Daily Archives: June 3, 2009

Church of England: Pray Now and Act Now for World Environment Day

The Archbishop of Canterbury is urging churches to use Environment Sunday (June 7) to pray for the planet and campaign for climate change in the run up to the important UN talks later this year in Copenhagen.

Dr Williams said it was vital for Christians and people of all faiths to take a lead in praying and campaigning for action. A new deal at the UN summit could directly improve the lives of the world’s poor whose living conditions are affected by climate change. (see full text below)

World Environment Day marks the third anniversary of the Church of England’s environmental campaign Shrinking the Footprint which is being marked by a national event at Lambeth Palace on June 11 where new toolkits and other resources will be unveiled to help churches, cathedrals and other buildings reduce their energy footprint. The next phase of the campaign focusing on water and biodiversity will also be unveiled.

Read the whole thing.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Economics, Politics, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Energy, Natural Resources, Parish Ministry, Spirituality/Prayer

CEN: Anglican Archbishops divided over success of recent summit

A member of the drafting committee sat in each small group session and was tasked with reporting the sessions view’s to the committee. Dr. [Mouneer] Anis stated that all but one of the small groups “were supportive” of the Covenant, but the drafting committee imposed its contrary interpretation upon the meeting.

The slick parliamentary tricks used by opponents of the Covenant discouraged many delegates from the developing world, he said. Reintroducing a motion that had sought to delay the Covenant, after it had been defeated by a vote was a “shock.” “Many of our African and Asian brothers and sisters were confused by this especially after they rejoiced when resolution A was rejected. Then I objected and requested a legal advice in this matter but the chairman decided not to deal with my request.”

In the midst of this “defeat”, Dr. Anis said there remained “a great opportunity to turn around the whole situation. We can do this if we, as dioceses and Provinces, started to discuss, make comments and adopt the Covenant without any further delay.”

The Primate of Uganda, Archbishop Henry Orombi””a member of the Primates Standing Committee, but absent from the meeting””concurred.

Read the whole article

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Consultative Council, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Episcopal Church (TEC), Presiding Bishop, The Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East

Arab States Cool to Obama Pleas for Peace Gesture

President Obama starts his much anticipated Middle East tour on Wednesday in Saudi Arabia, where he is expected to press the Arab nations to offer a gesture to the Israelis to entice them to accelerate the peace process.

But when he meets in Riyadh, the Saudi capital, with King Abdullah, he should be prepared for a polite but firm refusal, Saudi officials and political experts say. The Arab countries, they say, believe they have already made their best offer and that it is now up to Israel to make a gesture, perhaps by dismantling settlements in the West Bank or committing to a two-state solution.

“What do you expect the Arabs to give without getting anything in advance, if Israel is still hesitating to accept the idea of two states in itself?” said Mohammad Abdullah al-Zulfa, a historian and member of the Saudi Shura Council, which serves as an advisory panel in place of a parliament.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Defense, National Security, Military, Foreign Relations, Islam, Middle East, Office of the President, Other Faiths, Politics in General, President Barack Obama

Stephen Plant: Theology can turn itself into a discipline for tomorrow

The rotunda of the Divinity Faculty building at the University of Cambridge is pierced through its centre so that on any floor one can look up and see the sky, a feature intended to suggest the free passage of ideas as much as it affords a glimpse of heaven

For its 800th anniversary this year Cambridge has adopted the slogan “Transforming tomorrow”, so it is reasonable to ask whether theology and religion have a role in shaping the future as they have shaped the past.

Students think so: applications to study theology and religion in British universities have been rising steadily throughout the past decade. But plenty of academics think theology has no place in a modern university. Many cannot see the point of it as an academic discipline. According to this view, the discipline of theology as a critical reflection on the faith of Jews or Christians, Muslims or Buddhists, simply does not belong.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Education, England / UK, Religion & Culture, Theology

Day 5 ”“ Trial of ANiC Parishes v Diocese of New Westminster

Mr Macintosh highlighted the fact that the ACoC remains in communion with the see of Canterbury and continues to participate in the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) and the Primates meetings. In contrast, he said, Bishop Harvey was not invited to Lambeth and ANiC and ACNA are not provinces of the Communion, nor members of the ACC. He also relies upon the fact that the Archbishop of Canterbury said his office only recognizes one ecclesial body in Canada, that being the ACoC.

There was much emphasis on the fact that, within the Communion, there is only one province or diocese in a geographic location and that jurisdictions only overlap where there is consent.

He claimed that provincial autonomy, rather than interdependence, is a fundamental characteristic of Anglicanism and that each province is supposed to respect every other province’s autonomy.

He emphasized that General Synod has jurisdiction over the definition of doctrine in the Church, and has used this power to effect many controversial changes (eg. new hymn book, re-marriage of divorced people, women’s ordination and consecration). He did not refer to the Solemn Declaration, except to say that it was referred to by the Plaintiffs (ANiC parishes).

Read the whole piece.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Law & Legal Issues

ENS: Pregnancy-loss prayers, new church calendar proposed

Six years ago, Georgette Forney, head of an Episcopal Church pro-life group, asked the church to create a healing service for people like herself and others she encountered who had had abortions.

She terminated a pregnancy when she was 16. “For 19 years I was fine. I never thought about it,” she told a committee that was considering liturgy legislation at the 2003 General Convention. Then, one day, without warning, she opened an old yearbook and “felt the presence of my child.

“I did not expect this, I did not plan for it, and I was overwhelmed when it happened. I didn’t know how to cope,” said Forney, president of Anglicans for Life (formerly the National Organization of Episcopalians for Life or NOEL).

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Spirituality/Prayer

Wells flirts with no-hitter, but Cubs lose in 12th

Gee, that was discouraging.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Sports

A Profile of GM: After Many Stumbles, the Fall of a Giant

It is a company that helped lift hundreds of thousands of American workers into the middle class. It transformed Detroit into the Silicon Valley of its day, a symbol of America’s talent for innovation. It built celebrated cars, like Cadillacs, that became synonymous with luxury.

And now it is filing for bankruptcy, something that would have been unfathomable even a few years ago, much less decades ago, when it was a dominant force in the American economy.

Rarely has a company fallen so far and so fast as General Motors. And while its bankruptcy appeared increasingly likely in recent weeks, the arrival of the moment is still a staggering blow, particularly for anyone with ties to the company.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, The Possibility of a Bailout for the U.S. Auto Industry

Living Church: Facing Six-Figure Deficit, CDSP Cuts Staff

Church Divinity School of the Pacific (CDSP) has announced that five full-time staff positions would be eliminated as part of “a response to mounting financial pressures and changes in the educational needs of The Episcopal Church.” The restructuring does not affect the number of faculty positions at the Berkeley, Calif., seminary.

“In the past two days CDSP has said goodbye to five good and faithful staff members,” said Donn Morgan, president and dean, on May 29. “They are leaving not of their own volition, nor because of performance issues, but because of our school’s need to bring its budget into a more realistic place, to try to get closer to matching revenues with expenses.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Economics, Politics, Economy, Episcopal Church (TEC), Parish Ministry, Seminary / Theological Education, Stewardship, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, Theology

Profiles of the Graduates from the Episcopal Church's Seminary in California–CDSP

Check it out (52 page pdf).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), Seminary / Theological Education, Theology

A Guardian Editorial: The Die is Cast for Gordon Brown

The tragedy for Mr Brown and his party is that his chance to change it has gone. Although he still purports to be a radical, he has adopted the caution of an establishment man. He cannot lead a revolution against his own way of doing government, and yet a revolution is necessary. Grandstanding on his claims to good intentions, the prime minister demands the right to carry on, even as the cabinet implodes around him. The home secretary, the chancellor, and perhaps even the foreign secretary may go, and Labour faces its worst defeat in its history on Thursday, but the prime minister does not recognise his direct responsibility for the mayhem.

The truth is that there is no vision from him, no plan, no argument for the future and no support. The public see it. His party sees it. The cabinet must see it too, although they are not yet bold enough to say so. The prime minister demands loyalty, but that has become too much to ask of a party, and a country, that was never given the chance to vote for him. Had there been a contest for the leadership in 2007 – and had Mr Brown called a general election – he would probably have won. He decided not to do these things. And he has largely failed since….

The blunt reality is that, even if he set out a grand programme of reform now, his association with it would doom its prospects….it is too late. The chance for him has passed….

Read it carefully and read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Europe, Politics in General, Theology

Crash counselor can't offer them hope, so he helps them remember

Their stories kept him awake through much of the night. The expectant father in his 20s who was to be a witness at his brother’s wedding Saturday. The disbelieving teens who had come to Charles de Gaulle airport expecting to greet family members arriving from Brazil. The woman in her 60s who grabbed his hands, begging him to say there was still hope of finding her child.

“I had to tell them the truth, that in my opinion there was no hope,” said Guillaume Denoix de Saint Marc, weariness evident in his voice.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Brazil, Death / Burial / Funerals, Europe, France, Parish Ministry, South America, Travel

LA Times: Frugality turns fashionable as recession hits the wealthy

Months before financial markets collapsed in fall 2008, boutique proprietor Lee-Lee Sprenger noticed that her usually free-spending customers were flinching at $900 price tags on sweaters fresh from Italy. Sales at Mélange on Montana Avenue in Santa Monica have been sinking ever since.

“We’re barely making it here on Montana,” she said. “Most of the businesses have had a 60% drop in sales.”

Sprenger is holding on, barely, but dozens of empty storefronts and “going out of business” signs along the tony shopping street attest to the pervasive misery afflicting merchants.

Read it all.

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

Damien Walters Puts on a Show

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Sports

Why The Obama Administration Picked Cairo

Jon Alterman, director of the Middle East Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, says the Obama administration felt the need to pick an Arab country.

“Arabs are a minority of Muslims, but they have [a] disproportionate voice in Muslim life and Muslim jurisprudence ”¦ so they decided it has to be in an Arab city,” he says. “And if you start thinking about Arab cities, there aren’t a lot that leap off the page.”

Alterman says there was a process of elimination: Morocco, while more democratic than Egypt, is too peripheral; Jordan is too small; and Saudi Arabia would bring other problems, he says. “So, you end up going to Cairo, which has been an influential Arab and Islamic city for centuries.”

Read or listen to it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Egypt, Islam, Middle East, Office of the President, Other Faiths, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Religion & Culture