Daily Archives: October 8, 2009

Uganda’s future depends on addressing unrest, says Archbishop

Unless Uganda begins to address the poverty, ethnic divisions and social unrest in its midst, the country’s future will be blighted, Archbishop Henry Orombi of Uganda has warned.

Police report that 24 people died in two days of rioting in and around Kampala that began on Sept 10 after the government forbade King Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II, the leader of Uganda’s largest ethnic group, the Baganda, from touring the Kayunga region near Kampala.

Kayunga is a part of the Baganda kingdom, however, only a minority of its residents are Baganda. The government forbade the king from visiting the region after it said he declined to meet with separatist groups.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of Uganda

David Malpass: The Weak-Dollar Threat to Prosperity

Measured in euros (a more stable ruler than the ever-weakening dollar), U.S. real per capita GDP is down 25% since 2000, while Germany’s is up 4% and tops ours.

The solution is a strong U.S. jobs and wealth program. It has to include stable money, a flatter, more competitive tax structure, spending restraint, and common-sense bank regulation so small business lending can restart. Treasury has to rapidly lengthen the maturity of the national debt and take steps to protect the Fed from market losses on its long-term debt holdings.

Instead, Washington’s current economic program pushes capital away by weakening the dollar, threatening higher tax rates, borrowing short (the Fed’s near trillion-dollar overnight debt, Treasury’s mounds of bill and note issuance) to lend long (mortgages, student loans, entitlements), doubling down on government subsidies, and rechanneling bank loans to governments and big businesses instead of the small business job-growth engine.

Read it carefully and read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Budget, Economy, Globalization, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, The National Deficit, The U.S. Government, The United States Currency (Dollar etc), Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner

The President’s Address to the Synod of the Diocese of Melbourne

The building up of people and parishes is at the heart of ministry. Whatever ”˜church’ might look like in an assortment of possible expressions, with a better supported clergy and more teaching and learning opportunities, parishioners will be nurtured better in worship and faith.

We know that parish is a geographic and administrative term as much as it is a term for a local unit of the Church. Our parish system has been marvellously effective in evangelising neighbourhoods and sustaining the faithful with pastoral care. Nevertheless we know that modern society sees many people relating to each other through networks of shared interest, not just through or not even in neighbourhoods. The Church of England has pioneered work in Fresh Expressions of Church to seek to evangelise the networks of relationship in our society and pastorally care for Christians within them. There are undoubtedly many opportunities for us to progress work in this area in Australia. Early initiatives have included a dog walking group in the northern suburbs, the revitalisation of midweek worship as a focus for community in itself, and ministry around cycling groups in Bendigo.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican Provinces

Climate change, violence on the streets in Focus among Anglicans in Melbourne

The Synod opened last night in St Paul’s Cathedral with an address by Anglican Archbishop of Melbourne, Dr Philip Freier, who said that the fragility of human existence reminded us of the folly of seeking security in the physical rather than the spiritual. “The devastation of the bushfires in February, the continued effects of the drought and natural disasters in our region all point to our rather less secure grasp on the world than most Australians had come to expect.”

Moreover, the Global Financial Crisis, and predictions of future disasters arising from climate change, reinforced this view. For Christians, he added, the answer lies “in the promise of our redemption in Christ”¦ [this is where] we find the deepest purpose of God who calls us into being and maintains our hope even in the midst of a world with forces that have the power to crush us.”

He also outlined the achievements of the Anglican Diocese of Melbourne over the past 12 months, including its Bushfire Appeal and recovery program which was established following the tragic bushfires of 7 February; and the ”˜fresh connections’ parishes had been making with their local communities through such events as Open Church Week in July, and Back to Church Sunday in September.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican Provinces

Casper Journal: Episcopal Church's Presiding Bishop says ”˜stay grounded’

The mission that grounds Jefferts Schori is transforming the world so that it looks like the reign of God. She is vocal about the Episcopal Church’s priorities, including the United Nations Millennium Development Goals that address issues including poverty and hunger, climate change and care for the earth and sustainable development. “There’s more in the Bible about hunger and poverty than sexuality,” she said. “Jesus healed people more than he did anything else.”

Jefferts Schori also challenges the church she pastors to “recognize, bless, and celebrate multicultural reality.” In the Omaha diocese, Episcopal, Jewish and Muslim congregations are purchasing a single piece of property to build a shared building that will include worship space for each faith and a common area that can be used by the community during the week. The example of interfaith relations recognizes the commonality of the three denominations Abrahamic roots and their differences, Jefferts Schori said.

Attendance at the Episcopal Church is declining just as it is at other traditional denominations. The average Episcopal congregation has 75 worshippers on a Sunday and 19,000 more members of the aging church die than are born each year. The presiding bishop said the solution is to reach out to growing populations, including Hispanics, who have not been part of what is mistakenly perceived as a white, upper class church that kneels and stands and supports gays and lesbians. “The task of evangelism is to present worship in a language that can be understood and shape worship to speak to a new generation. It’s not necessarily change. It’s addition,” Jefferts Schori said.

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Posted in Uncategorized

Salem News: In Massachusetts a new Anglican parish, a traditional creed

A core membership of 200 former Christ Church members have raised $370,000 to pay for the initial startup, with the hope of raising more to buy the church outright.

This new parish has its roots in a deep division among conservatives and liberals within the Episcopal Church as a whole, strife that came to a head in 2003 with the consecration of the openly gay Right Rev. Gene Robinson as bishop of the Diocese of New Hampshire.

The founders of this new church don’t consider this a split from the Hamilton parish, but the founding of a new church under the Anglican Communion, said David Greening, 58, of Beverly, a retired marketing and communications manager from Osram Sylvania. He’s the church’s senior warden.

“It’s more of a pioneering effort on our part,” Greening said. “This is not a schism.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Conflicts, TEC Departing Parishes, Theology

Anglicans, Catholics in Kayunga hold joint prayers

THE Anglican and Catholic Churches in Kayunga district conducted a joint service on Sunday in St. Stephen’s church of Uganda Namagabi. They prayed for the talks between the central Government and Buganda kingdom to produce good results.

The service was led by the Catholic priest of Namagabi parish, Emmanuel Walakira, with the help of the Anglican priest of St. Stephen’s church Daniel Balabyekubo.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of Uganda, Ecumenical Relations, Other Churches, Roman Catholic

A Living Church Article on the Pittsburgh decision about which I am increasing Troubled

The letter refers to Canon III.9.8 but does not cite it by title: “Renunciation of the Ordained Ministry.” That language has proven a stumbling point, in recent years, as other priests have received occasional offers for release without deposition.

The canon applies to any priest who wants to resign from the Episcopal Church’s holy orders, “acting voluntarily and for causes, assigned or known, which do not affect the priest’s moral character.” The canon’s wording sometimes has left priests uncertain of whether they are being asked to renounce only their ministry within the Episcopal Church or their future ministry as priests.

Read it all. While I appreciate that the desire to be generous is motivating those taking this decision, the problem is the canon which is being used. This is not what the canon is for. The more time I have had to ponder this, the more troubled I have become. There were other ways to undertake this which do not involve misuse of the canons–KSH.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Anglican Provinces, Cono Sur [formerly Southern Cone], Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Pittsburgh, TEC Polity & Canons

Comox Valley Echo: Island Anglicans face crunch

The decision to suspend the camp’s operations is just the first of many expected changes in the diocese, which serves Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. In a recent issue of the Diocesan Post, Rev. Gary Nicolosi made it clear a major transformation is needed.

Under the headline – “Can We Handle The Truth?” – Nicolosi said average Sunday attendance across the entire Island fell last year to 3,856 from 4,955 in 2007. The average Anglican congregation had just 82 worshippers – down 15 from the previous year – and most parishes reported budget deficits.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces

Christianity Today: Europe's Past Is Today's Hope

According to church organizers, 120,000 people heard the pope’s homily on September 27, which Benedict delivered in an open field near the Brno airport. Like his other addresses on the challenges of modernity and secularization, Benedict spoke on behalf of the broad Christian tradition, indicating that the dire situation demands a unified Christian apologetic. He referenced Isaiah 61:1-3a, when the prophet explains his Spirit-anointed mission to proclaim liberty to captives and console the afflicted and poor. Jesus, of course, fulfilled this promise (Luke 4:16-21). Indeed, Jesus accomplished this mission counter-intuitively, through his death and resurrection. Those who believe in him are freed from slavery to selfishness and evil, sin and death.

This message never changes, but Benedict admitted that the cultural circumstances in Europe have altered dramatically. Faith has been limited to the private, supernatural realm. Scientific, economic, and social progress claim to fill the void. Yet Benedict reminded the audience that history holds little promise that a society built on anything but God can long sustain human freedom and promote the values of goodness, justice, and fraternity.

“Technical developments and the improvement of social structures are important and certainly necessary, but they are not enough to guarantee the moral welfare of society,” Benedict said. “Man needs to be liberated from material oppressions, but more profoundly, he must be saved from the evils that afflict the spirit. And who can save him if not God, who is Love and has revealed his face as almighty and merciful Father in Jesus Christ? Our firm hope is therefore Christ: in him, God has loved us to the utmost and has given us life in abundance (cf. Jn 10:10), the life that every person, even if unknowingly, longs to possess.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Europe, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

Victoria News: British Columbia Anglican diocese in 'crisis'

The Anglican Diocese of B.C. is in “crisis” and planning “drastic action,” to make up for dwindling revenues, declining attendance and increased deficit within its parishes totalling about $1 million.

The economy and declining attendance is likely to blame.

The diocese includes 64 churches on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands, 26 in the Capital Region.

While there are more than 9,000 members on the islands, on average less than half that number attend weekly worship, down from about 5,000 regular attendees last year.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces

USA Today: Poll finds skepticism on Afghanistan

Eight years ago, the U.S.-led assault against al-Qaeda fighters and the Taliban regime that gave them haven in Afghanistan won almost universal backing from Americans reeling from the 9/11 attacks.

Now, as President Obama wrestles with whether to deploy tens of thousands of additional U.S. troops to the war there, he faces treacherous crosscurrents that have put him at odds with some of his strongest supporters ”” and created a potential public faceoff with the military commander he installed.

Obama met for three hours with his top national security advisers at the White House Situation Room on Wednesday and heads back there Friday for sessions on Pakistan and neighboring Afghanistan.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, War in Afghanistan

Dollar's Slide Gives Rise to Calls for New Reserve

The U.S. dollar continued its six-month slide Tuesday amid a growing international chorus that wants the dollar replaced — or at least supplemented — as the world’s reserve currency, a move that would end the greenback’s six decades of global dominance.

The dollar has come under attack from abroad as the economic crisis has played out, thanks to the Federal Reserve’s decision to flood a seized-up financial system with liquidity last fall. The central bank’s moves likely staved off deflation, but the massive influx of new dollars has devalued existing ones. Foreign nations are worried that the massive U.S. national debt and rising deficits are not being addressed. And though inflation is not yet a concern in the United States, a prolonged slide in the dollar’s value could lead to higher prices for consumers.

Further, large emerging economies — such as China, Russia, Brazil and India — are tired of kow-towing to the American buck, and sense an opportunity to knock a weakened dollar off its imperial perch.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Budget, Economy, Globalization, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, The U.S. Government, The United States Currency (Dollar etc)

Thomas Friedman: Our Three Bombs

I am a 56-year-old baby boomer, and looking around today it’s very clear that my generation had it easy: We grew up in the shadow of just one bomb ”” the nuclear bomb. That is, in our day, it seemed as if there was just one big threat that could trigger a nonlinear, 180-degree change in the trajectory of our lives: the Soviets hitting us with a nuke. My girls are not so lucky.

Today’s youth are growing up in the shadow of three bombs ”” any one of which could go off at any time and set in motion a truly nonlinear, radical change in the trajectory of their lives.

The first, of course, is still the nuclear threat, which, for my generation, basically came from just one seemingly rational enemy, the Soviet Union, with which we shared a doctrine of mutual assured destruction. Today, the nuclear threat can be delivered by all kinds of states or terrorists, including suicidal jihadists for whom mutual assured destruction is a delight, not a deterrent.

But there are now two other bombs our children have hanging over them: the debt bomb and the climate bomb.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Defense, National Security, Military, Economy, Energy, Natural Resources, Politics in General, The National Deficit, The U.S. Government, Young Adults

Obama under fire over falling dollar

The sharp fall in the US dollar is giving ammunition to the critics of the Obama administration and fuelling broader concerns about the erosion of America’s reserve currency status.

Republican politicians have highlighted the dollar’s slide as evidence of waning US power. On Wednesday, Sarah Palin, the Republican former vice-presidential candidate, added her voice to those who have expressed concern over the consequences of rising US indebtedness and dependence on foreign oil.

“We can see the effect of this in the price of gold, which hit a record high today in response to fears about the weakened dollar,” she wrote on her Facebook site.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Economy, Globalization, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, The U.S. Government, The United States Currency (Dollar etc)