Monthly Archives: May 2009

Florence South Carolina’s Christ Episcopal Church to celebrate 150th year

Christ Episcopal Church will celebrate its 150th anniversary at 10 a.m. June 7.

S.C. Bishop Mark Lawrence of Charleston will lead the service at the quaint church, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Father Michael Burton is the rector of Christ Episcopal, located at 2305 U.S. 327. He is assisted by Deacon Hiram Moseley.

Christ Episcopal’s building is in the shape of a cross, originally painted white. The outside walls are boarded and battened. The boards are 10 inches wide running up and down, every seam covered with a beveled board about four inches wide and two inches in the center.

Read it all.

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

Sunday Telegraph–Christians risk rejection and discrimination for their faith, a study claims

The first poll of Britain’s churchgoers, carried out for The Sunday Telegraph, found that thousands of them believe they are being turned down for promotion because of their faith.

One in five said that they had faced opposition at work because of their beliefs.

More than half of them revealed that they had suffered some form of persecution for being a Christian.

Read the whole aritcle.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, England / UK, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Religion & Culture

Young clergy face life on the dole after Church of England loses £1.3billion

The Church of England is turning away trainee clergy for the first time in history after £1.3billion of its investments were wiped out in the financial crisis.

Up to a dozen graduates of theological colleges will miss out on their ordination next month and may end up on the dole as there are no parish jobs for them.

The Church has previously given all graduates placements in parishes as curates, which they need before they can become ordained as priests.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Parish Ministry

LA Times: Spitting in the eye of mainstream education

Reporting from Oakland — Not many schools in California recruit teachers with language like this: “We are looking for hard working people who believe in free market capitalism. . . . Multicultural specialists, ultra liberal zealots and college-tainted oppression liberators need not apply.”

That, it turns out, is just the beginning of the ways in which American Indian Public Charter and its two sibling schools spit in the eye of mainstream education. These small, no-frills, independent public schools in the hardscrabble flats of Oakland sometimes seem like creations of television’s “Colbert Report.” They mock liberal orthodoxy with such zeal that it can seem like a parody.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Education

Green Promise Seen in Switch to LED Lighting

To change the bulbs in the 60-foot-high ceiling lights of Buckingham Palace’s grand stairwell, workers had to erect scaffolding and cover precious portraits of royal forebears.

So when a lighting designer two years ago proposed installing light emitting diodes or LEDs, an emerging lighting technology, the royal family readily assented. The new lights, the designer said, would last more than 22 years and enormously reduce energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions ”” a big plus for Prince Charles, an ardent environmentalist. Since then, the palace has installed the lighting in chandeliers and on the exterior, where illuminating the entire facade uses less electricity than running an electric teakettle.

In shifting to LED lighting, the palace is part of a small but fast-growing trend that is redefining the century-old conception of lighting, replacing energy-wasting disposable bulbs with efficient fixtures that are often semi-permanent, like those used in plumbing.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Energy, Natural Resources

The Impact of Substance Abuse on Federal, State, and Local Budgets

As the Administration and the Congress consider health care reform and work to expand access to the 45 million Americans without coverage, it is worth noting that the largest amount of federal and state spending on the burden of substance abuse and addiction–$207.2 billion, or 58 percent””was for health care, and that health care is 74.1 percent of the federal shoveling up burden. With health care costs by far the biggest cost of shoveling up, for the Administration and Congress to attempt health care reform without providing for prevention and treatment of substance abuse and addiction is like trying to make a Reuben sandwich without corned beef and sauerkraut.

Some key 2005 findings of the report are:

* For every dollar federal and state governments spent to prevent and treat substance abuse and addiction, they spent $59.83 in public programs shoveling up its wreckage.
* If substance abuse and addiction were its own state budget category, it would rank second just behind spending on elementary and secondary education.
* If substance abuse and addiction were it own federal budget category, it would rank sixth, behind social security, national defense, income security, Medicare, and other health programs including the federal share of Medicaid.
* Federal and state governments spend more than 60 times as much to clean up the devastation substance abuse and addiction visits on children as they do on prevention and treatment for them.

This report is the second in CASA’s analysis of the impact of tobacco, alcohol and other drug abuse and addiction on government. Our first report, Shoveling Up: The Impact of Substance Abuse on State Budgets, was released in 2001 and was limited to state spending. Such spending has increased since CASA’s 2001 report. In 2005, states spent 15.7 percent of their budgets on substance abuse and addiction compared with 13.3 percent in 1998, up more than 18 percent.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Drugs/Drug Addiction

Religion and Ethics Newsweekly: Religion and the Courts

Mr. [DAN] GILGOFF: Well, we know that she has a record of siding with those who are alleging violations of their religious liberty. And I think that’s been another bright spot for conservatives. It’s interesting in that conservatives came out roundly against her as soon as her nomination was announced this week, and at the same time, I mean, in the analysis that they were releasing before Obama made his choice, she kind of received the warmest treatment. And I think some of that was because of her rulings over the religious liberty cases.

Mr. [TOD] LINDBERG: I think you’d also have to draw the distinction between the conservative commentary crowd and actually the members of the Senate, who have taken a very cautious view of this. I mean they promised, the Republicans promised full scrutiny, full assessment, but certainly no one has leapt out to be an opposition figure. Certainly no one has said this nominee is unacceptable where it really matters, which is in the Senate.

[DEBORAH] POTTER: So the presumption at this point is that she will be confirmed?

Mr. LINDBERG: I think the presumption is exactly that, in the absence of some unknown, unexpected revelation or disclosure.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Law & Legal Issues, Religion & Culture

Charlie Rose: A Conversation with author Simon Schama about his "The American Future: A History"

CHARLIE ROSE: All right. That segues perfectly into this. So, but I’m interested…

SIMON SCHAMA: Yes.

CHARLIE ROSE: Became passionately in love with America as much as the Americans. What did you fall in love with?

SIMON SCHAMA: Oh, you know, the division of powers. Isn’t that the dullest question — the dullest answer to the most interesting question? By which I mean the liveliness of American politics.

Watch it all (just over 30 1/2 minutes). Look for the comments on Europe’s view of this administration and the previous one and for the wonderful Hamlet quote.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., History, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, President George Bush

A Promise to Be Ethical in an Era of Immorality

When a new crop of future business leaders graduates from the Harvard Business School next week, many of them will be taking a new oath that says, in effect, greed is not good.

Nearly 20 percent of the graduating class have signed “The M.B.A. Oath,” a voluntary student-led pledge that the goal of a business manager is to “serve the greater good.” It promises that Harvard M.B.A.’s will act responsibly, ethically and refrain from advancing their “own narrow ambitions” at the expense of others.

What happened to making money?

That, of course, is still at the heart of the Harvard curriculum. But at Harvard and other top business schools, there has been an explosion of interest in ethics courses and in student activities ”” clubs, lectures, conferences ”” about personal and corporate responsibility and on how to view business as more than a money-making enterprise, but part of a large social community.

I much prefer “the common good,” yet appreciate the effort. Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Education, Ethics / Moral Theology, Theology

San Francisco Chronicle: Earthquake fears threaten California's oldest Episcopal church

Trinity Episcopal Church, established in 1849 before moving into its current, fortress-like digs on the corner of Gough and Bush streets in 1892, potentially has a seismic safety problem, an official there said.

But here’s the real issue: the church doesn’t have the funds to find out, or fix it.

As a result, church leaders decided the 350-capacity main sanctuary is going to be mothballed, likely by the end of September. Services are moving to the smaller chapel on the property, a separate building that holds about 75 people.

“What we’re trying to avoid is the use of the word closing,” interim rector Otis Charles said. “The congregation is alive and functioning.”

Read it all.

Update: A chart of some parish statistics is here.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Episcopal Church (TEC), Parish Ministry, Stewardship, TEC Parishes

Toronto Bishop asks synod for advice on pastoral response

Tonight you have another opportunity for a similar discussion, not leading to a vote but leading to an opportunity to give advice and feedback. The College of Bishops met together in January at our annual retreat, and just before we began that retreat, we decided that we needed to sit down together and talk out what it might mean in the Diocese of Toronto to exercise generous pastoral care which the House of Bishops of the Canadian church had set as guidelines for the life of the Anglican Church of Canada. Having been together at Lambeth, having engaged in conversations with the House of Bishops in the Canadian church, and having had partnerships with various places across the world, we had a full, frank conversation and discovered that we had a whole lot more consensus than we originally thought.

Part of that consensus was that the way forward at this time, when there is no consensus within the life of the church, was not to engage in a legislative vote that sets policy, that enshrines things in legislation, but rather thatwe needed to recognize that in this period of time as we engage in a period of gracious restraint, when it is quite clear in the teaching of the church that marriage at this time is a holy relationship between a man and a woman in solemn matrimony and that that is a subject for the General Synod and not the Diocese of Toronto to define.

In that period of time when there are pastoral needs that are evident within our parishes amongst faithful people, how might we deal with those pastoral, individual circumstances in the most generous and gracious way possible while holding open the opportunity for further discussion and consideration by the wider church?

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)

RNS: 'Father Oprah' leaves for Episcopal Church; plans to marry

The celebrity Miami priest known as “Father Oprah” converted from Catholicism to the Episcopal Church on Thursday (May 28), weeks after pictures surfaced of the cleric canoodling with his girlfriend on a Florida beach.

The Rev. Alberto Cutie and his girlfriend were received into the Episcopal Church at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Miami on Thursday, according to the Episcopal Diocese of Southeast Florida.

Unlike Catholic clerics, Episcopal priests are allowed to marry, and Cutie, 40, plans to wed his girlfriend and pursue ordination in the Episcopal Church, according to the diocese.

The diocese said Thursday’s ceremony culminates a “two year discernment process” for Cutie, indicating that he had considered converting long before photos revealing his relationship with the woman were published by Spanish-language media earlier this month.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Ecumenical Relations, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Roman Catholic, Theology

Still Working, but Making Do With Less

The Ferrells have cut back on dance lessons for their twin daughters. Vaccinations for the family’s two cats and two dogs are out. Haircuts have become a luxury.

And before heading out recently to the discount grocery store that has become the family’s new lifeline, Sharon Ferrell checked her bank account balance one more time, dialing the toll-free number from memory.

“Your available balance for withdrawal is, $490.40,” the disembodied electronic voice informed her.

At the store, with that number firmly in mind, she punched the price of each item into a calculator as she dropped it into her cart, making sure she stayed under her limit. It was all part of a new regimen of fiscal restraint for the Ferrells, begun in January, when state workers, including Mrs. Ferrell’s husband, Jeff, were forced to accept two-day-a-month furloughs.

For millions of families, this is the recession: not a layoff, or a drastic reduction in income, but a pay cut that has forced them to thrash through daily calculations similar to the Ferrells’.

Read the whole piece from the front page of Friday’s New York Times.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Children, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Marriage & Family, Personal Finance, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

Frank Lampard blasts Chelsea to FA Cup glory

Congratulations to Chelsea who were the better team today–I enjoyed watch it. Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Sports

News from the Diocese of New Westminster on Day 4 of the B.C. Court Proceedings

After the blessing was approved, the dissident group tried to find a Canadian bishop who would take them in. Bishop of the Yukon Terrance O. Buckle offered episcopal oversight, but Bishop Michael Ingham refused to cede jurisdiction to him.

[David] Short said the conservatives were unwilling to settle for an alternative bishop who didn’t have full power to do all the things a diocesan bishop can do, such as appoint clergy. They didn’t want “a kind of suffragan [assisting] bishop.” Bishop Buckle would appoint appropriate priests.

“The point is you wanted a conservative bishop who held your views,” said the defense lawyer.

“We wanted a bishop who would hold to the doctrine of the Church,” replied Short.

Read the whole article.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Law & Legal Issues, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)