Daily Archives: April 25, 2010

Press-Register–Bishop Philip Duncan: Finding the way forward

As Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast, the Right Rev. Philip M. Duncan, II, is faith leader for 62 churches with approximately 22,000 parishioners.

Traveling through the diocese – stretching from west Florida through south Alabama – Duncan, alongside parish priests, preaches, teaches, confirms new members, baptizes and celebrates the Eucharist.

“My position,” he says, “is not only to serve in the diocese but also in the church and ultimately in the worldwide Anglican community.”

An affable, philosophical man with a buoyant sense of humor, Duncan was consecrated as bishop in May 2001.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops

Watertown Connecticut's former Episcopal chapel's sale forces removal of burial urns

Death is eternal, but burial is not.

That is what relatives of 46 former worshippers of Christ Church on the Green are learning after a decision by the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut to remove cremated remains from a memorial garden on the church grounds. The historic chapel was put up for sale last year after half its membership broke away in late 2007 over the national church’s stance on homosexuality and other issues.

“You have a situation here, where, by virtue of a sale, the diocese will no longer be responsible for the land, its use, or any care of anything in it,” said the Rev. Stanley Kemmerer, priest-in-charge. “It’s really an effort to be pastoral.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Death / Burial / Funerals, Episcopal Church (TEC), Parish Ministry, TEC Conflicts, TEC Departing Parishes, TEC Parishes

Steve Jobs Gets Another One: 99-Year-Old Woman Loves Her iPad

Read it all and watch the accompanying video.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Aging / the Elderly, Science & Technology

Cartalk Defines New Words: learn about Fordboding, Volvoid, Prius Envy and others

Listen to it all (about three minutes).

Posted in * General Interest, Humor / Trivia

John Shepley (New Directions): Unity before truth

What has been exercising the minds of Anglicans in recent years, as the culture wars over human sexuality have raged, is the relationship of Unity and Truth. How to reconcile radically divergent opinions in a single communion?

Some have put a premium on Truth ”“ and so have been prepared to take unilateral action or to cross ecclesial boundaries in order to uphold it. Others have openly preferred Unity. Heresy, as one American bishop tersely put it, is to be preferred to schism.

And there has been no respite. No sooner had the crisis over women in the episcopate subsided than another conflict took its place ”“ over the blessing of same-sex unions and the ordination of practising homosexuals….

The Windsor Report (2004), instead of addressing this pressing issue head on, chose by procedural sleight of hand to avoid it:
”˜The mandate of this Commission has been to examine, and make recommendations in relation to, the formal results, in terms of our Communion one with another within Anglicanism, of the recent events which have been described. We repeat that we have not been invited, and are not intending, to comment or make recommendations on the theological andethical mailers concerning the practice of same sex relations and the “blessing or ordination or consecration of those who engage in them [italics theirs].

Having outlined the problems, and sketched the deeper symptoms we believe to lie beneath them, it is time to examine more fully, in this Section, the nature of the Communion we share, the bonds which hold it together, the ways in which all this can be threatened and how such threats might be met.’

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Commentary, Anglican Identity, Archbishop of Canterbury, Ecclesiology, Instruments of Unity, Theology, Windsor Report / Process

Sunday Times–Don’t talk to aliens, warns Stephen Hawking

The aliens are out there and Earth had better watch out, at least according to Stephen Hawking. He has suggested that extraterrestrials are almost certain to exist ”” but that instead of seeking them out, humanity should be doing all it that can to avoid any contact.

The suggestions come in a new documentary series in which Hawking, one of the world’s leading scientists, will set out his latest thinking on some of the universe’s greatest mysteries.

Alien life, he will suggest, is almost certain to exist in many other parts of the universe: not just in planets, but perhaps in the centre of stars or even floating in interplanetary space.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Science & Technology

Notable and Quotable

Now appear manifold fruits of the miracle, for God comforted the poor, a godly matron was restored to the Church, in whose death it suffered great loss, and many are called unto the faith; for although Peter were [had been] a minister of so great power, yet he keepeth not the men in [on] himself; but doth rather direct them unto Christ.

–John Calvin, in his commentary on Acts, speaking about the healing of Dorcas which was the New Testament reading appointed for this morning

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

John Allen: Ratzinger [now Benedict XVI] and [Cardinal] Castrillón

Finally, a footnote about the impact of the Castrillón episode: Ironically, resurrecting that 2001 letter may have doomed Castrillón, but it could actually help Pope Benedict XVI.

Throughout the most recent round of media coverage, there’s been a serious mismatch between Pope Benedict’s actual record on sex abuse — as the senior Vatican official who took the crisis most seriously since 2001, and who led the charge for reform — and outsider images of the pope as part of the problem.

While there are many reasons for that, a core factor is that the Vatican had the last ten years to tell the story of “Ratzinger the Reformer” to the world, and they essentially dropped the ball. That failure left a PR vacuum in which a handful of cases from the pope’s past, where his own role was actually marginal, have come to define his profile.

One has to ask, why didn’t the Vatican tell Ratzinger’s story?

At least part of the answer, I suspect, is because to make Ratzinger look good, they’d have to make others look bad — including, of course, Castrillón, as well as other top Vatican officials. Lurking behind that concern is a deeper one, which is that to salvage the reputation of Benedict XVI it might be necessary to tarnish that of Pope John Paul II.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Children, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic, Sexuality, Theology

Bishop Kirk Smith–An open letter to our Spanish-speaking Arizona Episcopalians

My Dear Spanish-Speaking Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Today is a sad day in the struggle to see all God’s people treated in a humane and compassionate manner. I had hoped that our Governor and law-makers would listen to their consciences and not be swayed by the voices of bigotry and racism. With the Governor’s signing of SB 1070, it seems that for now the advocates of fear and hatred have won over those of charity and love. Arizona claims to be a Golden Rule State. We have not lived up to that claim.

I know that the passage of this law is deeply troubling to many of you, especially those of undocumented status. I know that many of you fear for your jobs, your families, and your future in this state and in this country.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, State Government, TEC Bishops

ENS: Rio Grande diocese elects Michael Louis Vono as ninth bishop

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops

Interview: California Episcopal Bishop Marc Andrus speaks to Gay Marriage in the affirmative

[Q.] Where is the Episcopal Diocese of California going with Same Sex Blessings and Gay marriage? Will the Diocese of California support a measure at the national General Convention on this matter? Has a statement been formulated on the subject? Will you comment and broadly state answers to questions regarding your Pastoral Letter on Gay Marriage?

[A.] At its recent General Convention, an every-three-year legislative gathering for the whole Episcopal Church, among the many pieces of legislation passed was two that pertain to inclusion of LGBT people. Together, these two resolutions affirm the access that all people have to the full life of the church.

[Q.] If there is a key Bible vision that supports Gay Marriage & Same Sex Blessing, please give a Biblical example and explain something of your vision on interpretation? Who else shares this sensibility and understanding we might know or recognize?

[A.] The story of the anointing of David by Samuel in which it editorially says that God does not judge as human’s judge, human’s judge by outward appearances, but god sees the human heart. When The Episcopal Church is looking at a human couple who seeks the blessing of the church on their relationship, we humbly attempt to see as God sees, which reveals certain characteristics ”“ love, fidelity, forgiveness, mutuality, humility ”” all of which The Episcopal Church considers more important than external considerations.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Religion & Culture, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Bishops

What a Dog!–Real-life Lassie Leads state troopers to Fire

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Posted in * General Interest, Animals

A Graying Population, a Graying Work Force

In an aging population, the elderly are increasingly being taken care of by the elderly. Professional caregivers ”” almost all of them women ”” are one of the fastest-growing segments of the American work force, and also one of the grayest.

A recent study by PHI National, a nonprofit organization that advocates on behalf of caregivers, found that in 2008, 28 percent of home care aides were over age 55, compared with 18 percent of women in the overall work force.

The organization projects that from 2008 to 2018, the number of direct care workers, which includes those in nursing homes, will grow to 4.3 million from 3.2 million. The percentage of older caregivers is projected to grow to 30 percent from 22 percent.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Aging / the Elderly, America/U.S.A., Health & Medicine

A Guardian Editorial–General election: the politics of God

Although Gordon Brown is famously a son of the manse and refers often to the importance of his upbringing, David Cameron has described his Anglicanism (in a quote he attributed to Boris Johnson) as “a bit like the reception for Magic FM in the Chilterns: it sort of comes and goes”. They all contributed thoughtful pieces to our recent discussion on citizen ethics, putting their political beliefs into an ethical and moral framework independent of religious belief. Yet like ancient earthworks in the early morning light, the outlines of Britain’s religious past remain discernible even among those who would only describe themselves as cultural Christians. Their shadows explain, for example, why Mrs Thatcher’s most prominent defeat was on Sunday trading, and Tony Blair felt he could not formally convert to Catholicism until after he left office.

The danger is that Anglicanism’s privileges, woven into national institutions, increasingly provoke demands for parity from other faiths. In some constituencies, religious influence is rising. Their demands will be a challenge for the next prime minister, the more pressing if constitutional renewal ”“ and the removal of the bishops from the second chamber ”“ is as high on the agenda as we hope. Dr Rowan Williams observed (before he became archbishop of Canterbury): “We have a special relationship with the cultural life of our country and we must not fall out of step with this if we are not to become absurd and incredible.” It is time to step out, not of public life, but from the legislature.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Politics in General, Religion & Culture