Daily Archives: February 21, 2010

Archbishop Williams lays cornerstone of Anglican church on Jordan’s banks

Bethany Beyond the Jordan, Jordan // Rowan Williams, the archbishop of Canterbury, laid the cornerstone of an Anglican church yesterday on the eastern bank of the Jordan river as part of a four-day pilgrimage tour to the Holy land.

“This place is set apart for prayers for honouring the name of John the Baptist, the prophet of Bethany and for the praise of the most holy name of our Lord,” he said in prayers as a congregation of around 600 Anglican worshippers in Jordan gathered around him.

Once built, John the Baptist church will be one of eight different Christian churches and monasteries under construction at the site, which was discovered in 1996. The site already boasts remnants of more than 20 churches, caves and baptismal pools dating from the Byzantine period.

Jordan hopes to turn the site ”“ at which John the Baptist baptised Jesus Christ ”“ into a global pilgrimage destination.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, Archbishop of Canterbury, Jordan, Middle East

Married Roman Catholic priest will be Nashville diocese's first

Prentice Dean will be ordained as a Catholic priest on Monday ”” while his wife watches.

The former Episcopal priest and father of two will become the first married priest in the Nashville diocese.

He resigned from the Episcopal Church because he thought the denomination had moved away from traditional Christianity. He converted to Catholicism five years ago, and, after Monday, he’ll be celebrating Mass, hearing confessions and handling all the responsibilities of a priest.

Since the 1980s, the Roman Catholic Church has allowed former Episcopal priests, like Dean, to be ordained under a special provision. Church leaders say the provision is an act of grace toward converts. But some wonder why that same grace isn’t extended to former Catholic priests who left the ministry to marry.

Right now, about 100 married former Episcopal priests have been ordained. Still, the vast majority of the more than 40,000 priests in the United States are celibate.

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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

Charles Blow–Spirit Quest

Many young adults seem to be moving away from organized religion while simultaneously trying desperately to connect with their spirituality….

A report entitled “Religion Among the Millennials” produced by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion and Public Life and released this week found that one in four people 18 to 29 years old are unaffiliated with a religion. But that by no means makes them all atheists or agnostics. While there are always religious people among the unaffiliated, the numbers are significantly higher among the younger unaffiliated crowd. While they are less likely than those unaffiliated and older than them to believe in God, they are more likely to believe in life after death, heaven and hell, and miracles.

So, anyone laboring under the delusion that the generation weaned on MTV would move us closer to being weaned of an abnormally high level of religiosity ”” at least when compared with other industrialized countries ”” may have to keep waiting.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Religion & Culture, Young Adults

Millions of Unemployed Face Years Without Jobs

Even as the American economy shows tentative signs of a rebound, the human toll of the recession continues to mount, with millions of Americans remaining out of work, out of savings and nearing the end of their unemployment benefits.

Economists fear that the nascent recovery will leave more people behind than in past recessions, failing to create jobs in sufficient numbers to absorb the record-setting ranks of the long-term unemployed.

Call them the new poor: people long accustomed to the comforts of middle-class life who are now relying on public assistance for the first time in their lives ”” potentially for years to come.

Yet the social safety net is already showing severe strains. Roughly 2.7 million jobless people will lose their unemployment check before the end of April unless Congress approves the Obama administration’s proposal to extend the payments, according to the Labor Department.

Read it all and do not miss the important graphic.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

Archbishop Rowan Williams' video message to mark the beginning of Lent 2010

Watch it all (just under four minutes).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Lent

Stuart Weir–Jesus and team spirit

Matthew Syed’s recent reflection on the extent to which Britain should exploit home advantage for the 2012 Olympics to maximize Team GB’s medal haul, made me wonder what Baron Pierre de Coubertin, the father of the modern Olympic movement, would have thought about it all.

In a strategy called “Own the Podium” Canada made all the Olympic venues freely available to the Canadian team for practice but restricted access by other countries. The aim, of course, is to exploit home advantage to the max and so increase their medal tally.

The book of Ecclesiastes reminds us that “there is nothing new under the sun” (Ecclestiastes 1:9). There was accusation of home bias in the 1908 Olympics in London, being manifested in a string of protests by American team against rulings by the British officials.

Read the whole article.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anglican Provinces, Canada, Church History, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Episcopal Church (TEC), Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Religion & Culture, Sports, TEC Bishops

Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali: Promoting life rather than death

It is natural for a person to feel helpless and hopeless when a terminal or incurable condition is first diagnosed but, given the right support by family, friends and the medical community, it is quite possible lto come through this phase and to enjoy some quality of life and even its enrichment. As Dame Cicely Saunders, the founder of the Hospice movement, has said, ” Our last days are not necessarily lost days “. Not only can they be used to recapture the past and to strengthen relationships but also for contemplation and preparation. Again and again, people have told me how much they have learned about themselves and others at this time in their lives.

It is simply a mistake to emphasise the autonomy of the individual, especially at this point. It is relatedness that matters. Rather than seeing themselves as unwanted and alone, people, at this stage of life, should feel themselves drawn into a circle of love and care where they will be made as comfortable as possible and valued for who they are. It is not necessary always to be independent. Human beings depend upon one another at every stage of life and this one is no different. “Bear one another’s burdens and so fulfil the law of Christ”, says St.Paul and this is exactly what the Hospice movement has shown us can be done in the care of the terminally and incurably ill. Thank God for all the wonderful people involved in this work.

Another valuable lesson which this movement has taught us is that it is nearly always possible to manage pain and to make sure that patients do not suffer unnecessarily. Palliative medicine is now highly developed and, whether in hospices or in pain clinics in hospitals, it tries to make sure that science is made to serve the care of people who are seriously ill and relieve them of as much pain as possible. Such relief may, in fact, lengthen the life-span but even if it has the effect of hastening death, this is quite different from an intervention that intends the death of the patient.

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

AP–Anglican leader worried about Mideast's Christians

The Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams voiced grave concern Saturday over the eroding Christian presence in the Holy Land on the first stop of his four-day pilgrimage to the region.

Williams, the spiritual leader of the Anglican communion worldwide, held a sermon for hundreds of faithful at the River Jordan after dedicating the cornerstone of an Anglican church to be built at the site where tradition says Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist.

Williams said he “worried deeply” about the dwindling numbers of Christians in the Mideast, and stressed that it was the church’s duty to support Christians who face hardship due to regional conflicts.

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Update: Some preliminary information on the Archbishop’s visit to the Holy Land may be found here.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Archbishop of Canterbury, Jordan, Middle East, Other Churches, Religion & Culture

Britain's deficit third worst in the world, table

The Table is of the worst deficits as a percentage of GDP in the world, according to OECD figures.

Guess where the United States is before you look.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Credit Markets, Economy, England / UK, Globalization, Politics in General, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, The National Deficit, The U.S. Government

Church of England defends disastrous £40m Manhattan property deal

In an interview with property magazine Estates Gazette just a month after the Church of England wrote of its £40m investment in the project Joseph Cannon, chief surveyor, said that while the episode was “painful” much of the criticism levelled at the Church was undeserved.

“The loss of our investment in Stuyvesant Town is very unpleasant and clearly not something we would ever have wished for. But painful as it has been, we have been able to absorb it and it has not knocked us off strategic course in any way,” he said.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Economics, Politics, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Economy, Housing/Real Estate Market