Daily Archives: April 14, 2010

Christopher Howse–The serpent-sharp power of prudence

The proverb says: “If it’s windy on St Prudence Day, the silly sheep will dance away.” Or so it is in France at least. The feast of St Prudence is May 6, which Gordon Brown might not have known when he called the election.

Prudence is not a virtue Mr Brown speaks of much these days. He never did exemplify its classical meaning, for prudence, one of the four cardinal virtues (with fortitude, temperence and justice), is not about caution. In its true sense it might lead you to action which risks your own life.

So degraded has it become, that it might be better to call it by a different name. Ancient Greeks called it phronesis. Herbert McCabe, a 20th-century philosopher skilled in using the scalpel of intellect, preferred prudentia, the Latin term, in English “good sense”. Prudentia personified held a mirror for self-awareness (which we call “conscience”) and a serpent for wisdom, as in the painting (below) in the Uffizi, Florence.

Read it all.

Posted in Pastoral Theology, Theology

Canon Daniel Tong–Obedience to God Encouraged, Not Required

The Rev. Tong himself struggled with the need for the law in his teenage years. In his talk, he expressed he had wondered why he needed to pray ”˜The Prayer of Humble Access’ during Holy Communion.

The prayer taught that Christians “do not presume” to go to the table. In addition, they “are not worthy so much as to gather up the crumbs” under it. At the same time he had been taught that Christians were children of God.

If Christians are tested by the message of grace, they may also be emotionally ”˜torn down’ by the law.

But obedience is not a matter of reward and punishment, the Chapel of the Resurrection vicar argued.

It is about the renewal of minds, transformation of lives and the formation of a community of service. Christians are called to put aside idolatry, overworking, immorality, dishonesty, despair and embrace a better mode of living.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Ethics / Moral Theology, Pastoral Theology, The Anglican Church in South East Asia, Theology

Archbishop of the Province of the Indian Ocean writes Rowan Williams

I believe that I have been patient and hopeful that our co-operation and listening, our reasoning and brotherly concern would have brought transformation. However it is now abundantly clear to me and to my people that the Episcopal Church has no intention of honouring any of the commitments it has made whether that be in terms of ”˜moratoriums’ or ”˜gracious restraint’. It is to my mind hell bent on a course that is in radical disobedience to the counsels of God in Holy Scripture. You have yourself been amazingly patient with TEC, we as Primates have made our position abundantly clear on occasions without number, some of us going so far as to declare broken or impaired communion with both the TEC and the Anglican Church of Canada. This it seems has been to no avail, as the recent letter to the Primates from the Presiding Bishop of TEC makes clear that a deliberate course has been irrevocably chosen by that church. In it is stated that the intention to proceed with the consecration of a second person living in an actively homosexual partnered relationship and thereby to disregard the mind of the rest of the Communion is “”¦not the decision of one person, or a small group of people. It represents the mind of a majority of elected leaders in The Episcopal Church, lay, clergy, and bishops, who have carefully considered the opinions and feelings of other members of the Anglican Communion as well as the decades-long conversations within this Church.”

Consequently, I feel constrained by my conscience to uphold my duty as shepherd of the flock and to forthwith suspend all communication both verbal and sacramental with both the TEC and the ACC ”“ their Primates, bishops and clergy until such time as they reverse their theological innovations, and show a commitment to abide by the decisions of the Lambeth Conference. This suspension of communion would not include those bishops and clergy who have distanced themselves from the direction of the TEC (such as the Communion Partners group).

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Primates, Anglican Province of the Indian Ocean, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury

Robert Reich–The Jobs Picture Still Looks Bleak

The U.S. economy added 162,000 jobs in March. That sounds impressive until you look more closely. At least a third of them were temporary government hires to take the census””better than no job but hardly worth writing home about. The 112,000 real new jobs were fewer than the 150,000 needed to keep up with the growth of the U.S. population. It’s far better than it was””we’re not hemorrhaging jobs as we did in 2008 and 2009””but the bleeding hasn’t stopped.

Since the start of the Great Recession in December 2007, the economy has shed 8.4 million jobs and failed to create another 2.7 million required by an ever-larger pool of potential workers. That leaves us more than 11 million jobs behind. (The number is worse if you include everyone working part-time who’d rather it be full-time, those working full-time at fewer hours, and people who are overqualified for the jobs they’re in.) This means even if we enjoy a vigorous recovery that produces, say, 300,000 net new jobs a month, we could be looking at five to eight years before catching up to where we were before the recession began.

Given how many Americans are unemployed or underemployed, it’s hard to see where we get sufficient demand to support a vigorous recovery. Outlays from the federal stimulus have already passed their peak, and the Federal Reserve won’t keep interest rates near zero for very long. Although consumers are beginning to come out of their holes, it will be many years before they can return to their pre-recession levels of spending. Most households rely on two wage earners, of whom at least one is now likely to be unemployed, underemployed or in danger of losing a job. And even households whose incomes have returned are likely to be residing in houses whose values haven’t””which means they can’t turn their homes into cash machines as they did before the recession.

Read it all from the Wall Street Journal.

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

Stephen Prothero–Vatican must confess, apologize and put children first

I am not a Catholic. But I have long valued the church of Dorothy Day and Thomas Merton as a key voice in our global conversations on war and peace, labor and capital, life and death. So recent headlines do not just make me sad for the thousands of victims. They also make me lament the plummeting moral authority of one of the world’s oldest surviving international organizations.

At least for now, Pope Benedict is the wrong man for this job, not least because he doesn’t seem to understand that the job at hand is nothing less than rescuing his church from moral bankruptcy. Whether he can do so is an open question. But as Catholics have long affirmed, the first step, for him and for his hierarchy, is confession.

Read it all.

Posted in * Religion News & Commentary, Ethics / Moral Theology, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic, Theology

Barna-Millions of Unchurched Adults Are Christians Hurt by Churches But Can Be Healed of the Pain

Based on past studies of those who avoid Christian churches, one of the driving forces behind such behavior is the painful experiences endured within the local church context. In fact, one Barna study among unchurched adults shows that nearly four out of every ten non-churchgoing Americans (37%) said they avoid churches because of negative past experiences in churches or with church people.

Bestselling author Stephen Mansfield has written a new book (ReChurch) that digs into those experiences. As one who has been wounded by past church behavior, Mansfield encourages those who have been hurt by the local church to overcome that pain and suffering ”“ if not in response to a biblical command or for the benefit of the church, then for their own healing and maturation.

Citing numerous examples, Mansfield notes that God uses people’s pain ”“ and their own immaturity, in some cases ”“ to reshape us. There is no denying that many churchgoers get wounded by the insensitive or ignorant actions of others in the church. Mansfield points out, though, that those instances are opportunities for us to love others who, like ourselves, are simply “flawed sinners.” Fleeing from the source of pain and suffering, rather than addressing and overcoming it, leaves us wounded and bitter, and does nothing to enhance our lives or those of the people responsible for that suffering.

The solution, according to Mansfield, is forgiveness….

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Care, Psychology, Religion & Culture

On a personal Note–In Post 50th Birthday recovery Mode

In case you hadn’t surmised as much, I am a bit groggy from yesterday and it will take me a while to get back into the swing of things. Many thanks to all for the warm birthday wishes and of course, I disavow any knowledge of that strange person in all the pictures yesterday –KSH.

Posted in * By Kendall, * Culture-Watch, Blogging & the Internet

RNS–After Years in the Shadows, `Mormon' Name is Back

After a decade long moratorium, Mormon is back. The name, that is.

It was on display everywhere last weekend (April 3-4) as thousands gathered here for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ 180th Annual General Conference in Salt Lake City.

Where LDS leaders once were pushing members to call themselves Latter-day Saints, rather than Mormons, now the church-owned Deseret News has created the Mormon Times. “Mormon Messages” is on YouTube. The “Mormon Channel” is on the radio. And the faith’s missionary Web site is mormon.org.

So what has changed for the nearly 14 million-member church? The Internet.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Blogging & the Internet, Mormons, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture

A Conversation with Four Anglican Bishops in South Carolina

On Wednesday, April 7, 2010, St. Helena’s, Beaufort hosted a “Conversation with the Bishops.” Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali, Bishop Mark Lawrence, Bishop FitzSimons Allison, and Bishop Alden Hathaway engaged in a conversation about the Anglican Communion and its emerging global biblical mission.

Listen to it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops

Newsweek's Euphoric cover story on the Economy

Take a look at the cover here first.

Then check out the story here.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Economy

From the Morning Scripture Readings

The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Kendall Photo Album 6: Daily Life

One last set of pictures, focusing on Kendall’s love of his dogs and one of his favorite hobbies:

Kendall in his office:

Looking very trim!

The Harmon family dogs currently are: Black lab named Shakan, Toy Maltese named Temah,
Puggle named Sayde. They previously had a pembroke welsh corgi named Rebekah.

Playing a mean game of ping pong – one of his favorite hobbies

Some of Kendall’s other favorite hobbies according to those in the know are crossword puzzles, watching mysteries, Premier League Football (Soccer)… and of course, blogging!

Posted in Uncategorized

Kendall: A Brief Biography

In honor of Kendall’s birthday, with help from Elizabeth Harmon, we’ve updated Kendall’s biography.

About The. Rev. Dr. Kendall S. Harmon

Born in 1960 in Illinois and raised in central New Jersey, Kendall Harmon is a graduate of the Lawrenceville School. He experienced meeting Jesus Christ personally at age eighteen. Kendall went to Maine where he attended Bowdoin College. He was an active communicant at St Matthew’s, Lisbon Falls, and a chemistry major at Bowdoin. He graduated, Phi Beta Kappa and Summa Cum Laude, in 1982. He received seminary training at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia from 1982 to 1984, and Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry, from which he graduated in 1987. He met his wife, Elizabeth, a nurse at Allegheny General Hospital, during this time. From 1987 to 1990 he served as Assistant Rector of Church of the Holy Comforter, Sumter, South Carolina, where their oldest child, Abigail, was born.

The Harmons moved to Oxford, England in 1990. There, Elizabeth worked at the John Radcliffe Hospital and their two youngest children, Nathaniel and Selimah Marie, were born. In 1993 Kendall was awarded his Doctor of Philosophy from Oxford University, defending a dissertation on some twentieth-century theological explorations of the doctrine of hell.

Upon returning to South Carolina in 1993, Kendall was called to St Paul’s Episcopal Church in Summerville. The current rector, the Rev Michael Lumpkin, called him to serve as Theologian – in – Residence, a position he held from 1996-2001. His ministry during this period emphasized preaching, teaching, and writing, particularly in the area of eschatology, or the study of the last things. For example, he taught in parishes in the diocese of South Carolina on the film “Left Behind,” noting that while it raises important questions its answers are desperately wanting.

Dr Harmon’s writings have appeared in various publications within the Church, including Episcopal Life, The Living Church, The Anglican Digest, Church Times, and the Church of England Newspaper. Outside the Church his commentary has appeared in the Charleston Post and Courier, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and the Cleveland Plain-Dealer. An edited section of his doctoral thesis, “Nothingness and Human Destiny: Hell in the Thought of C.S. Lewis,” appeared in The Pilgrim’s Guide: C.S. Lewis and the Art of Witness (Eerdmans, 1998).

Dr Harmon has served in many positions in the diocese of South Carolina, including those of member of the Standing Committee and Examining Chaplain. At the national level, he served as a deputy to the 1997, 2000, 2003 and 2006 General Conventions.

Since January 2002, Dr. Harmon has been serving as Canon Theologian of the Diocese of South Carolina and editor of the Anglican Digest , one of the largest circulation publications in the Anglican Communion. He is also assistant editor of the Jubilate Deo, the diocesan newspaper for the diocese of South Carolina, director of communications for the Diocese of South Carolina, and Assistant Rector of Christ/Saint Paul’s Yonges Island , South Carolina. Early in 2009 Kendall was appointed as the Anglican Communion Development Director in the Diocese of South Carolina. In his free time he edits the Titusonenine blog, a popular site for articles and discussion on religion, theology and culture.

Posted in * Admin, * By Kendall, Harmon Family

Kendall Photo Album 5 – The silly side (part 2)

The elves’ secret informant outdid herself in coming up with some wonderful pictures to share! Seeing this side of Kendall reminded this elf that Kendall often posts humorous entries under the “From the Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously Department….” Well, clearly Kendall knows how to heed that exhortation, so, in that spirit, we share these priceless photos! Thanks for helping us to laugh Kendall, Happy Birthday!!!

Pretending to be a waitress at Silver Bay YMCA camp:

A pregnant Kendall:

Posted in * Admin, * By Kendall, Harmon Family