Daily Archives: September 25, 2009

Julia Duin–Anglican Bishop Martyn Minns tells Lutherans to leave

Read it all and watch the whole video.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, CANA, Lutheran, Other Churches, Sexuality Debate (Other denominations and faiths)

The People of Saint James Episcopal Church, James Island, S.C., Speak Out

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

Bari Weiss: Palestinian Leaders Deny Jerusalem's Past

Jews have no history in the city of Jerusalem: They have never lived there, the Temple never existed, and Israeli archaeologists have admitted as much. Those who deny this are simply liars. Or so says Sheik Tayseer Rajab Tamimi, chief Islamic judge of the Palestinian Authority.

His claims, made last month, would be laughable if they weren’t so common among Palestinians. Sheik Tamimi is only the latest to insist that, in his words, Jerusalem is solely “an Arab and Islamic city and it has always been so.” His comments come on the heels of those by Shamekh Alawneh, a lecturer in modern history at Al Quds University. On an Aug. 11 PA television program, “Jerusalem””History and Culture,” Mr. Alawneh argued that the Jews invented their connection to Jerusalem. “It has no historical roots,” he said, adding that the Jews are engaging in “an attack on history, theft of culture, falsification of facts, erasure of the truth, and Judaization of the place.”

As President Barack Obama and his foreign-policy team gear up to propose yet another plan for Israeli-Arab peace, they would do well to focus less on important but secondary issues like settlement growth, and instead notice that top Palestinian intellectual and political leaders deny basic truths about the region’s most important city.

Read it all.

Posted in * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Israel, Judaism, Middle East, Other Faiths, The Palestinian/Israeli Struggle

ABC Nightline–Born to Cheat? Tempers Meet Testimony at Debate on Adultery

It is a thorny, contentious issue that brings along with it a multitude of questions. Are people born to cheat? Is the seventh commandment still relevant in a country where more than 40 percent of the marriages end in divorce? What constitutes adultery? Is lying worse than cheating?

To explore all of these questions, “Nightline” went out to the heart of the Bible belt for the fourth installment of the “Nightline Face-Off” series, moderated by co-anchor Cynthia McFadden, asking simply: Are we born to cheat?

The conversation was a powerful, candid and, at times, painful look at adultery and marriage, and the panel was as complex as the topic.

Read it all and also watch the whole debate.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Theology

A Profile of Pittsburgh as a Green City

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

Love the comment about the parks–watch it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Economy, Energy, Natural Resources, G20, Pittsburgh Summit September 2009, Science & Technology

Charles Ries: Green buildings, jobs and summits

In rich countries, more than a third of all energy is used to heat, cool and light buildings, or used within buildings, efficiently or not. Climate change demands we slash that consumption.

That’s one reason why President Obama is hosting this week’s G-20 summit at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center and the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens — two buildings that are “gold” certified for their energy-efficiency design characteristics by the U.S. Green Buildings Council.

The venues are part of the message: investments in renovation and energy-aware construction can be a big part of a green jobs strategy. If the United States is to be a global competitor in green building technology, it needs to learn from some of the other countries that will be at the table in Pittsburgh.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, Energy, Natural Resources, G20, Pittsburgh Summit September 2009

Immigrants Cling to Fragile Lifeline at Safety-Net Hospital

If Grady Memorial Hospital succeeds in closing its outpatient dialysis clinic, Tadesse A. Amdago, a 69-year-old immigrant from Ethiopia, said he would begin “counting the days until I die.” Rosa Lira, 78, a permanent resident from Mexico, said she also assumed she “would just die.” Another woman, a 32-year-old illegal immigrant from Honduras, said she could only hope to make it “back to my country to die.”

The patients, who have relied for years on Grady’s free provision of dialysis to people without means, said they had no other options to obtain the care that is essential to their survival. But the safety-net hospital, after years of failed efforts to drain its red ink, is not backing away from what its chairman, A. D. Correll, calls a “gut-wrenching decision”: closing the clinic this month.

The sides confronted each other in state court on Wednesday morning as lawyers for the patients sought to keep the clinic open until other arrangements for dialysis could be secured. Dialysis patients and their families packed the benches and 60-year-old Nelson Tabares, a seriously ill illegal immigrant from Honduras, was wheeled into court in a portable bed.

Despite a judge’s urging that the two sides negotiate a solution Wednesday, there was no agreement by the end of the day on how to go forward. For the time being, a restraining order keeping the clinic open stands. The judge is considering whether to extend it.

The dialysis unit on Grady’s ninth floor might as well be ground zero for the national health care debate.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, --The 2009 American Health Care Reform Debate, Health & Medicine, Poverty

Morristown New Jersey welcomes a Rockin' Rector

There was pomp and pageantry, enough clergy to move a mountain (or at least, to guarantee nice weather), a heavenly choir, and one of the finest bands in the land.

Somewhere amidst all this, Janet Broderick was given the ceremonial keys to St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, as its 17th rector. The Morristown celebration included actor Matthew Broderick, Janet’s brother; former Newark Bishop Jon Shelby Spong and present Bishop Mark Beckwith, and the Blaire Reinhard Band.

“It feels wonderful,” Janet Broderick said afterward. “I felt all the love. It’s incredible. I wanted to do one of these for everybody there.”

Read it all and make sure to chec k out the pictures.

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

Norwich Connecticut church rector red-faced as scam hijacks her e-mail account

A person was able to access Cunningham’s e-mail account and sent the note to nearly everyone on her e-mail list. That’s about 1,200 people, Cunningham estimated.

”It’s been really embarrassing,” Cunningham said. “People have called thinking I’ve been held hostage in England and was forced to send this message. It’s been crazy. I’ve had lots of phone calls and e-mails from people.”

Cunningham, who was first alerted to the e-mail by her daughter, who called her about 6:30 a.m. Thursday, said she was thankful no one seemed to have wired money, like the e-mail requested.

She believes the person was able to access her account when she provided her e-mail login and password to what she thought was a request from Google customer service.

Be careful out there–read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Blogging & the Internet

Nonprofits Paying Price for Gamble on Finances

Homeowners and businesses were not alone in taking on piles of debt over the last decade. Nonprofits of all sizes did the same, and now they, too, are paying the price.

Far from being conservative stewards of their assets, many nonprofits engaged in what some experts call risky financial behavior. “They did auction-rate securities, interest-rate arbitrage, complex swaps ”” which backfired on them the same way it would backfire on any hedge fund or asset manager,” said Clara Miller, chief executive of the Nonprofit Finance Fund, which has experienced a huge increase in organizations turning to it for assistance with soured bonds. “Organizations got to be all fancy-pants with their financial management.”

Those struggling now include the full range of nonprofits, including museums, colleges, orchestras and small local social service providers.

For example, Brandeis University, with $208 million in tax-exempt bonds outstanding, plans to close its art museum and sell off the collection to raise money. The Orange County Performing Arts Center, with $265 million in bonds, has laid off staff members. Copia, a culinary center in Napa, Calif., went bankrupt in December with $78 million in bond-related debt that its lawyer blames for its failure.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, Credit Markets, Economy, Stock Market, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

U.S. to Accuse Iran of Having Secret Nuclear Fuel Facility

President Obama and the leaders of Britain and France will accuse Iran Friday of building a secret underground plant to manufacture nuclear fuel, saying it has hidden the covert operation from international weapons inspectors for years, according to senior administration officials.

The revelation, which the three leaders will make before the opening of the Group of 20 economic summit here, appears bound to add urgency to the diplomatic confrontation with Iran over its suspected ambitions to build a nuclear weapons capability. Mr. Obama, along with Prime Minister Gordon Brown of Britain and President Nicolas Sarkozy of France, will demand that the country allow the International Atomic Energy Agency to conduct an immediate inspection of the facility, which is said to be 100 miles southwest of Tehran.

American officials say that they have been tracking the covert project for years, but that Mr. Obama decided to make public the American findings after Iran discovered, in recent weeks, that Western intelligence agencies had breached the secrecy surrounding the project. On Monday, Iran wrote a brief, cryptic letter to the International Atomic Energy Agency, saying that it now had a “pilot plant” under construction, whose existence it had never before revealed.

But President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said nothing about the plant during his visit this week to the United Nations, where he repeated his contention that Iran had cooperated fully with inspectors, and that allegations of a nuclear weapons program are fabrications.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Defense, National Security, Military, Economy, Foreign Relations, G20, Iran, Middle East, Pittsburgh Summit September 2009

Episcopal congregation settles into new Temecula church in Southern California

In the 1980s, a small group of Episcopalians came together in a Temecula basement to worship. Over the years, the congregation grew in size and began meeting in strip malls around town.

Finally, after nearly three decades of relocation, they have a place to call home.

On the first Sunday in September, St. Thomas of Canterbury Episcopal Church and School held services in its new facility, a 17,000-square-foot mission-style church in southern Temecula.

With its pristine white paint, red brick roof and three-story bell tower, meeting in the church was a coming home of sorts for the congregation of about 200 families, Senior Warden Kay Bemis said.

“To be in an actual church instead of a storefront is amazing,” she said. “Some of our parishioners that started 30 years ago are still here, so it was really exciting for them.”

Read it all.

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

Church Times: Churches fear guide on assisted suicide will undermine law

The Bishop of Exeter, the Rt Revd Michael Langrish, welcomed the greater clarity provided by the DPP’s guidelines, “so long as there can be confidence that it will not in prac­tice lead to an erosion of respect for the present law”. The C of E would make a formal response in due course, he said.

The RC Archbishop of Cardiff, the Most Revd Peter Smith, said that the law against assisted suicide “gives expression to a profound moral in­tuition about the value of every human life”. He conceded that not every criminal case should be pros­ecuted. “There can indeed be a par­ti­cular combination of circumstances which will justify in a specific case a decision not to prosecute, in the public interest.” But he welcomed the assurance that the present law would still be applied.

The campaigning group Dignity in Dying hailed the guidance as “a breakthrough”.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Death / Burial / Funerals, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Life Ethics, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Theology

Oil Everywhere: It's a Boom Year for New Finds

(Please note that the headline above is the one found in the print edition–KSH)

The oil industry has been on a hot streak this year, thanks to a series of major discoveries that have rekindled a sense of excitement across the petroleum sector, despite falling prices and a tough economy.

These discoveries, spanning five continents, are the result of hefty investments that began earlier in the decade when oil prices rose, and of new technologies that allow explorers to drill at greater depths and break tougher rocks.

“That’s the wonderful thing about price signals in a free market ”” it puts people in a better position to take more exploration risk,” said James T. Hackett, chairman and chief executive of Anadarko Petroleum.

More than 200 discoveries have been reported so far this year in dozens of countries, including northern Iraq’s Kurdish region, Australia, Israel, Iran, Brazil, Norway, Ghana and Russia. They have been made by international giants, like Exxon Mobil, but also by industry minnows, like Tullow Oil.

Read the whole thing.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Energy, Natural Resources, Globalization, Science & Technology

Some Statistics on some Anglican Provinces from the World Christian Encyclopedia

–Anglican Church in Ghana, from 100,000 in 1970 to 236,000 in 2000

–Anglican Church of Kenya from 582,600 in 1970 to 3.1 million in 2000

–Anglican Church in Nigeria from 2.914 million in 1970 to 18 million in 2000

–Anglican Church in Rwanda from 161,899 in 1970 to 700,000 in 2000

–Anglican Church in the Sudan from 300,000 in 1970 to 2.2 million in 2000

–Anglican Church in Uganda from 1.281 million in 1970 to 8.580 million in 2000

–The American Episcopal church from 3.196 million in 1970 to 2.325 million in 2000

–The Anglican Church in Britain from 27.659 million in 1970 to 23.983 million in 2000

–The Anglican Church of Canada from 1.176 million in 1970 to 784,000 in 2000

–The Scottish Episcopal Church from 86,351 in 1970 to 48,300 in 2000

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Episcopal Church (TEC), Global South Churches & Primates, TEC Data