Daily Archives: April 9, 2008
The founders of the Bhavana Society Forest Monastery came here looking for a slice of densely wooded land where Buddhist monks, nuns and lay people could meditate in sylvan surroundings.
“They were looking for the quietude, the natural environment, for people to come to, as opposed to the concrete jungle most people live in,” said Bhante Rahula, vice abbot of the monastery since 1987.
But 24 years after the Buddhists bought the land, they say that quietude is now threatened by plans for a $1.1 billion power line that would entail clear-cutting a 200-foot-wide swath of forest nearby.
The monastery is part of a battle in three states between two electric companies on the one hand and thousands of landowners and residents on the other over the 260-mile, 500-kilovolt transmission line.
Opponents of the line say it is nothing more than a way for the East Coast to plug into cheaper coal-fired power from the Ohio Valley. The region should instead build its own more environmentally friendly electricity generators, they say, and do more to conserve energy.
“We don’t need this here,” said Susan Foster Blank, a lawyer whose cattle ranch in Washington County, Pa., would be crossed by the power line. “We don’t need more electricity. We won’t get any of the benefits, but we will get more pollution.”
For purchases over $2,500 [by federal employees], nearly half ”” or 48% ”” were unauthorized or improperly received.
Free tickets to see the Dalai Lama selling on ebay and craiglist for $100 +
Boston police are asking parents for permission to search children’s rooms for firearms. Some parents welcome the effort to keep guns out of the hands of youths. Others see it as a clear invasion of privacy.
“We’re all Christians in this,” said the Rev. Roger Ames, the rector of St. Luke’s, who is a suffragan bishop in the Convocation of Anglicans in North America. “Surely there’s a better way to serve the Lord of Lords and the King of Kings than to do this type of damage to one another.”
Several dioceses have filed lawsuits seeking to get back land and buildings from parishes that have left the U.S. Episcopal Church to join other Anglican groups.
Missionary Bishop Martyn Minns of the Herndon, Va.-based Convocation of Anglicans said that by choosing costly litigation over negotiations, the Cleveland lawsuit is part of “a national effort on the part of the Episcopal Church to basically crush any dissenting voice.”
Bonheoffer’s life and death belong to the annals of Christian martyrdom”¦his life and death have given us great hope for the future. He has set a model for a new type of true leadership inspired by the gospel, daily ready for martyrdom and imbued by a new spirit of Christian humanism and a creative sense of civic duty. The victory which he has won for us all, a conquest never to be undone, of love, light and liberty.
–Gerhard Leibholz (1901-1982), Bonhoeffer’s brother in law
Precisely because of our attitude to the state, the conversation here must be completely honest, for the sake of Jesus Christ and the ecumenical cause. We must make it clear””fearful as it is””that the time is very near when we shall have to decide between National Socialism and Christianity. It may be fearfully hard and difficult for us all, but we must get right to the root of things, with open Christian speaking and no diplomacy. And in prayer together we will find the way. I feel that a resolution ought to be framed””all evasion is useless. And if the World Alliance in Germany is then dissolved””well and good, at least we will have borne witness that we were at fault. Better that than to go on vegetating in this untruthful way. Only complete truth and truthfulness will help us now.
–Dietrich Bonhoeffer as quoted in No Rusty Swords, my emphasis
PRESENTER: Should Bonhoeffer be regarded as a Protestant Saint?
ARCHBISHOP: What makes it an interesting question is that he himself says in one of his very last letters to survive, that he doesn’t want to be a saint; he wants to be a believer. In other words he doesn’t want to be some kind of, as he might put it, detached holy person. He wants to show what faith means in every day life. So I think in the wider sense, yes he’s a saint; he’s a person who seeks to lead an integrated life, loyal to God, showing God’s life in the world. A saint in the conventional sense? Well, he wouldn’t have wanted to be seen in that way.
I have made a mistake in coming to America. I must live through this difficult period of our national history with the Christian people of Germany. I will have no right to participate in the reconstruction of Christian life in Germany after the war if I do not share the trials of this time with my people.
–Dietrich Bonhoeffer in a final letter to Rienhold Niebuhr before departing America for Germany in 1939
Gracious God, the Beyond in the midst of our life, who gavest grace to thy servant Dietrich Bonhoeffer to know and teach the truth as it is in Jesus Christ, and to bear the cost of following him: Grant that we, strengthened by his teaching and example, may receive thy word and embrace its call with an undivided heart; through Jesus Christ our Savior, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
–One of the prayers appointed for his feast day today
This is what we mean by cheap grace, the grace which amounts to the justification of sin without the justification of the repentant sinner who departs from sin and from whom sin departs. Cheap grace is not the kind of forgiveness of sin which frees us from the toils of sin. Cheap grace is the grace we bestow on ourselves.
Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without Church discipline, Communion without confession, absolution without contrition. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the Cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.
Costly grace is the treasure hidden in the field; for the sake of it a man will gladly go and sell all that he has. It is the pearl of great price to buy which the merchant will sell all his goods. It is the kingly rule of Christ, for whose sake a man will pluck out the eye which causes him to stumble, it is the call of Jesus Christ at which the disciple leaves his nets and follows Him.
Costly grace is the gospel which must be sought again and again, the gift which must be asked for, the door at which a man must knock.
Such grace is costly because it calls us to follow, and it is grace because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ. It is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life. It is costly because it condemns sin and grace because it justifies the sinner. Above all, it is costly because it cost God the life of His son: ‘ye were bought at a price,’ and what has cost God much cannot be cheap for us. Above all, it is grace because God did not reckon His Son too dear a price to pay for our life, but delivered Him up for us. Costly grace is the Incarnation of God.
–Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship
To fight global warming, a bill in Sacramento would enable Los Angeles County transit officials to increase taxes on motorists. It’s a bad idea that may foreshadow even worse to come.
Billed as a “climate change mitigation and adaptation fee,” the measure would cost motorists either an additional 3 percent motor fuel tax, or up to a $90 annual flat fee, based on vehicle emissions. The new charges would be on top of taxes already paid at the pump. Either option requires a majority approval by a vote of the people.
“At this point the people of the Los Angeles region have just had it when it comes to traffic and air quality,” claimed Assemblyman Mike Feuer, a Los Angeles Democrat and author of Assembly Bill 2558.
I am beside myself with grief over this unnecessary action taken against my predecessor especially at a time when he is mourning the death of his son this past Friday. I am particularly saddened that with the exception of the Bishop who initiated this action those involved in determining this course have never spoken with Bishop MacBurney directly.
In the midst of this difficult time for Bishop MacBurney and his family I am really much more concerned about the implications of St Matthew 18:15-17 as it relates to how reconciliation is pursued than I am with Title IV, Canon 1, Section 6 as it relates to disciplining my dear brother.
In the meantime we are ministering to the needs of the MacBurney family.
X Keith L Ackerman, SSC
Bishop of Quincy
President, Forward in Faith North America