Daily Archives: October 3, 2008

Presbyterian Pastor who wed gay couple is cleared

A church court of Pittsburgh Presbytery ruled 9-0 that the Rev. Janet Edwards did not violate scripture or the constitution of the Presbyterian Church (USA) when she conducted what she has always said was the marriage of two women in 2005.

Since church and state define marriage as between a man and a woman, she cannot have done what she was accused of, the court ruled yesterday.

“It can’t be an offense to the constitution to attempt to do the impossible,” said the decision, read by the Rev. Stewart Pollock, chairman of the Permanent Judicial Commission of Pittsburgh Presbytery.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Marriage & Family, Other Churches, Presbyterian, Sexuality, Sexuality Debate (Other denominations and faiths)

Seminary professor helps people find their spiritual type

Corinne Ware remembers being struck by how tall the church was.

She was in England doing graduate work and happened upon St. Margaret’s Church, a 16th-century sanctuary next to Westminster Abbey. Everything seemed vertical ”” the pillars, the stained glass windows, the massive organ.

“I thought, whoever these people are, they understand mystery,” she recalled Monday morning as we sat in her office at the Seminary of the Southwest, an Episcopal seminary just north of the University of Texas. Ware, a slender, elegant woman who teaches ascetical theology, was sharing her own story as she explained to me the different types of worship Christians gravitate toward.

A Southern Baptist, Ware loved her church and the foundation it laid for her. But that day at St. Margaret’s, she realized she had a thirst for that kind of church experience. She would eventually become an Episcopalian.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Episcopal Church (TEC), Seminary / Theological Education, Spirituality/Prayer, Theology

Jobs Report Underlines Economic Decline

The government is out with more bad economic news this morning: The job market began to deteriorate even before the financial crisis reached a more serious stage two weeks ago.

Employers cut 159,000 jobs in September, more than twice as many as in August or July, the Labor Department reported. It was the biggest decline since 2003, when the economy was still losing jobs in the wake of the 2001 recession.

Economists had been expecting a loss of about 100,000 jobs in September.

The new number was especially worrisome because the government conducted its survey during the week of Sept. 8, before the credit crisis took a new turn for the worse on Sept. 17.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Credit Markets, Economy

NY Times: In Debate, G.O.P. Ticket Survives a Test

Gov. Sarah Palin made it through the vice-presidential debate on Thursday without doing any obvious damage to the Republican presidential ticket. By surviving her encounter with Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr. and quelling some of the talk about her basic qualifications for high office, she may even have done Senator John McCain a bit of good, freeing him to focus on the other troubles shadowing his campaign.

It was not a tipping point for the embattled Republican presidential ticket, the bad night that many Republicans had feared. But neither did it constitute the turning point the McCain campaign was looking for after a stretch of several weeks in which Senator Barack Obama seemed to be gaining the upper hand in the race. Even if he no longer has to be on the defensive about Ms. Palin, Mr. McCain still faces a tough environment with barely a month until the election, as he acknowledged hours before the debate by effectively pulling his campaign out of Michigan, a Democratic state where Mr. McCain’s advisers had once been optimistic of victory.

“This is going to help stop the bleeding,” said Todd Harris, a Republican consultant who worked for Mr. McCain in his first presidential campaign. “But this alone won’t change the trend line, particularly in some of the battleground states.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, US Presidential Election 2008

Schwarzenegger to U.S.: We need $7 billion ”” fast

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, alarmed by the ongoing national financial crisis, warned Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson on Thursday that the state might need an emergency loan of as much as $7 billion from the federal government within weeks.

The warning comes as California is close to running out of cash to fund day-to-day government operations and is unable to access routine short-term loans that it typically relies on to remain solvent.

The state of California is the biggest of several governments nationwide that are being locked out of the bond market by the global credit crunch. If the state is unable to access the cash, administration officials say, payments to schools and other government entities could quickly be suspended and state employees could be laid off.

Plans by several state and local governments to borrow in recent days have been upended by the credit freeze. New Mexico was forced to put off a $500-million bond sale, Massachusetts had to pull the plug halfway into a $400-million offering, and Maine is considering canceling road projects that were to be funded with bonds.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Credit Markets, Economy, Politics in General

Transcript of Palin, Biden debate

IFILL: Governor, Senator, neither of you really answered that last question about what you would do as vice president. I’m going to come back to that…

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, US Presidential Election 2008

Anglican Journal: Algoma elects college president as bishop

The diocese of Algoma on Oct. 2 elected Rev. Stephen Andrews, who is General Synod prolocutor, as its new bishop.

Bishop-elect Andrews, who is president and vice-chancellor of Thorneloe University in Sudbury, Ont., was elected on the ninth ballot, according to a brief announcement at the diocesan Web site, www.dioceseofalgoma.com

A respected New Testament scholar, Bishop-elect Andrews was a member of the Primate’s Theological Commission that published the St. Michael Report, a 2005 Canadian theological paper which concluded that the blessing of same-sex unions is a matter of doctrine, but not core doctrine. He was also a member of the team that presented the Canadian church’s view on same-sex blessings to the international Anglican Consultative Council in 2005.

Read it all.

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

ESPN: Bad night has Cubs staring at another wasted year

Well, I’ll give Carlos Zambrano credit. His head didn’t explode. He didn’t break Mark DeRosa over his knee like a maple bat. Didn’t try to stuff Derrek Lee down the dugout drainage pipe like a piece of used chaw.

As his Chicago Cubs fell into an 0-2 NLDS sinkhole, as his team melted into a little Cubbie-blue puddle of Game 2 errors, Zambrano at least tried to do his part. But it didn’t matter. Almost nothing matters now as this series is all but over except for the champagne spray.

“It’s hard when your teammates make things difficult for you,” Zambrano said. “Like I said, it’s not an excuse.”

“We didn’t help him out much, that’s for sure,” Cubs shortstop Ryan Theriot said.

Read it all. I can’t talk about it rationally.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Sports

Financial Rescue Bill Passage hopes rise as more 'no' votes switch

Desperate to avoid another market-crushing defeat, House leaders won key converts Thursday to the $700 billion financial industry bailout on the eve of a make-or-break second vote.

President Bush and congressional leaders lobbied furiously for the dozen or so supporters they’d need to reverse Monday’s stunning setback and approve a massive rescue plan designed to stave off national economic disaster.

Read it all.

Update: I see over on Intrade this morning that the chances of the bill passing by October 31th are up to 94.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, Politics in General, The September 2008 Proposed Henry Paulson 700 Billion Bailout Package

The Bishop of San Diego Tries to Defend the House of Bishops Deposition of Bob Duncan

From here:

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Yesterday was a difficult day in the House of Bishops and the Episcopal Church. I want you to hear directly from me about the House of Bishops’ vote to depose the Bishop of Pittsburgh for abandoning the communion of this Church. The House of Bishops reached this decision after weighing considerable evidence. We also prayed and listened intentionally to each other; our decision was careful and informed.

The Bishop of Pittsburgh has led the efforts to separate the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh from The Episcopal Church by advocating for changes in the accession clause in that diocese’s constitution and canons. He also supports a canonical change which would move the diocese to the Province of the Southern Cone. His actions supporting these changes were never in dispute. Critically, he presided at the Diocesan Convention in 2007 at which the change in the constitution of diocese was approved in the first reading. His failure to rule the resolution out of order and his clear advocacy for its full passage at the upcoming convention in October by a second vote are demonstrative. The judgment of the House of Bishops was that by these actions Bishop Duncan made an open renunciation of the discipline of this church, thereby abandoning the communion of this Church.
There is an effort underway to suggest that the House of Bishops did not follow the canons of our Church in these proceedings. However these are the same procedures followed in three other depositions in the last few years, none of which were protested under the rules of the House of Bishops. When these procedures were challenged, the House of Bishops sustained the ruling of the president. It has also been suggested that the abandonment of communion proceedings do not permit the bishop in question the benefit of due process. Bishop Duncan could have ended these proceedings at any time by re-committing to the order and discipline of this Church and pledging to halt the contemplated actions of the convention by ruling the anticipated vote out of order when it was presented to the convention. Furthermore, he could have come before the house and offered a vigorous defense. His failure to do either places the outcome completely on his shoulders.

Finally, I believe that yesterday’s action is essential to maintain the order and discipline of our Church and the collegiality of the House of Bishops. It permits the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh to move forward. Some individuals may decide not to do so, but your House of Bishops has empowered those committed to the mission of the Episcopal Church to carry forward that ministry in the Diocese of Pittsburgh. We acted as responsible pastors and stewards of the Church. I fully support the actions of our House of Bishops and voted for this action.

As followers of Jesus, we are called to forgive, yet we must also hold each other accountable. We must also pray for peace for all involved in these difficult events. I ask your prayers for Bishop Duncan and his family. Pray also for the people of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh.


(The Rt. Rev.) James R. Mathes is Bishop of San Diego

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Pittsburgh, TEC Polity & Canons

Peter Hartcher: A game of American roulette

The world economy is on edge as it awaits the next round of American roulette. The US Senate has voted to create a $US700 billion ($880 billion) rescue vehicle for distressed debt. But the bill now goes to the House of Representatives, which has already rejected the idea once.

What will happen if the House says yes? And if it says no? What is the prize for winning this high-stakes game of chance? And the consequences of losing?

If you strip away the jargon, the core problem is pretty simple. There is an estimated $US2 trillion in dubious debt instruments, tied to the subprime mortgage market, outstanding at the moment. The US banks and institutions that hold them need to do one of two things – either sell them, or put a value on them in their financial statements.

At the moment, they can do neither. Why not? Because there is no functioning market. It’s not like the American sharemarket, where there are dedicated market-making firms that are charged with the job of standing in the market to buy shares, come what may.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Australia / NZ, Credit Markets, Economy, Housing/Real Estate Market, The September 2008 Proposed Henry Paulson 700 Billion Bailout Package

Think You're Multitasking? Think Again

Don’t believe the multitasking hype, scientists say. New research shows that we humans aren’t as good as we think we are at doing several things at once. But it also highlights a human skill that gave us an evolutionary edge.

As technology allows people to do more tasks at the same time, the myth that we can multitask has never been stronger. But researchers say it’s still a myth ”” and they have the data to prove it.

Humans, they say, don’t do lots of things simultaneously. Instead, we switch our attention from task to task extremely quickly.

Read or listen to it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Psychology, Science & Technology

NPR: Church Leaders Counter Economic Crisis With Faith

Across the country at the Parkrose Community United Church of Christ in Portland, Ore., the Rev. Chuck Currie has noticed that his congregation is rife with “fear and distrust of leaders.”

He tries to calm the flock by saying: “Ultimately, our hope rests with God.”

But, he adds, “economic problems are moral problems and how we respond speaks about our relationship with God and to the world.”

Parkrose is no megachurch. With 114 members, it’s a small house of worship in a modest neighborhood of low-income and elderly people. “We have a responsibility,” Currie says, “to care first for those Jesus called the ‘least of these’ in society: the poor, homeless, sick, children and the elderly.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Economy, Episcopal Church (TEC), Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

Couples get more choice as Church of England relaxes wedding venue rules

Under a law introduced… [earlier this week], brides and grooms are no longer restricted to marrying in their local parish and can hold their wedding in any church around the country to which they are linked – even if it is just where their grandparents were married.

Bishop Cottrell said: “People who are serious about getting married naturally want a marriage ceremony and a setting which is equally serious.

“Only the church provides this – but until now it has been difficult to get married in church unless it is in the parish where you live or where you regularly worship.

“But from today those who have a connection with the church can be married in the church where they have that connection…”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Marriage & Family, Parish Ministry

Stephen Andrews Elected Bishop of Algoma on the Ninth Ballot

Some basic information about the electing convention is here.

Dr. Andrews presentation to the ACC in Nottingham in 2006 is here.

Some biographical information and a picture is there.

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