Daily Archives: December 12, 2007

Union Democrat: Episcopal church members mixed on split

The San Joaquin Diocese’s vote Saturday to split from the National Episcopalian Church drew mixed reaction from local church leaders and parishioners.

Representatives of the diocese, which includes Calaveras and Tuolumne counties, voted 173-22 to leave the national church, realigning the diocese with the conservative Anglican Church of the Southern Cone, based in South America.

“I’m very happy the way the vote went,” said the Rev. Jim Stout of the Church of the Ascension in Copperopolis. “I’m deeply grieved for those that chose not to go in this direction. I pray they are not hurt by this process.”

The outcome of the vote on Saturday was overwhelmingly in favor of the split, with 173 voting in favor, compared to 22 who were opposed.

Local church leaders seem to be split on the issue.

Read it all.

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

Trinity church in Vero Beach may break from national organization

Disagreements over religious beliefs are leading Trinity Episcopal Church to consider breaking from the national Episcopal Church, following in the footsteps of other parishes in Florida and nationwide.

The Rev. Lorne Coyle says the national church is being unorthodox, in his estimation, on everything from interpretations of the Bible to allowing a gay bishop to be ordained in 2003. He is not alone in his beliefs ”” members of the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin, Calif., voted this week to split from the national church, the first entire diocese to make such a move.

The Episcopal Church nationally has a “culture the Holy Spirit cannot honor,” Coyle said. “It is losing members.”

Members of the 81-year-old Trinity Episcopal parish are talking among themselves about making a decision, possibly within six months, Coyle said. If part of the congregation decides to stay, it would continue to remain in the church and worship there, diocese officials said.

So far, Coyle’s conservative congregation is the only Episcopal parish on the Treasure Coast openly considering a split, diocese officials say. However, Trinity Episcopal is among six parishes in the 90-parish Diocese of Central Florida that are considering going their own way.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Central Florida

Federal Reserve, other central banks announce measures to address funding pressures

That didn’t take long. It still makes no sense to me as to why this didn’t occur yesterday.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy

The Central Florida Episcopal Church losing many congregations

One November night, Bishop John W. Howe stood at the pulpit of Grace Episcopal Church as members with worried and frustrated faces stared back at him.

Howe, head of the Episcopal Diocese of Central Florida, was there to tell the members what they all wanted to hear.

“During this time of transition, however it comes out, neither I or the Diocese of Central Florida intend in any way to abandon you. . . . Neither your rector [pastor] or your vestry [pastor and lay members] will decide for you whether you want to be a part of The Episcopal Church or the Diocese of Central Florida or not,” Howe said. “That’s something that you’re going to decide for you.”

Howe visited the church to address Grace Episcopal Church’s recent decision to “disaffiliate” from the Central Florida diocese and The Episcopal Church (USA) – a movement that’s happening in Episcopal parishes all across the country. The Episcopal Church is the U.S. branch of the worldwide Anglican Communion and has 2.4 million members. Approximately 80 million members belong to the global denomination.

Conservative Episcopalians believe the church is losing its biblical and traditional roots because of what they describe as a growing liberal leadership. The division between liberal and conservative Episcopalians centers on issues from Bible interpretation to accepting homosexuals. Most notably was the consecration of Gene Robinson, an openly gay man in a committed relationship, as the Bishop of New Hampshire in 2003. Blessings of same-sex unions in some Episcopal churches also have drawn much criticism in the Communion.

Read the whole thing.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Central Florida

Storm Leaves Almost 1 Million Without Power

A massive storm that dropped sleet and freezing rain across the nation’s midsection, leaving nearly a million utility customers without electricity, finally tapered off, but another wintry blast was forecast to develop Wednesday over the southern Plains.

The new system was expected to bring more sleet and freezing rain to Oklahoma, Missouri and Texas, but not nearly as much as the previous storm, according to the National Weather Service.

Ice ranging from a quarter-inch to an inch thick glazed roads in much of the central Plains and Midwest. At least 24 deaths have been blamed on the storm since it developed last weekend. Most resulted from traffic accidents.

Forecasters said more snow, sleet and freezing rain could develop across the northern Ohio Valley and from Pennsylvania into New England on Wednesday

The power outage was the worst ever in Oklahoma, with more than 618,000 homes and businesses without electricity late Tuesday. Officials said it could be a week to 10 days before power is fully restored.

Read it all. I have to confess that seeing the Oklahoma footage on the news this morning felt a bit odd, as it has been in the 80’s here this week–KSH.

Posted in Uncategorized

Tracing Business Acumen to Dyslexia

It has long been known that dyslexics are drawn to running their own businesses, where they can get around their weaknesses in reading and writing and play on their strengths. But a new study of entrepreneurs in the United States suggests that dyslexia is much more common among small-business owners than even the experts had thought.

The report, compiled by Julie Logan, a professor of entrepreneurship at the Cass Business School in London, found that more than a third of the entrepreneurs she had surveyed ”” 35 percent ”” identified themselves as dyslexic. The study also concluded that dyslexics were more likely than nondyslexics to delegate authority, to excel in oral communication and problem solving and were twice as likely to own two or more businesses.

“We found that dyslexics who succeed had overcome an awful lot in their lives by developing compensatory skills,” Professor Logan said in an interview. “If you tell your friends and acquaintances that you plan to start a business, you’ll hear over and over, ”˜It won’t work. It can’t be done.’ But dyslexics are extraordinarily creative about maneuvering their way around problems.”

The study was based on a survey of 139 business owners in a wide range of fields across the United States. Professor Logan called the number who said they were dyslexic “staggering,” and said it was significantly higher than the 20 percent of British entrepreneurs who said they were dyslexic in a poll she conducted in 2001.

read the whole article.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Economy, Health & Medicine

Roman Catholic Bishops Rebuke Georgetown Theologian

U.S. Catholic bishops, acting at the direction of the Vatican, have rebuked a theologian at Georgetown University for writings that they say conflict with church doctrine on the uniqueness of Christianity and Catholicism.

In a 15-page statement released Monday, the bishops’ Committee on Doctrine criticized the 2004 book Being Religious Interreligiously: Asian Perspectives on Interfaith Dialogue by the Rev. Peter C. Phan.

Phan is a Vietnamese native and a priest of the Dallas diocese. He teaches in Washington and is a former president of the Catholic Theological Society of America.

The bishops specifically criticized Phan for arguing that Christ should not be described as the “unique,” “absolute” or “universal” savior of humankind; that non-Christian religions offer an “autonomous” path to salvation; and that past injustices committed by the Catholic Church disqualify it from claiming to be the “unique and universal instrument of salvation.”

In what they presented as a “positive restatement” of relevant Catholic teaching, the bishops asserted that Christ “brings together humanity and divinity in a way that can have no parallel in any other figure in history.”

Read it all.

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

Two NBC Video reports on Medicare Fraud

Watch this report and that one also. It is enough to want to make you scream.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues

Given a Great Opportunity, the Federal Reserve Blows it

“The Fed’s policy makers seem reluctant to say what everyone seems to know: that the risk to economic growth is the predominant concern today,” said Brian Sack, an economist at Macroeconomic Advisers, a St. Louis-based forecasting firm….

“Consumers can get credit, but it is harder now and more costly than it should be,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Economy.com.

Mr. Zandi and others were particularly critical of the Fed for not cutting the discount rate by at least half a percentage point and extending the loans to 90 days instead of the present 30 days. Banks often fund their operations by borrowing for 90 days at the London interbank rate, which is now just over 5 percent. Allowing banks to borrow at a significantly lower rate from the Fed’s discount window, and for longer terms, economists said, would send a clear signal to financial institutions to encourage more activity.

Read the whole article.

Update: Greg Ip in today’s Wall Street Journal has this:

Fed officials, however, continue to consider ways of using various tools — including the discount rate — to combat banks’ unwillingness to lend even to each other, which they view as a threat to economic growth. The central bank could take action within days.

A variety of steps, widely discussed in the markets, are likely to be on the table, including another cut in the discount rate, longer-term loans to money-market dealers, easier collateral rules for loans from the Fed, and other steps last taken in 1999 to alleviate funding pressures ahead of the year 2000, when many feared a “Y2K” computer bug would disrupt markets and create economic havoc.

But if this is the case, why not do that yesterday???

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, Housing/Real Estate Market

Diatribe foretold church shooting horror

A ranting screed was left on a website between shootings Sunday by the man who police say killed four people at two religious organizations.

Authorities are now investigating the posting, which copies from a manifesto written by Columbine killer Eric Harris before the 1999 high school massacre.

Matthew J. Murray, 24, who police say carried out attacks at the Youth With a Mission dormitory in Arvada and New Life Church in Colorado Springs, left behind final words that are rearranged but otherwise largely word-for-word the same as Harris’ writings.

The writing, first reported by 9News, was confirmed as Murray’s work by investigating authorities. He posted the message at 11:03 a.m. on a website for people who have left organized religion, almost 11 hours after the Arvada shooting and two hours before the Colorado Springs attack.
“You christians brought this on yourselves,” Murray writes in his 452-word harangue. “I’m coming for EVERYONE soon and I WILL be armed to the @#%$ teeth and I WILL shoot to kill.

“Feel no remorse, no sense of shame, I don’t care if I live or die in the shoot-out. All I want to do is kill and injure as many of you as I can especially Christians who are to blame for most of the problems in the world.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Violence

Local believers discuss San Joaquin Split

The Rev. John Riebe, rector of All Saints Episcopal Church in southwest Bakersfield, outlined what he sees are two significant differences of opinion between the U.S. Episcopal Church and the Worldwide Anglican Communion regarding “fundamental and foundational principles” of Christianity.

He said these differences concern “the person of Jesus Christ” and “the role of the authority of Holy Scripture.”

“Katharine Jefferts Schori’s public statements that are on record say that she does not agree that Jesus is the unique savior for all people,” Riebe said. “She believes that other faiths are equally valid, and clearly, in the New Testament, Jesus is very clear that he is the way, the truth and the life and the only way to God the Father and to salvation.

“Most of the Anglican community would disagree with her statements,” he said.

“On the role of Holy Scripture,” Riebe said, “she indicates that it may be informative and very important, and they (many clergy and bishops in the Episcopal Church) might even refer to it as the Word of God in public references, but they don’t believe it has authority.”

Some examples, he said, include questioning whether Jesus performed miracles or whether he resurrected from the dead.

“Traditional Christianity has continued to believe that the resurrection was real, that Jesus is the Son of God and that he atoned for our sins,” he said.

Read it all.

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

The question of whether 'a will to live' can influence a patient's survival

Read it all.

Posted in Uncategorized

Survey: Australians unhappy about American language, fast food

Australians believe the American hamburger and U.S. slang are infringing on their culture and they are “not at all pleased” about it, according to a survey released Monday.
The telephone poll of 1,213 people by the government-funded U.S. Studies Center at the University of Sydney measured Australians’ attitudes about their closest ally, the United States.

Asked to judge the influence of American culture on Australia, 67% of respondents said they were “not at all pleased” about the prevalence of U.S.-style fast food in Australia. Australians ranked fast food second only behind U.S. foreign policy as an issue they were “very worried” about.

The survey did not ask respondents for specific examples, though fast food chains selling burgers and french fries are more common now in Australia than the once-ubiquitous corner store selling fish and chips.

A further 52% said they were very unhappy with the influence of “the American language” on the way people speak, which could easily now include phrases such as “Hey, buddy” instead of “G’day mate.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Australia / NZ

Chicago Tribune: Romney a hard sell for evangelicals

Roxanne Helmey does not mind spending time with Mormons. She welcomes an opportunity to talk to them about her Christian faith and on occasion, she prays for them. But one thing she will not do, she said, is vote for a Mormon as president of the United States.

“I feel like they’re lost,” said Helmey, 37, an insurance agent from Guyton, a small town about 30 miles northwest of Savannah. “I love them, but my heart breaks for them.”

For Helmey and many other evangelical Christians, particularly in the Bible Belt South, religion and politics go hand in hand. So no matter what Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has to say about key conservative issues such as abortion, immigration and same-sex marriage, his Mormon faith stands in the way of getting their vote.

“For me, his faith matters. A lot of Christians believe Mormons are a cult,” said Mario Bertoluzzi, a 39-year-old elementary school teacher from Savannah and a member of an evangelical church. “Romney puts a clean face on it, but it has a dubious beginning and a history of bigamy. Lots of Christians have questions about that.”

Read it all.

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