Daily Archives: July 28, 2007

One Senior Warden Speaks from the Heart

From here:

The Standing Committee [of Alabama] and Bishop Parsley hosted a Diocesan Forum on “Communion Matters: A Study Document for the Episcopal Church”, at All Saints’ Church in Homewood, on July 24th, 2007. Here are the comments offered by Mr. George Elliott, our Senior Warden:

“Bishop Parsley, Mr. President, I am George Elliott, Senior Warden of the Cathedral Church of the Advent. I am joined by our Junior Warden and the members of the Vestry who stand here with me. I speak on behalf of this Vestry and have good reason to believe that I also speak for at least 70% of our 3,800+ member parish. As a friend in Christ, I am here to speak to you in love and with all due respect about the document, ‘Communion Matters’.

“We at the Advent are disappointed with the document because it does not lead us even to consider repentance and compliance with the clear advice and requests of the Primates; actually, it leads us down the path of attempting to justify the current direction of the Episcopal Church. We do not believe this is the course that God intends for us as Christians to follow. We humbly and respectfully implore the leadership of the Diocese of Alabama to stand up and do the right thing. Tell the leaders of the Episcopal Church to turn back from their current direction and comply with the recent demands of the Primates of the Anglican Communion.

“Thank you for the opportunity to speak to you.”

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Covenant, Anglican Identity, Anglican Primates, Episcopal Church (TEC), Primates Mtg Dar es Salaam, Feb 2007, TEC Parishes

'Moliere' Director Compares U.S., French Cinema

French director Laurent Tirard’s second film, Moliere, has been likened to a French version of Shakespeare in Love.

Tirard is the screenwriter and director of the movie, which has its U.S. release Friday. The movie imagines an undocumented period of the great French playwright and actor Moliere.

Tirard talks with Robert Siegel about learning to be a director in America and learning about the differences between French and American cinema.

Listen to it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Movies & Television

A Thaw in Investment Prospects for Sex-Related Businesses? Maybe

From the New York Times:

Investor reticence about the sex industry is changing notably, Mr. Gardiner said….

Mr. Gardiner said a key selling point in getting these deals done was to give the mainstream investors some public relations cover by repackaging the company in a more conventional way. For instance, he said, a company can still get a big chunk of revenue from the pornography industry but also branch out into mainstream business.

He cited as an example a company called Waat Media, which aggregates and distributes content to cellphones and has deals with several makers of explicit pornography, like Penthouse and the Vivid Entertainment Group. In September, Spark Capital, a mainstream venture capital firm, led a $12.5 million round of financing for Waat, but changed the company’s name to Twistbox Entertainment and packaged the company as a mobile content distributor.

Read it all (my emphasis).

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Economy, Sexuality

A (London) Times column on the Best Religion Blogs

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Blogging & the Internet, Religion & Culture

James Roberts: Mugabe throws the first stone

A telling proverb in the Shona spoken by the majority of Zimbabweans goes Nyadzi dzinokunda rufu. In English, this means “embarrassment is worse than death”, and the words have rarely seemed more apt than over the past two weeks, as the latest twist in the ongoing struggle between the dictator, Robert Mugabe, and his would-be nemesis, Archbishop Pius Ncube of Bulawayo, has been splashed across news pages and TV screens around the world. For what the world has seen are photographs purporting to depict Archbishop Ncube in the act of adultery.

On Monday 16 July, to a huge state orchestrated fanfare, a junior state employee named Onesimus Sibanda filed a case at the High Court in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe’s second city, demanding damages of Z$20 billion (£80,000) from the archbishop, on the grounds that Archbishop Ncube had had sexual relations with his wife. Mr Sibanda’s declaration alleged that “on diverse occasions between the period beginning 2006 and in places particularly in the environs of Bulawayo and St Mary’s Cathedral, the defendant illicitly associated and engaged with the
plaintiff ’s wife, one Rosemary Sibanda, in an adulterous sexual relationship well knowing of the marital status of the plaintiff ’s wife”.

Read it all.

Posted in * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Africa, Other Churches, Roman Catholic

Houston Chronicle:From basketball to cycling, the long shadow of gambling and drugs haunts athletics

Scandals are nothing new to organized sports, but this summer they seem to be popping up everywhere.

Rather than watching cyclists pumping up the inclines of the Tour de France, fans have been treated to images of disqualified and departing contestants accused of taking performance-enhancing drugs.

What should be a glorious culmination to Giants slugger Barry Bonds’ pursuit of professional baseball’s all-time home run title has instead become a divisive debate over whether alleged steroid use will forever stain his monumental achievement.

Instead of smugly presiding over “I love this game” promotions, a chastened NBA Commissioner David Stern faced a packed news conference to admit that a league referee had wagered on games he officiated.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Ethics / Moral Theology, Sports, Theology

Scholar Becomes Chief Explainer in a ”˜Mormon Moment’

As an undergraduate at Harvard, Richard Lyman Bushman was offered some friendly advice by a favorite professor: he was a fine student, but his Mormonism was seen by the Harvard establishment as a “bunch of garbage.”

Mr. Bushman would do himself a favor, the professor told him, to leave the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints behind as a relic of his upbringing.

“I reacted just the opposite,” Professor Bushman said in a phone interview. “I said, ”˜You’re not going to bully me, you big representative of Harvard culture.’ ”

That was 57 years ago. Since then, Professor Bushman has retained his Mormon faith even while forging an Ivy League academic career, earning posts at Columbia and Harvard.

In fact, as his teaching and research focused on colonial American history, Professor Bushman also managed to become something of an ambassador for Mormonism to the outside world.

Read the whole thing.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, US Presidential Election 2008

Pot smoking linked to psychotic disorders

People who smoke marijuana daily or weekly double their risk of developing a psychotic illness over their lifetime, according to a study published Thursday.

Among all cannabis users, including sporadic experimenters and habitual users, the lifetime risk of psychotic illness increased by 40%, the report said.

“It’s not as if you smoke a joint and you’re going to go crazy,” said Richard Rawson, who directs the Integrated Substance Abuse Program at UCLA and was not involved in the study.

But he cautioned: “It’s definitely not a good idea to use heavy amounts of marijuana.”

The researchers found that the risk for psychotic illnesses did appear to increase with dose, suggesting that stopping marijuana use would decrease risk, said coauthor Dr. Stanley Zammit, a psychiatrist at Cardiff University and the University of Bristol in Britain.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Health & Medicine

Romney mulls talk on faith, politics

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said Thursday he’ll probably deliver a speech explaining the role his Mormon faith plays in his political life, but he argued he’s made strong gains among evangelicals despite questions about his religion.

“I have thought about that,” Romney said in an interview with The Associated Press. “I haven’t made a final decision, but it’s probably more likely than not.”

During a campaign appearance earlier in the day, Romney was asked about his views on appointing a “God-fearing Mormon” to the Supreme Court. Romney has been asked about such matters frequently in question-and-answer sessions he holds almost daily.

“I’d go after people who will follow the law and I wouldn’t apply a religious test either,” Romney said.

In the interview, Romney acknowledged the issue crops up often enough that he’s pondering dealing with it in a comprehensive manner.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Religion & Culture, US Presidential Election 2008

From Newsweek: A Stem-Cell Surprise

After a successful series of infertility treatments, Kristen Cohen and her husband, Lee, had two sets of twin boys, now ages 6 and 2. They also had about a dozen embryos that they no longer needed but could not imagine going to waste. “We went through so much to create these embryos,” says Kristen. “This was much more than blood, sweat and tears.” The Cohens had also benefited firsthand from medical research; Lee, who has cystic fibrosis, has been helped by advanced treatments. So in 2006, when Kristen saw an article about the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, she contacted it and began the process of donating their embryos, which could be used to create new lines of embryonic stem cells. After five months of paperwork and counseling for the couple, the Cohen embryos were in the hands of researchers. “We know they might be destroyed without making a single stem-cell line,” Kristen says. “I don’t need to know that my embryo helped save patient X. It’s the greater good.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Health & Medicine, Life Ethics

Andrew Collier Interviews Gene Robinson

HE TAKES COMFORT from a statement from the Scottish Episcopal Church, whose bishops said publicly two years ago that being homosexual is not a bar to ministry. “It was supportive and I was grateful for it. As you can imagine, statements like that are few and far between at the moment in the Anglican Communion. It was a refusal to draw a line in the sand.”

Robinson warns, though, that the price of support could see the Scottish church, as well as the American one, being forced out of the Communion. “If the Episcopal Church in America is to bear some sort of punishment, it would not seem unlikely that all those who have stood with us might be so punished.”

As a Christian, can he forgive his enemies? “You know, I can. And here’s why. They only believe what the church has taught them to believe, and I believed those same things myself for a very long time. That is what a gay person has to contend with. We’ve been taught the same things everyone else has. The church has taught us all to condemn homosexual behaviour. I would argue it has taught that mistakenly, but I can certainly understand why people feel this way, so no, I don’t have any trouble forgiving.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Conflicts

Oscar the Amazing Cat

Watch the whole amazing video story (link accompanies the article).

Posted in * General Interest

From AP: Once wary of pop culture and visual art, evangelicals seek a greater role

There are no crosses in Makoto Fujimura’s paintings. No images of Jesus gazing into the distance, or serene scenes of churches in a snow-cloaked wood.

Fujimura’s abstract works speak to his evangelical Christian faith. But to find it takes some digging.

After the 2001 terrorist strikes on the World Trade Center, three blocks from Fujimura’s home, his work explored the power of fire to both destroy and purify, themes drawn from the Christian Gospels and Dante’s “The Divine Comedy.”

“I am a Christian,” says Fujimura, 46, who founded the nonprofit International Arts Movement to help bridge the gap between the religious and art communities. “I am also an artist and creative, and what I do is driven by my faith experience.

“But I am also a human being living in the 21st century, struggling with a lot of brokenness — my own, as well as the world’s. I don’t want to use the term ‘Christian’ to shield me away from the suffering or evil that I see, or to escape in some nice ghetto where everyone thinks the same.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Evangelicals, Other Churches, Religion & Culture

Without gay priests Church would be lost claims Gene Robinson

The openly gay bishop whose ordination sparked the crisis in the Anglican Communion has claimed the Church of England would be close to shutting down if it was forced to manage without its gay clergy.

The Bishop of New Hampshire in the US, the Right Rev Gene Robinson, who is divorced and lives openly in partnership with a gay man, said he found it “mystifying” that the mother church of the Anglican Communion was unable to be honest about the number of gay clergy in its ranks.

He said many of the English church’s clergy lived openly in their rectories with gay partners, with the full knowledge of their bishops. But he criticised the stance of bishops who threaten the clergy with emnity should their relationships become public.

Speaking in an interview in London, Bishop Gene said: “I have met so many gay partnered clergy here and it is so troubling to hear them tell me that their bishop comes to their house for dinner, knows fully about their relationship, is wonderfully supportive but has also said if this ever becomes public then I’m your worst enemy.

Read it all and peruse this also.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts

Measuring out one's Life in Coffee Spoons: Two Funerals in Two days

My co-worker at the parish where I serve was scheduled to travel this week, and the day before he left there were two deaths, so two funerals in two days fell to me.

I thought I would list their obituaries:

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Corbin Jr., James

CORBIN, James James Edward Ted Corbin, Jr., 80, of Yonges Island, husband of Patricia Browning Corbin died Tuesday morning, July 24, 2007 at St. Francis Hospital. Funeral service will be held Thursday, July 26, 2007 at 12 o’clock at Christ St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Hollywood. Burial will follow in the church cemetery. Friends may call at James A. Dyal Funeral Home, Summerville from 6 until 8 o’clock this evening. Flowers will be accepted or donations may be made to: Christ St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Building Fund, PO Box 426, Hollywood, SC 29449. Ted was born July 27, 1926 in Macon, Georgia, son of the late James E. Corbin, Sr. and Martha Bass Corbin. He was a loving father and husband for sixty one years. He was a graduate of Columbia High School, Columbia, South Carolina. His hobbies included fishing, golfing, flying and was happiest when he was operating his heavy equipment. He was a member of Christ St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. He was the owner and founder of Metal Trades Inc., a metal fabrication company established in 1962. The company’s success is credited to his work ethic as he preferred the hands on approach toiling alongside fellow laborers while his sons ran the day to day business. He remained active in the company until his death. Ted was very civic minded, playing a role in the construction of St. Paul’s Academy and most recently sponsoring a School to Work welding program in Hollywood, SC. He enjoyed helping others, especially those in need. Ted would rather give than receive. Survivors including his wife are: Sons and daughters: James Edward Corbin III (Marvia) of Meggett, Russell B. Corbin (Margaux) of Yonges Island, William David Corbin (Winnie) of Yonges Island, Richard Frederick Corbin (Patsy) of Yonges Island, Theodore Patrick Corbin of Yonges Island, Patricia Corbin Crites (Kenny) of Ravenel and Angela Ann Corbin of Yonges Island. Grandchildren: James Edward Corbin, IV, Richard Gregory Corbin (Lori), Randall Mikell Corbin (Sara), Morgan Taylor Corbin, Leslie Corbin Savage(Todd), Melissa Corbin Barton (Jeb), Dustin Russell Corbin, Christopher David Corbin, Alicia Laine Corbin, Brittany Kathleen Corbin, Kristi Corbin Rowe (Thomas), William Walton Corbin, Britton David Corbin (Meggan), Theodore Patrick Corbin, Jr., Julia Nichole Corbin, Ashleigh Crites Lambert (Chris), Katheryn Grojean Crites, Gregory Paul Crites, Elizabeth Patricia Crites, Corbin Thomas Collier and Krista Dawn Collier. Great grandchildren: Lauren Alyce Corbin, Brooke Lorraine Corbin, Savannah Rae Corbin, Blaire Kathleen Corbin, McKenzie Lorraine Corbin, Christian Brewer Savage, Talyn Ivy Savage, Sydney Renee Barton, Gannon O’Neil Barton, Meredith Hutton Rowe, Brantley Grace Rowe, Regan Britton Corbin, Jack Henry Corbin, Preston Taylor Lambert, Henry Durand Lambert. Sister: Martha Corbin Banks of Yonges Island ARRANGEMENTS BY JAMES A. DYAL FUNERAL HOME, 303 SOUTH MAIN STREET, SUMMERVILLE, SOUTH CAROLINA 29483. Visit our guestbook at www.charleston.net/deaths.

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Paulling Jr., Robert

PAULLING, JR., Robert Dr. Robert Paulling, Jr. was born July 8, 1920 in Charleston. He was son of Robert Murray Paulling and Caroline Cuthbert Paulling. He was First Honor Graduate at the High School of Charleston in 1938, and he graduated from College of Charleston. He continued with his education, and graduated from Medical College of SC. He took his internship and orthopedic residency at Roper Hospital, and practiced orthopedic surgery in Charleston for 39 years. He was a member of SC. Medical Association; a member of the Medical Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons; a member of the Southern Orthopedic Medical Association, the Widows and Orphans Association and the Crippled Children’s Society of SC. He was an avid outdoorsman and a member of numerous wildlife conservation organizations. Dr. Paulling was a charter member and past president of the Sertoma Club of Charleston, and a member of the Carolina Yacht Club. He was a member of Christ St. Paul’s Episcopal Church on Yonges Island. He is survived by his wife, Marcia, of 57 years, and four sons: Robert Murray and wife Rose Marie, Dudley Randolph and wife Emily, Richard Cuthbert and wife Joanie, and Ronald Porcher and wife Teri. He has six grandchildren: Joseph, Brockman, Marcia, Caroline, Audrey, and Claire Paulling. The relatives and friends of Dr. and Mrs. Robert Murray Paulling are invited to attend the funeral service of the former, Friday, July 27, 2007 at eleven o’clock at the graveside in Christ-St. Paul’s Episcopal Churchyard, Meggett, SC. Visitation will be held at J. Henry Stuhr Funeral Home on Calhoun Street in downtown Charleston Thursday between five and seven o’clock. The family welcomes memorial contributions to the Coastal Carolina Alzheimer’s Chapter Association P.O. Box 80459 Charleston, SC 29416 or the Walk for Autism-Charleston, 1487 Cooper’s Hawk Drive, Charleston, SC 29445. Visit our guestbook at www.charleston.net/deaths.

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Interesting that both men were in their 80’s.

Also, I couldn’t help thinking of Jeremy Taylor’s prayer:

O God, whose days are without end, and whose mercies cannot be Numbered; Make us, we beseech thee, deeply sensible of the shortness and uncertainty of human life; and let thy Holy Spirit lead us in holiness and righteousness all our days: that, when we shall have served thee in our generation, we may be gathered unto our fathers, having the testimony of a good conscience; in the communion of the Catholic Church; in the confidence of a certain faith; in the comfort of a reasonable, religious, and holy hope; in favour with thee our God, and in perfect charity with the world. All which we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord.

–KSH.

Posted in * By Kendall, * Christian Life / Church Life, Death / Burial / Funerals, Parish Ministry