Daily Archives: May 13, 2008
Wando High School senior Ian Lund knew he was risking his life when he tried to help a stranger trapped in an overturned van on U.S. Highway 17.
But he also realized it would be worse to do nothing at all.
The decision came to him in an instant, when he looked through the van’s windshield and saw John D. Green, 54, of Charleston bleeding heavily and in pain from a broken arm.
“The first thing I smell is gasoline,” Lund said. “I’m like, ‘Oh, boy, this is not good.’ ”
Lund’s bravery will be recognized tonight during a Town Council meeting. The town also plans to nominate him for a Carnegie Medal, which recognizes heroism.
“Ian showed tremendous courage and put his life in immediate danger to aid a complete stranger,” Fire Chief Herb Williams said in a letter to council. “Ian recognized the inherent danger of the gasoline igniting while the driver was still trapped inside the vehicle. His efforts were extraordinary.”
The Diocese of California has overhauled its canons, saying the action will make its operations more transparent and its leaders more accountable.
At a special convention May 10, delegates voted to eliminate the bishop’s complete control over property and created an executive council to replace a more complicated, less transparent administrative structure.
The actions were the culmination of a process set in motion by California Bishop Marc Andrus about 10 months ago. But the actions of the neighboring Diocese of San Joaquin also served as inspiration, and Bishop Andrus contended that opposition to that move might have been greater had the structure of the diocese been more transparent.
“Some have said that people who might have acted to prevent the actions in San Joaquin didn’t do so because they were not kept fully aware of what was happening,” Bishop Andrus said after the convention.
The drama of Pentecost: mighty wind, flames of fire, the gift of tongues, can distract us from the more profound and lasting effect of the coming of the Holy Spirit: namely, the way this event transformed the apostles’ – and through them, our – relationship with the Word of God, empowering these “uneducated and ordinary men” (Acts 4:13) to unlock the meaning of their ancient texts, the psalms and prophecies so familiar on one level but of which the deeper significance had, until then, remained veiled. Peter must have heard the words of the prophet Joel many times and had no doubt listened to many a rabbi expounding them, but on the day of Pentecost those “young men” who “shall see visions” and “old men” who “shall dream dreams” (Joel 2:28) appeared, not as pencil outlines on the faded page of the past but in full technicolour before him. Here we have the essence of lectio divina, to engage with a text in a living, life-transforming way, through the gift of the Holy Spirit; to perceive the Word in the words. This is what makes lectio more like prayer than study, and why we may have to broaden our vision of this term to include all contact with the Word of God. After all, a phone-call or voice message from a loved one is at least as, if not more, welcome than a text message or letter. No one has taught us this better than the Apostle John:
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him and without him not one thing came into being” (John 1:1-3).
Today we tend to think of lectio divina as an almost exclusively individual activity; but it’s important to realise that such personal reading of the Scriptures grew out of, and reinforced, their public proclamation in the liturgy.
The theme running through my presentations outside the Diocese in recent weeks is “Advocacy.” I have used this word (its root””’voc’””meaning ”˜voice’) to encourage retired professors, graduating college students and other community leaders to “give voice to people and creatures that have no voice, or whose voices are not heard.”
One needn’t be a Christian or a religious person to recognize the moral importance which certain forms of advocacy signify. Sometimes we rightly speak only for ourselves””in giving our opinions or interpretations of something. Advocacy can also be a negative expression of the individualism so characteristic of our culture.
“Every man for himself,” (wherever that motto came from) is poor moral counsel for people of any age, occupation or affiliation.
Asserting that “all peoples have a right to be given equal opportunities to flourish,” Pope Benedict XVI on Monday voiced concern for Israel’s dwindling Christian minority, and called for a relaxation of travel restrictions on the country’s Palestinians.
The pope made his remarks on in a meeting with Mordechay Lewy, the new Israeli ambassador to the Holy See.
Benedict also called for a “positive and expeditious resolution” of longstanding tax and legal disputes between Israel and the Vatican.
President Bush said Monday that when he meets Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah later this week, he’ll bring up the effect that high oil prices are having on the U.S. and global economies.
“Of course I’ll bring it up to him,” Bush said in a CBS News radio interview. However, he added that the capacity of the Saudis to raise production ”” and thus help lower prices ”” is limited.
“When you analyze the capacity for countries to put oil on the market it’s just not like it used to be,” Bush said. “The demand for oil is so high relative to supply these days that there’s just not a lot of excess capacity.”
Eric Schmidt was doing his level best late last week not to gloat. With Microsoft dropping its attempted takeover of Yahoo, the Google chief executive had just seen his arch-rival abandon its most direct attack yet on Google’s growing dominance of online search and advertising.
“I’m happy to be crowned winner,” Mr Schmidt said, before quickly adding: “But as we’ve learned in the election cycle, it goes back and forth.”
The political analogy may have been ill-judged. Like Hillary Clinton after last week’s primary results, Microsoft has never looked more on the defensive. For a company that has always scorned the idea of big mergers in the past, the pursuit of Yahoo was the clearest admission yet that the software company was running out of options as it tried to counter the rise of Google.
“The failure of the Microsoft/Yahoo merger eliminates the biggest short-term threat” to Google’s unrivalled position on the web, says David Yoffie, a professor at Harvard Business School. For now, its momentum “seems unstoppable”. Michael Cusumano, a management professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, describes Google’s now-unchallenged dominance even more bluntly: “They’re sitting on a goldmine.”
Even for Americans — who are constitutionally convinced that there will always be a second act, and a third, and a do-over after that, and, if necessary, a little public repentance and forgiveness and a Brand New Start — even for us, the world looks a little terminal right now.
It’s not just the economy: We’ve gone through swoons before. It’s that gas at $4 a gallon means we’re running out, at least of the cheap stuff that built our sprawling society. It’s that when we try to turn corn into gas, it helps send the price of a loaf of bread shooting upward and helps ignite food riots on three continents. It’s that everything is so tied together. It’s that, all of a sudden, those grim Club of Rome types who, way back in the 1970s, went on and on about the “limits to growth” suddenly seem … how best to put it, right.
All of a sudden it isn’t morning in America, it’s dusk on planet Earth.
News that scientists have for the first time genetically altered a human embryo is drawing fire from some watchdog groups that say it’s a step toward creating “designer babies.”
But an author of the study says the work was focused on stem cells. He notes that the researchers used an abnormal embryo that could never have developed into a baby anyway.
“None of us wants to make designer babies,” said Dr. Zev Rosenwaks, director of the Center for Reproductive Medicine and Infertility at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center.
Saying “I divorce thee” three times, as men in Muslim countries have been able to do for centuries when leaving their wives, is not enough if you’re a resident of Maryland, the state’s highest court ruled yesterday.
[Last week] the Court of Appeals rejected a Pakistani man’s argument that his invocation of the Islamic talaq, under which a marriage is dissolved simply by the husband’s say-so, allowed him to part with his wife of more than 20 years and deny her a share of his $2 million estate.
The justices affirmed a lower court’s decision overturning a divorce decree obtained in Pakistan by Irfan Aleem, a World Bank economist who moved from London to Maryland with his wife, Farah Aleem, in 1985.
Both of their children were born in the United States.
At the heart of this will be the indaba groups. Indaba is a Zulu word describing a meeting for purposeful discussion among equals. Its aim is not to negotiate a formula that will keep everyone happy but to go to the heart of an issue and find what the true challenges are before seeking God’s way forward. It is a method with parallels in many cultures, and it is close to what Benedictine monks and Quaker Meetings seek to achieve as they listen quietly together to God, in a community where all are committed to a fellowship of love and attention to each other and to the word of God.
Each day’s work in this context will go forward with careful facilitation and preparation, to ensure that all voices are heard (and many languages also!). The hope is that over the two weeks we spend together, these groups will build a level of trust that will help us break down the walls we have so often built against each other in the Communion. And in combination with the intensive prayer and fellowship of the smaller Bible study groups, all this will result, by God’s grace, in clearer vision and discernment of what needs to be done.
As I noted when I wrote to you in Advent, this makes it all the more essential that those who come to Lambeth will arrive genuinely willing to engage fully in that growth towards closer unity that the Windsor Report and the Covenant Process envisage. We hope that people will not come so wedded to their own agenda and their local priorities that they cannot listen to those from other cultural backgrounds. As you may have gathered, in circumstances where there has been divisive or controversial action, I have been discussing privately with some bishops the need to be wholeheartedly part of a shared vision and process in our time together.