Daily Archives: December 5, 2008

Christianity Today: Conservative Anglicans Create Rival Church

During a pre-service press conference, Bob Duncan, the former Episcopal bishop of Pittsburgh and now archbishop-designate for the new church, told news media that he expects the Episcopal Church (TEC) to continue its decline and that in time, the new province will come to replace it.

He said, “The Lord is displacing the Episcopal Church.”

This year, TEC leaders have seen the decades-long downward spiral continue in both attendance and finances. By some estimates, attendance and membership are declining by 1,000 people per week. Many dioceses are cutting budgets and staff, and drawing down endowment funds to maintain operations. The denomination has about two million members. It is spending millions of dollars on court actions to prevent individual churches and dioceses from pulling out.

Read it all.

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

Happiness: It Really Is Contagious

Turns out, misery may not love company ”” but happiness does, research suggests.

A new study by researchers at Harvard University and the University of California, San Diego documents how happiness spreads through social networks.

They found that when a person becomes happy, a friend living close by has a 25 percent higher chance of becoming happy themselves. A spouse experiences an 8 percent increased chance and for next-door neighbors, it’s 34 percent.

Read or listen to it all from NPR.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Psychology

ABC Nightline– Reincarnation: Real or Delusion?

Read or watch it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Buddhism, Death / Burial / Funerals, Eschatology, Hinduism, Other Faiths, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Theology

Jobless Rate Rises to 6.7% as 533,000 Jobs Are Lost

With the economy deteriorating rapidly, the nation’s employers shed 533,000 jobs in November, the 11th consecutive monthly decline, the government reported Friday morning, and the unemployment rate rose to 6.7 percent.

The decline, the largest one-month loss since December 1974, was fresh evidence that the economic contraction accelerated in November, promising to make the current recession, already 12 months old, the longest since the Great Depression. The previous record was 16 months, in the severe recessions of the mid-1970s and early 1980s.

“We have recorded the largest decline in consumer confidence in our history,” said Richard T. Curtin, director of the Reuters/University of Michigan Survey of Consumers, which started its polling in the 1950s. “It is being driven down by a host of factors: falling home and stock prices, fewer work hours, smaller bonuses, less overtime and disappearing jobs.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market

LA Times: Episcopal Church leader says those who defected 'are no longer Episcopalians'

The presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church declared Thursday that church members who joined a newly formed conservative denomination “are no longer Episcopalians,” even as she predicted that the exodus had largely run its course and would not trigger further large-scale defections.

In her first public comments since a coalition of 700 parishes announced the formation of a new North American church Wednesday, the Most. Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori also reiterated that church property must remain in Episcopal hands, a position disputed by breakaway leaders.

“They are no longer Episcopalians,” Jefferts Schori said of those who left. “They have made that very clear in their departures.

“Those who were formally bishops in the Episcopal Church are no longer understood to be bishops in the Episcopal Church,” she added in a meeting with Times reporters. “They are free to associate with whom they wish.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Proposed Formation of a new North American Province, Common Cause Partnership, Episcopal Church (TEC), Presiding Bishop

Washington Post: A Worldwide Anglican Melee

Episcopal Church experts and disaffected conservatives predicted yesterday that intense lobbying would soon begin over dissidents’ plans to leave the church and create a new Anglican community in the United States.

The two sides will try to convince Anglican leaders worldwide either of the value or the cost of a second branch of the U.S. church, one that would be based less on geography than on theology.

Bishop Martyn Minns, a Virginia-based leader of the breakaway movement, confidently predicted victory. “I think we’ve got a good basis of support for what we’re doing,” he said.

Read it all.

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

Majority of CEOs say they plan job cuts in next six months

“This is so quick and so sharp,” says Richard Yamarone, director of research at Argus Research. “We had some job loss the first seven or eight months of the year, but it was nothing like this.” He says declining stock values are leading firms to cut more than usual in December.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Stock Market

Winston Salem (North Carolina) Journal: Theological conservatives form rival Anglican church

The Rev. Hal T. Ley Hayek is the rector of Saint Anne’s Episcopal Church in Winston-Salem and the dean of the Winston-Salem convocation of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina. His church does not plan to join the new branch.

“Our hope in the Episcopal church is to live in the highest degree of communion that we possibly can,” Hayek said. “Our living in communion is a witness to the world and the reconciling mission of Jesus. That’s the mission of all Christians.”

Read it all.

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

A Reuters Story on the Formation of a New North American Anglican Province

Long-standing divisions between liberals and conservatives had already fragmented the Episcopal Church by 2003 when it consecrated Gene Robinson of New Hampshire as the first bishop known to be in an openly gay relationship in more than four centuries of Anglican Church history.

That act further roiled the 2.1 million-member U.S. church and the 77 million-member worldwide Anglican Communion of which it is part. In recent months, four dioceses, out of a total of 110, have split from the Episcopal Church in California, Pennsylvania, Texas and Illinois. The church says that fewer than 100 of 7,100 congregations had left or voted to leave before the recent diocesan defections.

The dissidents who met on Wednesday want to become a province within the Anglican Communion — on equal footing with the Episcopal Church. Achieving that status would require approval from two-thirds of the primates — the heads of national churches — in the Anglican Communion and ultimate recognition from the Anglican Consultative Council, another church body.

Read it all.

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

A Little Drama helps Seniors stay Sharp

I caught this earlier this week and thought it was a really nifty story. I was unaware of this research–watch it all and see what you make of it.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Aging / the Elderly, Theatre/Drama/Plays

ABC's Nightline on Hidden Food Inflation: Super Downsize Me

Go to the second link down where it says “Super Downsize Me” and click on those words. This is an excellent report on the way companies are raising prices on many food items while hiding that fact from many (most?) consumers. Watch it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Economy

USA Today: Studies link heavy media exposure with array of adolescent problems

When Baby Boomers think back to the influence TV had on their childhoods, they probably recall an ugly, rabbit-eared set perched in the corner of the living room that picked up a handful of channels. If their parents heard anything objectionable on the “boob tube,” they’d turn the channel or hit the off button.

Things have changed, and not necessarily for the better. Today’s mass media penetrate deeply and quietly, inflicting real damage on young children, an increasing body of research shows. Moms and dads today are less likely to witness what their children are watching and hearing, and less able to monitor it.

More than 170 studies going back over 28 years have concluded that heavy media exposure ”” everything from TV to cellphones to computer games ”” increases the risk of adolescent obesity, smoking, sex, drug and alcohol use, attention problems and poor grades, according to a report released this week by Common Sense Media (CSM), a non-profit child advocacy group.

Read the whole thing.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Children, Marriage & Family, Media, Movies & Television

British Roman Catholic leader claims Disney corrupts children

A top Roman Catholic cleric in England has accused Disney of corrupting children, encouraging greed and turning its make-believe world into a latter-day pilgrimage site.

Christopher Jamison, the abbot of Worth Abbey, in southern England, charges Disney with “exploiting spirituality” and helping to generate a culture of materialism while pretending to provide movie, book and theme park stories with a moral message.

Jamison, the star of a British Broadcasting Corp. television series, The Monastery, and a candidate to succeed Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor as leader of the Catholic population of England and Wales, lodged the accusations in his new book, Finding Happiness.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Children, England / UK, Movies & Television, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

Toronto Star: Anglicans formalize split

After five years of battles over gay rights, the Anglican communion fractured yesterday with a new conservative denomination claiming to represent the historic tenets of the faith.

The self-titled Anglican Church in North America, claiming a membership of 100,000, unveiled a constitution and canons with a prayer service last night in the Chicago suburb of Wheaton. Founders said the new church hopes to be welcomed one day as the 39th province in the worldwide communion.

“It’s been a day that, in effect, reverses decades of Anglican history,” Bishop Robert Duncan, a leader in the breakaway movement, told a news conference.

Read it all.

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

Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Episcopal churches in Georgia may join new Anglican group

Conservative leaders, including former Episcopal bishops, announced the creation of the Anglican Church in North America on Wednesday. It is expected to begin with about 700 congregations and 100,000 members in North America.

“It’s a no brainer. We are already in, as far as I understand,” said Father Michael Fry of All Saints Anglican Church in Peachtree City.

Fry was happy to see theological conservatives in the U.S. finally form a national organization.

“It’s the opinion of the conservatives that the Episcopal Church has left its roots,” he said.

Read it all.

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