Daily Archives: August 23, 2008

Dave Ramsey tells it like he is

He’s the scold and scourge of lenders of all stripes ””well, almost all ”” and he’s taking his one-man financial road show to the Lowcountry today to preach a singular message: Debt is dumb; cash is king.

It’s an attitude that syndicated radio talk-show host and best-selling author Dave Ramsey honed from a deeply humbling personal experience. He and wife, Sharon, went broke twice in the 1980s, after his debt-laden real estate business suddenly crumbled. The couple vowed never again to borrow money and become what he sometimes calls “a slave to the lender.”

“I’m not going to get into a mess again. I’m not going to go there,” he said.

An estimated 5,000 people are expected to take in Ramsey’s five-hour marathon on money matters today at the North Charleston Coliseum, with many looking for ways to put their financial houses in order. He describes his live show as a mix of no-nonsense advice and stand-up comedy.

“The medicine I’m delivering is strong enough that it needs to have some humor with it,” he said.

Ramsey began his second career as a debt counselor in the early 1990s, starting at his local church and eventually parlaying his quick wit, candor and knack for financial plain-speaking into a multimedia empire.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, Economy, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Stewardship

Bernanke: Financial crisis taking toll on economy

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said Friday the financial crisis that has pounded the country — coupled with higher inflation — is taking a toll on the economy and poses a major challenge to Fed policymakers as they try to restore stability.

“Although we have seen improved functioning in some markets, the financial storm that reached gale force” around this time last year “has not yet subsided, and its effects on the broader economy are becoming apparent in the form of softening economic activity and rising unemployment,” Bernanke said in a speech to a high-profile economics conference here.

While Bernanke welcomed the recent drops in oil and other commodities’ prices, and believes inflation will moderate this year and next, the Fed chief also warned the inflation outlook remains highly uncertain.

The Fed, he said, would monitor the situation closely and will “act as necessary” to make sure that inflation doesn’t get out of hand.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy

Lambeth is Focus of September Bishops’ Meeting

The House of Bishops will meet in special session Sept. 17-19 in Salt Lake City, Utah, with the Lambeth Conference being the primary topic on the agenda.

Normally during a Lambeth Conference year there is no fall meeting of the House of Bishops, said Neva Rae Fox, program officer for public affairs at the Episcopal Church Center. But at their March meeting, the bishops felt it was important to meet to debrief after the conference.

Four sessions devoted to Lambeth are on the preliminary agenda, according to Ms. Fox….

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), Lambeth 2008, TEC Bishops

Obama selects Joseph Biden as running mate

Barack Obama named Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware as his vice presidential running mate early Saturday, balancing his ticket with a seasoned congressional veteran well-versed in foreign policy and defense issues.

Obama announced the pick on his Web site with a photo of the two men and an appeal for donations. A text message went out shortly afterward that said, “Barack has chosen Senator Joe Biden to be our VP nominee.”

Biden, 65, has twice sought the White House, and is a Catholic with blue-collar roots, a generally liberal voting record and a reputation as a long-winded orator.

Across more than 30 years in the Senate, he has served at various times not only as chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee but also as head of the Judiciary Committee, with its jurisdiction over anti-crime legislation, Supreme Court nominees and Constitutional issues.

In selecting Biden, Obama passed over several other potential running mates, none more prominent than former first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, his tenacious rival in dozens of primaries and caucuses.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, US Presidential Election 2008

Pittsburgh's Trinity Cathedral Resolution Envisions Continued Access for All

According to Cathedral Provost Canon Catherine Brall, the draft resolution was prepared over the last several months by the Cathedral Chapter and sent to all active members of the Trinity on August 22. Cathedral parish members will have a number of opportunities to discuss the resolution over the next three weeks, and then will come together for a final all-parish meeting on September 14.

Canon Brall praised the work of the Chapter, saying that the ideas encapsulated in the resolution “grew out of a very thorough and wonderful season of Chapter members seeking to envision how Trinity Cathedral might best position itself to fulfill its unique identity and destiny as a historic Penn Land Grant Church deeded to foster and preserve Anglican and Episcopal worship.”

Bishop Duncan also thanked the Chapter for their work and commended the resolution to the Cathedral parish membership. “Trinity Cathedral, more than any other church building in the diocese, belongs not just to whoever may “win” the right to administer it in our sad divisions, but to all of us, to the city, and the whole region. I see this resolution as a good initiative to acknowledge and protect that unique role and to protect the Cathedral’s future as Mother Church of all Anglicans and of the City,” he said.

Read it all and check out the full text of the resolution here also.

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

Dan Martins on San Joaquin about to take another turn on Center Stage among Anglicans

But why now? And is Bishop Lamb possibly hoisting himself on his own petard here? Word has it that he is planning a “diocesan convention,” to be held in Hanford in October””conveniently the same weekend that the Southern Conites are planning theirs in Fresno (45 miles away). We’re back to the “you can’t have it both ways” situation that I outlined here. If Bishop Lamb wants to maintain the fiction that his “diocese” is indeed the rightful manifestation of the entity that existed as the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin prior to December 8 of last year, then every member of the clergy whom he does not depose is presently “in good standing,” and entitled to seat, voice, and vote at any convention of the diocese. The total of those so eligible is in the neighborhood of 110. According to the constitution of the diocese (as it read prior to December 8), a quorum of clergy for the transaction of business would be 37, give or take. He doesn’t have that many, but he could be within striking distance if he can cull the total in order to reduce the number needed for a quorum. So there’s some incentive to “downsize.”

Of course, there is also a quorum requirement in the lay order. In San Joaquin, this requires the registered presence of at least one elected delegate from one-third of the congregations that are in union with the diocese. Since the story that they’re sticking to is that dioceses can’t leave TEC, and therefore ADSJ hasn’t, then that means none of the parishes have either. (See the cyber-version of the Episcopal Church Annual””aka the Red Book. The page for the Diocese of San Joaquin lists nearly all the congregations that were part of the pre-12/8/07 entity, including a direct link to the website of my former parish, which, when one clicks on it, reveals a congregation that is very much gone from the Episcopal Church! The irony is mind-boggling.) So there would need to be at least one delegate from some 15 congregations in order to have a valid convention. This is a harder nut to crack, since a bishop cannot just “depose” a congregation. It takes an act of convention. But if there’s no quorum, there’s no convention. To top it all off, there is some question whether all the congregations Bishop Lamb claims are part of his diocese have even been informed officially of the upcoming convention, such notice being required by diocesan canons. And this is to say nothing of the congregations (four, as I count them) that were “planted” by the EDSJ after the split; this only raises the threshold for a canonical quorum. Want some Dramamine?

Read it all.

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

The Religion Report Down Under: Lambeth Post-Mortem

Stephen Crittenden: And …[Archbishop Rowan Williams] seems to have carried that through with the support of Primates. In fact like Phillip Aspinall from Australia, he made it fairly clear he was behind it. So there seems to have been at least a central group who was in favour of pursuing that right through the conference and out the other side.

Bruce Kaye: Absolutely. And the second thing he saw support for was what he called his ‘pastoral forum’, designed to help people who are minorities in particular provinces. And then he said a number of other things, how the instruments of communion work, and international development work and so on.

What I think that means is that what you have is a conference of general conversation in which the President, Archbishop Rowan Williams, identifies back to the conference what really was the consensus general direction of the conference, without any voting on that question.

Stephen Crittenden: Given his reputation, he’s actually being very bureaucratically and strategically clever on this occasion.

Bruce Kaye: Well I was going to say he’s been very papal, actually.

Stephen Crittenden: The draft covenant that the bishops saw at Lambeth seems to have been more punitive and legalistic than the majority of the bishops present were comfortable with.

Bruce Kaye: I think the general consensus according to the documents produced so far, was that they didn’t like the appendix, which is very bureaucratic.

Stephen Crittenden: Is the Anglican church going to end up with a document or indeed some new institution, a pastoral council or a faith and order committee that actually does have real teeth? I mean this gets back to the whole way the Anglican tradition deals with conflict.

Bruce Kaye: Yes, it does. I’m not sure what will happen in that direction, but I’m sure that there’ll be persistent efforts to try and find some way of making decisions about levels of affiliation.

Stephen Crittenden: In other words, if you’re not willing to give up a certain degree of autonomy, you may have to settle for a lower level of participation in the central church?

Bruce Kaye: I think that’s right.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Episcopal Church (TEC), GAFCON I 2008, Global South Churches & Primates, Lambeth 2008, TEC Bishops

Top Episcopal bishop to visit Savannah

Some local Episcopalians will soon have a chance to personally ask questions of the church’s top U.S. official.

The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, presiding bishop and primate of the Episcopal Church, will visit parishes in Augusta, Savannah and Statesboro on Sept. 12-14.

Jefferts Schori’s visit starts with a closed meeting with clergy of the diocese and those studying for ordination Sept. 12 at Trinity Episcopal Church in Statesboro.

She will meet with laity and diocesan officials Sept. 13, at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in two, two-hour sessions. The morning and afternoon meetings each include an hour of question-and-answer with the audience. Some questions will be submitted in advance but some will be taken from the floor.

“We’re trying to do this so she gets a fair breadth of diocesan concerns,” said the Rev. Jim Parker, spokesman for the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia.

The diocese is issuing tickets to the sessions at St. Peter’s, which holds seating for “several hundred,” Parker said. The church comfortably seats at least 400 people in the pews.

The event is not open to the public. Episcopalians who would like to attend are asked to contact their pastors.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), Presiding Bishop

Church Times: Archbishop fears for his humiliated compatriots

A LEADING Georgian churchman this week described the situation in his country as “appalling”, despite some signs of a Russian withdrawal.

Archbishop Malkhaz Songula­shvili, of the Georgian Evangelical Baptist Church returned to Georgia on Sunday to reports of looting and rape by Russian troops.

He said that the Georgian people feel “humiliated and devastated” by the situation, and he believed many displaced people could die if they did not receive food and shelter before winter.

“I cannot believe what I am seeing on TV footage: Russian soldiers are plundering villages and taking truck­loads of goods, even people’s clothes. They’re taking everything, and there are reports of rape, and people being kidnapped for ransom, by South Ossetians backed by Russian troops.”

The Archbishop estimates that about 60,000 people have fled to the capital Tbilisi, where they are being housed in hospitals and schools, often with little medical or food supplies.

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Posted in * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Baptists, Europe, Other Churches, Republic of Georgia