Daily Archives: June 20, 2009

Religion and Ethics Newsweekly: The Role of Religion in Iran's Election

[KIM] LAWTON: But Ahmadinejad also has religious opposition, including from some clerics.

Abdo says it would be a mistake to see this as a secular-religious dispute.

Ms. [GENEIVE] ABDO: If you watch television you’d think that society is sharply divided between secularists supporting Moussavi, religious people supporting Ahmadinejad. The reality is much more complicated than that. Those supporting Moussavi are also religious. It’s not they don’t want clerics involved in politics, they don’t want clerics involved in their lives, it’s just certain clerics.

Read or watch it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Iran, Middle East, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

Religion and Ethics Newsweekly: Churches in Financial Distress

ERIC KNOWLES (Founder and CEO, Church Brokers, San Diego, CA): The recession is hitting everybody, and it’s affecting churches just as much as it is the mom and pop homeowner.

[SAUL] GONZALEZ: Eric Knowles is the founder and CEO of Church Brokers, a San Diego firm that specializes in church real estate and financing.

Mr. KNOWLES: Right now, most of the churches we’ve been working with, probably the past year or least, they are all pulling the reins in. They’re not spending anything outside of the hard fast debt they have to pay. Salaries are getting cut back. People are getting let go. A lot of churches are letting their staff go or reducing their pay, going to part time. So it’s a challenging time for churches right now.

Watch or read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Economics, Politics, Economy, Parish Ministry, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

The Archbishop of Armagh Welcomes Act of Loyalist Decommissioning

(ACNS) From the Most Revd Alan Harper, OBE, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland:

I very much look forward to full confirmation of the complete decommissioning of all armaments held by loyalist paramilitaries. It will represent a further and extremely welcome step towards confidence building and the normalisation of society in Northern Ireland. I recognise that on the part of the leadership of the paramilitary groups full decommissioning has been a challenging outcome to deliver; therefore, I commend those within loyalism who have argued consistently for decommissioning over a considerable period. Now full energy and commitment can be devoted to community development and the enhancement of the lives of people in loyalist areas free from the dark shadow of the gun.

By the grace of God we are now one step closer to the replacement of swords with ploughshares and spears with pruning hooks in our society. God willing, we shall soon know the day when weapons are never again lifted by one group against another and come to know what it means to learn war no more.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Church of Ireland, Violence

The New Wine Conference in South Carolina

This wonderful conference has been going on here this week, and I thought you would be interested in the schedule and the description of the Breakout Sessions.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * South Carolina, Parish Ministry

Slump Dashes Oregon Dreams of Californians

While some other states with high unemployment, including Michigan, have seen their labor forces shrink, Oregon’s labor force has grown. Economists say some of the growth appears to be driven by people who moved here with money they made in California, whether from real estate or stock market investments, and expected to get by but now must look for work.

“It’s just so depressing to hear them because they thought they had life handled and they don’t,” said Bobbie Faust, an employment counselor who works for the state in Bend.

The Telfords are among those facing trouble. They had presumed they would be able to sell their house in Fresno for more than $300,000 to help pay the mortgage on the new house they bought near the Deschutes River in Bend for $475,000. But the Fresno house has yet to sell, and Mrs. Telford, an accountant, has lost a series of jobs at small firms here that she said had downsized. The couple’s only income now comes from her unemployment checks and her husband’s salary as a high school teacher.

“The cash flow is negative,” Mrs. Telford said. “This will be the first time we’ve had to go into savings.”

A very good article about some of what is happening underneath the surface of the economy. Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, Housing/Real Estate Market, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

Michael C. Moynihan: Yes, Twitter is playing an important role in Iran

It took years, if not decades, to correct this misinformation. The dubious reports from Iran, though of questionable significance in the first place, took, at most, a few days to dispel.

While it is less interesting to focus on the Internet””yes, the Internet in general””as a vital tool for Iranian dissidents, it’s necessary to point out that, for non-Iranians both observing and covering the rebellion, Twitter is playing a secondary role to websites like YouTube and Flickr, both of which have provided compelling images and video from the streets of Tehran. And while Twitter is not the reason students are on the streets, it has played a significant role in allowing the opposition to organize and spread its message to supporters in the West. To dismiss it as pure media hype would be foolish.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Blogging & the Internet, Iran, Media, Middle East

A Youtube Video Introducing the Upcoming Anglican Church in North America Assembly

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Proposed Formation of a new North American Province, ACNA Inaugural Assembly June 2009, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Common Cause Partnership

A National Catholic Register Editorial: Thank You, Father

As the Year for Priests begins, we lay editors of the Register want to take a moment to thank priests.

We want to thank not only the priests who have been our friends, but also those we barely knew, who did more for us than our friends ever could.

We want to thank not only the priests who inspire us with their words, but also those who moved us more deeply with the daily work of their priesthood than they ever could with words.

We want to thank not only those men who gave up their retirement, and their well-deserved rest, to enter the priesthood as late vocations, but also ”” especially ”” those who as young men saw their whole life ahead of them and handed all of it to Christ.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Roman Catholic

Albert Mohler: Watch Out for Myths About Fatherhood

Given the marginalization of fatherhood and the confusion about the role of fathers, Father’s Day becomes more and more awkward. Nevertheless it still comes on the calendar and journalists, intellectuals, and cultural observers feel the need to say something about fatherhood in June.

W. Bradford Wilcox, professor of sociology at the University of Virginia, warns that much of what is said about fatherhood in connection with Father’s Day is nothing less than mythological — and many of these myths are downright dangerous.

Writing in National Review magazine, Wilcox identifies five myths about fatherhood that are likely to rear their heads in connection with Father’s Day. Anticipating a flow of news reports around Father’s Day, Wilcox warns: “Some will do a good job of capturing the changes and continuities associated with fatherhood in contemporary America. But other reporters and writers will generalize from their own unrepresentative networks of friends and family members, try to baptize the latest family trend, or assume that our society is heading ceaselessly in a progressive direction.” In other words, “Be on the lookout.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Children, Marriage & Family, Men

Remarks by President Barack Obama at a Town Hall Meeting on Fatherhood

We all know the difference that a responsible, committed father like those five gentlemen can make in the life of a child. Fathers are our first teachers and coaches. They’re our mentors and they’re our role models. They set an example of success and they push us to succeed; encourage us when we’re struggling; and they love us even when we disappoint them, and they stand by us when nobody else will.

And when fathers are absent — when they abandon their responsibilities to their children — we know the damage that that does to our families. Some of you know the statistics: Children who grow up without fathers are more likely to drop out of school and wind up in prison. They’re more likely to have substance abuse problems, run away from home, and become teenage parents themselves.

And I say this as someone who grew up without a father in my own life. I had a heroic mom and wonderful grandparents who helped raise me and my sister, and it’s because of them that I’m able to stand here today. But despite all their extraordinary love and attention, that doesn’t mean that I didn’t feel my father’s absence. That’s something that leaves a hole in a child’s heart that a government can’t fill.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Children, Marriage & Family, Men, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama

Weekend Mental Health Break: What Happened one Day at the Central Antwerp Train Station

This is just fantastic.

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

The Independent–Patients with inoperable prostate disease recover after single dose of drug

Two patients with inoperable prostate cancer have made dramatic recoveries after receiving one dose of an experimental drug that is creating excitement among cancer specialists.

The results were so startling that researchers decided to release details of the two cases before the drug trial ”“ in which the patients took part ”“ was complete. Doctors said their progress had exceeded all expectations. The men were treated at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota in the US, one of the top medical centres in the world.

Dr Eugene Kwon, the urologist who was in charge of their treatment, compared the results to the first pilot breaking the sound barrier.

“This is one of the Holy Grails of prostate cancer research. We have been looking for this for years,” he said.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Health & Medicine

A Press Release from the Episcopal Diocese of Springfield

Springfield, Illinois ”“ June 19, 2009

Notwithstanding suggestions to the contrary, Bishop Beckwith remains a faithful Christian within The Episcopal Church (TEC) as the Bishop Diocesan of Springfield, and intends to keep that status intact. Bishop Beckwith has also served as the Vice President of the American Anglican Council (AAC) for a number of years. A majority of AAC’s membership consists of communicants of The Episcopal Church. It is in this capacity that he has been involved in the Anglican Communion Network (ACN) and the Common Cause Partnership (CCP). Any involvement in the Anglican Church of North America (ACNA) Assembly scheduled for next week in Bedford, Texas, would be limited to being an observer. Furthermore, as an Episcopalian, Bishop Beckwith was asked to be a TEC Liaison to the Ecumenical Relations Task Force. In no sense is he a structural part of either the Task Force, or the ACNA.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Proposed Formation of a new North American Province, ACNA Inaugural Assembly June 2009, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Common Cause Partnership, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts

Aiken South Carolina Episcopal Church welcomes new rector

The self-proclaimed extrovert said that is just his way – he likes to be among the people. He said he will never preach down to someone, and his sermons usually don’t last more than 10 minutes.

“I could never be accused of being overly pious,” [Grant] Wiseman said. “I could be accused of being human. I am very human. I struggle like everyone else.”

It wasn’t that much of a struggle to come here, though. A few relatives are from South Carolina, and moving appears to be old hat to the Wiseman family – they have now lived in 24 houses in various states.

Read it all.

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

Bangor Maine Episcopal church to mark 175 years on Saturday

St. John’s held its first service in 1834 and was officially organized on Oct. 6, 1835.

The first church building was a wooden structure, consecrated in 1839. It was designed by Richard Upjohn, who later became an internationally known architect. He also designed Trinity Church in New York City. That church became a refuge for first responders who worked at the site of the World Trade Center in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

St. John’s first structure was destroyed in the Great Fire of April 30, 1911. A stone replica of that building was constructed between 1912 and 1918. It was designed by Hobart B. Upjohn, the grandson of Richard Upjohn. The lectern and the baptismal font from the original building still are in use.

Read it all.

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