Daily Archives: November 12, 2009

Invite from Rome 'offensive,' says Anglican bishop Don Harvey

[Bishop Don] Harvey said the Pope’s invitation was neither helpful nor welcome.

“This is not the way to foster good ecumenical dialogue,” he said in his charge.

Both Harvey and Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, have said they do not expect many to take up the Pope’s offer.

Despite Harvey’s misgivings, several lay members of the Network at the synod told the Star on Monday they took comfort from the invitation.

“I was absolutely elated,” Phillip Wiebe of Vancouver said Monday.

Wiebe saw the Pope’s move as evidence that the Network has support for its conservative interpretation of the Bible.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic

Rowan Williams: Anglican future looks 'chaotic and uncertain'

The Archbishop of Canterbury has pleaded with the Church of England’s Anglo-Catholics to resist the temptation to convert to Roman Catholicism over women bishops.

Dr Rowan Williams admitted that the future of the Anglican Communion looked “chaotic and uncertain”.

Preaching in london, he said: “God knows what the future holds.” But he insisted that it remained possible to be at once holy, Catholic and Anglican.

Dr Williams did not refer directly to the response from Pope Benedict XVI to requests from some Church of England bishops and traditional Anglicans around the world for a means of admission to the Catholic Church.

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

John Piper on Charles Simeon: We Must Not Mind a Little Suffering

He grew downward in humiliation before God, and he grew upward in his adoration of Christ.

Handley Moule captures the essence of Simeon’s secret of longevity in this sentence: “‘Before honor is humility,’ and he had been ‘growing downwards’ year by year under the stern discipline of difficulty met in the right way, the way of close and adoring communion with God” (Moule, 64). Those two things were the heartbeat of Simeon’s inner life: growing downward in humility and growing upward in adoring communion with God.

But the remarkable thing about humiliation and adoration in the heart of Charles Simeon is that they were inseparable. Simeon was utterly unlike most of us today who think that we should get rid once and for all of feelings of vileness and unworthiness as soon as we can. For him, adoration only grew in the freshly plowed soil of humiliation for sin. So he actually labored to know his true sinfulness and his remaining corruption as a Christian.

I have continually had such a sense of my sinfulness as would sink me into utter despair, if I had not an assured view of the sufficiency and willingness of Christ to save me to the uttermost. And at the same time I had such a sense of my acceptance through Christ as would overset my little bark, if I had not ballast at the bottom sufficient to sink a vessel of no ordinary size. (Moule 134f.)

He never lost sight of the need for the heavy ballast of his own humiliation. After he had been a Christian forty years he wrote,

With this sweet hope of ultimate acceptance with God, I have always enjoyed much cheerfulness before men; but I have at the same time laboured incessantly to cultivate the deepest humiliation before God. I have never thought that the circumstance of God’s having forgiven me was any reason why I should forgive myself; on the contrary, I have always judged it better to loathe myself the more, in proportion as I was assured that God was pacified towards me (Ezekiel 16:63). . . . There are but two objects that I have ever desired for these forty years to behold; the one is my own vileness; and the other is, the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ: and I have always thought that they should be viewed together; just as Aaron confessed all the sins of all Israel whilst he put them on the head of the scapegoat. The disease did not keep him from applying to the remedy, nor did the remedy keep him from feeling the disease. By this I seek to be, not only humbled and thankful, but humbled in thankfulness, before my God and Saviour continually. (Carus, 518f.)

Please do read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Provinces, Church History, Church of England (CoE), Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Theology

Fort Hood Survivor Recalls Day Of Deadly Shooting

Twenty-seven blissful years of Army life later, last Thursday Martin was at the Soldier Readiness Center getting his final check before deploying to Iraq. He says the first moment he knew something was wrong was when he felt a sudden sharp pain in his arm.

“Then when it hit in my arm, I grabbed my arm and I realized, I ain’t never been hit that hard,” he says. “I said, ‘Golly, this hurts.’

“And then I looked at my hand, my hand was just covered in blood, but I was laying on the floor, and the floor was covered with blood, and in mind, I said, ‘I got to get out of this building.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Military / Armed Forces, Violence

Marquette Tribune: Converted churches combine Anglican traditions, Catholic values

The Rev. Richard Rodgers of Blessed Sacrament Old Catholic Church in Racine, Wis., has presided over Masses since 1989. But Rodgers isn’t a typical priest ”” the 62-year-old pastor is married and has a son and grandchildren.

A former Episcopalian minister, Rodgers leads a seven-member congregation in the Chicago Diocese of the Old Catholic Church, a hybrid of Roman Catholic and Anglican traditions.

“I left the Episcopal Church because it was slowly descending into chaos,” Rodgers said, referring to his opposition to the church’s acceptance of openly gay clergy, blessing over same-sex unions and allowance of female priests and bishops.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic

(London) Times: The 100 Best Films of the Decade

See how many you have seen. I am also interested in what you make of their top 5 and if you disagree, then which films would you include that they do not? KSH.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Movies & Television

Preacher linked to Fort Hood killer has support in Britain

A radical preacher who allegedly inspired the Fort Hood gunman has a large following in Britain and counts prominent mainstream Muslims among his supporters.

The FBI is investigating communications between Major Nidal Hasan, who killed 13 people at the Texas army base last week, and Imam Anwar al-Awlaki, a US-born Muslim cleric now based in Yemen. Mr al-Awlaki, 38, who described Major Hasan on his blog as “a hero”, has been a regular visitor to Britain and delivers frequent lectures to British audiences by video or via the internet.

Counter-terrorism sources said yesterday that Mr al-Awlaki was barred from entering Britain on security grounds while the anti-extremist Quilliam Foundation said he was “perhaps the most influential pro-jihadist ideologue preaching in English today”

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

Charles Simeon Day

O loving God, who orderest all things by thine unerring wisdom and unbounded love: Grant us in all things to see thy hand; that, following the example and teaching of thy servant Charles Simeon, we may walk with Christ in all simplicity, and serve thee with a quiet and contented mind; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Provinces, Church History, Church of England (CoE), Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Spirituality/Prayer

Boston Globe: Stimulus job boost in state exaggerated, review finds

While Massachusetts recipients of federal stimulus money collectively report 12,374 jobs saved or created, a Globe review shows that number is wildly exaggerated. Organizations that received stimulus money miscounted jobs, filed erroneous figures, or claimed jobs for work that has not yet started.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, State Government, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, The Fiscal Stimulus Package of 2009

Presiding Bishop: Episcopalians should get involved

The Episcopal Church loses about 19,000 members a year because more of them die than are baptized into the church, Jefferts Schori said. The average Episcopalian is about 57 years old. The average age American is 37, she said.

“Fifty-seven-year-olds don’t produce a lot of children,” Jefferts Schori said. “But, there are lots and lots of communities and populations among us that are growing.”

Younger generations don’t know what the church has to offer, she said, adding that it’s going to take Episcopalians to become more passionate about ministry to attract new people.

“How are they going to find out if we don’t tell them?” she asked.

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

In Leaning on Karzai, U.S. Has Limited Leverage

As Mr. Obama nears the end of his review of American strategy in Afghanistan, the issue of how he will prod, cajole or bully Mr. Karzai into taking action on matters he has avoided for the past five years has been catapulted to the center of the discussion.

Administration officials and America’s European allies say that rampant corruption and the illegal drug trade in Afghanistan have fueled the resurgence of the Taliban, and that unless Mr. Karzai moves forcefully to tackle those issues, no amount of additional American troops will be able to turn the country around.

Yet many of Mr. Obama’s advisers said they had seen no evidence that Mr. Karzai would follow through on promises to crack down on corruption or the drug trade. Mr. Obama, who met with his advisers again on Wednesday, is said to be particularly skeptical of Mr. Karzai’s resolve.

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

Providence Journal: Same Sex Practice Controversy Shatters union of 2 Methodist churches

It initially seemed to be a perfect fit. They were, after all, two United Methodist congregations dedicated to sharing the Gospel and working for social justice, so sharing the same church building seemed to make sense.

And so when members of the primarily Spanish-speaking Via Abundante ”” or Abundant Life ”” United Methodist Church moved from their old church building on Cranston Street three years ago, joining with the newly formed Open Table of Christ United Methodist Church in having services at the former Washington Park Methodist Church on 1520 Broad St., both had reason to rejoice: it was a visible symbol of churches working together….

Neither had realized it at the time, but their shared fellowship was about to be tested. In much the same way a number of mainline denominations across the United States have had to wrestle with divisions in their ranks over issues involving homosexuality, the two congregations were about to discover that what was perfectly acceptable to most members of one was not acceptable to the other.

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Posted in * Religion News & Commentary, Methodist, Other Churches, Sexuality Debate (Other denominations and faiths)

E.J. Dionne on the Democratic Fight Over Abortion and the Health Care Bill

What happens now? Democratic supporters of abortion rights need to accept that their House majority depends on a large cadre of antiabortion colleagues. They can denounce that reality or they can learn to live with it.

There is also a challenge for abortion’s foes, above all the Catholic bishops who have a long history of supporting universal coverage but devoted most of their recent energy to the abortion battle. How much muscle will the bishops put behind the broader effort to pass health-care reform? Their credibility as advocates for social justice hangs in the balance.

And if the Senate forces a change in the Stupak language, one obvious approach would involve a ban on abortion in the public plan — if such an option survives — and the application of Ellsworth’s rules to the private policies sold in the insurance exchange. The alternative would be Stupak’s original compromise offer to Pelosi. There are not many other options.

Read the whole piece.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, --The 2009 American Health Care Reform Debate, Health & Medicine, House of Representatives, Law & Legal Issues, Life Ethics, Office of the President, Other Churches, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Senate

Washington Post: Fed's role makes its next move key

The threats hanging over the central bank could compromise its independence, warn Fed watchers. Several crucial decisions are approaching, including how to continue phasing out its emergency efforts to support the economy. The Fed has already said it will wind down the purchases of mortgage securities in March after buying about $1.25 trillion worth. In the more distant future, to avoid the risk of inflation, the central bank will need to raise its target interest rate above the current level near zero.

Rate increases are always unpopular, particularly when the unemployment rate is still high. But the political environment could make the decision even tougher.

“The current unpopularity of the Fed will make it more difficult for them to raise interest rates when the economy recovers,” said Karen Dynan, a former senior Fed economist who now heads the economic studies program at the Brookings Institution. “With the Fed under such close scrutiny, any move to raise interest rates will be challenged even more strongly than in the past.”

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, Federal Reserve, House of Representatives, Office of the President, Politics in General, Senate, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, The U.S. Government

George Will: Debt is Destroying the Dollar

The fiscal 2009 budget deficit, triple that of 2008, was 10 percent of GDP. Lawrence Lindsey says probable policies will produce deficits of 7 percent of GDP for a decade. Ronald Reagan’s worst deficit was 6 percent of GDP and for only one year.

Lindsey — a former member of the Federal Reserve board of governors and director of George W. Bush’s National Economic Council (2001-02) — says Americans’ net worth has dropped at least $13 trillion since the recession began in December 2007. What is to be done?
Americans could suddenly begin saving substantially more, but this would deepen and prolong the recession. Alternatively, America could reflate the value of its assets by printing money. Lindsey says it is already doing that — printing bonds promiscuously and lending money to banks at negligible rates, money that banks can use to buy the bonds. This sharply increases the money supply, which sets the stage either for inflation — too much money chasing too few goods — or for recovery-snuffing higher interest rates to try to prevent inflation. Or for something like Japan’s lost decade — banks pouring money into government bonds rather than the real economy.

America, says Lindsey, will not be Weimar Germany, where hyperinflation caused people to rush to stores with satchels of rapidly depreciating currency. But, he adds, no country has successfully behaved the way the United States is behaving.

Read it all (emphasis mine).

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Asia, Budget, China, Economy, Federal Reserve, Globalization, India, 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