Daily Archives: July 21, 2010

Christian Post: Breakaway Groups Prevented Anglican Split, Nigerian Primate Suggests

It’s been three years since the Anglican Church of Nigeria “crossed borders” into the United States to establish a new home for conservatives who were unhappy with the liberal direction of the U.S. Episcopal Church.

And if the Nigerians didn’t step in, the global Anglican family would have lost a lot of people, said the new primate of the Church of Nigeria.

“We came because we love the Anglican church and we do not want the Anglican church to split,” Archbishop Nicholas Okoh told The Christian Post in an interview Tuesday. “That would’ve been the case if we didn’t come in.”

Though the Nigerian church, which is the largest regional body in the Anglican Communion with more than 18 million members, came to the U.S. with compassion, it was recently disciplined for violating a moratorium on cross-border intervention.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Anglican Provinces, Church of Nigeria

Government watchdogs: mortgage program is not working

Government watchdogs told a Senate panel Wednesday that the Obama administration’s effort to help homeowners avoid foreclosure isn’t working and that the Treasury Department has failed to fix the program.

Special inspector general for the financial bailouts Neil Barofsky said the program has not “put an appreciable dent in foreclosure filings,” during a Senate Finance Committee hearing on the $700 billion bank bailout. He also said the Treasury Department has ignored earlier demands that it set clearer goals for the program.

Elizabeth Warren, who chairs a separate Congressional Oversight Panel on the bailouts, said Treasury’s failure to act more quickly could be hurting the recovery.

More foreclosures could force down the price of homes and further hurt the already-ailing housing industry.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, Housing/Real Estate Market, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, The 2009 Obama Administration Housing Amelioration Plan, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, The U.S. Government

BBC: US announces new sanctions against North Korea

The US will impose new sanctions on North Korea, following the crisis over the sinking of a South Korean warship.

The move was announced by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during a visit to South Korea.

She said the measures would target Pyongyang’s sale and purchase of arms and import of luxury goods, and would help prevent nuclear proliferation.

Read it all.

Posted in Uncategorized

Upper South Carolina Bishop calls confidential meeting(s) at Trinity Cathedral

Dear Members of Trinity Parish:

As your bishop, I am inviting you to attend a confidential meeting at which I will provide you with additional information concerning my reasons for inhibiting the exercise of the priestly office by Dean Philip C. Linder.

I am convening this meeting because in my pastoral judgment, and in my exercise of the ministry of oversight as an ordained episcopal leader in our church, it is my conclusion that sharing additional information with you is necessary. I hope to assure you of the deliberate and careful way in which decisions have been made, and the factual justification for them. The ultimate goal of the meeting is to ensure that the health and wellness of the parish are preserved.

Read it all.

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

Roman Catholic Health Care Debate: Helen Alvaré responds to Commonweal and Timothy Jost

With so much water already under the bridge, it seems a risky move to wade into the debate between Commonweal (and its apparent legal advisor, Professor Timothy Jost) and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) at this stage of the debate over the contents of the health care reform law (the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act or PPACA). On the other hand, it might be the perfect time to step back and survey the prolific exchange. Commonweal’s editors just don’t seem to trust the USCCB’s legal or policy analyses of the PPACA insofar as freedom of conscience or abortion are concerned.

Conversely, Commonweal has extended every benefit of the doubt to the opinions of one professor, Timothy Jost, who not only has no record of cooperation with Catholic moral and policy interests along the consistent ethic of life, but seems to regard Catholic contributions to moral reasoning about law with animosity, comparing Catholic influence to the establishment of an Iranian theocracy. Furthermore, Jost seems to be a strident partisan across the board, a condition best (and hilariously) exemplified in his May 17 editorial for Politico, wherein Jost wrote how “unimaginable” it would be for American voters to want Republicans back in government when, under the Democrats, the “economy has come roaring back.”

Meanwhile, The USCCB’s uniquely nonpartisan voice””even in the midst of some of the nastiest inter-party exchanges in recent history””successfully held together advocacy against killing the unborn with advocacy for expanding health care insurance to all Americans. Yet Commonweal, it seems, would not be satisfied with anything less than a full-throated blessing of whatever the House majority decided to offer pro-life Americans while in the throes of desperate, last-minute negotiations.

Read it all (and follow the links if you haven’t followed the debate).

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, --The 2009 American Health Care Reform Debate, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Theology

Anglican TV: Canon Chris Sugden Speaks on Women Bishops in the Church of England

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

An Address by Pope Benedict XVI On Martha and Mary

Dear Friends, as I said, this Gospel passage is very important at vacation time, because it recalls the fact that the human person must work, must involve himself in domestic and professional concerns, to be sure, but he has need of God before all else, who is the interior light of love and truth. Without love, even the most important activities lose value and do not bring joy. Without a profound meaning, everything we do is reduced to sterile and disordered activism. And who gives us love and truth if not Jesus Christ? So let us learn, brothers, to help each other, to cooperate, but first of all to choose together the better part, which is and will always be our greater good.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic, Theology, Theology: Scripture

Kim Sengupta: Throwing cash at a corrupt government shows how the West is desperate for an exit

The projected image was of international statesmen gathering in solidarity with an Afghanistan
marching forward. But the alacrity with which they headed for their planes after spending the briefest of times in Kabul seemed to mirror the West’s haste to get on the exit route from this costly war.

There had, in the many previous conferences on Afghanistan’s future, been an air of expectation and even optimism. But the gathering for the “Kabul process” was permeated with an undercurrent of past disappointments and trepidation for the future.

The pledges made, already well-trailed, were trotted out without much conviction, the declaration of support for Hamid Karzai who had been accused by some of his Western backers of stealing last year’s election, delivered with little enthusiasm. Nine years after the fall of the Taliban, Hillary Clinton, the US Secretary of State, talked of the road ahead “being full of challenges” and “questions by many on whether success was even possible”.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Defense, National Security, Military, England / UK, Foreign Relations, Politics in General, War in Afghanistan

NPR: In The Land Of Mao, A Rising Tide Of Christianity

Official Chinese surveys now show that nearly one in three Chinese describe themselves as religious, an astonishing figure for an officially atheist country, where religion was banned until three decades ago.

The last 30 years of economic reform have seen an explosion of religious belief. China’s government officially recognizes five religions: Protestantism, Catholicism, Buddhism, Islam and Daoism. The biggest boom of all has been in Christianity, which the government has struggled to control.

Read or listen to it all and make sure to take the time to follow the slide show.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Asia, China, Religion & Culture

Notable and Quotable

“It’s a sleazy business run by sleazy people…”

North Charleston Councilwoman Phoebe Miller, who plans to vote for casino boats to come to North Charleston anyway

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, City Government, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Gambling, Politics in General, Theology

RNS: Methodists study the hallmarks of healthy churches

The church recently concluded a study of more than 32,000 Methodist congregations across North America, seeking the “key factors impacting vital congregations.” The study surveyed everybody from bishops to district superintendents to people in the pews.

Working with New York-based Towers Watson consultants, researchers constructed a “vitality index” to measure each church and concluded “that all kinds of UMC churches are vital — small, large, across
geographies, and church setting.”

The report identified four key areas that fuel vitality: small groups and programs; worship services that mix traditional and contemporary styles with an emphasis on relevant sermons; pastors who work hard on mentorship and cultivation of the laity; and an emphasis on effective lay leadership.

These four factors “are consistent regardless of church size, predominant ethnicity, and jurisdiction,” the study concluded.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Evangelism and Church Growth, Methodist, Ministry of the Laity, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Care, Pastoral Theology, Preaching / Homiletics, Theology

San Diego to Allow Same-sex Blessings

The Diocese of San Diego has joined several other dioceses ”” including Massachusetts, Southeast Florida and Southern Ohio ”” that have decided since General Convention 2009 to allow some form of public blessings for same-sex couples.

The decision by the Rt. Rev. James Robert Mathes, Bishop of San Diego, reflects the recommendations of the diocese’s Holiness in Relationships Task Force Report [PDF].

“My approach on this matter, and several other things, is to be in conversation with the community,” Bishop Mathes told The Living Church.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anthropology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Bishops, Theology, Windsor Report / Process

Bloomberg: Payrolls Fall in 27 U.S. States, Led by California

Payrolls decreased in 27 U.S. states in June, led by California and New York, signaling the slowdown in hiring is broad-based.

Employers in California cut staff by 27,600 workers last month and those in New York reduced employment by 22,500, the Labor Department said today in Washington. Tennessee, Arizona and New Mexico rounded out the five states with the biggest job losses.

The U.S. lost 125,000 jobs last month as the government cut temporary workers conducting the 2010 census and private payrolls rose a less-than-forecast 83,000, according to Labor Department figures issued July 2. The data signal companies are becoming reticent to hire as the economy cools.

“Businesses are looking at what’s going on in Europe and the stock outlook and people are becoming a little more skittish,” Marisa Di Natale, a director at Moody’s Economy.com in West Chester, Pennsylvania, said before the report. “We may see that for a couple of more months until we start to see some real momentum in some sector of the economy.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Politics in General, State Government

A City Outsources Everything. Sky Doesn’t Fall.

While many communities are fearfully contemplating extensive cuts, Maywood says it is the first city in the nation in the current downturn to take an ax to everyone.

The school crossing guards were let go. Parking enforcement was contracted out, City Hall workers dismissed, street maintenance workers made redundant. The public safety duties of the Police Department were handed over to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

At first, people in this poor, long-troubled and heavily Hispanic city southeast of Los Angeles braced for anarchy.

Senior citizens were afraid they would be assaulted as they walked down the street. Parents worried the parks would be shut and their children would have nowhere to safely play. Landlords said their tenants had begun suggesting that without city-run services they would no longer feel obliged to pay rent.

The apocalypse never arrived.

Read it all.

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

NY Times Style Guide from the Newsroom on TEC

From here:

When Barry Goldwater mounted his campaign for the White House in 1964, the Jewish humorist Harry Golden took notice. “I always knew the first Jewish president of the United States,” Mr. Golden put it, “would be an Episcopalian.”

On the surface, Mr. Golden was simply stating a biographical fact. Mr. Goldwater’s Jewish father had married an Episcopalian woman and their children were raised as Christians.

The Times’s stylebook says to use “Episcopalian” only as a noun; the adjective is “Episcopal.” (In this case, of course, we could simply have dropped “woman” and used the noun “Episcopalian”; it’s obvious that his mother was a woman.)

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Media