Daily Archives: May 21, 2010

Episcopal Parish Statistics: St Paul's Episcopal Church, Oconomowoc, Wisconsin

In order to generate a pictorial chart of this parish, please go [url=http://www.episcopalchurch.org/109378_107383_ENG_HTM.htm]here[/url] and enter “Milwaukee” in the second line down under “Diocese.” Next please wait a moment and then click on “Church” and choose”St Paul’s, Oconomowoc” Then wait another moment and choose “View Church chart” under that line (the middle of the three choices).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Data, TEC Parishes

Southern Baptists buck trend, post most baptisms in 4 years

Grace Baptist Church in Springfield, Tenn., was in tough straits two years ago.

The church had gone 12 months without a pastor. Sunday morning attendance hovered around 120. And, in 2008, the Southern Baptist congregation baptized only three people.

That changed last year when a new pastor and a new approach to ministry led to 53 baptisms and 200 new people showing up on Sundays.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Baptists, Evangelism and Church Growth, Other Churches, Parish Ministry

Spring in America: James Island, South Carolina

What a nice picture.

Posted in * South Carolina

Sarah Pulliam Bailey: 'Lost' Devotees Need a Little Faith

….maybe a quest for specific answers is the wrong idea. One of the most fundamental questions a human can ask is: “Why are we here on earth?” For people who are religious, the answer usually lies in faith, a confidence in things unseen. We believe in fundamental truths and yet we leave a little room for unanswered questions.

As “Lost” reminds Entertainment Weekly’s Mr. Jensen: How do we live a good life when we may not know the answers to a lot of questions? “In many ways, the characters are modeling back to us successful and unsuccessful journeys of faith,” he says. “They had no faith and gained faith; they had faith and then lost faith.”

The show will leave plot threads unresolved and relationships will not wrap up neatly. But attempts to find meaning in the world are rarely satisfactory.

Prayers do go unanswered. Perhaps enthusiasts should avoid making “Lost” into their own image and leave a little room for faith””in this case, an acceptance of unresolved tension.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Movies & Television, Religion & Culture

Christian Today–Orthodox Anglicans in US and England plan clergy swap

Orthodox Anglicans in North America are inviting priests in the Church of England to make a show of solidarity by taking part in a clergy swap.

The Anglican Church in North America was formed last year by Anglicans who broke away from the liberal Episcopal Church in the US. It is proposing the swap in the wake of last Saturday’s consecration by TEC of its first partnered lesbian bishop.

ACNA said the clergy swap would be an opportunity for Church of England parishes and clergy to express their solidarity and friendship with ACNA churches.

Participating clergy will be matched to churches with similar preaching and ministry styles and serve the pulpit for a period of three to four weeks in January and July or August next year.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry

Washington Post–German lawmakers approve euro rescue package

Germany moved Friday to shore up the euro and stabilize heavily indebted European nations, approving the country’s share of a nearly $1 trillion euro-region bailout.

The lower house of the German parliament voted 319 to 73 in favor of the package, which was put together two weeks ago. There were 195 abstentions. The upper house, the Bundesrat, was scheduled to pass the measure later Friday.

Under the plan, Germany is to lend as much as $184 billion to debt-ridden states in the euro zone to backstop the European currency and protect the nations from default. The package follows an earlier rescue for Greece.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Credit Markets, Economy, Euro, Europe, European Central Bank, Germany, Greece, The Banking System/Sector

Bishop Michael Perham of Gloucester on the Anglican Communion

I think there are some things here we need to explore sensitively together. In doing so I want to acknowledge the honesty and courage of my friend, James Jones, the Bishop of Liverpool, who has publicly told his own story of moving his position on the issue of homosexuality over recent years and urged the Church not to allow this issue to divide us in a way that breaks communion. And I also need to acknowledge that I have long been in a different place and so have not had to travel as difficult a path as he has to be in the place where I now am. My own understanding has long been that the Church of England’s current stance is not tenable long term, but that, while we engage, struggle, with these issues, it must be task of the bishop to uphold our agreed policy, with all its weaknesses, and to try to hold the Church together while we tackle the things that divide us. I don’t believe I can move away from that position, though I need to share with you some of my discomfort.

Read the whole thing (Please note: it is not short).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops

Mark Tooley: Resenting African Christianity

Fast growing African Christianity, both evangelical and Catholic, is transforming global religion and affecting American Christianity, particularly its debates over homosexuality. The U.S. Episcopal Church, of course, has been prominently roiled by controversy since its 2003 election of an openly homosexual bishop, now joined by a newly elected openly lesbian bishop. African Anglican bishops, overwhelmingly conservative, have steadfastly encouraged the global Anglican Communion to sanction U.S. Episcopalians for their heterodoxy. But the Anglican Communion’s authority is mostly symbolic, and the Episcopal Church governs itself. A new communion, the Anglican Church in North America, is largely for orthodox former Episcopalians, many of whom have placed themselves under the authority of African bishops.

Considerably less publicized but no less significant is the United Methodist Church, which now almost uniquely among liberal-led, old-line denominations continues to affirm orthodox teachings on marriage and sexual ethics. The traditionalist stance, dismaying to its liberal elites, is thanks partly to the denomination’s growing African membership. Unlike the U.S. Episcopal Church, which is almost entirely U.S. members plus some small dioceses from Latin America and Taiwan, United Methodism is more fully international, with about one third of its members in Africa. Amid growing United Methodist churches in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Nigeria, among others, and a U.S. church losing about a 1,000 members weekly, the 11.4 million denomination likely will soon be majority African. At the church’s next governing General Conference in 2012, probably 40 percent of the delegates will come from outside the U.S., even further diminishing liberal hopes.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Africa, Episcopal Church (TEC), Methodist, Other Churches, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Sexuality Debate (Other denominations and faiths)

RNS–Catholic bishops leave civil rights group after Kagan endorsement

The U.S. Catholic bishops withdrew from a national civil rights coalition on Wednesday (May 19) after the group advocated on behalf of Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan.

The Washington-based Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
(LCCR) was founded in 1950 by African American and Jewish leaders to press for the passage of national civil rights laws.

But in recent years, the coalition has broadened its agenda to include advocacy for issues that contradict the bishops’ principles and policies, said Bishop William Murphy of Rockville Centre, N.Y., who chairs the bishops’ committee on justice and peace.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Law & Legal Issues, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

Padded Pensions Add to New York Fiscal Woes

In Yonkers, more than 100 retired police officers and firefighters are collecting pensions greater than their pay when they were working. One of the youngest, Hugo Tassone, retired at 44 with a base pay of about $74,000 a year. His pension is now $101,333 a year.

It’s what the system promised, said Mr. Tassone, now 47, adding that he did nothing wrong by adding lots of overtime to his base pay shortly before retiring. “I don’t understand how the working guy that held up their end of the bargain became the problem,” he said.

Despite a pension investigation by the New York attorney general, an audit concluding that some police officers in the city broke overtime rules to increase their payouts and the mayor’s statements that future pensions should be based on regular pay, not overtime, these practices persist in Yonkers.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, Politics in General, State Government, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

In Ohio, Windsor methodist church, denomination settle lawsuit

A years-long disagreement between a local church and the denomination it was a part of for more than a century has been settled.

Donald Capper, attorney for the Windsor United Methodist Church, said Tuesday that congregation and the West Ohio Conference of the United Methodist Church should finalize with a week or two an agreement that will allow the local church to remain open but not be a part of the Methodist fold and pay only $100 in damages.

Windsor Methodist treasurer Diane Duncan said the disagreement began several years ago when the trustees at Windsor voted to leave the Methodist conference because the local congregation objected to what it considered a more liberal turn in church doctrine, namely the ordination of [non-celibate] homosexuals.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Law & Legal Issues, Methodist, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Sexuality Debate (Other denominations and faiths)

Church Times–Partnered Lesbian bishop is consecrated in US

Tears, jubilation, and muted protest marked the consecration of the An­glican Communion’s first openly lesbian bishop in California last Sat­urday, although the event drew swift condemnation from tradition­alist groups and from the Archbishop of Canterbury.

In a brief statement, Dr Williams described the ceremony as “regret­table”, and said that it placed a ques­tion mark over the place in the Com­munion of the Episcopal Church in the United States. The crit­icism was echoed by Evangelical groups in Ireland, among other places.

A press release published jointly by the Church of Ireland Evangelical Fel­lowship and three other bodies argued that the consecration represented “a clear rejection of the many pleas for gracious restraint” set out in the Windsor report and made by the latest Primates’ Meeting.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), Instruments of Unity, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Los Angeles

Displaced Anglican church in Northern Florida finds new home

When the pastor at Mandarin’s All Souls Anglican Church tells his Jacksonville flock to take a hike around 10 a.m. Sunday, it’s OK this time.

They will be going home.

The Anglican church members will walk to a new sanctuary at the former First Coast Home Center at 4042 Hartley Road, a happier walk than many made July 15, 2007, when they left the church they had called home for 28 years due to a split from the Episcopal church.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Florida, TEC Departing Parishes

AP: Senate passes massive Wall Street regulation bill

Prodded by national anger at Wall Street, the Senate on Thursday passed the most far-reaching restraints on big banks since the Great Depression. In its broad sweep, the massive bill would touch Wall Street CEOs and first-time homebuyers, high-flying traders and small town lenders.

The 59-39 vote represents an important achievement for President Barack Obama, and comes just two months after his health care overhaul became law. The bill must now be reconciled with a House version that passed in December. A key House negotiator predicted the legislation would reach Obama’s desk before the Fourth of July.

The legislation aims to prevent a recurrence of the near-meltdown of big Wall Street investment banks and the resulting costly bailouts. It calls for new ways to watch for risks in the financial system and makes it easier to liquidate large failing financial firms. It also writes new rules for complex securities blamed for helping precipitate the 2008 economic crisis, and it creates a new consumer protection agency.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, House of Representatives, Law & Legal Issues, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Senate, Stock Market, The Banking System/Sector

Northern Michigan Welcomes Episcopal Nominees

The Diocese of Northern Michigan has released a profile and called for nominations as it seeks an 11th bishop.

The profile repeatedly affirms mutual ministry as central to the diocese’s identity, and it identifies a recurring theme of loss and struggle, including financial stresses during the early 20th century and the death of the Rt. Rev. James A. Kelsey in an automobile accident in 2007.

The profile devotes an eight-page appendix to Kelsey’s last annual address as a bishop, which he delivered in October 2006. Another appendix is a nine-page essay, “Creating a Hospitable Environment for Mutual Ministry,” by the Rt. Rev. Thomas Ray, the diocese’s ninth bishop, and Kelsey. Ray is serving as an assisting bishop until the new bishop begins ministry.

Read it all.

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