Daily Archives: July 17, 2010

Key Documents in the Trinity Episcopal Cathedral Dispute

A letter from the Bishop of Upper South Carolina may be found here and a resolution from the parish vestry may be found there. Read them both.

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

The State (Columbia, South Carolina): Details emerge in Trinity Episcopal Cathedral Dispute

The top leaders of Trinity Episcopal Cathedral were preparing to oust their now-suspended dean, the Very Rev. Philip C. Linder, triggering a chain of events that led to the dramatic intervention by the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Upper South Carolina, the bishop said in a statement Friday.

“Those of you who are puzzled or angered by my decision to suspend the Dean are asking many questions, some of which can only be answered with replies we are unable to give you for privacy reasons,” Bishop W. Andrew Waldo said in the letter posted on Trinity’s website.

“What must firmly be said, however, is that your wardens and chancellor came to me with a call for a special vestry meeting, signed by themselves and 16 vestry members, to consider the dissolution of the pastoral relationship between the Cathedral and Philip Linder.”

Waldo said he ordered Linder, 50, not to speak to parishioners of the historic downtown congregation while the dispute was under mediation, an order Linder violated, Waldo said. The root causes of the conflict between the vestry and Linder have not been made public and remain unclear.

Read it all.

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

BBC: Capped Gulf of Mexico oil well 'withstands pressure'

Tests on BP’s newly capped Gulf of Mexico oil well show pressure has been building up slightly as hoped with no signs of leakage, BP says.

BP vice-president Kent Wells said rising pressure “is giving us more and more confidence”. Tests, however, could be extended beyond Saturday.

The new cap has managed to stop the flow of oil for the first time since a 20 April explosion killed 11 people.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, --The 2010 Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Energy, Natural Resources, Science & Technology

Two more banks fail in South Carolina

Two more South Carolina banks ”” First National Bank of the South of Spartanburg and Woodlands Bank of Bluffton ”” were seized Friday by federal regulators.

Now three state-based banks have failed this year. In April, Beach First of Myrtle Beach became the first South Carolina bank shut down since the 1999 closure of Columbia’s Victory State Bank.

So far this year, 96 banks nationwide have failed ”” nearly the double the pace from 2009.

Meanwhile, regulators’ list of problem banks keeps rising. In South Carolina, 14 banks ”” roughly 15 percent of the state’s total ”” have been ordered by regulators to bolster their balance sheets since 2008, according to records.

Read the whole thing.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, Economy, The Banking System/Sector, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, The U.S. Government

Remarks by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, as delivered to the Princeton Class of 2010

I got the idea to start Amazon 16 years ago. I came across the fact that Web usage was growing at 2,300 percent per year. I’d never seen or heard of anything that grew that fast, and the idea of building an online bookstore with millions of titles — something that simply couldn’t exist in the physical world — was very exciting to me. I had just turned 30 years old, and I’d been married for a year. I told my wife MacKenzie that I wanted to quit my job and go do this crazy thing that probably wouldn’t work since most startups don’t, and I wasn’t sure what would happen after that. MacKenzie (also a Princeton grad and sitting here in the second row) told me I should go for it. As a young boy, I’d been a garage inventor. I’d invented an automatic gate closer out of cement-filled tires, a solar cooker that didn’t work very well out of an umbrella and tinfoil, baking-pan alarms to entrap my siblings. I’d always wanted to be an inventor, and she wanted me to follow my passion.

I was working at a financial firm in New York City with a bunch of very smart people, and I had a brilliant boss that I much admired. I went to my boss and told him I wanted to start a company selling books on the Internet. He took me on a long walk in Central Park, listened carefully to me, and finally said, “That sounds like a really good idea, but it would be an even better idea for someone who didn’t already have a good job.” That logic made some sense to me, and he convinced me to think about it for 48 hours before making a final decision. Seen in that light, it really was a difficult choice, but ultimately, I decided I had to give it a shot. I didn’t think I’d regret trying and failing. And I suspected I would always be haunted by a decision to not try at all. After much consideration, I took the less safe path to follow my passion, and I’m proud of that choice.

Tomorrow, in a very real sense, your life — the life you author from scratch on your own — begins….

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Education, Philosophy, Young Adults

Time Magazine Cover Story–The Good and Bad Economy

A new Time poll reveals just how hard the task is: Two-thirds of respondents say they oppose a second government stimulus package. And 53% say the country would have been better off without the first one.

The result is a White House pulled in three directions at once as it tries to repair the economy ”” and ensure that Obama and the Democrats can survive a rising tide of public anger. First, the Obama team is improvising ways to pass piecemeal spending items through a Congress where stimulus has become a toxic word. At the same time, the White House is signaling its concern about that budget deficit that has Tea Partyers raging ”” both through token gestures, like a White House contest that lets the public vote on cost-cutting ideas submitted by federal employees (the winner gets to meet Obama and see his or her idea go in the President’s next budget), and through Obama’s support for the work of a bipartisan deficit commission. And finally, the White House is trying to explain to angry liberals that it’s doing everything possible to keep the economy moving and fight Republican resistance to new spending.

It’s a delicate balancing act, on a par with Obama’s effort to pass health care reform without appearing to get too involved in the details. And just as it did in the health care battle, the future of Obama’s presidency ”” as well as the fate of the American economy ”” may hang on the outcome.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Economy, Federal Reserve, History, House of Representatives, Housing/Real Estate Market, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Psychology, State Government, The 2009 Obama Administration Bank Bailout Plan, The 2009 Obama Administration Housing Amelioration Plan, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, The Fiscal Stimulus Package of 2009, The National Deficit, The Possibility of a Bailout for the U.S. Auto Industry, The September 2008 Proposed Henry Paulson 700 Billion Bailout Package, The U.S. Government, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner

RNS–Foundation donates $400K for Episcopal liturgies for same sex unions

A Michigan-based gay rights foundation has given more than $400,000 to a California seminary to help craft formal liturgies for the Episcopal Church to bless gay and lesbian relationships.

The Episcopal Church still officially considers marriage between a man and a woman, reflected in the marriage rite of its Book of Common Prayer. Many dioceses, however, unofficially allow priests to bless same-sex relationships and even marriages.

Because the church puts a high value on scripted liturgies, many same-sex couples want their own marriage/blessing rite since many bishops are reluctant to use the traditional husband-wife marriage liturgy for same-sex unions.

The church’s 2009 General Convention gave the green light to collecting “theological and liturgical resources” that would form the basis of an official same-sex rite that could be added to the list of approved ceremonies.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Marriage & Family, Parish Ministry, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)

Lifesite News: Nigerian Archbishop Upbraids Western Churches for Rejecting Gospel

In Anglican Archbishop Nicholas Okoh’s first press conference on July 14, he addressed the controversy that is sweeping the global Anglican communion and condemned homosexual behavior as well as other Anglican provinces that have adopted an unbiblical acceptance of it.

“In this matter silence can be detrimental to public well-being,” he said. “The issue at stake of human sexuality is not an Anglican prerogative and it is by no means limited to the Anglican circle as … is clearly shown all over the world.”

“Same sex marriage, paedophilia and all sexual perversions should be roundly condemned by all who accept the authority of Scripture over human life.”

Archbishop Okoh succeeded Archbishop Pete Akinola as primate, or head archbishop, of the Anglican Church of Nigeria on March 25. With roughly 18 million members, the Church of Nigeria is the largest province in the Anglican Communion.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of Nigeria

Notable and Quotable

To become new men means losing what we now call “ourselves.” Out of ourselves, into Christ, we must go. His will is to become ours and we are to think His thoughts, to “have the mind of Christ” as the Bible says. And if Christ is one, and if He is thus to be “in” us all, shall we not be exactly the same? It certainly sounds like it; but in fact it is not so.

It is difficult here to get a good illustration; because, of course, no other two things are related to each other just as the Creator is related to one of His creatures. But I will try two very imperfect illustrations which may give a hint of the truth. Imagine a lot of people who have always lived in the dark. You come and try to describe to them what light is like. You might tell them that if they come into the light that same light would fall on them all and they would all reflect it and thus become what we call visible. Is it not quite possible that they would imagine that, since they were all receiving the same light, and all reacting to it in the same way (i.e., all reflecting it), they would all look alike? Whereas you and I know that the light will in fact bring out, or show up, how different they are. Or again, suppose a person who knew nothing about salt. You give him a pinch to taste and he experiences a particular strong, sharp taste. You then tell him that in your country people use salt in all their cookery. Might he not reply “In that case I suppose all your dishes taste exactly the same: because the taste of that stuff you have just given me is so strong that it will kill the taste of everything else.” But you and I know that the real effect of salt is exactly the opposite. So far from killing the taste of the egg and the tripe and the cabbage, it actually brings it out. They do not show their real taste till you have added the salt. (Of course, as I warned you, this is not really a very good illustration, because you can, after all, kill the other tastes by putting in too much salt, whereas you cannot kill the taste of a human personality by putting in too much Christ. I am doing the best I can.)

–C.S. Lewis
It is something like that with Christ and us. The more we get what we now call “ourselves” out of the way and let Him take us over, the more truly ourselves we become. There is so much of Him that millions and millions of “little Christs,” all different, will still be too few to express Him fully. He made them all. He invented-as an author invents characters in a novel-all the different men that you and I were intended to be. In that sense our real selves are all waiting for us in Him. It is no good trying to “be myself” without Him. The more I resist Him and try to live on my own, the more I become dominated by my own heredity and upbringing and surroundings and natural desires. In fact what I so proudly call “Myself” becomes merely the meeting place for trains of events which I never started and which I cannot stop. What I call “My wishes” become merely the desires thrown up by my physical organism or pumped into me by other men’s thoughts or even suggested to me by devils. Eggs and alcohol and a good night’s sleep will be the real origins of what I flatter myself by regarding as my own highly personal and discriminating decision to make love to the girl opposite to me in the railway carriage. Propaganda will be the real origin of what I regard as my own personal political ideals, I am not, in my natural state, nearly so much of a person as I like to believe: most of what I call “me” can be very easily explained. It is when I turn to Christ, when I give myself up to His Personality, that I first begin to have a real personality of my own. At the beginning I said there were Personalities in God. I will go further now. There are no real personalities anywhere else. Until you have given up your self to Him you will not have a real self. Sameness is to be found most among the most “natural” men, not among those who surrender to Christ. How monotonously alike all the great tyrants and conquerors have been: how gloriously different are the saints.

But there must be a real giving up of the self. You must throw it away “blindly” so to speak. Christ will indeed give you a real personality: but you must not go to Him for the sake of that. As long as your own personality
is what you are bothering about you are not going to Him at all. The very first step is to try to forget about the self altogether. Your real, new self (which is Christ’s and also yours, and yours just because it is His)
will not come as long as you are looking for it. It will come when you are looking for Him.

–C.S. Lewis (1898-1963), Mere Christianity

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Primary Source, Apologetics, Pastoral Theology, Theology

Rowan Williams on Martyrdom on BBC Radio 4's 'Something Understood'

“Mark Tully tells the remarkable story of the first Martyrs of the English Reformation. He visits the centuries-old Priory near London’s Smithfield meat market and, in the company of the current Master of Charterhouse, uncovers a hidden history with a contemporary relevance.”

Listen to it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church History, Death / Burial / Funerals, Parish Ministry

Why it is a mistaken policy for Rome to offer Anglicans moving en bloc a church within the Church

I yield to no one in my respect and affection for Benedict XVI. His issuing of Summorum Pontificum three years ago was sufficient to guarantee the significance of his pontificate, even if the de facto schism of many bishops around the world has impeded its implementation. In his pronouncements and instincts he has displayed a Catholic sensibility lacking in his predecessors since 1958. That said, I am not enthused by his concession of an Ordinariate to traditionally-minded Anglicans converting to Rome en bloc.

So, forgive me if I cannot join my fellow traditional Catholics in dancing in the streets in celebration of this supposed coup. Of course, at a purely human level, it was hilarious to see Rowan Williams wake up one morning to find the papal tanks on his lawn, followed by the appearance of the same, visibly unhappy, Rowan Cantuar, looking like a shot-down U2 spy plane pilot paraded before the media in Moscow 50 years ago, at a joint news conference to announce this joyous event. The broader picture, however, raises considerable concerns. Not everything that provokes consternation in Eccleston Square ”“ enjoyable though that spectacle is ”“ is ipso facto good for the Church.

Why is it necessary to make such elaborate concessions to Anglicans, as distinct from converts of every other description? Why do they have to convert collectively, when personal faith can only be dictated by individual conscience?

Read it all.

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

Army suicides hit a record number in June

Thirty-two soldiers took their own lives last month, the most Army suicides in a single month since the Vietnam era. Eleven of the soldiers were not on active duty. Of the 21 who were, seven were serving in Iraq or Afghanistan, the Department of Defense said.

Army officials say they don’t have any answers to why more and more soldiers are resorting to suicide.

“There were no trends to any one unit, camp, post or station,” Col. Chris Philbrick, head of the Army’s suicide prevention task force, told CNN. “I have no silver bullet to answer the question why.”

Makes the heart sad–read it all.

Update: An NBC News segment on this may be viewed here:

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

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

A Prayer for the Feast Day of William White

O Lord, who in a time of turmoil and confusion didst raise up thy servant William White, and didst endow him with wisdom, patience, and a reconciling temper, that he might lead thy Church into ways of stability and peace: Hear our prayer, we beseech thee, and give us wise and faithful leaders, that through their ministry thy people may be blessed and thy will be done; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Church History, Episcopal Church (TEC), Spirituality/Prayer, TEC Bishops

From the Morning Scripture Readings

Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you; for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you I shall not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”

–Matthew 26:26-29

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Phil Ashey: Whither the Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion?

When asked by the American Anglican Council for the minutes of this December meeting, Anglican Communion Office officials told us that they were not yet available as they needed to be approved at next week’s meeting. For now, we are left to guess why Janet Trisk, a white priest and lawyer, was chosen to replace a black laywoman on the SCAC if their intent was to promote diversity. Are we to understand that there was really no other qualified lay representative from Africa who could replace Ms.Walaza? And was there not even another qualified clergy representative from Africa who could take her place until such a lay representative could be found? (See the ACC roster here) Is it merely a coincidence that Janet Trisk played a major role at ACC-14 in delaying and bottling up Section 4 of the Anglican Covenant, as documented on video by Anglican TV and live-blogged on Stand Firm in Faith by AAC Communications Officer Robert Lundy, and that her participation on the SCAC will almost certainly further the agenda of those who would weaken an already-weakened Anglican Covenant?

And what about those new “proposed bylaws” of the SCAC – can we have a look at them? Again, in the words of Mr. Butter from the Anglican Communion Office (ACO):

Asked if copies of the proposed new bylaws were available for review, the ACO responded that “discussions about the Articles are still ongoing between the legal advisor and the Charity Commission, so they are not yet available.”

Is it any wonder that the majority of the Anglicans in the Global South, and the GAFCON Primates, have concluded that the ACC, the SCAC and its unpublished bylaws are simply a tool for the West to continue to exercise colonial hegemony over the rest of the Anglican Communion?

Read it all.

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