Daily Archives: November 25, 2008

Christine B. Whelan: The Call to Manage Food as a Spiritual Issue

‘Tis the season for family, faith, fellowship ”” and fat.

As families gather around buffet tables smothered with food on Thanksgiving, religious diet groups caution us God might not approve of that second piece of pie. Yes, that’s right. The omnipresent world of wonder diets and slim-down regimes now has a foothold in the world of the omnipotent.

Faith-based weight loss groups have been a quietly growing presence for more than three decades. Organizations such as First Place 4 Health, a Texas-based group with chapters in more than 12,000 churches nationwide, and the Weigh Down Workshop,which offers in-person and online Bible-based weight-loss plans, boast that participants have lost the pounds (and kept them off) by placing more faith in God, and less in Ben & Jerry’s.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Religion & Culture

2 Fed Programs Aimed at Easing Tight Credit

The Federal Reserve said Tuesday that it would buy up to $600 billion in mortgage-backed assets in another attempt to deal with the financial crisis.

The Fed said it would purchase up to $100 billion in direct obligations from the mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as well as the Federal Home Loan Banks. It also will purchase another $500 billion in mortgage-backed securities, pools of mortgages that are bundled together and sold to investors.

The $600 billion effort on mortgages came as the Fed also unveiled a program to help unfreeze the market that backs consumer debt such as credit cards, auto loans and student loans.

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

Church of England Newspaper: Lambeth faces Chicago test

The Dec 3 ceremony will not launch a new province, CCP moderator Bishop Robert Duncan of Pittsburgh said, but will be an “an important concrete step toward the goal of a biblical, missionary and united Anglican Church in North America.”

Speaking in Boston on Nov 15 in a sermon broadcast by Anglican.TV, Bishop Duncan said the CCP leaders will “receive and god-willing commend a draft constitution” for the “Anglican Church in North America.”

We want to “bring Jerusalem to American” and “claim our place as members of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans,” he said.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Proposed Formation of a new North American Province, Archbishop of Canterbury, Common Cause Partnership

ENS: province I Pastoral resource issued for same-gender couples counseling

A Province I task force has issued “a pastoral resource for Province I Episcopal clergy ministering to same-sex couples.” The document is the first of its kind in the Episcopal Church.

The report was accepted at the Province I synod held November 21 at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Concord, New Hampshire with a resolution stating that its “use is to be determined by diocesan bishops.”

The document consists of four parts: an historical and theological overview of same-gender unions; an exploration of issues specific to same-gender couples and their congregations; a statement of legalities, which vary from state-to-state; and a framework for counseling same-gender couples who desire a public commitment. An appendix of websites, books, documents and other resources is also included in the report.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Episcopal Church (TEC), Parish Ministry, Sexuality, TEC Parishes

USA Today: Evangelicals adopting Advent

Evangelical Christians are adopting ”” and adapting ”” the rituals of Advent, the four weeks leading up to Christmas that are traditionally celebrated by Catholics, Lutherans, Eastern Orthodox and other liturgical churches.

They’re giving a new, personalized spin to the prayers, candles and calendars to track the building excitement, and set a spiritual tone day by day. This year Advent begins on Sunday.

Popular evangelical authors are offering readings and composing prayers for the Advent season. And Family Christian Stores, the nation’s largest Christian retailer with 301 stores nationwide, has seen sales of Advent-related items climb 35% in the past year.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Advent, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Evangelicals, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Other Churches

From the Morning Scripture Readings

For no other foundation can any one lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

–1 Corinthians 3:11

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

In Massachusetts Charities scurry to meet Thanksgiving demand

Tough economic times are forcing more people than ever to seek help with their Thanksgiving meal, creating such demand at local food pantries that many will likely be disappointed this year.

Martha Reed, coordinator of the food pantry at Grace Episcopal Church, said the church had begun to turn people away Monday.

“A woman came this morning with six children. I was able to give her a couple of good-sized chickens, but there are a lot more people looking,” she said.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Episcopal Church (TEC), Parish Ministry, Poverty, TEC Parishes

Foreclosures, delinquencies skyrocketing among 'prime' borrowers

By this year, the bleeding housing market had drained the equity from Judy Jones’ home in Murrieta, but her life still seemed secure. She had a government job, after all, and a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage at 5.875%, unlike the shaky, variable-rate loans of many of her Inland Empire neighbors.

Then her employer, the city of Corona, decided to deal with the economic slump by eliminating 112 positions, including Jones’ job as a code enforcer. Last month, at age 61, she joined a surge of once-solid borrowers who no longer could afford their mortgages.

“Every week at church, somebody else is out of work,” Jones said. “I’ve been a homeowner a long time — the last 10 years as a single mother — and I never missed a payment. Now look at me. And it could be you — any middle-class person who goes to work today could be walking out the door of a foreclosed house in a couple of months.”

Read it all.

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

In Britain, Ministers to hold summit on church closure crisis

Ministers are to examine how extra funding can be given to churches, with one in five of them under threat of being closed.

Andy Burnham, the culture secretary, said there would be a new drive to make them central to community regeneration, backed up with financial support.

His comments follow The Sunday Telegraph’s Save our Churches campaign, which has called on the Government to increase grants to churches and allow them greater freedom to make the buildings suitable for community use. The campaign has been backed by politicians, celebrities and leading church figures, including Joanna Lumley, Jools Holland, David Cameron and Archbishop Rowan Williams.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Economy, England / UK, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

Shopping malls are running on empty

Life Plaza Center in San Gabriel used to teem with diners heading to Green Village, a Chinese restaurant in the middle of the horseshoe-shaped mall on Valley Boulevard.

But after the eatery closed five months ago, the 7,500- square-foot space remained vacant. With no tenants stepping forward and fewer customers clogging the parking lot, the plaza is quiet, with a curiously dark core.

It’s a scene repeated in various forms throughout the region, as the economic crash that started rolling through single-family housing more than a year ago begins to hit shopping centers, turning what had been a residential phenomenon into one that threatens commercial real estate as well.

Read it all.

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

Mounting U.S. financial rescue cost not a worry now (or is it?)

The trillions of dollars in public funds U.S. officials are putting on the line to stabilize financial markets and protect the economy from a deep recession would, in normal times, inspire fear of soaring inflation and a tumbling dollar.

But these are not normal times.

“The patient’s on the floor right now. You want to get him up off the floor; then you worry about diet and exercise,” said James Horney of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Read it all. Well, the Reuters headline says it is not a worry now but it is to a lot of us, and it should be as demonstrated in this article in this past weekend’s Barrons by Jack Willoughby. Make sure to read that also–KSH.

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

ENS–Presiding Bishop inhibits Fort Worth bishop

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori on November 21 inhibited Diocese of Fort Worth Bishop Jack Iker for abandoning the communion of the Episcopal Church.

In the text of the inhibition, the Presiding Bishop wrote that “I hereby inhibit the said Bishop Iker and order that from and after 5:00 CST Friday, November 21, 2008, he cease from exercising the gifts of the ordained ministry of this Church; and pursuant to Canon IV.15, I order him from and after that time to cease all ‘Episcopal, ministerial, and canonical acts, except as relate to the administration of the temporal affairs of the Diocese of Fort Worth,’ until this Inhibition is terminated pursuant to Canon IV.9(2) or superseded by decision of the House of Bishops.”

Jefferts Schori acted the day after the Title IV Review Committee certified that Iker had abandoned the communion of the Episcopal Church.

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

CSM–Obama's vast jobs plan: How hard?

The history of past recessions suggests that President-elect Obama has set a difficult but not impossible target for economic recovery: 2.5 million more jobs within two years.

By announcing this specific goal, alongside a stimulus plan and a team of top economic officials, Mr. Obama signaled that he is focused squarely on the challenge of job losses and an erosion of economic confidence.

He plans to ramp up spending on everything from roads and schools to solar panels and investments in energy efficiency.

The task ahead is formidable.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, US Presidential Election 2008

More on the Bishop Iker deposition from Religious Intelligence

On Aug 26, attorneys for Bishop Schori submitted a 64-page indictment to the Title IV Committee. Bishop Schori believed the Anglo-Catholic leader had “so repudiated the doctrine, discipline and worship” of the church by his “persistent position that the Diocese may choose whether or not to remain a constituent part of the Episcopal Church,” that he should be found to have “abandoned the Communion of this Church.”

Bishop Schori’s lawyer, David Booth Beers added the “presiding bishop would appreciate consideration of this matter on an expedited basis, specifically, if at all feasible, before the next meeting of the House of Bishops on September 17, 2008.”

The Title IV Committee declined to deliberate at an expedited pace, and on Sept 12 Mr. Beers provided further documents in support of its contentions. A third memo to the committee was mailed on Oct 3 by Mr. Beers with clippings of an article written by Bishop Iker entitled “10 Reasons Why Now is the Time to Realign.”

In his Oct 3 letter, the presiding bishop’s attorney said that his client “has asked you consider again the evidence” against Bishop Iker. Mr. Beers noted the deposition of Bishop Duncan had now set a precedent that permitted a bishop to be deposed for bad thoughts, without recourse to having committed bad actions.

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

Responses to the Attempted Inhibition of Bishop Jack Iker

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