Daily Archives: January 3, 2008

Pioneer priest now expresses faith via paint

The Episcopal priest hunches over a worn wooden table at the front of the church. She scrutinizes her masterpiece — God’s masterpiece, she says — and is calm but careful as she fills in razor-thin “kitty whisker lines” on a piece of art that looks finished to the untrained eye.

But the icon, which is a painted scene from Scripture, is not finished, and it’s much more than art. It’s a way to have a one-on-one conversation with God, if you ask the Rev. Elizabeth Lilly.

Lilly’s friends and family consider her an unfinished icon, made up of strokes of faith and resilience.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Art, Episcopal Church (TEC), Parish Ministry

31 bishops stand with Bishop Schofield and Diocese of San Joaquin

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[i]Note from the elves: We’ll accept further comments to the thread by e-mail: T19elves@yahoo.com[/i]

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

Canada calls on Canterbury to intervene

Canadian church leaders have appealed to the Archbishop of Canterbury to address moves by dissidents to join a South American church and minister illegitimately in Canada.

In a pastoral statement dated Nov. 29, a week after the Anglican Network met, Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate (national bishop) of the Anglican Church of Canada, said he deplored “recent actions on the part of the primate and General Synod of the Province of the Southern Cone to extend its jurisdiction in Canada.” The statement was also signed by the church’s four metropolitans, or regional archbishops.

Referring to Bishop Don Harvey and Bishop Malcolm Harding’s intent to minister to disaffected churches in Canada, Archbishop Hiltz said such ministry is “inappropriate, unwelcome and invalid.”

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

Intrade Saying Obama and Huckabee in Iowa Right now

Check it out.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, US Presidential Election 2008

Bishop Schofield has “Simply a spiritual affiliation” with Monastery

Diocesan spokesman [Van] McCalister said the posting was accurate. But Abbot Joseph of Holy Transfiguration called it “outdated and not entirely accurate.”

Holy Transfiguration, said Abbot Joseph, is traditional and contemplative; but, he said, “the previous abbot (now deceased) gave Holy Communion to Fr. Schofield (who has not visited our monastery since he became a bishop many years ago.)” The monastery’s practice in administering communion, said the abbot, “is stricter now, and we simply follow the rules of the Church.”

As for being charismatic, the monastery once had “a weekly prayer meeting (very low key by charismatic standards),” said Abbot Joseph, “but we discontinued it years ago.”

The abbot called it “inaccurate” to call Schofield an “extern member” of the monastery (akin to an oblate in Latin monasteries). Holy Transfiguration’s contact with Schofield is “quite infrequent,” said Abbot Joseph, “though we consider him a friend and hold him in respect, and I’m sure he relies on our prayers. He has no canonical relationship to our monastery, but simply a spiritual affiliation.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, Episcopal Church (TEC), Other Churches, Roman Catholic, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: San Joaquin

Jared Diamond: What’s Your Consumption Factor?

To mathematicians, 32 is an interesting number: it’s 2 raised to the fifth power, 2 times 2 times 2 times 2 times 2. To economists, 32 is even more special, because it measures the difference in lifestyles between the first world and the developing world. The average rates at which people consume resources like oil and metals, and produce wastes like plastics and greenhouse gases, are about 32 times higher in North America, Western Europe, Japan and Australia than they are in the developing world. That factor of 32 has big consequences.

To understand them, consider our concern with world population. Today, there are more than 6.5 billion people, and that number may grow to around 9 billion within this half-century. Several decades ago, many people considered rising population to be the main challenge facing humanity. Now we realize that it matters only insofar as people consume and produce.

If most of the world’s 6.5 billion people were in cold storage and not metabolizing or consuming, they would create no resource problem. What really matters is total world consumption, the sum of all local consumptions, which is the product of local population times the local per capita consumption rate.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Climate Change, Weather, Economy, Energy, Natural Resources, Globalization

Programmed for love

If you’re younger than 35, you’ll probably live long enough to put David Levy’s prediction to the test. Levy says that by 2050 we’ll be creating robots so lifelike, so imbued with human-seeming intelligence and emotions, as to be nearly indistinguishable from real people. And we’ll have sex with these robots. Some of us will even marry them. And it will all be good.

Levy lays out his vision of a Brave New Carnal World in Love and Sex With Robots: The Evolution of Human-Robot Relationships, which, despite its extended riffs on sex toys through the ages, is a snigger-free book. Levy’s no Al Goldstein. Rather he’s a 62-year-old British chess master turned artificial-intelligence expert persuaded that robot sex can brighten the lives of many, many unhappy people. “Great sex on tap for everyone, 24/7,” he writes on the final page of the book. What’s not to like?

“Chess” and “sex” aren’t words that normally share the same sentence, but in Levy’s case, the one led to the other. A keen chessman since boyhood, by the time he got to St. Andrews University he played at the international level. At the university he got interested in computers and the challenge of programming machines to play chess. Eventually he earned international recognition for his work on chess-playing computers and natural-language software, and in the mid ’90s headed a team that won the Loebner Prize, widely regarded as the world championship of conversational software. Today he owns a firm that develops electronic hand-held brain games.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Science & Technology

A Visit To The "Garden Of Eden"

You really need to take the time to see this video (the video link accompanies the text story). The birds and their “dances” have to be seen to be believed.

Posted in * Culture-Watch

Soaring oil prices reshape the world

THE soaring price of oil is altering the wealth and influence of nations and industries.

The surging price of oil, from just over $US10 a barrel a decade ago to $US100 yesterday, is altering the wealth and influence of nations and industries around the world.

These power shifts will only widen if prices keep climbing, as many analysts predict. Costly oil already is forcing sweeping changes in the airline and auto sectors. It is intensifying the politics of climate change and adding urgency to the search both for fresh sources of crude and for oil alternatives once deemed fringe.

The long oil-price boom is posing wrenching challenges for the world’s poorest nations, while enriching and emboldening producers in the Middle East, Russia and Venezuela. Their increasing muscle has a flip side: a decline of US clout in many parts of the world.

Steep gasoline prices also threaten America’s long love affair with the automobile, while putting strains on many lower-income people outside big cities, who must spend an increasing share of their budgets just on fuel to get to work.

Read it all from the front page of today’s Wall Street Journal.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Economy, Energy, Natural Resources, Globalization

Warning over Anglican conference in Jerusalem

Under the former Bishop, Riah Abu el-Assal, the diocese was closely linked to Fatah and the late PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat, and was a champion of the Palestinian cause. Anglican Palestinians have played a disproportionally prominent role in Palestinian life and are found in the professional classes, as well as in politics and civil society and include the late Columbia University Professor Edward Said, politician Hanan Ashrawi and Canon Naim Ateek, the president of the Sabeel Ecumenical Centre.

One consequence of this activist stance was that it partially protected Palestinian Anglicans from the predations at the hands of Islamist or political activists.

Bishop Darwani has quietly moved away from some of the rejectionist policies espoused by Bishop Riah, and was instrumental in setting up the Archbishop of Canterbury’s dialogue commission with the chief rabbinate of Israel.

However, public identification as a pro-Israel church is a worrisome development for the small Arab Anglican community in the Palestinian Authority territories, and could have baleful consequences its leaders tell ReligiousIntelligence.com.

The leadership team of GAFCON contacted ReligiousIntelligence.Com to say that a letter was sent to Bishop Suheil Dawani on December 24, two days prior to the press announcement. Two of the leadership team, Archbishop Peter Akinola and Archbishop Peter Jensen, had already reqested a meeting with him to discuss his concerns with him in the next two weeks.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, Middle East

Newbie Anglican: A Resolution and a Plea

Those who peruse the big Anglican blogs know that “Communion Conservatives” (those who advocate contending for the faith by staying in the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion) and “Federal Conservatives” (those who are convinced one or both of those bodies are too far gone to the point they think it best orthodox at least prepare to leave) are rather close to each other’s throats at the moment.

To be honest, I have my opinion as to which side is most at blame, but that’s not my concern right now. This post may even seem a bit vague because I don’t want to engage in figure pointing. For my concern is that anger between the two sides is getting to and past the point that it will make it difficult for these two sides of orthodox Anglicans to work together in the future.

That distresses me. If it turns out the Federal Conservatives are right and the Communion Conservative eventually find staying in TEC and the like to be untenable, I want the Comm-Cons to feel they have a refuge in Common Cause and/or whatever church bodies the Fed-Cons form. Likewise, if a miracle happens and the Anglican Communion or even the Episcopal Church sufficiently reforms, I want Fed-Cons to feel they can return. I hope the current divisions between the two are temporary. And even if Comm-Cons and Fed-Cons remain on different tracks, I want them to be able still to work together on those things they can.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Continuum, CANA, Common Cause Partnership, Episcopal Church (TEC), Other Churches, TEC Conflicts, Windsor Report / Process

2008: The year a new superpower is born

Here comes the world’s newest superpower. The rest of the world is gloomily contemplating economic slowdown and even recession. Not in Beijing. China is set to make 2008 the year it asserts its status as a global colossus by flexing frightening economic muscle on international markets, enjoying unprecedented levels of domestic consumption and showcasing itself to a watching world with a glittering £20bn Olympic Games.

The world’s most populous nation will mark the next 12 months with a coming-of-age party that will confirm its transformation in three decades from one of the poorest countries of the 20th century into the globe’s third-largest economy, its hungriest (and most polluting) consumer and the engine room of economic growth.

Once regarded at best as a sporting also-ran, China is widely tipped to top the medals table in the Beijing Olympics in August, an event in which the country’s leadership is investing huge importance and prestige.

Read it all.

Posted in * International News & Commentary, Asia, China

Eric Weiner: Finding your happy place

In fact, psychologists at the University of Leicester in Britain recently produced the world’s first map of happiness. Using data from the emerging science of happiness, they created a color-coded atlas of bliss, a topography of the human spirit, from Algeria to Zimbabwe. It’s not climate or topography or some mysterious “energy” that is at work here, but national culture. Some cultures are simply better at producing happy citizens than others.

Not surprisingly, democracies tend to fare better than dictatorships, though it’s not clear which way the river of causality flows. Perhaps happy countries tend to embrace democracy and not the other way around. Trust of others is another prerequisite for a happy nation, and that is a troubling fact for fans of American happiness. In 1960, 58% of Americans felt most people could be trusted. By the 1990s, only 35% held that view. Indeed, given our economic and military muscle, the U.S. occupies a modest spot on the atlas of bliss. We are not as happy as we are wealthy.

The map contains more than a few surprises. Latin American countries, for instance, are among the happiest in the world, despite their relative poverty and often shaky political situations. “The Latino bonus,” some researchers have dubbed this phenomenon. One explanation: the close family ties found in Latin American countries and among many Latinos in the U.S.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Globalization, Psychology

Change In Store For Venerable Tampa Episcopal Church

During the recent approval process for historic preservation status for St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, City Councilwoman Linda Saul-Sena said what she likes best is that the 1904-built church “has changed very little.”

The church’s surroundings, however, will undergo major changes this year.

With $2.5 million raised, the project will see the bulldozing of a two-story building and construction of a children’s chapel in the northeast corner of the church complex, which occupies a city block between Twiggs and Madison streets.

Before the work begins, the Rev. John Reese was compelled to move forward with seeking the local landmark designation. It was a decision years in the making.

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

An Open Letter to the Anglican Church of Canada

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces