Daily Archives: October 1, 2009

Official List of Candidates for Next Episcopal Bishop of Louisiana

The official slate of candidates for the 11th Bishop of Louisiana consists of the following names:

* The Rev. Kurt Dunkle, rector, Grace Episcopal Church, Jacksonville, Florida
* The Rev. Paul A. Elliott, rector, St. Michael & All Angels Church, Stone Mountain, Georgia
* The Rev. Paul A. Johnson, rector, Christ Church, Glen Allen, Virginia
* The Rev. Ken Ritter, rector, Trinity Church, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
* The Rt. Rev. Michael G. Smith, bishop, Diocese of North Dakota
* The Very Rev. Morris K. Thompson, dean, Christ Church Cathedral, Lexington, Kentucky

follow the links provided for more information.

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

New Anglican Church, Christ the King, Forms in Albuquerque

A majority of the members of St. Mark’s-on-the-Mesa Episcopal Church are leaving their church property and endowments worth over $2 million to form a new parish, Christ the King Anglican Church.

This past Sunday, September 27, the former priest-in-charge of St. Mark’s, The Rev. Roger Weber, along with two other clergy members, eight of ten staff members, and eleven of twelve members of the church governing board (vestry) announced their decision to leave the Episcopal Church and form the new Anglican parish. They will become part of the Anglican Church in North America, which was recently formed in response to widespread un-biblical teaching and practice in The Episcopal Church (U.S.) and the Anglican Church of Canada.

“This has been a difficult decision, but after the 2009 Episcopal General Convention in July, we have finally come to the point where we cannot continue in a denomination that rejects the authority of scripture and increasingly characterizes the uniqueness of Jesus Christ as tangential and non-essential, rather than Son of God, Lord and Savior,” said The Rev. Weber. “We’re excited about our future as part of the Anglican Church in North America, which is aligned with the majority of Christians worldwide who uphold biblical faith and teaching.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Rio Grande, TEC Departing Parishes

Thomas Rosica–Marriage and the Family: Humanity's Future

We must never forget that other bonds of love and interdependency, of commitment and mutual responsibility exist in society. They may be good; they may even be recognized in law. They are clearly not the same as marriage; they are something else. No extension of terminology for legal purposes will change the observable reality that only the committed union of a man and a woman carries, not only the bond of interdependency between the two adults, but the capacity to bring forth children.

This week, let us recommit ourselves to building up the human family, to strengthening marriage, to blessing and nurturing children, and to making our homes, families and parish communities holy, welcoming places for women and men of every race, language, orientation and way of life.

In our pastoral strategies, programs and preaching, how do we welcome the sanctifying role of Jesus Christ in the marriage of a man and woman? Are we ready to offer Jesus’ teaching on marriage with the openness to children? What are some of the weaknesses and painful situations that afflict marriages today? Can these marriages be saved and the brokenness in the husband-wife relationships be healed? What is the role of faith in all of this?

Let us pray today for married people, that they may grow in this awareness of the sacramentality of marriage and its capacity to reflect the love of God to our world. Let us continue to help one another to bear the blessings, burdens and crosses that the Lord has given to us. And let us never forget those who have loved and lost, and those who have suffered the pain of separation, divorce and alienation. May they find healing in the community of the Church, and welcome from those whose marriages have borne much fruit.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Marriage & Family, Other Churches, Pastoral Theology, Roman Catholic, Theology

In Pittsburgh Nonprofit aids in job search

Sometimes it seems the only way to find a new job is through divine intervention. And a clean suit can’t hurt. Both can be found with the help of a local nonprofit called Priority Two, and a dry cleaning service in Pine.

Priority Two, based in North Way Christian Community in Marshall, has been offering moral support and training people to look for work successfully since the recession of 1982.

Brothers Todd and Scott Fennell, of Natrona Heights in Harrison, have operated their Martinizing Dry Cleaning franchise in Pine Tree Shops on Route 19 in Pine since last May, but they have already joined with Priority Two to offer a one-time, free dry cleaning of professional attire for unemployed people facing the all-important job interview.

Read it all.

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

AllAfrica–Nigerian Primate-elect Okoh – Revealing a Truth-Bearing Ministry

Elected to take up the leadership of the Church of Christ (Anglican Communion) by March 25 next year, the Primate-elect Archbishop Nicholas Okoh has already started drawing media attention. On Monday, September 28, he was widely reported as speaking out powerfully against the country’s rulers.

Okoh, speaking in Abuja, the nation’s capital, on the country’s independence, berated Nigeria’s leaders for the plight of the country, cautioning that unless they mended their ways, the country would remain stagnant.

Providing more details, he said unless leaders of the country change their attitude, have the fear of God, shun thuggery, ballot box snatching, political assassinations and treasury looting, that Nigeria would remain backward, “even if it celebrates its 1,000-year anniversary.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anglican Provinces, Church of Nigeria, Nigeria, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

LA Times–judge orders church to turn over property to Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles

A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge Wednesday ordered leaders of a former Episcopal church in La Crescenta to turn over church property by Oct. 12 to the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles, marking the latest wrinkle in a long-running legal dispute.

St. Luke’s Anglican Church and the diocese have been feuding since 2006, when a majority of the parish’s congregants voted to pull out of the diocese and the 2.1-million-member Episcopal Church because of differences over biblical authority and interpretation, including the national church’s decision to consecrate an openly gay bishop.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Los Angeles

An Upcoming Conference:Why Homosexuality? Religion, Globalization, and the Anglican Schism

From the promotional blurb on the website:

Rather than restaging the arguments for and against the ordination of openly gay clergy, this day-long conference analyzes the threatened schism in the Anglican Communion in order to examine wide-ranging and interrelated issues of religion, secularism, globalization, nationalism, and modernity. How and why, we ask, has homosexuality come to serve as a flash point for so many local and global conflicts?

Check it out here.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, - Anglican: Analysis, Education, Episcopal Church (TEC), Global South Churches & Primates, Globalization, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Conflicts, Theology

Mohamed El-Erian: Return of the old ways of thinking threatens Economic Recovery

First, consumer indebtedness is still too high relative to income expectations and credit availability, particularly in the US and the UK. This inconsistency will hold back any sustainable bounce in the most important component of aggregate demand.

Second, some banks’ balance sheets are still too geared for the comfort of regulators or their own managers. This will inhibit them from lending to the real economy at a time when certain sectors (such as commercial real estate, but also residential housing) still require significant refinancing, and when consumers need time to work down their excessive debt loads.

Third, unemployment has risen well beyond expectations, and is likely to prove unusually protracted. It will take years for US unemployment to return to its natural rate, even after the natural rate shifted upwards. This will dampen the recovery of consumption and investment, stress social contracts that assume flexible labour markets, and endanger political support for essential structural reforms.

Finally, public debt has grown so rapidly as to spark concerns about future debt dynamics….

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Federal Reserve, Globalization, Housing/Real Estate Market, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Stock Market, The Banking System/Sector, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, The National Deficit, The U.S. Government, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner

Living Church–Archbishop Rowan Williams: Covenant Adoption Limited to Provinces

Central Florida also asked the Archbishop of Canterbury to “outline and implement a process by which individual dioceses, and even parishes, could become members of the Anglican Covenant, even in cases where their provincial or diocesan authorities decline to do so.”

In a Sept. 28 letter to the Rt. Rev. John W. Howe, Bishop of Central Florida, Archbishop Williams called the diocesan bodies’ endorsement a step in the right direction. However, he stated, “as a matter of constitutional fact, the [Anglican Consultative Council] can only offer the covenant for ”˜adoption’ to its own constituent bodies (the provinces).”

The archbishop added that “I see no objection to a diocese resolving less formally on an ”˜endorsement’ of the covenant.” Such an action would not have an “institutional effect” but “would be a clear declaration of intent to live within the agreed terms of the Communion’s life and so would undoubtedly positively affect a diocese’s pastoral and sacramental relations” with the wider communion, he said.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Covenant, Archbishop of Canterbury, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops, TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils

From the Local Paper: In South Carolina Churches doing fine

Nationally, the Great Recession has taken its toll on organized religion, but exceptions exist in some places, and South Carolina is one of those.

In the Palmetto State denominations are reporting stable attendance rates, even some growth; and while giving is down, South Carolina congregations have not been hurt as badly as others….

The Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina, with 72 active churches in the lower part of the state, has been growing steadily since 1990, according to Nancy Armstrong, assistant treasurer.

Church operating income did not grow in 2008, likely because of a terrible fourth quarter, she said.

The diocese is projecting an 11 percent decline in operating income for 2009, from about $34.4 million the year before to $30.95 million, Armstrong said, calling the change a reflection of the general economy. “We have not seen a discernible drop in Sunday attendance,” she added.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, * South Carolina, Evangelism and Church Growth, Other Churches, Parish Ministry

A Ny Times Editorial: Abortion and Health Care Reform

Critics of pending health care reforms claim they want to ensure that the government does not thrust itself between patients and doctors to dictate what medical procedures can be performed. Yet many are trying to do just that when it comes to one legal and medically valid service: abortion.

Republicans and anti-abortion Democrats in both houses of Congress are seeking to prohibit millions of Americans ”” those who might receive tax subsidies to help them buy insurance ”” from purchasing plans that would cover an abortion.

In a rational system of medical care, there would be virtually no restrictions on financing abortions. But abortion is not a rational issue, and opponents have succeeded in broadly denying the use of federal dollars to pay for them, except in the case of pregnancies that result from rape or incest or that endanger a woman’s life.

These restrictions…constitute an improper government intrusion into Americans’ private lives….

Read it all.

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

Online hate speech: Difficult to police … and define

As the real world grows more tolerant of differences, the virtual world grows with hatred.

Complaints against groups on social networking sites that call for threats, violence and hatred toward people who are Jewish, black, gay or have disabilities are on the rise as Americans celebrate the 19th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the country rallies around its first black president, and gay marriage is legalized in some states.

Read it all and please choose your language online or elsewhere carefully.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Blogging & the Internet, Law & Legal Issues

Camilla Fuhr Nilsson on Michael Yon's Blog about Afghanistan: Pedro Inspired the Vikings

“These things we do that others may live” is the current motto of the US Air Force combat search and rescue team, or Pedro as they are called when deployed to Afghanistan. They fly into the battlefield with their smooth Pave Hawk helicopters and evacuate the wounded infantry soldiers and Marines. On a recent evacuation of two Danish soldiers in the middle of a battle with the Taliban, the Viking ancestors made a memorable difference to the 129th American Air Force Pedros crew.

It was a hot day in June even though it was still early in the morning. The traditionally dry heat of the southern Afghan desert, combined with the humidity of the green vegetation known as the Green Zone around the Helmand River, made the Danish infantry soldiers from the Danish Royal Husars drip with sweat as they patrolled in the green fields with heavy equipment and body amour. The squad, also known as Charlie Coy, soon got engaged in a heavy battle with Taliban fighters. Two Danish soldiers were shot by the Taliban and the medic called for evacuation””the so-called medevac. The American Pedro team 129th responded to the call.

Inspiring stuff–read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, War in Afghanistan

Natalie Haynes: Now you can do Christmas even if you don’t do God

Most of the book simply reveals that many people who don’t do God love to do Christmas. Claire Rayner writes extensively on the many pagan traditions wrapped up in a modern Christmas. Josie Long offers an array of games and crafts to keep the most petulant Scrooge entertained.

But above all, Atheist’s Guide shows a new side to the rationalist movement. For a start, it gives room even to those who are technically agnostic, like me. I long for an agnostic bus campaign, pondering the unknowability of buses, before deciding that the 38 might get us home whether it exists or not. Second, it shows that atheists are actually for something ”” fun, kindness, pleasure, charity and scientific wonder. The late Douglas Adams summarised the position perfectly when he asked: “Isn’t it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe there are fairies at the bottom of it too?” This is our gardening manual.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Atheism, England / UK, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture

A (London) Times Editorial on China: Sixty Years On

China’s leaders are desperate to prevent any repetition of the Tiananmen pro-democracy protests of 20 years ago. They have still not learnt to tolerate dissent or to treat all citizens equally, from Tibet to the ethnic Uighurs of the Xinjiang region. President Hu Jintao’s China can take pride in its huge advances. But it is not confident enough to give the Chinese people freedom of choice in a democratic vote. Until the rule of law is introduced, it will lack full legitimacy.

China also has to face up to its world role. Mr Hu made a good start at the UN General Assembly by taking the lead on climate change, and Beijing has another chance to pull its weight today by helping the West to confront Iran over its nuclear programme. Unless Beijing accepts the need for a firm stand on Iran, Zimbabwe or Darfur, it will fail to live up to the world power status it craves. Too often it sees the world purely in terms of its interests and economic advantage. If this is to be “the Chinese century”, it must put aside myth and confront its responsibilities. The Chinese people have stood up ”” but for what?

Read it all.

Posted in * International News & Commentary, Asia, China