Daily Archives: July 1, 2009

Obama's pastor at Camp David an Iraq war chaplain, author

Until President Obama and his family settle on a local church to attend, their fill-in pastor will be a former All-American offensive lineman who is now a Navy lieutenant who served in Iraq, and a distant relation of Johnny Cash.

Navy Lt. Carey H. Cash, 39, a Memphis, Tenn. native, is pastor of the chapel at the Camp David presidential retreat in Maryland’s Catoctin mountains. A Southern Baptist, Cash began his three-year tour of duty there in January.

The Evergreen Chapel serves the roughly 400 people who live and work on the remote compound, along with the first family when they flee the White House for the peace of the mountain forest.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Military / Armed Forces, Office of the President, Parish Ministry, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Religion & Culture

Bishop: Prayers Needed Amid Honduras Turmoil

The Bishop of Honduras has written to the House of Bishops, asking their prayers for his country after Sunday’s ouster of President Mel Zelaya.

“So far, the entire clergy, lay leadership and our families are all well,” the Rt. Rev. Lloyd Allen wrote on June 29 in an e-mail to the House of Bishops.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, Central America, Episcopal Church (TEC), Honduras

Florida Times-Union: New group of Anglicans looks to future on First Coast

Among the [ACNA] founders was the Rev. Neil Lebhar, a Jacksonville priest and a leader of the regional movement of theological conservatives out of the denomination after an openly gay bishop was elected in New Hampshire in 2003.

With its archbishop and church laws now established, the new group represents a clean break with the past for former Episcopalians, Lebhar said.

“For the average person in the pew, I’d say the major thing it means is that our denominational battles are over and we can get on with the ministry and mission of the church,” said Lebhar, rector at the (Anglican) Church of the Redeemer on the Southside.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Florida, TEC Departing Parishes

Archbishop Greg Venables: To The Bishop and Clergy of The Diocese of Fort Worth

Greetings in the wonderful name of the Lord Jesus Christ. I am writing to you celebrating the official launch of the Anglican Church in North America. You are to be congratulated for your faithfulness in the Gospel and in your cooperation with the organization of the new Province. It is likely that it will take some time before the institutional structures catch up to the realities of the present day situation in the Communion. Until that time, you can be sure of your dual status with us in the Southern Cone. This is true not only for Bishop Iker, but also all of the priests and deacons who received licenses through him under my authority when your diocese came to us.

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

Bishop Jack Iker: Memo to All Diocesan Clergy

The Bishop of Kentucky has no ecclesiastical authority to act within the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth, first and foremost because the Diocese has realigned with another Anglican Province in communion with the See of Canterbury, upholding and propagating the historic Faith and Order as set forth in the Book of Common Prayer. We assume that he is seeking to exercise some authority in Fort Worth based upon Canon 13 of the Canons of PECUSA. Setting aside the obvious argument that the Diocese is no longer a part of the PECUSA because of realignment and Canon 13 is inconsistent with Article II, Section 3, of the Constitution of PECUSA, and is therefore null and void, his reliance upon Canon 13 for his authority is misplaced. The meeting that was held in Fort Worth on February 7, 2009, by some clergy and laypersons of the Diocese was not a duly-constituted meeting of the Convention. Neither the Bishop nor the Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth issued a call for a special meeting of the Convention, as required by Article IV of the Constitution of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth. Moreover, there was no quorum present at the February 7, 2009, meeting, because less than one-third of all clergy and lay delegates of the Diocese entitled to seat was present for the meeting. Consequently, the individuals in attendance at the February 7, 2009, meeting lacked any legitimate power or authority to perform any official act, including but not limited to the placement of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth under Bishop Gulick’s “provisional charge” pursuant to PECUSA Canon 13. All actions purportedly taken at the meeting clearly were null and void.

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

Many With Insurance Still Bankrupted by Health Crises

Health insurance is supposed to offer protection ”” both medically and financially. But as it turns out, an estimated three-quarters of people who are pushed into personal bankruptcy by medical problems actually had insurance when they got sick or were injured.

And so, even as Washington tries to cover the tens of millions of Americans without medical insurance, many health policy experts say simply giving everyone an insurance card will not be enough to fix what is wrong with the system.

Too many other people already have coverage so meager that a medical crisis means financial calamity.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Health & Medicine

Eugene Volokh: Junior High School Student Ordered Not To Wear Pro-Life T-Shirt

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Law & Legal Issues, Life Ethics, Religion & Culture, Teens / Youth

Pope signs new globalization encyclical

Pope Benedict XVI signed his latest encyclical Monday, a text on ways to make globalization more attentive to meeting the needs of the poor amid the worldwide financial crisis.

The document, entitled “Charity in Truth,” is expected to be published soon.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Economy, Globalization, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Poverty, Roman Catholic

Pastor quits Riverside Church after 2 months, 1 court fight

Though [the Rev. Brad Braxton was] chosen last September out of 200 applicants to be Riverside’s sixth senior minister, the former Rhodes scholar saw strife from day one. In April, four church members unsuccessfully sued to block his installation, alleging violations of church bylaws relating to his compensation package.

The soaring church, built by tycoon John D. Rockefeller Jr., on Manhattan’s Upper West Side in 1927, has become renowned for its interracial and interdenominational brand of preaching and social justice.

The parish of my father’s parents, in which his father played a huge early role–sad to read this.

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

Moreover as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by ceasing to pray for you; and I will instruct you in the good and the right way.

Only fear the LORD, and serve him faithfully with all your heart; for consider what great things he has done for you.

–1 Samuel 12: 23-24

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Following Viper Company in Afghanistan

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

A good piece on the huge sacrifice involved. May God bless them and their families.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Marriage & Family, Military / Armed Forces, War in Afghanistan

White House Denies Report that Obama Won't Pick D.C. Church

The White House on Monday (June 29) denied a report that President Obama has decided to make the Camp David presidential retreat his church home.

“The President and First Family continue to look for a church home,” a White House spokesman said Monday. “They have enjoyed worshiping at Camp David and several other congregations over the months, and will choose a church at the time that is best for their family.”

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Office of the President, Parish Ministry, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Religion & Culture

Jeremy Begbie brings together Theology and the Arts

A professionally trained musician who has performed extensively as a pianist, oboist, and conductor, Jeremy Begbie considers himself first a scholar and professor of theology.

“I’m basically a theologian who frequently works in the arts, not an artist who dabbles in theology,” says Begbie, who joined the Divinity School in January as the inaugural Thomas A. Langford research professor of theology.

A native of Great Britain, Begbie will maintain his ties with Cambridge University, where he is a senior member of Wolfson College and an affiliated lecturer in the faculty of divinity and the faculty of music. Among his priorities as director of Duke Initiatives in Theology and the Arts is developing collaborative programs between the two institutions.

Begbie is the author of Voicing Creation’s Praise: Towards a Theology of the Arts (T & T Clark); Theology, Music and Time (CUP), and most recently, Resounding Truth: Christian Wisdom in the World of Music (Baker/SPCK), which won the Christianity Today 2008 Book Award in the theology/ethics category.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Art, Music, Religion & Culture, Seminary / Theological Education, Theology

Hope Episcopal Church discusses issues of racism

About 20 members of Columbia Hope Episcopal Church met Sunday afternoon to discuss racism within the denomination as well as hopes to diversify the church.

Chester Hines, Jr., chairman of the Commission on Dismantling Racism for the Episcopal diocese of Missouri, traveled from St. Louis to address the congregation and facilitate discussion. Hines gave a brief version of the presentation that usually lasts two days.

The presentation focused on a history of racism within the Episcopal Church, the church’s vision, mission and goals regarding racial interactions, and the definitions of power, racism and white privilege. Hines said the purpose of raising awareness about racism was to make a change.

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

Roger Altman: Expect Congress seriously to consider a value-added tax

Only five months after Inauguration Day, the focus of Washington’s economic and domestic policy is already shifting. This reflects the emergence of much larger budget deficits than anyone expected. Indeed, federal deficits may average a stunning $1 trillion annually over the next 10 years. This worsened outlook is stirring unease on Main Street and beginning to reorder priorities for President Barack Obama and the Democratic congressional leadership. By 2010, reducing the deficit will become their primary focus.

Why has the deficit outlook changed? Two main reasons: The burst of spending in recent years and the growing likelihood of a weak economic recovery. The latter would mean considerably lower federal revenues, the compiling of more interest on our growing debt, and thus higher deficits. Yes, the President’s Council of Economic Advisors is still forecasting a traditional cyclical recovery — i.e., real growth of 3.2% next year and 4% in 2011. But the latest data suggests that we’re on a much slower path. Probably along the lines of the most recent Goldman Sachs and International Monetary Fund forecasts, whose growth rates average about 2% for 2010-2011.

A speedy recovery is highly unlikely given the financial condition of American households, whose spending represents 70% of GDP.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, Budget, Economy, House of Representatives, Politics in General, Senate, Taxes, The National Deficit, The U.S. Government