Daily Archives: October 25, 2008

Reminder for your Prayers: South Carolina Clergy Prayer Summit, October 26-28

From here:

I’ve reserved a date at St. Christopher’s for a Clergy Prayer Summit. This is not, of course, a Clergy Conference, though I will be scheduling one for 2009, rather I see it as a time for active clergy in the diocese to gather and seek God’s blessing on our parishes and ministries. The dates for the Prayer Summit are Sunday, October 26 through Tuesday, October 28. We will begin with a 6:30 p.m. dinner on Sunday evening and conclude with dinner on Tuesday. (If some, coming from farther distances, want to stay Tuesday night there will most likely be space available for that.) How I envision this time is as a balance of teaching on prayer followed by extended times for corporate, small group and personal prayer. Since this will be primarily focused on prayer for our vision, leadership, parish growth and ministry it will be limited first to active priests””that is rectors, vicars and associates in full-time parish ministry. Unfortunately, St. Christopher’s can only accommodate 75 people, thus we will need to make reservations on a first come, first served basis. The cost of the event will be $135. I see this as an appropriate expense for the parish to cover for the clergy. If, however, the funds are not available I am more than willing to help underwrite such an expense. I am hoping we can mobilize some of the various intercessory groups in the diocese to commit to praying for this Clergy Prayer Summit that we might have times of profound spiritual breakthroughs for our parishes and ministries.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops

Religion and Ethics Weekly: Religion and America’s Role in the World

KIM LAWTON: It’s a beautiful autumn Sunday in York Harbor, Maine, and members of local churches are doing the Crop Walk. It’s a project to raise money for fighting hunger around the world. Tom and Janie Beecher and their three kids, Thomas, Grace and baby Gus, are among the walkers. For the Beechers, combating global poverty is a deeply personal crusade. They adopted Gus, who’s six months old, from Ethiopia in July.

JANIE SWEENEY BEECHER (Member, St. George’s Episcopal Church, York Harbor, ME): We felt very strongly about the situation in Ethiopia. The extreme poverty, the HIV/AIDS situation just really, really moved us.

LAWTON: The Beechers are members of St. George’s Episcopal Church in York Harbor, a congregation that has put a strong focus on international issues. They say their global concern comes directly from their faith.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Episcopal Church (TEC), Globalization, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, TEC Parishes

Diocesan Statistics for the Church of England 2006-2007

Take a look and there is a lot more there.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE)

Michael Malone: Editing Their Way to Oblivion: Journalism Sacrificed For Power and Pensions

The traditional media is playing a very, very dangerous game. With its readers, with the Constitution, and with its own fate.

The sheer bias in the print and television coverage of this election campaign is not just bewildering, but appalling. And over the last few months I’ve found myself slowly moving from shaking my head at the obvious one-sided reporting, to actually shouting at the screen of my television and my laptop computer.

But worst of all, for the last couple weeks, I’ve begun ”” for the first time in my adult life ”” to be embarrassed to admit what I do for a living. A few days ago, when asked by a new acquaintance what I did for a living, I replied that I was “a writer”, because I couldn’t bring myself to admit to a stranger that I’m a journalist….

…Nothing, nothing I’ve seen has matched the media bias on display in the current Presidential campaign. Republicans are justifiably foaming at the mouth over the sheer one-sidedness of the press coverage of the two candidates and their running mates. But in the last few days, even Democrats, who have been gloating over the pass – no, make that shameless support – they’ve gotten from the press, are starting to get uncomfortable as they realize that no one wins in the long run when we don’t have a free and fair press. I was one of the first people in the traditional media to call for the firing of Dan Rather – not because of his phony story, but because he refused to admit his mistake – but, bless him, even Gunga Dan thinks the media is one-sided in this election.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Media, US Presidential Election 2008

Obama Redraws Map Of Religious Voters

Religious language trips off Barack Obama’s tongue as if he were a native of the Bible Belt.

From the moment he emerged on the national scene, he has spoken to believers in a language few Democrats have mastered: the language of the Bible and of a personal relationship with God.

Sometimes he shares his adult conversion story, describing how he knelt beneath the cross at his Chicago church: “I felt I heard God’s spirit beckoning me,” he says. “I submitted myself to his will, and dedicated myself to discovering his truth and carrying out his works.”

Read os listen to it all from NPR.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Religion & Culture, US Presidential Election 2008

RNS: Episcopal legal bills result in deficit

The Episcopal Church has spent nearly $2 million on legal expenses this year, more than four times its budgeted amount, and will run a deficit of $2.5 million in 2009, according to the church’s news service.

The denomination’s Executive Council, meeting in Helena, Mont., this week (Oct. 20-24), budgeted $450,000 for legal expenses in 2008 but spent $1.97 million, according to Episcopal News Service. The well-heeled denomination is engaged in a number of costly legal battles with conservatives who’ve left the Episcopal Church but seek to retain parish property.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, TEC Conflicts

Poll: U.S. is blessed, but troublesome in the world

Six in 10 Americans think the U.S. is “uniquely blessed” by God, but a higher percentage — almost eight in 10 — think the country sometimes does more harm than good when it relates to the rest of the world, according to a new study on religion and America’s role in the world.

Overall, the study commissioned by the PBS program Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly and the United Nations Foundation found that Americans, including majorities of religiously involved citizens, think the country should be involved on the world scene.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Religion & Culture

Executive Council Wants Dialogue with Common Cause Partnership

Executive Council has called for a reconciliation-oriented conversation with members of Common Cause Partnership, according to the two top officials of The Episcopal Church. They spoke to members of the media Oct. 23 during a brief conference call at the conclusion of the council’s four-day meeting in Helena, Mont.

The council approved a resolution from its Committee for National Concerns, said Bonnie Anderson, president of the House of Deputies. Mrs. Anderson said the resolution is based on council’s belief that talk of irreconcilable differences is a contradiction of the Christian gospel.

Read it all.

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

Pennsylvania Standing Committee Statement on the Outcome of the Moyer Suit

The suit brought in the Montgomery County Court by David Moyer, former Rector of Good Shepherd Church, Rosemont, against the Diocese of Pennsylvania and Bishop Charles Bennison was dismissed today following the entry of a jury verdict in favor of the Bishop and the Diocese. The trial began on Monday and continued through Wednesday. After closing arguments by counsel this morning, the case went to the jury and the verdict was announced at about 2:45.

The Standing Committee is pleased with the verdict returned in the Montgomery County Court. We never believed that there was any legal or factual basis for the suit, and we are gratified by the jury verdict. We would also like to express our appreciation for the fine work of our attorney, Mary Kohart of Drinker Biddle, who has worked tirelessly on our behalf.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Pennsylvania

Trash-outs of Homes in Southern California

LISA LING: Even though he’s done this now for several years, [John] Plocher says he’s still surprised by the personal things people leave behind.

People always say that the first thing they take if there was some kind of a disaster is photographs, but…

JOHN PLOCHER: No, we find pink slips to automobiles. We find birth certificates. Now, those types of things we keep and we attempt to mail those…

LISA LING: Computers, computer printers.

JOHN PLOCHER: Yes, there’s a computer. It’s all intact.

LISA LING: Two computers in here.

JOHN PLOCHER: Yes, two computers in there, a table.

LISA LING: Incredible. Incredible.

JOHN PLOCHER: We’ve found dozens of things, but one of the things we found just recently was an urn that somebody’s remains they had been cremated in, and they left their urn at the house. And we called the bank and said, “What do we do with that?” And they said, “Do not trash that.”

Read it all or better yet watch the whole video report.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, Housing/Real Estate Market, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

Recession alarm rings around the world

Giants of the auto, airline and technology industries ordered emergency action against the global financial crisis on Friday as shares took a new hammering amid mounting gloom.

Even a 1.5 million barrel a day production cut by OPEC failed to stop oil prices falling amid fears of a deep global recession.

Grim news backing those fears came from around the world.

China, Japan and 11 other Asian nations agreed to set up an 80-billion-dollar war chest to fight what ex-US Federal Reserve chief Alan Greenspan called a “once-in-a-century credit tsunami”.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Economy, Globalization, Stock Market, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

England requiring sex ed — even in kindergarten

It’s a controversial idea in a country known for prudishness about sex ”” teaching kids as young as 5 about the birds and bees.

But with one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in Europe, the British government is bringing sex education to all schools in England ”” including kindergarten-aged children.

Read it all.

I will take comments on this submitted by email only to at KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Children, Education, England / UK, Sexuality

Study finds more U.S. Orthodox Christian converts

A new study of Orthodox Christians in America has found a larger-than-expected number of converts, mostly from Roman Catholic and evangelical Protestant backgrounds.

The report, released by the Patriarch Athenagoras Orthodox Institute in Berkeley, Calif., surveyed 1,000 members of Greek Orthodox or Orthodox Church in America congregations, which represent about 60% of America’s estimated 1.2 million Orthodox Christians.

Although Orthodox churches were historically immigrant communities, the study found that nine out of 10 parishioners are now American-born. Thousands of members had converted to the faith as adults: 29% of Greek Orthodox are converts, as are 51% of the OCA.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Orthodox Church, Other Churches, Religion & Culture