Daily Archives: January 19, 2010

Ephraim Radner: An Unrealistic Proposal for the Sake of the Gospel

In the face of the tragedy in Haiti, I want to make a proposal. It’s not a realistic proposal, I grant; but it is a serious one. My proposal is this: that all those Anglicans involved in litigation amongst one another in North America ”” both in the Episcopal Church and those outside of TEC; in the Anglican Church of Canada, and those outside ”” herewith cease all court battles over property. And, having done this, they do two further things:

a. devote the forecast amount they were planning to spend on such litigation to the rebuilding of the Episcopal Church and its people in Haiti; and

b. sit down with one another, prayerfully and for however long it takes, and with whatever mediating and facilitating presence they accept, and agree to a mutually agreed process for dealing with contested property.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Caribbean, Episcopal Church (TEC), Haiti, Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Stewardship, TEC Conflicts

Michiko Kakutani reviews new Book: America, Free Markets, and the Sinking of the World Economy

A professor at Columbia University, Mr. Stiglitz uses his experience teaching to give the lay reader a lucid account of how overleveraged banks, a shoddy mortgage industry, predatory lending and unregulated trading contributed to the meltdown, and how, in his opinion, ill-conceived rescue efforts may have halted the freefall but have failed to grapple with more fundamental problems.

He is eloquent on how the American economy was sustained before the crisis by “a debt-financed consumption binge supported by a housing bubble” and impassioned in describing what he sees as the government’s failure to make substantial reforms to the economic system: though “excesses of leverage will be curbed,” he writes, “the too-big-to-fail banks will be allowed to continue much as before, over-the-counter derivatives that cost taxpayers so much will continue almost unabated, and finance executives will continue to receive outsized bonuses.” In each case, he writes, “something cosmetic will be done, but it will fall far short of what is needed.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Economy, Federal Reserve, History, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, The 2009 Obama Administration Bank Bailout Plan, The 2009 Obama Administration Housing Amelioration Plan, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, The September 2008 Proposed Henry Paulson 700 Billion Bailout Package, The U.S. Government, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner

Chicago Tribune: JUST is a 'church behind the walls' at DuPage jail

Each year, about 16,000 people are processed through the DuPage County Jail in Wheaton, and about 85 percent of them have lived lives twisted and broken by drug abuse.For many, their stay in the county jail becomes an impromptu trip to detox and an opportunity to craft a new kind of life. That is where Annie Rose comes in.

When Rose, 29, the executive director of JUST (Justice, Understanding, Service and Teaching) of DuPage, first meets her clients, many have gone through rehab at the jail and are “thinking clearly for the first time in a very long time,” she said.

“It seems like every week I hear at least one inmate say they are grateful that they ended up in jail because they wouldn’t have walked into rehab on their own. They are glad to get this chance to get on track,” said Rose, an Ohio native who settled in the Chicago area after graduating from Wheaton College. She has been director of JUST since February.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Other Churches, Prison/Prison Ministry, Religion & Culture

Review of Jet Bomb Plot Shows More Missed Clues

Mr. Obama this month presented his government’s findings on how the plot went undetected. But a detailed review of the episode by The New York Times, including more than two dozen interviews with White House and American intelligence officials and with counterterrorism officials in Europe and Yemen, shows that there were far more warning signs than the administration has acknowledged.

The officials also cited lapses and misjudgments that were not disclosed in the declassified government report released Jan. 7 about what went wrong inside the nation’s counterterrorism network.

In September, for example, a United Nations expert on Al Qaeda warned policy makers in Washington that the type of explosive device used by a Yemeni militant in an assassination attempt in Saudi Arabia could be carried aboard an airliner….

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Defense, National Security, Military, Economy, Terrorism, The U.S. Government, Travel

ENS: Haitian bishop, living in tent city, says 'the people are strong'

Rejecting offers to evacuate him from Port-au-Prince, Episcopal Diocese of Haiti Bishop Jean Zaché Duracin said Jan. 18 that he must remain in the Haitian capital.

“No, I will stay with my people,” the Rev. Lauren Stanley, one of four Episcopal Church missionaries assigned to the Haitian diocese, told ENS the bishop said in response to the evacuation offer.

Stanley was home in Virginia when the magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck just before 5:00 p.m. local time Jan. 12 and has been monitoring diocesan reports from there.

“The people are strong,” Duracin told Stanley, echoing messages she has received from other priests. “We still have our people, and they are strong. We need to help them.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, Caribbean, Episcopal Church (TEC), Haiti

The Latest from Intrade on the Massachusetts Senate Race

Brown at 79.0, Coakley at 26.4.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Politics in General, Senate

A Special Appeal for a Particular Haiti Mission

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * International News & Commentary, Caribbean, Episcopal Church (TEC), Haiti, Missions, TEC Conflicts, TEC Departing Parishes

Father Edward Cowhig RIP

A Mass of Christian Burial was held Tuesday at St. Mary of the Nativity Church in Scituate, where he was a parishioner.

“We mourn the passing of Father Cowhig, who was called to the priesthood during tumultuous times in the history of our nation and world,’’ Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley, archbishop of Boston, said in a statement. “He ministered with love, commitment, and a desire to bring the message of Christ to parishes and communities across the Archdiocese. We pray that God grant him eternal rest.’’

Burial was at New Calvary Cemetery in Mattapan.

A simply lovely obituary–read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Death / Burial / Funerals, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Roman Catholic

Haitian Tremors rumble at Boston churches

Ruth Pierre wept before the congregation of a small Haitian church in Mattapan yesterday, mourning her uncle, who was killed in the earthquake that has left her impoverished homeland in ruins.

But Pierre said she is also grateful for those who survived, for those who have been rescued from the rubble that has paralyzed Haiti.

“My uncle died, but God saved many others,’’ said Pierre, 25, one of a dozen members of Church of the Nazarene who reflected on their families and loved ones during the 11 a.m. weekly service. “Thank you, God. I pray there are more found.’’

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * International News & Commentary, Caribbean, Haiti, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Spirituality/Prayer

A BBC Radio Four Today Programme Audio Segment–President Obama: One year on

Mark Mardell reports from Chicago on the president’s current standing.

Listen to it all ( 5 3/4 minutes).

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama

An LA Times Editorial: On firing bad teachers

Anote of gratitude is due Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge David P. Yaffe for ordering the immediate firing of Matthew Kim after a tortuous seven-year saga. This wasn’t the first time that Yaffe tried to inject common sense into the absurdly difficult and expensive task of ridding classrooms of teachers who don’t belong there. His previous decision to allow the Los Angeles Unified School District to fire Kim, issued in July, was ignored by the panel that has authority over contested teacher dismissals.

The Kim fiasco is a reminder of just how many thousands of dollars and costly lawyers and innumerable court appearances are currently required to fire incompetent or otherwise troublesome teachers. And, adding insult to injury, Kim has been paid his full salary and benefits since 2003 while doing no work for the district.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, City Government, Education, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, State Government

Important Reading: C of E General Synod briefing papers on the ACNA motion

The first, from Lorna Ashworth, the proposer of the motion,is here and the second, from the Secretary General is there.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE)

Lord Carey’s comments on immigration promote racism, bishop warns

A Church of England bishop has warned that the former Archbishop of Canterbury’s call for new limits on immigration would “play into the hands of racists”.

The Bishop of Ripon and Leeds, the Right Rev John Packer, is the latest Anglican cleric to criticise Lord Carey of Clifton after he said in an article in The Times that he feared the present levels of immigration threatened “the very ethos or the DNA of our nation”.

Lord Carey is a member of the crossparty parliamentary group on balanced migration, which last week urged the political parties to make a commitment to keeping Britain’s population below 70 million.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, Law & Legal Issues, Religion & Culture

From the Morning Scripture Readings

For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need some one to teach you again the first principles of God’s word. You need milk, not solid food; for every one who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their faculties trained by practice to distinguish good from evil.

–Hebrews 5:12-14

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

LA Times: Taliban attacks heart of Afghan capital

Taliban militants unleashed a carefully coordinated, deadly attack on the heart of Afghanistan’s capital and its U.S.-backed government…[yesterday], killing five people and injuring more than 70 in an attack that illustrated the insurgency’s ability to strike at will at virtually any target.

The five-hour assualt, carried out by seven Taliban insurgents wielding AK-47 rifles, grenades, rocket launchers and suicide bomb vests, plunged downtown Kabul on a bustling workday morning into a state of war. Afghans shopping or heading to work screamed as they darted for cover while bursts of gunfire rang out overhead and explosions shook the downtown area.

Read the whole thing.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, War in Afghanistan