Daily Archives: July 29, 2007

Terry Mattingly: Youth ministers struggle to be candid about life's struggles

It’s the question that preachers, teachers and parents dread, especially if they were shaped by the cultural earthquakes of the 1960s.

But no one fears it more than youth ministers, who hear the private questions that young people fear to ask their elders. Youth pastors work in the no man’s land between the home and the church.

This is the question: “Well, didn’t you do any of this stuff when you were a kid?” The young person may be asking about sex, drinking, drugs, cheating or, perhaps, lying to parents about any of the above.

If youth ministers stop and think about it, they will realize that they usually say something like the following while trying to answer these questions, said the Rev. David “Duffy” Robbins, a United Methodist who teaches youth ministry at Eastern University near Philadelphia.

“If I answer that it’s none of your business and the answer is between me and God, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll hear that as a ‘yes,’ ” said Robbins, writing in Good News magazine. “If I answer ‘yes’ to your question, there’s a pretty good chance that you’ll take that as permission to make the same mistakes that I’ve made. If, on the other hand, I say ‘no,’ there’s a good possibility that you might reason that then I couldn’t possibly understand what you’re facing or what you’re going through right now.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Parish Ministry, Teens / Youth

Matthew Dutton-Gillett: It's Really Not About Sex

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, Theology, Theology: Scripture

US fears that Brown wants Iraq pull-out

A SENIOR Downing Street aide has sounded out Washington on the possibility of an early British military withdrawal from Iraq.

Simon McDonald, the prime minister’s chief foreign policy adviser, left the impression that he was “doing the groundwork” for Gordon Brown, according to one of those he consulted.

Brown, who arrives at Camp David in Maryland today to meet President George W Bush, said yesterday that “the relationship with the United States is our single most important bilateral relationship”.

Downing Street remains emphatic that he will not unveil a plan to withdraw British troops, who are due to remain in southern Iraq until the Iraqi army is deemed capable of maintaining security. A spokesman said there had been no change in the government’s position.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Foreign Relations, Iraq War

Terror in Connecticut: The Petit Murders

Note: This content may not be appropriate for some blog readers.

After the fire in the Petit home was under control, Jennifer Hawke-Petit was found deceased on the first floor. Recent high school grad Hayley Petit, who was to attend Dartmouth in the fall, was found at the head of the stairs. Michaela Petit was bound to her bed, and according to the Hartford Courant, the child’s body was so badly burned in the fire that engulfed the home that police are not sure how she died….

The tragedy is too much to grasp for the Cheshire community, based on reports in the local and national media. This is perhaps compounded by the fact that both Dr. Petit and his wife were healers. Jennifer Hawke-Petit was a nurse and one of two directors of health at a private boarding school. After being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis almost a decade ago, Hawke-Petit became active in the Connecticut State chapter of the MS Society and her daughters had joined in, raising money in Hayley’s name over the last 8 years to the tune of more than $50,000. Michaela Petit was planning on following in her sister’s footsteps.

I prayed for the whole community of Cheshire this week as they seek to regain their footing in the aftermath of this horrific crime. Read it all–KSH.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Violence

Comforting Words from John Donne

Do not miss them.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Spirituality/Prayer

The Economist: Turmoil in the markets

The fall was driven less by disappointing profits””though average earnings growth at American companies has fallen back into single digits this year””than by rising borrowing costs. Market interest rates have risen as investors become increasingly concerned about rising delinquencies in subprime mortgages and the effect of these on hedge funds and banks holding securities backed by such loans. These worries grew more acute this week when Countrywide, America’s largest mortgage lender, indicated that the subprime storm was starting to lash higher-quality mortgages. Few now expect to see signs of recovery in the housing market before the middle of next year, while a fast-growing number fear its troubles spilling into the broader economy. By Thursday afternoon, futures markets were pricing in a 100% chance of the Federal Reserve cutting short-term interest rates by December.

It is a repricing of risk that is at the heart of this latest move. Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy

Archbishop of Kaduna installed as a Six Preacher in Canterbury Cathedral


The Most Revd Josiah Idowu-Fearon, the Anglican Archbishop of the Province of Kaduna and Bishop of Kaduna diocese, was installed as a Six Preacher yesterday during Evensong by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Revd Rowan Williams, and the Very Revd Robert Willis, the Dean of Canterbury. The appointment is for five years and may be renewed. Archbishop Idowu-Fearon replaces Canon Dr John Polkinghorne, who has retired as a Six Preacher. Recent Six Preachers include Bishop John Robinson and Prof A J Mason, the translator of many hymns.

Archbishop Idowu-Fearon was born in 1949 in Nigeria. Although he trained briefly as a soldier, he soon decided that he wished to serve God as a priest and was ordained in 1971, becoming a bishop in 1990. He has a doctorate degree in Islamic studies, with special interest in Christian-Muslim relations, and is married to Comfort; they have two sons, Ibrahim and Dquda, and a daughter Ninma.

“We have already come to know Archbishop Josiah as a friend from his time spent teaching in our International Study Centre to the Canterbury Scholars course” said Robert Willis earlier today. “This appointment ”“ one of the first from the wider Anglican Communion ”“ enhances the concept of the teaching ministry at Canterbury Cathedral that was so firmly laid down by Cranmer at the time of the Reformation”. “I feel humbled by this appointment” Archbishop Idowu-Fearon said yesterday before the service, “remembering that this ministry was founded by Archbishop Cranmer. Being a Six Preacher will give me a sense of belonging to the community at Canterbury Cathedral which has existed for over 1,400 years ”“ my own Diocese of Kaduna is only 50 years old! I hope that this recognition will help me to be an ambassador for Christ, not just within the Anglican Communion, but to my Muslim neighbours”.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of Nigeria

Stott’s Keswick farewell

By Ed Beavan

THE RENOWNED evangelical speaker the Rev Dr John Stott called for Christians to continue to strive for ”˜Christ-likeness’ during his final major address before retiring from public ministry.

Speaking at the annual Keswick Convention, the 87-year-old former chaplain to the Queen told the audience that ”˜Christ-likeness is the will of God for the people of God’.

He warned his audience that being Christ like in ”˜patient endurance’ may become ”˜increasingly relevant as persecution increases in many cultures’, and highlighted the importance of the incarnation for Christians.

He said: “As Christ had entered our world, so we are to enter other people’s worlds.

This entering into other people’s worlds is exactly what we mean by incarnational evangelism.

All authentic mission is incarnational mission.”

He added that evangelistic efforts often failed because Christians did not reflect the Christ they are proclaiming.

To illustrate the point he highlighted the words of a former Muslim converted to Christianity, the Rev Iskandar Jadeed, who said: “If all Christians were Christians””that is, Christ-like ”” there would be no more
Islam today.”

Keswick Convention Council Trustee and preacher, Jonathan Lamb, said Dr Stott’s final address had been deeply moving.

“He may be known as one of the greatest Christian leaders of the 20th century, but few of us could remain unmoved by the sight of a stooped figure, now quietly spoken, calling us to become more like Jesus Christ,” he said.

“Emotions were high amongst the thousands present, each with memories of the power and clarity of John Stott’s writing and preaching, and thankful for a life of godliness, integrity and humility.

“How fitting that his final visit to Keswick should deliberately point to the Lord Jesus, whom he has served so faithfully.”

–From the Church of England Newspaper, July 20, 2007

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