Daily Archives: December 20, 2008
Governor Mark Sanford today asked that all South Carolinians with the time and resources to do so give of themselves to help those around them.
“While the Holiday season is a time for us all to reflect on the blessings we have, it’s more importantly a time to take action to help bring the Christmas spirit to others in need. That can mean helping the family across the street or someone two counties over, but we all know or are related to someone who has been hit very hard by the troubling economic times we find ourselves in,” Gov. Sanford said. “In many cases people who have given of themselves in the past are now turning to their friends and neighbors for help. It’s with that in mind that Jenny, the boys and me would encourage all South Carolinians to do what they can in filling the needs of others.”
What about the definition of Anglican? In the October issue of First Things, I expressed the hope that last summer’s Lambeth Conference, and particularly the leadership of Archbishop Rowan Williams, gave strong evidence that the center of the Anglican communion intended to hold together; that the Episcopal left and the GAFCON right would not, in fact, carry the day and so lead the communion ever-further down the road to fragmentation and incoherence. Since that time, most of the action has been on the GAFCON and Bishop Duncan side; and the more influence they have, the less chance there is of an eventual coming-together of things.
But the ball is now in center court, as it were””this February’s meeting of the Anglican primates will be crucial, as will the meeting of the Covenant Design Group in April and the Anglican Consultative Council’s meeting in May. If Anglicanism is truly to mean something beyond the local, these meetings will carry forward the Lambeth vision of a genuinely covenanted “global” and “catholic church,” with its ministry, faith, and sacraments “united and interdependent throughout the world,” as Rowan Williams has put it.
There are, of course, no guarantees. The forces of dissolution and division right now are strong, and it is always much easier to pull apart than it is to hold together. The question “Anglican or Episcopalian?” may always be with us; but at the least, we may still be able to hope that the question “What kind of Anglican are you?” will not become just as common.
Each year, churches large and small stage Christmas dramas, plays and musicals like this one to unite their people in common purpose, have a little fun or get non-churchgoers in the door, ideally for good.
This year, fallout from the nation’s battered economy has brought added drama.
Some amateur Marys, Josephs and Bob Cratchits are enduring their own hard times. For them, the stage provides escape into someone else’s skin, a support network that might have disappeared along with a job, and a chance to deepen their spirituality at a trying time of year. For many families in the audience, the performances are free entertainment when tickets to “The Nutcracker” are a luxury.
All those things are true at Arvada Covenant Church, which staged the musical comedy “Bethlehem’s Big Night” last weekend after months of planning and practice.
One innkeeper’s wife has a 9-month-old baby and can’t find work, but she chipped in making costumes and props. The understudy to Mary’s mother was laid off and her husband moved out of state to find work, but she was still backstage memorizing lines at the last rehearsal.
Vice President-Elect Joe Biden said the U.S. economy is in danger of “absolutely tanking” and will need a second stimulus package in the $600-billion to $700-billion range.
“The economy is in much worse shape than we thought it was in,” Biden told me during an exclusive interview — his first since becoming vice president-elect– to air this Sunday on “This Week with George Stephanopoulos.”
“There is no short run other than keeping the economy from absolutely tanking. That’s the only short run,” Biden told me.
The number of people out of work in South Carolina soared in November to its highest rate in 25 years, and to make matters worse, the state Employment Security Commission says it will run out of money for jobless claims in two weeks unless the state asks for $146 million in federal aid.
The jobless level soared to 8.4 percent, half a percent higher than the revised 7.9 percent of people claiming jobless benefits in October.
“It’s a further worsening of conditions,” said Sam McClary, a labor analyst with the Employment Security Commission. “It was almost across the board. There was a small increase in retail trade (employment), but it was far below what we normally see this time of year.”
Update: There is even more here.
Nearly a dozen conservative church congregations in Virginia have won a lawsuit in which they sought to split from the U.S. Episcopal Church in a dispute over theology and homosexuality.
The final rulings came Friday from a Fairfax County judge who said the departing congregations are allowed under Virginia law to keep their church buildings and other property as they leave the Episcopal Church and realign under the authority of conservative Anglican bishops from Africa.
Several previous rulings had also gone in favor of the departing congregations. The diocese said it will appeal.
President Bush has grudgingly allowed General Motors and Chrysler to drive away with the last few billion bucks in Treasury’s TARP till, which boasted $350 billion a mere 77 days ago.
How did it all slip away so fast?
he Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA) Missionary Bishop Martyn Minns issued the following statement in response to the Fairfax County Circuit Court ruling in the church property trial between The Episcopal Church and eleven former congregations, now affiliated with the Anglican District of Virginia (ADV) and CANA, today:
“The Court’s decision is a great victory for religious freedom. It makes it clear that we cannot be forced to leave our churches and our foundational Christian beliefs because of the decision by the leadership of The Episcopal Church (TEC) to change the core components of our faith.”
“While on paper this has been a battle about property, the division within our church has been caused by TEC’s decision to walk away from the teaching of the Bible and the unique role of Jesus Christ. They are forging a prodigal path ”“ reinventing Christianity as they go ”“ which takes them away from the values and beliefs of the historical church here in the United States and the worldwide Anglican Communion as a whole.
“Our position has always been that we have a right to continue to hold dear the same things that our parents and most of the leaders of the Anglican Communion have always believed. The Bible is the authoritative word of God and is wholly relevant to all Christians today and for generations to come.
“We hope and pray that TEC will refrain from causing all of our congregations to spend more money on further appeals. The money could be used instead to provide more help to the least, the last, and the left out in our communities.”