Daily Archives: November 13, 2009

Rob Moll–Earning Commissions on 'The Great Commission'

Faith-at-work movements have been popular at least since the 1857 businessmen’s revival in New York City, in which noon-hour prayer meetings were so full of the city’s professionals that many businesses closed during the gatherings. But churches have typically kept business people at a distance, needing their money but questioning their spiritual depth. With the business as mission movement, that has changed. In 2004, the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelism, founded by Billy Graham, featured a track on business as mission. At a recent missionary conference in Hong Kong, Doug Seebeck says mission leaders apologized to the business people present. They had been guilty of asking for their money while keeping them in the foyer of the church, outside of the sanctuary.

Mr. Seebeck is executive director of Partners Worldwide, a Michigan organization that provides mentoring relationships for business owners in the developing world by connecting them with business people in the U.S. Mr. Seebeck was a missionary in Bangladesh and Africa for nearly 20 years, but he saw the limitations of all the good work church people did. Now Mr. Seebeck says, “Business is the greatest hope for the world’s poor.” He sees business profits as consistent with God’s purpose for humans. Profits, unlike activities that are donor dependent, are sustainable. Making a profit, he argues, is a better stewardship of God’s resources than pleading for funds, spending them, and going back for more.

While advanced economies question capitalism, Christians who work in developing countries see how essential business is to provide jobs and health care, build communities and even minister to souls. For these business owners, a desk job overseas has become a full-time ministry.

Read the whole thing.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Economy, Globalization, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Missions, Other Churches, Religion & Culture

NPR–Unlikely Word Origins Defined In 'Anonyponymous'

You might know that the tantalizing combination of peanut butter and jelly you’re eating between two slices of bread was named after a certain Earl of Sandwich, but how many other words that we use every day are named after real people?

How about galvanize? Silhouette? Leotard?

These words ”” called eponyms ”” and many more fill a new book called Anonyponymous: The Forgotten People Behind Everyday Words, written by John Bemelmans Marciano.

Some of the people who donated their names to history did it by accident.

“There was a woman named Mary Frisbie who made pies in Connecticut,” Marciano tells Renee Montagne. “Students would throw around her pie plates after they had finished her pies, and kind of like you would say, ‘Incoming!’ they would say, ‘Frisbie!’ just to give people the heads-up that there was something spinning and flying coming at their head.”

I caught this on the morning podcast. Please listen to it all–it is a delight (7 minutes, 20 seconds).

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, Books, History

Church Times–Vatican publishes text of Anglicanorum Coetibus

These restrictions (Article 5 and 6 of the Norms) were acknowledged by the leader of the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC), Archbishop John Hepworth, on Tuesday. He had, in October 2007, with TAC’s other 37 bishops, petitioned the CDF for “a communal and ecclesial way of being Anglican Catholics in communion with the Holy See”.

At the time of the petition, he had wanted to make his personal situ­ation clear to Rome, he said; so he had sent a letter of resignation to Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Ben­edict), then head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), to take effect when unity was achieved, “if that is what Rome re­quires”.

The reason why he had done so was that he had been married twice, although his first marriage was not recognised by Rome.

“Ratzinger wrote back to me in his own hand.” The Archbishop had responded: “The ball’s in your court. I will bring them [TAC] to your door. I will fade out, and you must do what you want.” Other bishops in the TAC had also offered their resignations to Rome.

He expected most of the 400,000-strong international Communion, which, he said, had a Sunday attend­ance of 210,000, to vote to enter into unity with Rome. TAC in Britain had voted to do so on 29 October. “We will meet in Rome in Low Week after Easter, and we will present the yes vote to the CDF.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic

BBC: Anglicans focus on home, and Rome

In Sevenoaks – visited by the BBC News website earlier this year to discuss the women bishops debate, the parish of St John the Baptist is firmly on the Catholic wing of the Church and opposed to women’s ordination.

But Jim Cheeseman, a parishioner of St John’s and a member of the C of E’s General Synod, finds much to criticise in the Vatican’s plan.

For example, the rules issued by the Vatican say that lay Anglicans joining the ordinariates must receive the sacraments of initiation.

If that means submitting to a fresh ceremony of confirmation, he says, “to me that would be totally unacceptable”.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic

Bishop Tom Butler speaks on property and the Apostolic Constitution

But no priest or group of laity has the right to take church property with them when they change denominations, for a Diocese holds such property in trust for the mission and ministry of the Church of England to all the people of its parishes and this duty of care would continue.

I don’t myself see how a parish could legally “take” the parish church and other assets without specific statutory authority.In the case of the parish church, it would presumably mean a Scheme under the Pastoral Measure or specific legislation enacted for the purpose, and this could only be done with the goodwill of the Diocese.In the case of assets such as the church hall or other parish property, appropriation to another denomination would almost certainly be a breach of trust and would not be possible without the co-operation of the Diocesan Board of Finance as Custodian Trustees and probably also the involvement of the Charity Commission.Parsonage houses are, of course, governed by the Parsonages Measure and an Incumbent cannot alienate the parsonage without obtaining the authority required by law, again the Diocesan Board of Finance or the Church Commissioners.Of course, in the months and years ahead much of this might well be crawled over by lawyers on all sides, but the general principles seem to be clear….

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, Law & Legal Issues, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Pope Benedict XVI, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

A WSJ Editorial: Gordon Brown's Global Tax Trap

In the department of bad ideas that won’t go away, Exhibit A is a global tax on financial transactions. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown mooted the tax last weekend before the G-20 finance ministers in St. Andrews, Scotland, where he was promptly rebuffed by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. “That’s not something we’re prepared to support,” Mr. Geithner said.

But it’s easy to see why high-tax countries such as France and Germany relish the idea. Tax competition is a bête noire for the Western European countries whose governments eat up close to half of their economies. The U.K. is back in that club after the post-financial-panic recession lopped 6% off its GDP. Scrambling for revenue””and unwilling to hamstring London markets alone””Mr. Brown is suddenly promoting global tax coordination.

Read it all. I didnt like this editorial because the argument isn’t nearly strong enough. The two key points are not made

(1) it will actually NOT raise Government revenues net net so it doesnt do what its advocates say it will (Overall it will actually LOSE tax revenue).
(2) it will have Massive collateral damage that its proponents never talk about.

It is amazing to me that (2) is hardly ever discussed–KSH.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Budget, Economy, England / UK, Globalization, Stock Market, Taxes, The National Deficit, The U.S. Government, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner

Eric Felten: No, Virginia, Christmas Is Not Here Yet

The autumn leaves, red and yellow and brown, are tumbling from the trees, resigned to their fate. Weekends are full of football and the scritching of rakes. Lazy squirrels are still munching on moldering jack o’ lanterns left over from Halloween. In other words, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

Disney released a new version of the Dickens Scrooge story last week, timing it so that “A Christmas Carol” will be lucky to be in distribution past Thanksgiving Day.

Starbucks has already retired its white cups for the duration, replacing them with cranberry-colored, snowflake-flecked seasonal substitutes. Wal-Mart is just one of the retailers already Kringling away like crazy, running television ads with Andy Williams crooning “It’s the most wonderful time of the year!” Who knew that the weeks between Halloween and Thanksgiving were the hap-happiest season of all?

The day after Thanksgiving used to be the official launch of the commercial Christmas season. Now Sears is running “Black Friday” specials all through November.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Christmas, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Consumer/consumer spending, Economy, Religion & Culture

A Possible Upside of the Downturn–WSJ Front Page: Builders Downsize the Dream Home

For the first time in four decades in the luxury-home business, executives at John Wieland builders are thinking the unthinkable: Maybe houses in the South don’t really need a fireplace.

They’re also wondering whether new homes require 4,700 square feet of living space. Or private theaters with 100-inch screens. Or super-size-me foyers.

As they draw up blueprints for the house of the post-recession future, builders are struggling to distinguish among what home buyers need, what they want and what they can live without — Jacuzzi by Jacuzzi, butler’s pantry by butler’s pantry.

“You have to keep taking things out until you hit a critical point where people reject your product,” said Jeff Kingsfield, senior vice president of sales at Smyrna-based John Wieland Homes & Neighborhoods.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, Housing/Real Estate Market, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

David Broder: A Health Bill That Can't Pay Its Own Bills

At least a dozen health and budget experts have filled the Web and the airwaves with warnings that the House bill simply postpones the cost controls needed to finance the vast expansion of insurance coverage and Medicaid benefits envisaged by its sponsors.

One of them speaks with special authority: David Walker, the former head of the Government Accountability Office ”” the auditing and investigative arm of Congress ”” told me in an interview on Wednesday that the lawmakers are “punting on the tough choices, rather than making sure they can deliver on the promises they’re making.”

In a speech delivered less than 48 hours after the House acted, Walker, now the president of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, laid out the tests that buttress his conclusion.

Acknowledging that “clearly, we need radical reconstructive surgery to make our health care system effective, affordable and sustainable,” Walker cautioned that “what we should not do is merely tack new programs onto a system that is fundamentally flawed” ”” and rapidly drive the national budget into ruin.

I cannot put into words the degree of my agreement with this piece. I once heard David Walker speak as I have mentioned before and he has real knowledge and authority here. The cost issue is not properly handled in this bill. In any event, read it all–KSH

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, --The 2009 American Health Care Reform Debate, Budget, Economy, Health & Medicine, The National Deficit, The U.S. Government

Glenn Close Works Hard to reach out to and Support the Mentally Ill

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

I served my CPE internship in a VA hospital where the two wards I was to help care for had many mentally ill people on them. My supervisor said, early on in the program, “Kendall, the mentally ill are the lepers of modern day society.” It rings ever more true the more distance I get from the remark. During that summer you cannot imagine how FEW of the patients on these wards who struggled with this kind of sickness were visited by their family members. Watch it all–and note particularly her response when she is asked about how she sees her sister–KSH.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, Health & Medicine, Mental Illness, Movies & Television, Parish Ministry, Psychology

Michael Root in the Midst of the ELCA struggle suggests an Alternative Path

The way forward embodied in the proposed revisions to the candidacy process that will be considered this weekend by the ELCA Church Council is a ”˜preserve the status quo’ option. It maintains, at least officially, the unity of the ELCA ministerium and treats the crisis created by the action of the Churchwide Assembly as a passing cloud. The concessions to bound conscience are less even than those granted to opponents of the agreement with the Episcopal Church that committed the ELCA to enter episcopal succession. Candidates opposed to episcopal succession can, in certain cases, be ordained in a way that contradicts Assembly-adopted policy. In our present case, individuals involved in decision making within the candidacy process can remove themselves from participation, but no decision is to utilize sexuality standards other than those approved by national policy.

What would an alternative look like, an alternative that embodies the promise of the Task Force to respect the consciences of synods, bishops, candidacy committees, etc.? It would not be pretty. It would severely compromise the unity of the ELCA ministerium; the ELCA would cease to be a single church in the traditional sense. But that result was built into the Report and Recommendations of the Task Force, as is discussed in the paper to the right (here). That Report was never repudiated by the church leadership. It is late in the day now to say “Oh, those results would be too radical.”

An alternative that avoids chaos as much as possible might look like this….

See what you make of his proposal.

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

RNS: Anglican and Catholic Heads to Meet in Rome

When Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams meets with Pope Benedict XVI here on Nov. 21, the two men will be making the latest gesture in a four-decade-long effort to achieve unity between their churches.

But some Catholics and Anglicans fear the future of that endeavor could be jeopardized by the Vatican’s plans, announced last month (Oct.), to make it easier for Anglicans to convert to Catholicism. Former Anglicans, many of whom are upset by their church’s growing acceptance of female clergy and homosexuality, will be allowed to join special Catholic dioceses while retaining many of their traditional prayers and hymns, and to a limited extent a married priesthood.

Williams, spiritual leader of the worldwide Anglican Communion, will visit Rome for five days (Nov. 18-22) of meetings and events aimed at “keeping alive the ecumenical endeavor,” said his Vatican envoy, the Very Rev. David Richardson.

“We don’t see it as in any way a comment on the ecumenical conversations,” Richardson said of the Vatican’s move, which he called a “pastoral response” to the requests of disaffected Anglicans. “It’s a side issue for ecumenical dialogue.” Richardson noted that Williams’ visit to Rome was scheduled before the Vatican rolled out its welcome to Anglican dissidents.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, Archbishop of Canterbury, Ecumenical Relations, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic

Charles Simeon–Evangelical Mentor and Model

When Simeon moved to put benches in the aisles, the church wardens threw them out. He battled with discouragement and at one point wrote out his resignation.

“When I was an object of much contempt and derision in the university,” he later wrote, “I strolled forth one day, buffeted and afflicted, with my little Testament in my hand ”¦ The first text which caught my eye was this: ‘They found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name; him they compelled to bear his cross.'”

Slowly the pews began to open up and fill, not primarily with townspeople but with students. Then Simeon did what was unthinkable at the time: he introduced an evening service. He invited students to his home on Sundays and Friday evening for “conversation parties” to teach them how to preach. By the time he died, it is estimated that one-third of all the Anglican ministers in the country had sat under his teaching at one time or another.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church History, Church of England (CoE), Evangelicals, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics

(London) Times: How the middle class are shoplifting to keep up appearances

Middle-class shoppers who have been hit by the recession are stealing hundreds of millions of pounds of expensive food in an effort to maintain their high standard of living, according to a new survey.

Quality cuts of meat, fresh fish and high-priced cheeses are being taken by mostly middle-class women from speciality food and convenience shops, where thefts have risen sharply in the past year. Thousands of retailers have found that luxury foods are being stolen for individual use rather than to be sold on.

The information comes from more than 42,000 shops in Europe with combined sales of £262 billion, who were questioned by the Centre for Retail Research, an independent organisation, for Checkpoint Systems, the retail security specialists.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Economy, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, Theology

Britain the abortion capital of Europe: Terminations for teenagers leap by a third

More abortions are carried out in Britain than any other country in Europe, research has shown.

It has overtaken France – which has a larger population – to become the abortion capital of the continent.

The rising rate has been pushed up by abortions among teenage girls, which increased by nearly a third over the past decade.

Half of all pregnancies among girls under 18 in Britain end in abortion.

I had to read the last sentence several times to make I got what it said. Really sad. Read it all

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, England / UK, Law & Legal Issues, Life Ethics