Daily Archives: November 22, 2008

Living Church: Financial Strain Evident at New York Diocesan Convention

The annual convention of the Diocese of New York approved a resolution petitioning General Convention to grant continued use of either the lectionary found in the 1979 Book of Common Prayer or the Revised Common Lectionary indefinitely. Convention met Nov. 15-16 at a hotel and convention center in Mahwah, N.J.

Convention approved several other resolutions, including one calling on “the governor and the legislature of the State of New York to ensure civil marriage equality in this state by enacting the necessary legislation to permit same-sex couples to marry.”

None of the approved resolutions produced extended debate, but approval of the $13.3 million budget as presented was approved only after the Rt. Rev. Mark Sisk, Bishop of New York, spoke in favor of it. The budget, which represented an increase of more than $880,000 over the previous year, was prepared last summer, before the severe financial downturn affected Wall Street. Some convention delegates were prepared to go through the budget line-by-line on the convention floor, but Bishop Sisk urged against a floor fight. Instead, he promised that the trustees would carefully monitor expenses in light of the new financial situation facing most parishes. Bishop Sisk also promised that the diocese would not take excessively punitive measures against congregations which are unable to meet their assessment due to financial hardship.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Economics, Politics, Economy, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

Tracking Jewish History Through Vinyl Albums

A new book documents American Jewish history in an unusual way ”” through vinyl album covers.

Authors Roger Bennett and Josh Kun wrote And You Shall Know Us By The Trail Of Our Vinyl, which details Jewish vinyl album covers they have collected over the years. Jewish, in these terms, includes everything from the prolific cantor Sol Zim to the Temptations’ Fiddler on the Roof medley.

The kindred spirits found each other in 2003 as they searched for their own Jewish identities and dug through stacks of albums. They pooled their collections ”” word got around ”” and soon their garages were overflowing with vinyl.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, History, Judaism, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture

In S.C. St. Helena (Episcopal) continues restoration efforts 284-year-old cemetery

If the hallowed grounds of the Old Churchyard cemetery at the Parish Church of St. Helena (Episcopal) could talk, they would tell the long, storied history of not only the church but of Beaufort itself.

In the 1987 publication, “Old Churchyard: St. Helena’s Episcopal Church,” Lawrence Rowland, associate professor of history at the University of South Carolina Beaufort, called the cemetery “one of the most historic graveyards in America.”

Bob Barrett, the church’s archivist and member, and chair of the Old Churchyard Committee, couldn’t agree more. The cemetery was founded in 1724 — 12 years after the church’s founding and 13 after Beaufort was founded.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * South Carolina, Death / Burial / Funerals, Episcopal Church (TEC), Parish Ministry, TEC Parishes

Graham leader Online: Holy Spirit Episcopal Church pulls out of national church

“We do not agree with the innovations of the national church,” said the Rev. John Phelps, who conducts the services at St. Peters, St. Luke’s and Holy Spirit in Graham.

He said there are no changes in the services, the prayer books, the beliefs or the dedication to that which the church believes.
“It was a step taken to preserve the church,” he said.

“By voting to change our diocesan Constitution and Canons, we have withdrawn from the General Convention, dissociating ourselves from the moral, theological and disciplinary innovations of The Episcopal Church,” a letter distributed to parishioners throughout the diocese read Sunday. “We have realigned with another Province of the Anglican Communion. This is a change in affiliation, not a change in worship or doctrine. Our bishop, clergy and congregations have been received into the fellowship of the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone. We are deeply grateful to Archbishop Gregory Venables for this provision, which he has made on a temporary and emergency basis, in response to the crisis in The Episcopal Church. We now look forward to the formation of an Anglican Province in North America.”

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

Analysts: Al-Qaida Seeks to Capitalize on Global Financial Crisis

The world’s financial crisis appears to have energized Islamic militants and their supporters.

Groups that monitor terrorist Internet traffic have seen a flurry of messages on al-Qaida-linked Web sites that gloat over the West’s economic difficulties, and urge militants to take advantage.

On one Web site monitored by the U.S.-based SITE Intelligence Group, a user says, “now is a golden opportunity. If America is hit now, it will never survive, unless God permits it.”

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, Terrorism, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

Japan in the future to be caught between U.S., China: think tank

On Japan, the 120-page report said the country will face a “major reorientation” of its domestic and foreign policies yet maintain its status as an “upper middle rank power.”

It forecast Tokyo’s foreign policies “will be influenced most by the policies of China and the United States,” with a broad spectrum of options possible.

If China continues its current economic growth pattern, Japan will attach importance to maintaining healthy political ties and increase market access, possibly through forging a bilateral free-trade agreement, the NIC report said.

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Posted in * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Asia, China, Japan

Citigroup May Get Government Rescue, Investors Say

Citigroup Inc. will probably get rescued by the U.S. government after a crisis in confidence erased half its stock-market value in three days, investors and analysts said.

Citigroup has more than $2 trillion of assets, dwarfing companies such as American International Group Inc. that got U.S. support this year. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke may favor a rescue to avoid the chaotic aftermath of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.’s bankruptcy in September.

“There is no question that Citi is in the category of ”˜too big to fail,’” said Michael Holland, chairman and founder of Holland & Co. in New York, which oversees $4 billion. “There is a commitment from this administration and the next to do what it takes to save Citi.”

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, Credit Markets, Economy, Housing/Real Estate Market, Politics in General, Stock Market, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, The September 2008 Proposed Henry Paulson 700 Billion Bailout Package

Larry Kudlow: Early Thoughts on Tim Geithner at Treasury

It is interesting that Obama chose Geithner over Larry Summers and other names like Paul Volcker. Geithner is a young guy at 47 years old. And to the country at large and most of the Washington political establishment, he’s a new face.

Yes indeed, change is coming.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, Politics in General, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, US Presidential Election 2008

Philip Turner: The Subversion of the Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Church

(The essay subtitle is: On Doing What it Takes to Get What You Want–KSH).

The changes now well underway simply described are these. At present, TEC’s Constitution renders the General Convention and the Office of the Presiding Bishop as instruments of its various Dioceses. The change sought by the Office of the Presiding Bishop and many within the House of Bishops would alter this arrangement by rendering each Diocese a creature of the General Convention. Along with this change comes another. The Office of the Presiding Bishop at present serves to execute the policies of the General Convention but does not stand in a hierarchical relation to TEC’s various Dioceses. The change now in progress would place the Office of Presiding Bishops in a hierarchical relation to these Dioceses, and in so doing give the holder of that office executive powers within the several Dioceses not accorded by the Constitution.

In times such as these actions of this sort are by no means unusual. Times of stress almost always lead those in power to stretch the law in order to achieve their purposes. Churches are no more immune to this temptation than are civil governments. Within TEC, one can see this dynamic clearly at work in two recent incidents, each of which reveals a strategy on the part of the Office of the Presiding Bishop to circumvent the requirements either of TEC’s Constitution or its Canons. I have in mind the replacement of the Standing Committee of the Diocese of San Joaquin and the deposition of Robert Duncan, Bishop of Pittsburgh.

These claims are both bold and controversial. Of this fact, I am fully aware.

Because the issues involved are so serious, I will do the best I can to make both my claims and the major objections to them as clear as possible. To my mind the objections are unconvincing. However, a grave flaw in TEC’s polity is the lack of a supreme court. As a result, the House of Bishops and the Office of the Presiding Bishop are each left in these matters to be judge in their own case. The implication of this unhappy situation is that if one excludes (as I believe one should) civil litigation as a means of establishing order in the church, the only credible arbiter left in this dispute is the court of last resort, namely, the people of the church, the court of public opinion.

Read it carefully and please read it all.

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

Tim Geithner will be Nominated as Treasury Secretary

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, Politics in General, US Presidential Election 2008