Daily Archives: July 7, 2010

A Vignette from a friend in Washington State

Received this morning:

“I cant believe my 10 yr old grand daughter got a $153 ticket yd for walking her dog, great way to find out state has a law requires a person to be 18 to walk a dog without adult supervision.”

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, City Government, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, State Government

One South Carolina Episcopal Rector preaches on July 4th out of Concern for his Country

An MP3 file(it begins with the deacon reading the gospel)–listen to it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * South Carolina, America/U.S.A., Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Religion & Culture, Theology

American Dream Is Elusive for New Generation

After breakfast, his parents left for their jobs, and Scott Nicholson, alone in the house in this comfortable suburb west of Boston, went to his laptop in the living room. He had placed it on a small table that his mother had used for a vase of flowers until her unemployed son found himself reluctantly stuck at home.

The daily routine seldom varied. Mr. Nicholson, 24, a graduate of Colgate University, winner of a dean’s award for academic excellence, spent his mornings searching corporate Web sites for suitable job openings. When he found one, he mailed off a résumé and cover letter ”” four or five a week, week after week.

Over the last five months, only one job materialized. After several interviews, the Hanover Insurance Group in nearby Worcester offered to hire him as an associate claims adjuster, at $40,000 a year. But even before the formal offer, Mr. Nicholson had decided not to take the job.

Rather than waste early years in dead-end work, he reasoned, he would hold out for a corporate position that would draw on his college training and put him, as he sees it, on the bottom rungs of a career ladder.

Read it all.

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

Tom Mendelsohn: The General Synod of the Church of England: A brief introduction to the issues

The latest ”“ and, arguably, the most important ”“ meeting of the Church of England’s General Synod will start this Friday in York.

I may be speaking too soon on this one, considering the Synod’s history of prevarication and issue-dodging, but it’s looking likely that fireworks are on the agenda ”“ this is one of the more eagerly (or bitterly, depending on your point of view) awaited sessions of recent times.

There is plenty of meat on the agenda, but the biggest issue at stake surely has to be the consecration of women bishops, one of the most divisive subjects ever to face the Anglican Communion, and one that could ultimately end in schism.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE)

Health care overhaul hits home in Northern Virginia

As some provisions of this year’s federal health care overhaul go into effect, Fairfax County is planning for how it will handle the changes.

Industry experts have said the cost of health insurance plans such as the one Fairfax County offers to its employees could increase by 4 percent or more in 2011, said Susan Woodruff, the county’s Human Resources director.

“That’s a cost that we, the employer, and the employees will have to find a way to share,” Woodruff said.

Given the county now budgets more than $68 million per year for its employee insurance needs, even a slight increase could add millions to the total.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, --The 2009 American Health Care Reform Debate, City Government, Economy, Health & Medicine, Politics in General

AP: Indonesian Islamists open front against Christians

Days after rumors spread across this industrial city that Christians were conducting a mass baptism, hard-line Islamic leaders called for local mosques to create a youth guard to act as moral police and put a quick stop to forced conversions.

They started training early Saturday morning, around 100 young men turning out in a field in Bekasi wearing martial arts uniforms. Leaders stressed that there was no plan to arm them, but they do not shy away from saying they’ll act essentially as thugs.

“We’re doing this because we want to strike fear in the hearts of Christians who behave in such a way,” said Murhali Barda, who heads the local chapter of the Islamic Defenders Front, which pushes for the implementation of Islamic-based laws in Bekasi and other parts of the archipelagic nation. “If they refuse to stop what they’re doing, we’re ready to fight.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Asia, Indonesia, Islam, Muslim-Christian relations, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture

FT: Investors fear rising risk of US regional defaults

Investors are worried that the risk of default for US local governments is growing, amid signs that some regions are facing the same type of difficulty in curbing pension and budget deficits as some eurozone countries.

The yield attached to some forms of infrastructure municipal bonds has risen relative to US Treasury bonds because of fears that cash-strapped local governments will struggle to repay these loans.

Absolute borrowing costs for regional governments remain relatively low in historical terms because of the Federal Reserve’s ultra-loose monetary policy. But any swings in municipal yields will be watched closely by investors, since they suggest that the fiscal anxieties about the eurozone could now infect the US.

“The risk in the second half of the year is that investor attention switches from Europe to the US,” said Robert Parker, senior adviser at Credit Suisse Securities, who singled out parts of California, as well as towns and cities in Illinois, Michigan and New York state as among the most vulnerable.

Read it all.

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

The Dutch Take The Netherlands 3-2 to Head to the World Cup Final

The first goal in particular was quite a strike–read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Sports

Preaching Is the Most Influential Thing a Pastor Does

From here:

“There is no one activity that a pastor does that can have a greater influence on the vitality of the congregation than preaching,” Adam Hamilton wrote in his book Leading Beyond the Walls: Developing Congregations with a Heart for the Unchurched. Hamilton is profiled in the July-August 2003 issue of Good News magazine.

“If a pastor is a poor preacher and does not devote sufficient time to preparing sermons, the entire congregation will suffer,” Hamilton says. “If a pastor prepares well-researched and thoughtful sermons with clear relevance and application for her or his congregants and delivers them with passion, conviction and clarity, the entire congregation will reap the benefits.”

The Good News article goes on: “This is never more true than when the church’s aim is to draw the unchurched or non-religious person into a committed relationship with Christ. Yet preaching carries a negative connotation and is often one of the deterrents to non-believers in their search for faith. At Church of the Resurrection (COR), where 70 percent of the 12,000 members report that they were previously unchurched or nominally religious, one of the top reasons often given as a reason for joining the congregation is the preaching. According to Hamilton, laypeople are looking for sermons that are interesting, relevant, biblical, understandable, offer clear application to the hearer’s daily life, address real-life issues and are preached with conviction, passion, love, integrity and humility.'”

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics