Daily Archives: September 4, 2009
THE MUSIC was fine, and the weather was reasonably fine; but many visitors to the Greenbelt Festival in Cheltenham last weekend were talking more about two transatlantic speakers ”” the Rt Revd Gene Robinson and Rob Bell.
Both were appearing there for the first time. Although they come from different points on the Christian spectrum ”” one the Bishop of New Hampshire, the other the founding pastor of Mars Hill, a large indeÂpendent church in Michigan ”” the Greenbelt crowds took them to their hearts. By all appearances, they were quite taken with Greenbelt, too.
Whether it was their presence, or the state of the economy, or some of the music acts, the numbers were up again on previous years. The organisers reckoned that, over the Bank Holiday weekend, 21,000 people attended. About three-quarters had bought weekend tickets and camped or stayed near by; the rest came on day tickets.
The job market continued its long, steep decline in August, with the jobless rate soaring to 9.7 percent and employers continuing to shed jobs, albeit at a slower rate than expected.
Analysts generally believe that economic output began rising by late summer. But new Labor Department data released Friday morning shows that that improvement isn’t yet flowing through to the job market, as employers remain highly reluctant to add staff.
Christian parents who objected to their children being taught about other religions in a mandatory new Quebec school course have suffered a serious setback with a ruling this week that the teachings do not infringe their religious freedoms.
Quebec Superior Court Justice Jean-Guy Dubois dismissed a bid by parents in Drummondville, Que., who said the course on ethics and religious culture introduced across the province last year was undermining their efforts to instill Christian faith in their children.
“In light of all the evidence presented, the court does not see how the … course limits the plaintiff’s freedom of conscience and of religion for the children when it provides an overall presentation of various religions without obliging the children to adhere to them,” Judge Dubois wrote.
On Saturday, as on every Saturday in recent weeks, hundreds of ultra-Orthodox Jews gathered before dusk on the terraces above the Carta parking lot just outside the Old City walls. In black silk Sabbath robes and fur hats, they lined up in rows, perched and waiting.
Suddenly their foot soldiers arrived on the street below, protesters who surged past the newly opened luxury Mamilla Hotel. Police officers mounted on horses rushed to meet them as hotel guests looked on, bewildered, from windows on the upper floors.
This summer, radical elements of the ultra-Orthodox community have been demonstrating and rioting against city authorities, welfare officials and the police. For Jerusalem’s mayor, Nir Barkat, a secular high-tech millionaire trying to attract more business, tourism and professional types to the city, the timing has been inopportune, to say the least.
The tensions in this contested city usually run along an east-west, Jewish-Palestinian divide. But within the western, predominantly Jewish, section of the city, the cultural fault lines between religious and secular Jews run deep….
Not many people get to travel the world. And an even fewer percentage go to countries that are conflict zones. The Rev. Cindy Howard recently took a trip to Israel and Palestine and came across an interesting fact – every Israelite and Palestinian she met wanted the same thing ”“ peace.
“There are people in every culture that make up the radical few who only want to fight,” she said. “But the vast majority of people I met wanted peace between the two countries. It didn’t matter what side of the Gaza strip they were on. They all wanted the same thing, peace for their families.”
Howard, an Episcopal priest and rector at St. Anne’s Episcopal Church in Lee’s Summit, was part of an Interfaith Delegation from Kansas City that traveled to Tel Aviv last month.
The Barna Group pollsters and the Innovating Tomorrow blog site reports that 75% of teens from Christian families stop going to church when they leave home to get a job or go to college and don’t return to church until they have are married and have children of their own. Some blogsters blame the teen walk out on a general increase in agnosticism and atheism. Some blame the parents. Some blame the internet. I don’t agree.
I blame the churches. I blame the dumbing down of the message so that many leave out of sheer boredom. The rock music and mimicking of worldly culture which was thought to appeal to teens is driving some away. However, I think the main problem is the lack of content and the metaphysical shallowness of the teachings. During one’s late teen years, one is trying to discover the meaning and purpose in life. The teens want to gain a sense of who they are and to find a place for themselves in the grand scheme of things.
Questions on meaning and purpose and questions about the grand scheme are metaphysical questions. The typical evangelical ministry behaves as though they are afraid of metaphysics. For this reason, many teens find the shallow ministries offered to them irrelevant to their needs. This is the only convincing explanation I can think of to explain the general teen walkout.
Leaders of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh have nominated a bishop from southern Ohio to serve as a full-time interim bishop for the next few years.
A diocesan convention will vote Oct. 17 on whether to elect Bishop Kenneth L. Price, Jr., the suffragan bishop of the Diocese of Southern Ohio, as provisional bishop of the minority who remained with the Episcopal Church after last year’s diocesan convention voted to leave the Episcopal Church. He would have the full executive authority of a diocesan bishop, but his position would be temporary.
In administering the sacrament of confirmation, Archbishop Edwin F. O’Brien traced a cross on the foreheads of each candidate as he anointed them with sacred chrism oil and called on them to be sealed with the Holy Spirit. The sisters then renewed their vows of poverty, chastity and obedience as some 120 worshipers looked on.
Ten of the 12 members of the All Saints’ Sisters of the Poor joined the Catholic Church during the liturgy. The two nuns who have decided to remain Episcopal will continue to live, pray and work in community with their now-Catholic sisters.
Father Warren Tanghe, former chaplain to the All Saints’ Sisters of the Poor, was also confirmed and has applied to become a Catholic priest for the Archdiocese of Baltimore.
In his homily, Archbishop O’Brien welcomed the newcomers and extolled the sisters for their dedication to the consecrated life.
In a move that religious scholars say is unprecedented, 10 of the 12 nuns at an Episcopal convent in Catonsville left their church Thursday to become Roman Catholics, the latest defectors from a denomination divided over the ordination of gay men and women.
The members of the All Saints Sisters of the Poor were welcomed into the Catholic Church by Archbishop Edwin F. O’Brien, who confirmed the women during a Mass in their chapel. Each vowed to continue the tradition of consecrated life, now as a religious institute within the Archdiocese of Baltimore.
“We know our beliefs and where we are,” said Mother Christina Christie, superior of the order that came to Baltimore in 1872. “We were drifting farther apart from the more liberal road the Episcopal Church is traveling. We are now more at home in the Roman Catholic Church.”
Also joining the church was the Rev. Warren Tanghe, the sisters’ chaplain. In a statement, Episcopal Bishop Eugene Taylor Sutton wished them God’s blessings.
North Korea said on Friday that it was in the final stage of enriching uranium, a process that would give it a second path to making a nuclear weapon.
After a series of conciliatory gestures by the North over the past month, the announcement raises the stakes in efforts by the international community to convince the reclusive state to give up its nuclear weapons programme.
“Experimental uranium enrichment has successfully been conducted to enter into completion phase,” the KCNA news agency quoted North Korea’s United Nations delegation as saying in a letter to the head of the U.N. Security Council (UNSC).
Watch this whole great story to find the answer–but please guess first.
Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams held a private meeting September 2 with seven Episcopal Church bishops at Lambeth Palace, his London residence.
The bishops attending the meeting were Mark Lawrence of South Carolina, Gary Lillibridge of West Texas, Edward Little of Northern Indiana, Bill Love of Albany, Michael Smith of North Dakota, James Stanton of Dallas, and Bruce MacPherson of Western Louisiana.
A spokesperson in the Lambeth Palace press office confirmed that Williams had hosted the seven Episcopal bishops, but said that the meeting was private.
When asked for his reflections on the meeting, MacPherson told ENS that the bishops will have “something forthcoming soon.”
They always saw themselves as a neighborhood parish, committed to the idea that with their brand of spirituality they could make a difference to those around them.
But when Bishop Geralyn Wolf chose the Church of the Epiphany as the site of her first parish visit after being installed as Rhode Island’s Episcopal bishop 13 years ago, there was already a growing sense that the parish was in trouble.
With roots going back to its start as a mission church in 1868, members believed their West End parish could show the world that a church needn’t be affluent to immerse itself in the old Anglo-Catholic traditions. Its members might be working class, but their services could still resonate with the sounds of chanting and incense-filled “high church” liturgies with all the trappings.
By the 1990s, it was becoming clear that something was not working….