Daily Archives: June 22, 2010

AKMA on the Scottish Episcopal Church: Excluded Middle

The General Synod of the Church of England will consider a report on its ecumenical relationship with the Church of Scotland (the CoE is established (entangled with the government) and observes an episcopal polity (government with bishops) whereas the CoS is a national church (largely disentangled from government) and observes presbyterian polity (government with councils of elders)). That is all to the good; the relationship of these two ecclesial bodies has long been vexed, and rapprochement would count as a very good thing.

On the other hand, the report in question minimises ”” almost ignores ”” the relation of these two dominant groups to the middle term, the Scottish Episcopal Church (and I suppose it ignores English Presbyterians, too).

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Ecumenical Relations, England / UK, Other Churches, Scotland, Scottish Episcopal Church

Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori visits Raleigh

“The Episcopal Church is vibrantly engaged in missions in most places that I go. It is not growing numerically in most parts of the United States, but it is growing in most of our overseas dioceses,” Schori told WRAL’s David Crabtree.

Read it all and follow the link to the whole interview.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), Presiding Bishop

Local Paper Editorial: Reforming health care costs

Castlight Health, financed by the Cleveland Clinic and other investors, is one of a number of companies that have started publishing health care prices charged by doctors and hospitals. Others include Aetna life insurance company and the state of New Hampshire.

Employers who have shifted workers toward high-deductible insurance policies that require them to pay larger out-of-pocket costs are one spur for better health care cost information. Patients with more information about prices often spend less. The state of Indiana found that in 2009, patients with high-deducible plans spent 25 percent less than patients with a more traditional plan, the Times reported.

In another example of the variability of health care prices, Castlight found that colonoscopy prices in the San Francisco area ranged from $500 to $3,000.

While there are many medical emergencies for which patients have no time for comparison shopping, health care consumers should be encouraged to shop around for many routine medical procedures, examinations and tests, and to be aware of the costs of overusing emergency medical services.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Economy, Health & Medicine

Financial Transaction Tax Could Be Hard Sell At G-20

The idea of a tax on financial transactions championed by France and Germany is unlikely to gain much traction at the next meeting of leaders of the world’s 20 largest countries because it faces opposition both within the European Union as well as from countries such as the U.S. and Canada.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy Thursday said the EU will propose a tax on financial transactions to the G-20 when it gathers at the end of next week in Toronto, stressing that France and Germany would work together to make this a “major issue” and are even ready to implement it without the support of others.

Sarkozy didn’t specify, however, what the proceeds of such a tax would be used for, but France has said in the past it favors using it to fund efforts to control climate change, foster innovation or fight poverty. Germany, on the other hand, sees such a tax as a way to curb speculation….

A person close to the IMF said the report to be submitted to G-20 leaders next week will mention the idea of a financial transaction tax, while making clear it isn’t the best way to make the banking sector cover the cost of future crises or to limit systemic vulnerabilities. The report will also point out the concern that the cost of such a tax would be passed on to clients, and that it doesn’t necessarily target the riskiest types of trades.

Read the whole article.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Economy, Europe, G20, Globalization, Stock Market, Taxes

Damian Thompson: Plan to keep Anglo-Catholics happy will separate the Anglicans from the Catholics

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York are planning to force the General Synod to offer safeguards to traditionalists unhappy with women bishops. And I do mean force, since the Synod had already decided not to offer those safeguards.

Whatever. Although it’s none of my business, and if I was a supporter of women bishops I’d be outraged, I sort of hope that Dr Williams and Dr Sentamu get their way. As Fr Ed Tomlinson SSC notes on his blog, the Primates’ plan would separate worshippers who are serious about belonging to a Catholic Church as it was understood by the founders of Anglo-Catholicism ”“ none of whom would countenance any degree of communion, however remote, with women bishops ”“ from those prepared to turn a blind eye to the DIY ecclesiology of “alternative oversight”.

Fr Tomlinson, a supporter of the Ordinariate, makes a neat (if mischievous) distinction between those who want to be part of the “Catholic faith” and those who want to be part of “Catholic tradition”.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Women

Archbishops of Canterbury and York–General Synod Draft Legislation: Women in the Episcopate

5.The amendments we intend to propose involve neither delegation nor depriving a diocesan of any part of his or her jurisdiction. Instead we seek to give effect to the idea of a ‘co-ordinate’ jurisdiction.

6. What this would mean is that:

the jurisdiction of the diocesan bishop ”“ whether male or female ”“ remains intact; he or she would remain the bishop of the whole area of the diocese and would be legally entitled to exercise any episcopal function in any parish of the diocese;
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* where a parish had requested arrangements, by issuing a Letter of Request, the diocesan would in practice refrain from exercising certain of his or her functions in such a parishand would leave the nominated bishop to exercise those functions in the parish in question;

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* the legal authority of the nominated bishop to minister in this way would derive from the Measure itself ”“ and would not, therefore, be conferred by way of delegation; but the identity of such a bishop and the scope of his functions would be defined by the scheme made by the diocesan for his or her diocese, in the light of the provisions contained in the national statutory Code of Practice drawn up by the House of Bishops and agreed by General Synod;
*

* thus both the diocesan and the nominated bishop would possess ‘ordinary jurisdiction’; the diocesan would retain the complete jurisdiction of a diocesan in law, and the nominated bishop would have jurisdiction by virtue of the Measure to the extent provided for in the diocesan scheme ”“ in effect holding jurisdiction by the decision of the Church as a whole, as expressed in the Measure;
*

* in respect of the aspects of episcopal ministry for which the diocesan scheme made provision, the diocesan and the nominated bishop would be ‘co-ordinaries’, and to that extent, their jurisdiction could be described as co-ordinate ”“ that is to say, each would have an ordinary jurisdiction in relation to those matters; and
*

* the Code of Practice would contain guidelines for effective co-ordination of episcopal functions so as to avoid duplication or conflict in the exercise of episcopal ministry.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Women

Tommy Smyth of ESPN Interviewed on the Charlie Rose Show about the World Cup

CHARLIE ROSE: And soccer’s popularity or football as they say everywhere else, grows like crazy?

TOMMY SMYTH: Yes, it’s continuing to grow, there is no question about it. I mean, you travel the streets of any major city in the United States now and you will find kids wearing the jerseys of Barcelona–

CHARLIE ROSE: And every bar’s got it turned on along with baseball.

TOMMY SMYTH: Yeah, everybody’s watching it now, and the ratings on ESPN have been tremendous, through the roof.

CHARLIE ROSE: Yeah, and high-definition television, unbelievable.

TOMMY SMYTH: It’s almost like you were on the field, Charlie. You have to look out or somebody will kick you.

Read or watch it all (click on the picture to start the video).

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Globalization, South Africa, Sports

Apple collecting, sharing iPhone users' precise locations

Apple Inc. is now collecting the “precise,” “real-time geographic location” of its users’ iPhones, iPads and computers.

In an updated version of its privacy policy, the company added a paragraph noting that once users agree, Apple and unspecified “partners and licensees” may collect and store user location data.

When users attempt to download apps or media from the iTunes store, they are prompted to agree to the new terms and conditions. Until they agree, they cannot download anything through the store.

The company says the data is anonymous and does not personally identify users. Analysts have shown, however, that large, specific data sets can be used to identify people based on behavior patterns.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Science & Technology

Archbishop Agostino Marchetto Stresses Intercultural Mentality

In his address, Archbishop Marchetto noted that “in the cultural realm a mentality is beginning to unfold that is increasingly ‘transnational’ — we can describe it as ‘intercultural’ because, thanks also to the continuous technological innovations, we are able to ‘live’ at the same time in different social environments.”

He stated that “the urgency of today and the secret of the future lies in the dialogue between persons, communities, authorities and civil organizations, peoples, cultures and religions, to counteract the blockage and intolerance that at the bottom is born from the idolatry of oneself, of one’s group and of one’s socio-cultural tradition.”

He added that “a dialoguing acceptance is expressed in an authentic meeting, which serves the difficult and never exhausted art of combining the personal and group aspect, of articulating identity, complementarity, co-responsibility and creativity, moving from multi-culturality to inter-culturality, offering dynamic areas to reciprocity and fruitfulness.”

This does not mean having one man “‘over,’ ‘against’ or ‘without’ the other man, but all together, for a new society, beginning from Europe, so that it will be in line with its original humanism,” the prelate said.

“Tolerance is no longer sufficient,” he noted. It is necessary to move to the “coexistence of differences.”

Read the whole thing.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Europe, Globalization, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

USA Today: Dating for a decade? Young adults aren't rushing marriage

Supposedly, young adults don’t have much of an attention span ”” except when it comes to love.

That’s when it seems this generation of young people is giving new meaning to the words “long-term relationship.” Many are “a couple” for years, and some approach a decade of dating. They’re just shy of the altar for so long that parents and grandparents are a bit bewildered.

“It’s good to get to know your partner before marrying, but one wonders how long you need?” says sociologist Andrew Cherlin, 61, of Johns Hopkins University.

Read the whole article.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Marriage & Family, Young Adults

Singing 'rewires' damaged brain

Teaching stroke patients to sing “rewires” their brains, helping them recover their speech, say scientists.

By singing, patients use a different area of the brain from the area involved in speech.

If a person’s “speech centre” is damaged by a stroke, they can learn to use their “singing centre” instead.

Researchers presented these findings at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in San Diego.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Health & Medicine, Music, Psychology

The Bishop of Tennessee: Celebration and Final Service at St. Bernard’s Gruetli-Laager

As followers of Christ, our lives have the same cruciform pattern. We embrace the cross, confident of the new life that comes to us through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. We know that God’s love of us is shown forth most clearly in those situations where we are most needy; those situations where we are revealed to have no power of our own and are most reliant on God. So when we are weak, we are actually strong (2 Cor. 12:10), because we rely on God who gives the strength. In our poverty, we actually become rich (2 Cor. 5:9), because it is God who gives abundance. It’s paradoxical but also true.

What’s true in our lives is also true in the life of the Church. When things go well in the life of the community we begin to think that perhaps we are the source of the blessing; can begin to think that it’s our own cleverness or faithfulness or strength that has brought about the increase. So it’s precisely in times of deprivation that the power of God is shown forth; precisely in times of death that the triumph song of resurrection sounds forth: Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

This final service at St. Bernard’s vividly illustrates the Church in deprivation, our weakness and our need. The life of the Church, however, runs far beyond the life of any single congregation. Because Jesus is the source of our life, the Church is stretched out in time and space, rooted in the past and growing into the future, in every place where the Gospel is preached. There is new life for God’s People, always and everywhere (as we say at the Eucharist). God’s praises are sung, not just in one place, but in all places and at all times. Our song of praise, the ceaseless “alleluia” that ever goes up, is never extinguished or obscured.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Episcopal Church (TEC), Parish Ministry, TEC Bishops

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori's New Zealand Visit to be kept "low key"

Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia media officer Lloyd Ashton said she was a controversial visitor. “Nobody makes any bones about the fact that she does represent tension. From the outset, her visit has always been intended as low key, informal and unofficial.

“There is not going to be an endorsement of where the…[Episcopal] Church is going. We have got our own process, we are working through that and it will be at least two years before that is complete.

“We are not hiding it, but neither are we exacerbating any tensions by making a statement … It is an acknowledgement that there are sensitivities both ways.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, Anglican Provinces, Episcopal Church (TEC), Presiding Bishop, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Saint Alban

Almighty God, by whose grace and power thy holy martyr Alban triumphed over suffering and was faithful even unto death: Grant to us, who now remember him with thanksgiving, to be so faithful in our witness to thee in this world, that we may receive with him the crown of life; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * International News & Commentary, Church History, England / UK, Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Scripture Readings

Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” When the disciples heard this they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?” But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

–Matthew 19: 24-26

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture