Daily Archives: September 14, 2009

Bishop attacks ”˜little England’ mentality

The Anglican Bishop of Stafford has taken a bold swipe at ”˜little-England’ mentality and the far-right British National Party. In parish magazines, published across the diocese of Lichfield, the Rt Rev Gordon Mursell asked ”˜what does it mean to be British?’ He wrote: “Britain will never be great again if all we have to offer is xenophobia and dreams of a lost empire.”

He went on to say: “But it can indeed be great again if it signs up to the values of Jesus’ kingdom – a place where people are judged by where they’re going, not where they come from; a place where what matters is not borders but compassion and courage and commitment and dedication.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops

Communion Partner Rectors Endorse Bishops’ Statement

Seventy-four priests who are affiliated with Communion Partners have pledged to fulfill non-episcopal requests made by bishops who met with the Archbishop of Canterbury on Sept. 1.

The priests, who lead parishes with a collective baptized membership of 60,000, list five commitments regarding their response to the Anglican Communion Covenant. The priests say they will:

Ӣ Continue to study the covenant and to pray and work for its adoption.

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

Bishop of Portsmouth says farewell to congregation

‘That’s it folks ”“ until the next Bishop.’

Those were the parting words from the retiring Bishop of Portsmouth as he said goodbye to a 300-strong congregation of worshippers.

The Rt Rev Dr Kenneth Stevenson’s final service at Portsmouth Anglican Cathedral was tinged with sadness, yet full of jubilant song and celebration.

The 59-year-old has called time after 14 years in the job following a four-year battle with leukaemia, which has seen him undergo two bone marrow transplants.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops

How did Roger Federer Hit That Shot?

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Sports

Williamsport, Penna. Sun-Gazette: Country’s top Episcopal bishop speaks at church

In an interview after the service, Jefferts Schori said Episcopalians “celebrate a diversity of opinion within the church” and their leaders traditionally have expressed opinions – among them that the death penalty is immoral.

“We believe that health care is a basic human right,” she added. “He (Jesus) heals people.”

The bishop was in the city with and at the invitation of the Right Rev. Nathan Baxter, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of North Central Pennsylvania, who will return to Trinity on Oct. 25 for a service at the church, which is to be designated the “pro-cathedral” of the northern half of the diocese.

Schori’s visit Sunday drew more than 400 Episcopalian parishioners and clergy from churches throughout much of the diocese, including this city, Lock Haven, Jersey Shore, Mansfield, Wellsboro, Altoona, State College, Coudersport, Bloomsburg, Selinsgrove, Sunbury, Lewisburg, Exchange, Renovo, Muncy, Montoursville and Upper Fairfield Township.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), Presiding Bishop

Washington Post–Many women targeted by faith leaders, survey says

One in every 33 women who attend worship services regularly has been the target of sexual advances by a religious leader, a survey released Wednesday says.

The study, by Baylor University researchers, found that the problem is so pervasive that it almost certainly involves a wide range of denominations, religious traditions and leaders.

“It certainly is prevalent, and clearly the problem is more than simply a few charismatic leaders preying on vulnerable followers,” said Diana Garland, dean of Baylor’s School of Social Work, who co-authored the study.

It found that more than two-thirds of the offenders were married to someone else at the time of the advance.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Ethics / Moral Theology, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Sexuality, Theology, Women

Father John Flynn on the Gambling Boom–Governments Tap a "Tax" Eagerly Paid

John P. Hoffmann, a professor of sociology at Brigham Young University, examined the harm caused by gambling. Gambling has generally been placed in the category of victimless crimes, but he argued this terminology is not correct.

Problems such as gambling have substantial negative effects on marital relations and family functioning. Many people gamble with no apparent problems, Hoffmann admitted, but studies point to about 9% of gamblers having some risks, with another 1.5% classified as problem gamblers, and 0.9% as pathological gamblers.

The percentages might seem low, but they translate into substantial numbers — millions of people, in fact — when you consider the total population of the United States, he commented.

When it comes to family life Hoffmann observed that pathological gambling is associated with mental health problems and divorce. When gambling reaches problem levels, children are also often acutely affected. Not only does it influence the time parents spend at home, but children also suffer from a sense of diminished personal attachment to their parents and a loss of trust in them.

In my mind, one of the colossal failures of the church in the last generation. Read it all

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Economy, Gambling, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, Poverty, Religion & Culture, Taxes

Christianity Today Previews a new Look

Check it out and see what you think.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Evangelicals, Media, Other Churches

Vatican says Christians, Muslims should unite against poverty

Christians and Muslims share concern and compassion for those suffering in poverty and can find common ground to work toward eradicating both the causes and the problems it creates, the Vatican said.

In its traditional message to Muslims at the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting, the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue called attention to poverty as “a subject at the heart of the precepts that, under different beliefs, we all hold dear.”

As “brothers and sisters in humanity,” the letter said, people of both faiths can help the poor “establish their place in the fabric of society.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Inter-Faith Relations, Islam, Other Churches, Other Faiths, Poverty, Roman Catholic

Michael Paulson–Religion reporting is losing its prominence in American newspapers

I spent the last few days here at the 60th annual convention of the Religion Newswriters Association, which is the national organization that represents the dwindling band of us who cover religion in the media. Attendance is off this year, in part because newsroom travel budgets are down, but also because the religion beat itself is suffering a serious reversal of fortune.

When I first started covering religion for the Globe nearly a decade ago, the beat was almost trendy; newspapers were beefing up their coverage considerably, religion sections were fat, and a few newspapers, like the Los Angeles Times, had four or more religion writers.

No more. There have been reductions in the number of reporters who write about religion full time at all of the nation’s biggest newspapers, and the religion news beat has disappeared from multiple midsize and smaller papers. The surviving newspaper religion sections are getting smaller.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Media, Religion & Culture

New Haven Register–How to put faith in action, one step at a time

But for a long time he stood alongside his colleagues, handing out bread and butter as people held out their trays.

O’Sullivan told me the kitchen averages 245 lunches served per day. This is up about 10 percent from last year. He also praised Leavy for “putting his considerable faith in action.” O’Sullivan called Leavy “a remarkable fellow.”

At 12:30 p.m. it was quitting time. Leavy took off his apron, picked up his cane and called Whitney Center to ask for a ride. Within a half-hour a car picked us up and brought us back to his place, where he planned to relax, take a nap and play Bach on his piano.

When I asked him if getting downtown, working and getting back was tiring, he replied with a grin, “At this age, anything makes you tired!”

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Parish Ministry, Poverty

Former oil rig designer now a man of the cloth

Most people are lucky to find one career in their lifetime that they can truly enjoy.

Yuman Bill Krieger has been fortunate enough to have two.

Krieger used to help design offshore oil rigs.

These days, every Wednesday and Sunday, the congregation at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church know him as Father Bill.

“I feel like this is a second life,” Krieger said about his current career.

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

An Editorial from the Local paper on Joe Wilson–Embarrassing our state

The president’s contention was questionable.

But Rep. Wilson’s rash rudeness was a disgrace for him, an embarrassment for South Carolina and a particularly appalling breach of protocol by a native of Charleston, a bastion of gentility. Fellow federal lawmakers swiftly responded with bipartisan condemnation….

And we express sincere disappointment at seeing Joe Wilson descending to such deplorably bitter depths in a sorry spectacle that’s a sign of our increasingly acrimonious times.

Read the whole thing.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, --The 2009 American Health Care Reform Debate, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, House of Representatives, Office of the President, Pastoral Theology, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Theology

Georgina Ferry in TLS: A strange marriage of science and psychology

Miller enthusiastically joins in the debate. He is eager to remind twenty-first-century readers that “Jung, Pauli and their contemporaries considered Jung’s research to be quite as important as Pauli’s work in physics”, and certainly seems to be more than open-minded on that point himself. Pauli was intrigued to find, on consulting a scholar of Jewish mysticism, that the word Kabbalah, written as numbers in Hebrew, adds up to 137. Miller agrees that this is “an extraordinary link between mysticism and physics”. Neither does he question Jung’s accounts of Pauli’s dreams: a more rational explanation of the images that successively appear in them might be that Pauli’s increasing preoccupation with Jung’s theories while waking caused him to rehearse versions of them in his sleep. Miller also seems surprisingly little interested in the relationship between Pauli and his parents. Pauli’s mother poisoned herself when his father left her for another woman, but Pauli’s psychological problems clearly date from before this traumatic event, which did not occur until he was twenty-seven.

Miller himself originally trained as a physicist before developing an interest in the history and philosophy of science. His ability to approach his subject from the perspective of both the sciences and the humanities is a great strength. My sympathies, however, lie with Pauli’s loving second wife Franca, who did at least as much as Jung to make him a more or less civilized member of society, and who spent the three decades she survived him trying to delay publication of his correspondence with Jung, in case it damaged his image as a serious scientist.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Psychology, Science & Technology

Giving Ramadan a Drumroll in Brooklyn at 4 A.M.

A few hours before dawn, when most New Yorkers are fast asleep, a middle-aged man rolls out of bed in Brooklyn, dons a billowy red outfit and matching turban, climbs into his Lincoln Town Car, drives 15 minutes, pulls out a big drum and ”” there on the sidewalk of a residential neighborhood ”” starts to play.

The man, Mohammad Boota, is a Ramadan drummer. Every morning during the holy month, which ends on Sept. 21, drummers stroll the streets of Muslim communities around the world, waking worshipers so they can eat a meal before the day’s fasting begins.

But New York City, renowned for welcoming all manner of cultural traditions, has limits to its hospitality. And so Mr. Boota, a Pakistani immigrant, has spent the past several years learning uncomfortable lessons about noise-complaint hot lines, American profanity and the particular crankiness of non-Muslims rousted from sleep at 3:30 a.m.

“Everywhere they complain,” he said. “People go, like, ”˜What the hell? What you doing, man?’ They never know it’s Ramadan.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Islam, Music, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture