Daily Archives: June 10, 2009

Contraception and debt relief tackled by Catholic-Anglican dialogue

Catholics and Anglicans sat down in Cincinnati on May 25-26 to hold establish a dialogue on two issues that feature prominently in modern society: debt relief and contraception.

The event marked the second meeting of the Anglican-Roman Catholic Dialogue in the United States (ARC-USA). The theme of this meeting was “Ecclesiology and Moral Discernment: Common Ground and Divergences.”

The dialogue was hosted by the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Ohio and was co-chaired by Episcopal Bishop Thomas Breidenthal of Southern, Ohio and Catholic Bishop Ronald P. Herzog of Alexandria, Louisiana.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, Ecumenical Relations, Episcopal Church (TEC), Other Churches, Roman Catholic, TEC Bishops

Survey: Megachurches Attract Many Under 45

Megachurches are most attractive to younger adults, and almost all who arrive at their sanctuaries have darkened a church’s door before, a new survey shows.

The study by Leadership Network and Hartford Institute for Religion Research, released Tuesday (June 9) found that almost two-thirds (62 percent) of adults who attend Protestant megachurches are younger than 45, compared to 35 percent of U.S. Protestant congregations overall.

Researchers found that just 6 percent of those attending a megachurch””defined as a congregation attended by 2,000 or more each week””had never attended a worship service before arriving at their current church. Almost half (44 percent) had come from another local church, 28 percent had transplanted from a distant congregation and 18 percent had not attended church for a while.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Evangelicals, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

LA Times: 'Abortion fatigue' on both sides as Kansas clinic closes

Here, on a freeway frontage road, ground zero of the abortion wars for nearly three decades, there was, it seemed, nothing left to fight over.

Now the national conversation over legalized abortion has shifted away from Women’s Health Care Services, the beige one-story building where Tiller practiced — as one of only a handful of physicians in the country who performed late-term abortions.

Many Wichitans — even those who have dedicated their lives to the issue — say they have wearied of the abortion wars that had been fought continuously on their doorstep until Tiller was gunned down in his church lobby May 31.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Life Ethics, Religion & Culture

Homeless Advocate Goes High Tech

Homeless advocate Eric Sheptock uses technology to get his message out. Though he’s homeless himself, he keeps a blog, a Facebook page and a Twitter account. Sheptock, who lives in Washington, D.C., says he wants to educate the public about what he and many others like him are up against.

He spends a lot of time in the city’s public libraries, where he gets free access to a computer. There he can check his e-mail account and write his blog ”” called On the Clock with Eric Sheptock ”” which has so far attracted hundreds of readers. He recently wrote about his concern that the homeless shelter he now lives in is in danger of closing.

Read or listen to it all and watch for the Episcopal Church reference toward the end.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Poverty, TEC Parishes

Battle to Halt Graft Scourge in Africa Ebbs

The fight against corruption in Africa’s most pivotal nations is faltering as public agencies investigating wrongdoing by powerful politicians have been undermined or disbanded and officials leading the charge have been dismissed, subjected to death threats and driven into exile.

“We are witnessing an era of major backtracking on the anticorruption drive,” said Daniel Kaufmann, an authority on corruption who works at the Brookings Institution. “And one of the most poignant illustrations is the fate of the few anticorruption commissions that have had courageous leadership. They’re either embattled or dead.”

Experts, prosecutors and watchdog groups say they fear that major setbacks to anticorruption efforts in South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya are weakening the resolve to root out graft, a stubborn scourge that saps money needed to combat poverty and disease in the world’s poorest region. And in Zambia, a change of leadership has stoked fears that the country’s zealous prosecution of corruption is ebbing.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Ethics / Moral Theology, Politics in General, Theology

Living Church: Quincy Election Scheduled

The Diocese of Quincy (Anglican Province of the Southern Cone) plans to elect a diocesan bishop at its annual synod in October. The standing committee has acted as the ecclesiastical authority since the retirement of the Rt. Rev. Keith Ackerman Nov. 1.

The diocese separated from The Episcopal Church and voted to accept an offer of temporary affiliation with the Church of the Southern Cone at its annual synod Nov. 7-8. At a meeting later this month in Bedford, Texas, the diocese will seek to become one of the founding members of the Anglican Church in North America.

Read it all.

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

Of top cities in the world, Pittsburgh is best US city at 29th, Vancouver the best

We didn’t realize that the US was such a terrible place to live until the Sydney Morning Herald reported it this morning. According to the Economist’s 2009 liveability survey, Pittsburgh is the most liveable city in the United States of America, ranked 29th in the world.

At the top of the list? Vancouver, Vienna, Melbourne,Toronto and Perth, giving Canada and Australia two of the top five cities in the world each. Dakar (Senegal,) Abidjan (Ivory Coast) and Kathmandu (Nepal) were at the bottom of the 131 polled cities.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, Globalization

David Leonhardt: For U.S., a Sea of Perilous Red Ink, Years in the Making

There are two basic truths about the enormous deficits that the federal government will run in the coming years.

The first is that President Obama’s agenda, ambitious as it may be, is responsible for only a sliver of the deficits, despite what many of his Republican critics are saying. The second is that Mr. Obama does not have a realistic plan for eliminating the deficit, despite what his advisers have suggested.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, Budget, Economy, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, President George Bush, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, The National Deficit, The U.S. Government

Health Care Spending Disparities Stir a Fight

Members of Congress are seriously considering proposals to rein in the growth of health spending by taking tens of billions of dollars of Medicare money away from doctors and hospitals in high-cost areas and using it to help cover the uninsured or treat patients in lower-cost regions.

Those proposals have alarmed lawmakers from higher-cost states like Florida, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York. But they have won tentative support among some lawmakers from Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon and Washington, who say their states have long been shortchanged by Medicare.

Nationally, according to the Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care, Medicare spent an average of $8,304 per beneficiary in 2006. Among states, New York was tops, at $9,564, and Hawaii was lowest, at $5,311.

Researchers at Dartmouth Medical School have also found wide variations within states and among cities. Medicare spent $16,351 per beneficiary in Miami in 2006, almost twice the average of $8,331 in San Francisco, they said.

Read it all from the front page of yesterday’s New York Times.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Budget, Economy, Health & Medicine, House of Representatives, Law & Legal Issues, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Senate, Taxes, The National Deficit, The U.S. Government

Final Nominees to be the Tenth Episcopal Bishop of Georgia

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops

A.S. Haley on the Alarming Change in TEC Leadership's Behavior

The reign (a word I use advisedly) of ECUSA’s current Presiding Bishop has been marked thus far by a some striking characteristics in contrast to anything that ever came before:

1. First and foremost, the number of lawsuits in which the Episcopal Church (USA) is a plaintiff in court against its own—the initiator of litigation against fellow Christians—has multiplied enormously….

Please read it carefully and read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Presiding Bishop, Stewardship, TEC Conflicts

New Primus to be elected during the 2009 General Synod of the SEC

For the first time in the history of General Synod, members will witness the election of a new Primus. This will take place during an Episcopal Synod on Saturday morning (13 June) – where all seven bishops of the Scottish Episcopal Church (known collectively as the College of Bishops) will elect a new Primus following the retirement of the Most Rev Dr Idris Jones (current Primus and Bishop of Glasgow and Galloway). The role of Primus, which is taken from the Latin ”˜primus inter pares’ – meaning ”˜first among equals’ is to preside over the College of Bishops and represent them and the wider Church at home and throughout the world-wide Anglican Communion.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Scottish Episcopal Church

Pakistan: Massive hotel bomb further erodes security

A suicide bombing Tuesday at Peshawar’s only five-star hotel is the latest of several recent attacks in this northwestern Pakistani city.

It comes after the Taliban threatened to launch periodic attacks in retaliation for an ongoing Army offensive against militants in the Swat Valley. As the town closest to the battle zone and to Pakistan’s tribal areas, a militant stronghold, Peshawar makes for a prime target.

Although the Taliban are unlikely to take over the city, say analysts, the attacks have stirred up fear among residents and disrupted routine life. Schools have closed by order of the government, and business has slowed. Normally bustling markets have emptied. Some families have left town.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Asia, Pakistan, Terrorism

Bishop Walker of Long Island Takes A Leave of Absence

The Rt. Rev. Orris Walker, Jr., Bishop of Long Island since 1991, began a leave of absence due to health issues June 1 that will continue until Nov. 14, the day he previously announced as his resignation.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops

Julie Duin: Joshua and the religious hiring question

I’ve been wanting to post this for days — on what how the White House is going to handle the thorny religious hiring question that folks on the political left have been complaining about for months now. Fortunately Religion & Ethics Newsweekly now has quotes by the White House’s Joshua Dubois up on its site — quotes from a panel he appeared on Monday morning at a Sojourners -sponsored Mobilization to End Poverty conference.

His response on whether government-funded faith organizations can hire people from their own religion was that basically the administration is going to take the matter “on a case by case basis,” which is not going to please a lot of liberals. “It’s a difficult topic,” he said. “As difficult legal issues arise,” he added, he is to work with the White House and attorney general’s office and make recommendations. Whatever that means.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Media, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Religion & Culture