Daily Archives: July 16, 2010

The decision on Women Bishops: An Interview With Secretary of Vatican's Unity Council

After a bitter vote, the Church of England decided Monday that women can be consecrated as bishops. But the secretary of the Vatican’s unity council says ecumenical dialogue will continue as before.

The synodal decision must be put to a referendum within a year by another similar synod; nevertheless it is a vote that marks an important point within the history of the Church of England.

The vote was noteworthy in another regard: a conciliatory amendment proposed by the archbishops of Canterbury and York, Rowan Williams and John Sentamu, was rejected.

Bishop Brian Farrell, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, told ZENIT that the Anglican decision does represent an “enormous obstacle.” Nevertheless, he said, the effects of this vote must be kept in a proper perspective.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Ecumenical Relations, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic

David Skeel: Evangelicals Try Stand-Up

Not long ago, books with titles like “Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism” warned that theologically conservative Protestants are bent on taking over the country. It may be more nefarious than critics had originally supposed. The evangelicals’ latest strategy””Veritas Riff””involves getting staid Christian scholars to do improvisational comedy.

Veritas Riff is the brainchild of four evangelical leaders in their 30s and early 40s who are highly connected in the Christian world but less well known outside””precisely the types, in other words, that conspiracy theorists might suspect as the ringleaders of a Christian cabal. Curtis Chang, the former pastor of a Silicon Valley church, runs a consulting firm that advises nonprofits and governmental entities; Andy Crouch is an editor of Christianity Today and author of the book “Culture Making”; D. Michael Lindsay teaches sociology at Rice University and is the author of “Faith in the Halls of Power”; and Dan Cho is the executive editor of Veritas Forum, which organizes popular conferences on faith and the life of ideas at universities around the country and sponsors Veritas Riff.

If the organizers have conspiracy in mind, theirs is an unlikely one. The applicants””young and midcareer Christian scholars””were asked a series of questions related to their expertise and their desire to become “Christian thought leaders” who “can speak in a culturally influential manner to a broad audience.” The 13 inaugural fellows include an astrophysicist at NASA; an art historian; a newly tenured professor in Harvard’s African and African American Studies department; a geonomic medicine resident; a historian; a law professor (me); and Michael Gerson, the Washington Post columnist and former Bush speechwriter.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Evangelicals, Other Churches, Religion & Culture

WTOC on Christ Church, Savannah: A congregation divided, a historic building at stake

For Senior Pastor Marc Robertson the Christ Church sanctuary is his sanctuary to talk to God. It’s where he spends a lot of time after losing the latest appeal to house his congregation. “It was a blow, not unexpected, but a blow,” explained Pastor Robertson. “We are concerned about the message of the Episcopal Church, and sense that it is not consonant with the historic Christian faith. We would rather not see that take root in this particular venue,” he said.

The battle begins, and ends, at Christ Church off of Johnson Square on Bull Street. On the outside, the church, built in 1830’s, looks strong and stately. But on the inside, the building was once wrought with turmoil. Three years ago, members split from the Episcopal Diocese over fundamental differences in the teaching of the gospel, as well as its stance on homosexuality. Christ Church now aligns with the Anglican Diocese. “The congregation there was never asked to change beliefs or practice,” explained Reverend Frank Logue with the Episcopal Diocese. “They just believe they could not, with integrity, within the Episcopal Church. We didn’t share that feeling. In fact, we wanted them within Episcopal Church,” Reverend Logue said.

Read the whole thing.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Georgia

Church of England Newspaper: Rules out at ACC

(By George Conger)

Observance of the Anglican Consultative Council’s bylaws are discretionary, a spokesman for the organization tells The Church of England

ACC spokesman Jan Butter told CEN the future membership rules of the organization which seek to promote gender parity take precedence over its existing rules.

However, the Archbishop of Canterbury’s press spokesman tells The Church of England Newspaper, the ACC staff’s views are not the final word on the matter, as the appointment of Bishop Ian Douglas and Canon Janet Trisk to the ACC Standing Committee are under legal review.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Consultative Council, Archbishop of Canterbury, Instruments of Unity, Windsor Report / Process

Church Times–Traditionalists face threadbare future as Measure is passed

After two emotional days of debate on women bishops, Synod members’ reactions ranged from joy to deep disappointment.

Owing to the number of amend­ments to the draft legislation, its re­vision stage was a long haul last week­end. But every bid to give opponents bishops with their own jurisdiction ”” even “co-ordinate”, as proposed by the two Archbishops ”” fell.

Though supported by a majority of Synod members, the Archbishops’ amendment lost by five votes among the Clergy when a vote by Houses was required. An amendment for hard­ship provision for clergy resigning office also fell. Traditionalists are left with a code of practice (as yet unseen), which they have repeatedly said “will not do”.

Writing to his clergy, however, the Bishop of London, the Rt Revd Richard Chartres, said that it was “emphatically not true to say that the Measure as it stands contains no provisions”. But he recognised there was anxiety among traditionalists because the contents of the code had not yet been worked out.

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

Rolling Closures A Possibility For Philadelphia Fire Department

New cuts may be coming to the Philadelphia Fire Department and they could include rolling closures of firehouses.

What if you stopped by your local firehouse and found the firefighters who would normally be first to answer your call weren’t there at all that day?

It could happen.

The city announced as many as four units each day may be taken out of service in neighborhoods city wide in hopes of saving more than $3.5 million in overtime to ease the city’s budget crunch.

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Posted in Uncategorized

Chuck Raasch: Lack of jobs still dominant concern

The president, focused like a laser on the nation’s top problem, decided to give a nationally broadcast speech.

“On the basis of this simple principle of doing everything together, we are starting out on this nationwide attack on unemployment,” he said. “It will succeed if our people understand it ”” in the big industries, in the little shops, in the great cities and the small villages.”

It is time, he added, “for patience and understanding and cooperation.”

Barack Obama?

No, it was Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 77 years ago this month, in one of the most important “fireside chats” of his presidency.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market

From the Morning Scripture Readings

But I trust in thee, O LORD, I say, “Thou art my God.” My times are in thy hand; deliver me from the hand of my enemies and persecutors! Let thy face shine on thy servant; save me in thy steadfast love!

–Psalm 31:14-16

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Ron Capps: Reducing The Stigma Of PTSD In Army Culture

In Army culture, especially in the elite unit filled with rangers and paratroopers in which I served, asking for help was showing weakness. My two Bronze Stars, my tours in Airborne and Special Operations units, none of these would matter. To ask for help would be seen as breaking.

But, finally, when in the middle of the day I was forced to hide, shaking and crying in a concrete bunker, railing against the noise and the images in my head, and when I understood that to continue was to endanger the soldiers I was sent to Afghanistan to lead, I asked for help.

Today, right now, we need to get more soldiers to ask for help. Reducing the stigma attached to mental health issues is the first step. When soldiers see their peers ridiculed, accused of malingering or cowardice, they don’t seek the help they need.

Maybe that’s why, in the first half of 2009, more American soldiers committed suicide than died in combat.

Read or listen to it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Health & Medicine, Iraq War, Military / Armed Forces, Psychology, War in Afghanistan

Terry Mattingly: Jewelry with religious overtones

The bracelet is both simple and a bit strange, since it consists of six or seven fishing lures connected end to end.

Some people look at this piece of silver or gold jewelry in the James Avery line and they see fishing lures — period.

But other shoppers see the same item and they think of these words of Jesus: “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” This is especially true if they have completed a United Methodist Walk to Emmaus weekend, or some other renewal program inspired by the Catholic Cursillo movement.

“Most of our customers purchase and wear that for the religious symbolism,” said Paul Avery, executive vice president of the company that his father started in a garage. “But there is a group that has no clue what it means. … They just happen to like it. They like to fish or whatever.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Consumer/consumer spending, Economy, Religion & Culture

WSJ: Goldman Sachs to Pay $550 Million to Settle SEC Suit

The Securities and Exchange Commission has reached a $550 million settlement with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. that will resolve its lawsuit against the firm alleging that it misled investors in a subprime mortgage product, the agency announced Thursday.

The SEC sued Goldman in April, charging it with fraud in marketing of a complex financial product called Abacus 2007-AC1 that was based on mortgage-backed securities. The suit is the highest profile of a number of inquiries regulators are making into synthetic collateralized debt obligations.

In agreeing to the SEC’s largest-ever penalty paid by a Wall Street firm, Goldman also acknowledged that its marketing materials for the subprime product contained incomplete information, the SEC said.

Goldman denied any wrong doing in the SEC lawsuit but has been under pressure from shareholders to reach a settlement on the fraud lawsuit and other SEC probes.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Corporations/Corporate Life, Credit Markets, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Stock Market, The Banking System/Sector, The U.S. Government, Theology

Living Church: Bishop Gulick to Assist in Virginia

When the Rt. Rev. Edwin F. “Ted” Gulick, Jr., announced his decision to retire as Bishop of Kentucky, he was clear about the timing and his destination. He would leave by August 2010 and move back to Virginia, where he was a rector in Newport News for 11 years before being elected a bishop.

Bishop Gulick will not pause from episcopal duties for long. He will begin visiting parishes Sept. 12 as one of five “guest bishops” who agreed to assist the Rt. Rev. Shannon Johnston, Bishop of Virginia, during 2010. On New Year’s Day in 2011 he will become assistant bishop.

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

Youth explore rebel stories, hip hop and Bible at Outreach Conference in Canada

Injustice is all around us: oil spews into the ocean, and people live in poverty around the world and in our own backyard. It seems like everything we buy is built at someone else’s expense. Where is truth found? Often, it’s in the most unlikely places. Young Anglicans will explore that quest for truth at this year’s Outreach Conference youth program, taking place Oct. 16.

The youth will listen to hip hop and read children’s stories, hear from each other, and connect their reflections to the parable of the talents. They will then learn about practical ways of responding to issues such as poverty, environmental destruction and corporate responsibility.

Meanwhile, the regular conference program will be highlighted by a keynote address by Ched Myers, a gifted author, theologian and justice advocate. Re-reading the Bible in light of concrete struggles against violence and oppression is a key focus for Mr. Myers. “I believe that the Judeo-Christian sacred story is the older, deeper and wiser tradition that has the power to transform our lives and our history ”“ but only if we can overcome its domestication under the dominant culture,” he says.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Parish Ministry, Youth Ministry

Diocese of Upper South Carolina Cathedral Dean suspended

The Very Rev. Philip C. Linder, dean of Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, was suspended today by the new bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Upper South Carolina, apparently over a leadership dispute between Linder and the vestry of the downtown Columbia church.

Bishop W. Andrew Waldo issued the suspension after Linder violated ground rules for the mediation process, according to a statement circulated to lay leaders of the church.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ministry of the Laity, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, TEC Conflicts, Theology