Daily Archives: October 15, 2009

FT: Archbishop Rowan Williams queries miner shareholding

The Archbishop of Canterbury has raised concerns about the Church of England’s investment in Vedanta, the FTSE 100 mining group criticised by the government this week over its plans to open a bauxite operation in a sacred mountain area of India.

Speaking at Southwark Cathedral on Tuesday, Rowan Williams said he had approached the church commissioners ”“ who are responsible for church investments ”“ about a mining company with controversial activities in India. Dr Williams did not disclose the name of the company, but church officials have confirmed it was Vedanta.

The mining group had earlier on Tuesday been accused of failing to “respect the rights” of the 8,000-strong Dongria Kondh tribe by a government agency charged with making sure companies comply with ethical guidelines set down by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Economics, Politics, Archbishop of Canterbury, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Stock Market, Theology

Sydney Anglicans hit by $160m loss

The investment arm of the Anglican Church’s Sydney diocese posted a $160 million loss for the year ending December 2008 after its highly geared share portfolio crashed amid the global downturn.

The scale of the loss was accentuated by the fact its investment body, the Glebe Administration Board, chose to put most of its money with one fund manager.

The chief executive of the board, Steve McKerihan, said board members chose to invest more than three-quarters of its $388 million of ”growth assets” with index funds held by Barclays Global Investors.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Economics, Politics, Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican Provinces, Economy, Stock Market, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

Thomas Friedman on Afghanistan: Not Good Enough

Whatever we may think, there are way too many Afghans who think our partner, Karzai and his team, are downright awful.

That is why it is not enough for us to simply dispatch more troops. If we are going to make a renewed commitment in Afghanistan, we have to visibly display to the Afghan people that we expect a different kind of governance from Karzai, or whoever rules, and refuse to proceed without it. It doesn’t have to be Switzerland, but it does have to be good enough ”” that is, a government Afghans are willing to live under. Without that, more troops will only delay a defeat.

I am not sure Washington fully understands just how much the Taliban-led insurgency is increasingly an insurrection against the behavior of the Karzai government ”” not against the religion or civilization of its international partners. And too many Afghan people now blame us for installing and maintaining this government.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Defense, National Security, Military, Foreign Relations, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, War in Afghanistan

Heads up for those of you in the S.C. Lowcountry: [Andy] Savage Report on Dio. of S.C. coming

This local program won an Emmy award recently and just taped a whole program on the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina. Those of you who have Comcast and can get it, here are the times:

* Weekdays
* 11:30am
* 5:30pm
* 8:30pm

* Weekends
* 9:00am
* 3:30pm
* 8:30pm

I believe it will start airing this Saturday and it will run for about a week. The show lasts 1/2 an hour. Guests include Al Zadig, rector of Saint Michael’s, Barbara Mann, of the Episcopal Forum, Peet Dickinson, Dean of the Cathedral in Charleston, Father John Johnson, an Episcopal priest who taught at General Theological Seminary in New York and who is a Jungian analyst, yours truly, and Adam Parker, religion writer for the local paper, the Post and Courier. The show is hosted by Andy Savage who is a very high profile local lawyer.

This show is entirely focused on the upcoming Special Convention and the reason for the growing tensions between the diocese and TEC’s National leadership and its theology.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention, Movies & Television, TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, Theology

Charismatic Episcopal Church House of Bishops Report – Day 2

The day began with morning prayer led by Chaplain James House.

The first presentation of the day was from Fr. Chris Keough on Church Growth and Church Planting. The presentation covered the Patriarch’s vision for Church planting, a Church growth model with three case studies, the relationship between the Cathedral and the mission, how to measure progress and make adjustments, a budget for church planting and financial models for Church planting and growth.

Planting and growth–what a nice focus. Read it all.

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

TEC Affiliated Pittsburgh Diocese To Hold Convention This Weekend

The Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh reaches an important milestone and moves into a new phase of rebuilding this weekend. It meets in convention to approve a Provisional Bishop, conduct business that points to both greater stability and vitality, and to witness the ordination of a woman with deep ties to the diocese’s only predominantly African-American parish.

The governing body will convene Friday and Saturday, October 16 and 17, 2009, at the traditional seat of the diocese, Trinity Cathedral in downtown Pittsburgh.

Approximately 145 clergy and lay deputies from the diocese’s 28 active congregations will be asked to affirm the Rt. Rev. Kenneth L. Price, Jr., as Provisional Bishop. In that role, he would assume full ecclesiastical authority and responsibility as chief pastor and overseer of diocesan administration and finances until a permanent bishop can be elected and installed.

“I look forward to coming to Pittsburgh as part of a collaborative effort. Let’s work together to find out what we can do to make this the strong diocese that is part of its history,” says Bishop Price.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Pittsburgh, TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils

USA Today–Poll: In bad times, folks find ways to help

As the recession deepened, more Americans volunteered their time to churches and other religious charities.

Almost four in 10 Americans say they volunteered at a church or other religious organization in the past 12 months, according to a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll.

In September 2008, three in 10 had volunteered with a religious charity.

The weak economy and rising unemployment did not keep Americans from donating money to their churches or other favorite charities. The national telephone poll of 1,053 adults, conducted Sept. 22-23, found that 53% of Americans gave money to a religious organization and 66% gave to other charities. The poll has a margin of error of +/-4 percentage points.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Economy, Religion & Culture, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

Overdue Justice Finally Done in South Carolina for an Early 20th Century Case

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

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Law & Legal Issues, Race/Race Relations

An Amazing Hockey Shot from a 9 year old

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Children, Sports

RNS: Pope names NIH director to Vatican think tank

Pope Benedict XVI has appointed Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, to the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Sciences.

Collins, 59, is the geneticist who led the Human Genome Project, the international research project that mapped out the body’s complete genetic code in 2003. Among his other accomplishments, he was part of the team that in 1989 identified the gene causing cystic fibrosis.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Evangelicals, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Science & Technology

John P. Hannah: Cripple Iran to save it

If current negotiations falter, international efforts to curtail Iran’s nuclear program may escalate to the imposition of “crippling sanctions” or even the use of military force. A crucial question that policymakers must consider is whether such punitive measures would help or hinder the popular uprising against the Iranian regime that emerged after the country’s fraudulent June 12 presidential elections.

The so-called green movement — the color has been adopted by the opposition — poses the most serious challenge to the survivability of the Islamic Republic in its 30-year history. Few analysts doubt that if it succeeded in toppling Iran’s hard-line regime, the crisis over the Iranian nuclear program would become far more susceptible to diplomatic resolution.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Defense, National Security, Military, Foreign Relations, Iran, Middle East

The Independent–The people vs Wall Street

The trial promises to be a bitter fight between prosecutors, who accuse the pair of lying and manipulating evidence, and defence lawyers, who say the men are being made scapegoats for a financial crisis that was not of their making. The outcome could also be a harbinger of things to come, as the US Justice Department considers bringing cases against even bigger fish on Wall Street.

“This is not a revenge opportunity,” the 75-year-old judge, Frederic Block, had told prospective jurors. Neither Mr Cioffi nor Mr Tannin is charged with “causing” the credit crisis. They are charged with behaving dishonestly when the crisis began to break. The pair were traders in mortgage securities, curators of two hedge funds that invested in debt which is now known to have been toxic but which had seemed to promise great riches. They worked at the long end of the chain that stretched from overheated housing markets in the south and west of the US, where millions of buyers were tempted into taking on mortgages they could not afford.

Those mortgages were sliced and diced by Wall Street and turned into securities which could be bought and sold as if they were shares. Credit rating agencies had certified the Bear Stearns funds’ mortgage derivative portfolio as super-safe; the defendants’ superiors at Bear Stearns and the funds’ outside investors believed they were taking little risk. The question is when the two managers realised this was far from true.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Housing/Real Estate Market, Law & Legal Issues, Stock Market, The Banking System/Sector, Theology

Washington Post–The Pastor Who Has Obama's Attention

The Rev. Jeremiah Wright is long gone; Rick Warren, just an Inauguration Day memory. The hordes of ministers around town who were hoping they’d somehow wind up with the first family in their pews have (mostly) given up.

The president has been pastorless for quite a while now. Well, sort of.

Seventy miles from Washington’s prying eyes, Barack Obama has been attending church from time to time at Camp David, where services are led by a 39-year-old Navy chaplain with a famous last name, a compelling life story and a fervent belief in a God who works miracles.

Carey Cash, the great-nephew of singer Johnny Cash and the younger brother of a former Miss America, sees the hand of God in every part of his journey: from the football fields where he once aspired to the NFL to the medical facilities where he learned he’d never play again; from the battered Humvee where he came under fire on the streets of Baghdad to the tiny chapel where he preaches to the country’s commander in chief in the Western Maryland mountains.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Office of the President, Parish Ministry, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Religion & Culture

Gail Collins: Economic Changes Opened Doors For Women

Women’s roles in the workplace and home have changed in the past 50 years, thanks in part to the economy and advocacy from many corners. In When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of American Women from 1960 to the Present, author Gail Collins chronicles that transformation.

“Over the last 50 years, women have taken equal responsibility in many cases for supporting their family,” Collins, the first woman to be editorial page editor of The New York Times, tells Steve Inskeep.

“Forty percent of new births are to single women, and women are 50 percent of the work force now, and that’s not going to change no matter how many theories you have, how many discussions you have about what women’s roles should be. That’s the way it is. That’s what the economy is dictating, and women just step up to the plate and deal with it.”

Caught this one yesterday during the midday run–listen to it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., History, Women

A Quest to Read a Book a Day for 365 Days

Last Oct. 28, on her 46th birthday, Nina Sankovitch read a novel, “The Elegance of the Hedgehog,” by Muriel Barbery. The next day she posted a review online deeming it “beautiful, moving and occasionally very funny.”

The next day she read “The Emigrants,” by W. G. Sebald, and the day after that, “A Sun for the Dying,” by Jean-Claude Izzo. On Thanksgiving she read Peter Ackroyd’s biography of Isaac Newton; on Christmas, “The Love Song of Monkey,” by Michael S. A. Graziano; on July 4, “Dreamers,” by Knut Hamsun. When seen Friday, she was working on “How to Paint a Dead Man,” by Sarah Hall. She finished two more over the weekend during a trip to Rochester with her family (husband; 27-year-old stepdaughter; four boys ages 16, 14, 11 and 8) for her in-laws’ 60th wedding anniversary. In a time-deprived world, where book reading is increasingly squeezed off the page, it is hard to know what’s most striking about Ms. Sankovitch’s quest, now on Day 350, to read a book every day for a year and review them on her blog, www.readallday.org.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Books