” but 2,998. Many gravestones were missing, damaged or obliterated; some, like the Joachims’ marble, had sunk beneath the grass. And so the volunteers filled out more than 1,200 applications for new markers, since the Department of Veterans Affairs supplies them if originals are unreadable or lost.

“This is a work of historical rescue,” said one of the volunteers, Jeffrey Blustein, a medical ethicist at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx. “History isn’t just about the rich and famous, it’s about all the forgotten people, ordinary people who otherwise would never be known.”

Read it all; the accompanying video linked to the right of the article is well worth the time.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Military / Armed Forces

Notable and Quotable (III)

I walk down the garden-paths,
And all the daffodils
Are blowing, and the bright blue squills.
I walk down the patterned garden-paths
In my stiff, brocaded gown.
With my powdered hair and jeweled fan,
I too am a rare
Pattern. As I wander down
The garden-paths.
My dress is richly figured,
And the train
Makes a pink and silver stain
On the gravel, and the thrift
Of the borders.
Just a plate of current fashion,
Tripping by in high-heeled, ribboned shoes.
Not a softness anywhere about me,
Only whalebone and brocade.
And I sink on a seat in the shade
Of a lime tree. For my passion
Wars against the stiff brocade.
The daffodils and squills
Flutter in the breeze
As they please.
And I weep;
For the lime-tree is in blossom
And one small flower has dropped upon my bosom.

And the splashing of waterdrops
In the marble fountain
Comes down the garden-paths.
The dripping never stops.
Underneath my stiffened gown
Is the softness of a woman bathing in a marble basin,
A basin in the midst of hedges grown
So thick, she cannot see her lover hiding,
But she guesses he is near,
And the sliding of the water
Seems the stroking of a dear
Hand upon her.
What is Summer in a fine brocaded gown!
I should like to see it lying in a heap upon the ground.
All the pink and silver crumpled up on the ground.

I would be the pink and silver as I ran along the paths,
And he would stumble after,
Bewildered by my laughter.
I should see the sun flashing from his sword-hilt and the buckles on his shoes.
I would choose
To lead him in a maze along the patterned paths,
A bright and laughing maze for my heavy-booted lover.
Till he caught me in the shade,
And the buttons of his waistcoat bruised my body as he clasped me,
Aching, melting, unafraid.
With the shadows of the leaves and the sundrops,
And the plopping of the waterdrops,
All about us in the open afternoon–
I am very like to swoon
With the weight of this brocade,
For the sun sifts through the shade.

Underneath the fallen blossom
In my bosom,
Is a letter I have hid.
It was brought to me this morning by a rider from the Duke.
“Madam, we regret to inform you that Lord Hartwell
Died in action Thursday se’nnight.”
As I read it in the white, morning sunlight,
The letters squirmed like snakes.
“Any answer, Madam,” said my footman.
“No,” I told him.
“See that the messenger takes some refreshment.
No, no answer.”
And I walked into the garden,
Up and down the patterned paths,
In my stiff, correct brocade.
The blue and yellow flowers stood up proudly in the sun,
Each one.
I stood upright too,
Held rigid to the pattern
By the stiffness of my gown.
Up and down I walked,
Up and down.

In a month he would have been my husband.
In a month, here, underneath this lime,
We would have broke the pattern;
He for me, and I for him,
He as Colonel, I as Lady,
On this shady seat.
He had a whim
That sunlight carried blessing.
And I answered, “It shall be as you have said.”
Now he is dead.

In Summer and in Winter I shall walk
Up and down
The patterned garden-paths
In my stiff, brocaded gown.
The squills and daffodils
Will give place to pillared roses, and to asters, and to snow.
I shall go
Up and down
In my gown.
Gorgeously arrayed,
Boned and stayed.
And the softness of my body will be guarded from embrace
By each button, hook, and lace.
For the man who should loose me is dead,
Fighting with the Duke in Flanders,
In a pattern called a war.
Christ! What are patterns for?

–Amy Lowell (1874 – 1925), Patterns

Posted in * General Interest, Notable & Quotable

Notable and Quotable (II)

O CAPTAIN! my Captain! our fearful trip is done;
The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won;
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring:
But O heart! heart! heart!
O the bleeding drops of red,
Where on the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.

O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up””for you the flag is flung””for you the bugle trills;
For you bouquets and ribbon’d wreaths””for you the shores a-crowding;
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
Here Captain! dear father!
This arm beneath your head;
It is some dream that on the deck,
You’ve fallen cold and dead.

My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still;
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will;
The ship is anchor’d safe and sound, its voyage closed and done;
From fearful trip, the victor ship, comes in with object won;
Exult, O shores, and ring, O bells!
But I, with mournful tread,
Walk the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.

”“Walt Whitman (1819”“1892)

Posted in * General Interest, Notable & Quotable

Notable and Quotable (I)

“”¦that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion ”” that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain”¦”

”“Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, November 19, 1863

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, Military / Armed Forces, Notable & Quotable

A Litany from The Book of Worship for United States Forces (1974)

Leader: Let us give thanks to God for the land of our birth with all its chartered liberties. For all the wonder of our country’s story:

PEOPLE: WE GIVE YOU THANKS, O GOD.

Leader: For leaders in nation and state, and for those who in days past and in these present times have labored for the commonwealth:

PEOPLE: WE GIVE YOU THANKS, O GOD.

Leader: For those who in all times and places have been true and brave, and in the world’s common ways have lived upright lives and ministered to their fellows:

PEOPLE: WE GIVE YOU THANKS, O GOD.

Leader: For those who served their country in its hour of need, and especially for those who gave even their lives in that service:

PEOPLE: WE GIVE YOU THANKS, O GOD.

Leader: O almighty God and most merciful Father, as we remember these your servants, remembering with gratitude their courage and strength, we hold before you those who mourn them. Look upon your bereaved servants with your mercy. As this day brings them memories of those they have lost awhile, may it also bring your consolation and the assurance that their loved ones are alive now and forever in your living presence.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Military / Armed Forces

Memorial Day 2007 (2)–In Flanders Fields

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

”“Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)

In thanksgiving for all those who gave their lives for this country in years past, and for those who continue to serve”“KSH.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, Military / Armed Forces, Notable & Quotable

Memorial Day 2007 (1)–Fact Sheet: America's Wars

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * General Interest, Defense, National Security, Military, Military / Armed Forces

A Look Back to 1960

The Rev. Dennis J. Bennett, for one, is sure the explosion is on the way; last week he took up new duties in Seattle at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church as the direct result of his interest in glossolalia. London-born Father Bennett, 42, a graduate of Chicago Theological Seminary (Congregational) who later became an Episcopalian, was assigned to St. Mark’s Church in Van Nuys, Calif, in 1953. Last October he agreed to meet with some members of a fellow minister’s church who had found themselves beginning to speak in tongues. First he was surprised to find that they were neither far-out types nor emotionally unbalanced; then he discovered that he had the “gift” himself and that the experience was “enriching.”

Father Bennett brought the idea into his own parish””and began to run into trouble. Of his 2,000 parishioners, he says, some 700 developed a positive, sympathetic interest”””they included the junior warden and the chairman of the women’s guild. They were about equally divided between men and women, and there was a large number of couples. The group included a Ph.D. and a brain surgeon.” But conservative Episcopalians were shocked. In April the vestry asked Pastor Bennett for his resignation, and Bishop Francis Eric Bloy of Los Angeles sent St. Mark’s a new priest and a pastoral letter banning any more speaking in tongues under church auspices.

Father Bennett has no plans to get glossolalia going again in his new post, a small missionary church, but he “mentions” it privately to people he thinks could benefit. “The gift of tongues is a freeing of the personality in expressing one’s self more profoundly, particularly toward God, even though the symbols are not understood by the speaker. It does not happen in a trance. The person is releasing something deeper than the ordinary symbols of language.”

Doyosi Ki-i-yeno. One evening last week, in an apartment motel in Van Nuys, seven Episcopalians of Father Bennett’s former flock met together to await the coming of the Holy Spirit. Bursts of laughter from a television set across the courtyard invaded the reverent silence, but the two men and five women paid no attention, praying aloud from time to time for individuals in sickness or trouble and for “those who are resisting the out pouring of the Holy Spirit….

California’s Methodist Bishop Gerald Kennedy dismisses the movement. “In the past there have been movements of this sort, but they never did the church any good.” But Seventh Day Baptist Paul Henry, a lawyer of Fontana, Calif., speaks for many of the “spirit-filled” when he says: “It’s only my guess, but I think it may be an outpouring just before the termination of this age.”

Read it all

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Church History, Episcopal Church (TEC), Theology, Theology: Holy Spirit (Pneumatology)