Daily Archives: July 13, 2010

Small Businesses Get More Pessimistic

Small businesses continue to feel highly pessimistic about the U.S. economic outlook, according to a report Tuesday that showed a monthly indicator of their sentiment turning weaker in June.

The National Federation of Independent Businesses said its Small Business Optimism Index dropped 3.2 points to 89.0 last month, more than erasing the modest 1.6-point gain it saw in May. The report, which was compiled by NFIB Chief Economist William Dunkelberg, described the decline as “a very disappointing outcome.”

In past periods following a recession, the NFIB index typically has risen back above 100 within a quarter or two of the trough in economic activity as measured by the National Bureau of Economic Research. That hasn’t been the case during this recovery. The index hasn’t broken above 93 in any month since January 2008 when the economy was in the early stages of recession, even though the NBER is expected to eventually date the beginning of the recovery in the third quarter of last year.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market

CNS–Anglicans expect exodus after Church of England OKs women bishops

The largest Anglo-Catholic group in the Church of England is expecting an exodus of thousands of Anglicans to Catholicism after a decision to ordain women as bishops without sufficient concessions to traditionalists.

Stephen Parkinson, director of Forward in Faith — a group that has about 10,000 members, including more than 1,000 clergy — told Catholic News Service in a July 13 telephone interview that a large number of Anglo-Catholics are considering conversion to the Catholic faith.

His comments came after the General Synod, the national assembly of the Church of England, voted at a meeting in York to approve the creation of women bishops by 2014 without meeting the demands of objectors.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Women

BBC (Robert Piggott): What does women bishops decision mean for the Church?

It has been clear for several years that the Church of England’s synod wanted to ordain women as bishops.

But that left a critical question – what concessions should be made to traditionalists who objected?

During a long weekend of impassioned and sometimes emotional debate, it decided that the concessions being sought came at too high a cost.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Women

General Synod: Rules relaxed on church weddings

The General Synod at the Church’s parliament has voted to relax the current rule which prevents couples from marrying in a church where they don’t have a strong connection to the parish.

It is hoped the move will enable the church to claw back some of the wedding business which is currently being dominated by stately homes and hotels offering civil ceremony services.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Liturgy, Music, Worship, Marriage & Family, Parish Ministry

William Rhoden: Who Really Won in South Africa?

At one level the World Cup has been a short-term boon. Tourists emptied out of the tour buses, made purchases from street merchants and visited the Hector Pieterson Museum situated across the street from Holy Cross. They got back on the buses to return to their hotels in suburbs with high walls, confident that they saw the real Soweto.

“I live on the other side of Soweto and I haven’t seen a tour bus yet,” [Anglican priest Stepehn] Morero said.

But now that the monthlong circus has left town, the hard questions that were raised by community activists before the World Cup are back: Who won? Who lost?

The event has generally been hailed as a great success, with talk now turning to a South African Olympics as a possibility. New stadiums were constructed along with new roads leading to the stadiums, construction that helped create thousands of jobs. But is South Africa ”” and a majority of South Africans ”” better off than before the World Cup came to town?

“How much of the profit FIFA makes will be left to develop the poor communities?” Morero said. “I do not think it is going to move the ball forward. There has been a concern from the community over who profits from the World Cup.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Globalization, Poverty, South Africa, Sports

BBC: Warning of Church departures after women bishops vote

A leading traditionalist has warned it is “inevitable” people will leave the Church of England after it voted to move ahead with allowing women bishops.

Bishop John Broadhurst, who is on the Church’s Catholic wing, told the BBC’s Today programme other opponents would stay in the Church but “defy” the move.

However, Rachel Weir of the pro-women bishops group Women and the Church, said it was a “momentous” decision.

The general synod will make a final vote on the issue next year.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Women

WATCH responds to Monday's debate on Women Bishops in the Church of England

From here:

Today the General Synod overwhelmingly endorsed the draft legislation prepared by the Revision Committee with only a couple of minor amendments. After rejecting the ways of accommodating those opposed, that were debated on Saturday, Synod accepted the proposals suggested by the Revision Committee in clause 2 of the draft legislation.

After a moving debate, the motion was passed with an overwhelming majority; 373 in favour; 14 against with 17 abstentions.

Several powerful speeches made it clear the sacrifice that had been made by the majority who welcomed women’s ordained ministry in voting for this compromise. “This is good news for the whole Church and we are delighted” says the Revd Rachel Weir, Chair of WATCH. “Synod’s decision gives the Church a powerful mandate to move forward enthusiastically; welcoming the ministry of women at all levels within the Church whilst making space for those who are opposed to stay within our body”.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Women

The Bishop of Ebbsfleet's Pastoral Letter – August 2010

Traditionalists have been beaten four-square. When (though, strictly, it is still ‘If’) the Measure comes into force, there will be no more Resolution A and B, no more ‘petitioning parishes’. There will be no more ‘flying bishops’, no more Beverley, Ebbsfleet, and Richborough. There will be again the assurance of good behaviour: no one will be over-faced by women priests and bishops ministering where they are not wanted. But there will be no guarantees (and, increasingly, no likelihood) that male bishops and priests ministering to us will share those convictions, or derive their orders from an unbroken apostolic succession of bishops in the Catholic line. Avoiding women ministers will become not a conviction about Catholic Order, shared throughout the ages, but a matter of sexual discrimination, abhorrent to all of us. In a very short time, it will have become unacceptable to invoke a sexist Code of Practice.

It is important for us all to understand how momentous all this is and what the implications are for our life together. I was never very hopeful of the Archbishops’ amendment, though it was good that it was debated. It would not have brought a clear and certain place for the Catholic understanding of Faith and Order. But it would have allowed a new generation of Provincial Episcopal Visitors – flying bishops – to try to work out, with the Archbishops, some sort of corporate life for our priests, people, and parishes. It is fair to say that both Archbishops wanted that. Moreover 60% of the bishops in Synod (though not two thirds) were prepared, more or less enthusiastically, to support the Archbishops and accept their spiritual lead.

Come the final judgment when, as the Prayer Book says in the Marriage Service, ‘the secrets of all hearts shall be disclosed’, some will have to account for the broken promises of the early 1990s. Traditionalists were then assured of a permanent and honoured place. Great store was set by the doctrine of reception (whereby no change in Holy Order would finally thought to be ‘received’ until it was accepted by the ancient churches of East and West). It was on the basis of these promises – both now very hollow – that Provincial Episcopal Visitors were appointed, ordinands and their families exchanged comfortable life styles for theological college, curacies, and what promised to be a lifetime of ministry, and parishes set to work energetically with the task of evangelism and catechesis. However honourably these promises were made, there were liberal pressure groups intent on destroying them….

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Women

Joe Carter: Jesus is Neither a Playboy Nor My Homeboy

As my friend Rusty Lopez once asked, “What is it about our culture that causes us to consider the creator of the universe just another one of the gang?”

Good question. The cause, in my opinion, can be traced back to American Protestantism, particularly in the popular strands of evangelicalism. As a religious movement we have almost completely abandoned the concept of a transcendent creator in favor of a God who is our “best friend.” I remember as a young Baptist how we would gloss over the commands to “fear God” in favor of singing hymns about ”What a Friend We Have in Jesus.”

Even the Gnostic literary critic Harold Bloom is able to see where we err, as he wrote in his book The American Religion:

The American finds God in herself or himself only after finding the freedom to know God by experiencing a total inward solitude. In this solitary freedom, the American is liberated both from other selves and from the created world. He comes to recognize that his spirit is itself uncreated. Knowing that he is the equal of God, the American Religionist can then achieve his true desideratum, mystical communion with his friend, the godhead.

The idea of Jesus is mainly our “friend” is deeply rooted in our particular religious culture. Our lack of reverence expresses itself in everything from our worship to our evangelism.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Christology, Religion & Culture, Theology

End of Census, and for Many, End of Job

It was a finely honed machine, this United States Census team, and it had a good run. But in the coming days and weeks, many of its members will experience the pain of unemployment ”” once again.

Christine Egan, a 31-year-old massage therapist, says her census job offered shelter from the economic storm last year. “The economy was terrible; there was nothing,” she says. “I’ve already gone through ”˜horrific,’ so I’m immunized.” She smiles, optimism almost extending to her eyes. “It must be better now, right?”

When the Census Bureau hired upward of 700,000 Americans over the last two years ”” most in the last six months ”” it landed more experienced workers with more sophisticated skills than any time in recent memory. This was the unintended upside of the nastiest recession of the last 70 years.

Now, its decennial work largely done, the Census Bureau is shedding hundreds of thousands of workers ”” about 225,000 in just the last few weeks, enough to account for a jot or two in the unemployment rate, say federal economists. Most of those remaining will be gone by August; a few will last into September.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Psychology

From the Morning Scripture Readings

But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, a wild olive shoot, were grafted in their place to share the richness of the olive tree, 18 do not boast over the branches. If you do boast, remember it is not you that support the root, but the root that supports you.

Romans 11:17,18

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

The current Bishop of Northwest Pennsylvania's Pastoral Letter about the Previous Bishop

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Pastoral Theology, TEC Bishops, Theology

Independent: 'Desperately difficult' to keep Church together over women bishops

The Archbishop of Canterbury admitted today that it will be “desperately difficult” to keep the Church of England unified in light of its schismatic vote on women bishops.

In a heartfelt appeal for unity after a particularly fraught week, Dr Rowan Williams called on Anglicans to push ahead with the consecration of women bishops despite the fact that a minority of traditionalists, conservative evangelicals and Anglo-Catholics have threatened to leave the church over the issue.

The beleaguered church leader suffered an ignominious defeat on Saturday evening when the general synod ”“ the church’s legislative assembly ”“ rejected his personal appeal for a series of safeguards that would have provided a separate class of male-only bishops to administer to those who remain vehemently opposed to female leadership in the church.

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

Humiliation for Archbishop as Church rejects his last ditch compromise on women bishops

The Archbishop of Canterbury suffered a humiliating blow yesterday after his efforts to force through a last ditch compromise on women bishops was rejected.

Dr Rowan Williams risked his moral authority by attempting to persuade the Church of England’s ‘ Parliament’ to accept proposals aimed at preventing thousands of opponents of women bishops quitting the Church.

Under the proposals, woman bishops would have retained their authority in principle, but in practice would allow traditionalists to serve under acceptable male bishops.

But after a tense debate in York, the compromise package he introduced jointly with the Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu was narrowly voted down.

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

BBC: Women bishops should be created, General Synod rules

The Church of England’s ruling synod has decided that women bishops should be allowed, but there are further steps to take before they can be ordained.

The General Synod has given minimal concessions to traditionalist Anglicans who opposed the move.

They had sought exemptions from serving under women bishops and guaranteed access to a male alternative.

But the synod decided women bishops should be able to decide the identity of any bishop entering their dioceses.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Women