Daily Archives: July 29, 2010

BBC: Couple, aged 87 and 97, marry in north London care home

Henry Kerr and Valerie Berkowitz Kerr speak of their courtship

At the age of 97, Henry Kerr has married 87-year-old Valerie Berkowitz after wooing her for four years.

The pair, who met at a residential home in Golders Green, north London, tied the knot in a ceremony at the home on Sunday followed by high tea for 80 guests.

Mr Kerr said when he asked the now Mrs Berkowitz Kerr to marry him she “burst into a hysterical laugh”.

She agreed after Mr Kerr said he would not ask her again.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Aging / the Elderly, Marriage & Family

Anglican Consultative Council – Standing Committee Minutes December 2009

Read it all (pdf) or if you cannot do that format you can find the full text there.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Consultative Council

Atheist state schools could be established under English Government’s education reforms

The Education Secretary said he would be “interested” to look at proposals for non-religious schools from figures such Professor Richard Dawkins.

Prof Dawkins, author of The God Delusion, said last month that he approved of the idea of setting up a “free-thinking” school.

The comments follow the publication of Coalition plans to give parents’ groups, teachers and charities powers to open their own schools at taxpayers’ expense.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Atheism, Education, England / UK, Other Faiths, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

ACI–Contrasting Futures for the Anglican Communion: A Transformed ACC and the Anglican Covenant

In light of these developments, we draw the following conclusions:

* It is not appropriate for one of the Communion’s four Instruments to be an English company regulated by UK and EU law like any other UK company. To repeat what we said above, we do not question the need for the proper and efficient management of the Communion’s charitable assets by fiduciaries complying with all relevant laws. We are not convinced, however, that this role should be confused with the historic role of the Instruments of Communion in “the discernment, articulation and exercise of our shared faith and common life and mission” and in particular with the role of the Communion’s Primatial leadership, which bears special responsibility for “doctrinal, moral and pastoral matters that have Communion-wide implications.” (Covenant 3.1.4.)
* We urge the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Primates not to cede their independent authority to the corporate charter of the ACC, but to insist that their authority cannot be infringed by the ACC.
* It is now beyond doubt that the newly transformed and empowered ACC Standing Committee cannot function as the committee required by Section 4 of the Covenant.
* The Covenant remains the only hope for preserving the traditional faith and order of the Anglican Communion. We call upon member churches of the Anglican Communion to adopt the Covenant with all deliberate speed and, having done so, to make proper arrangements for the responsibilities assigned to the Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion in Section 4 to be undertaken by a body that has both the competence and ability to assess threats to the Communion and recommend appropriate action.

Read it carefully and read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Commentary, Anglican Consultative Council, Archbishop of Canterbury, Ecclesiology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Instruments of Unity, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology, Windsor Report / Process

Living Church: Standing Committee Adjusts to Scrutiny

The next Anglican Consultative Council will debate a recommendation to increase the number of primates on the standing committee to eight, to equal ACC representatives. Some ACC members are wary of increasing the role of the primates.

Skirmishes over details are relatively minor compared to constitutional issues now beginning to emerge.

Ahead of the meeting the Anglican Communion Office announced that the old, unincorporated constitution had been replaced by new ACC articles of association following registration with the U.K. Charity Commission.

This change poses a raft of new questions. Is it right for a key instrument of the Anglican Communion to be enshrined in U.K. law in this way? Are there latent conflicts with the proposed Anglican Covenant, the role of the Lambeth Conference and the Primates’ Meeting? Does the new arrangement partly disenfranchise ordinary ACC members?

As he has done before, Archbishop Williams questioned whether the Communion’s structures are adequate for the 21st century.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Consultative Council, Archbishop of Canterbury, Ecclesiology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Theology

Schwarzenegger declares California fiscal emergency

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger declared a state of emergency over the state’s finances on Wednesday, raising pressure on lawmakers to negotiate a state budget that is more than a month overdue and will need to close a $19 billion shortfall.

The deficit is 22 percent of the $85 billion general fund budget the governor signed last July for the fiscal year that ended in June, highlighting how the steep drop in California’s revenue due to recession, the housing slump, financial market turmoil and high unemployment have slashed its all-important personal income tax collection.

In the declaration, Schwarzenegger ordered three days off without pay per month beginning in August for tens of thousands of state employees to preserve the state’s cash to pay its debt, and for essential services.

Read it all.

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

Bloomberg: Fallen Soldiers' Families Denied Cash as Insurers Profit

The package arrived at Cindy Lohman’s home in Great Mills, Maryland, just two weeks after she learned that her son, Ryan, a 24-year-old Army sergeant, had been killed by a bomb in Afghanistan. It was a thick, 9-inch-by- 12-inch envelope from Prudential Financial Inc., which handles life insurance for the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Inside was a letter from Prudential about Ryan’s $400,000 policy. And there was something else, which looked like a checkbook. The letter told Lohman that the full amount of her payout would be placed in a convenient interest-bearing account, allowing her time to decide how to use the benefit.

“You can hold the money in the account for safekeeping for as long as you like,” the letter said. In tiny print, in a disclaimer that Lohman says she didn’t notice, Prudential disclosed that what it called its Alliance Account was not guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., Bloomberg Markets magazine reports in its September issue.

Read it all.

Update: NPR did a whole segment on this story which is very worthwhile also.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Children, Corporations/Corporate Life, Death / Burial / Funerals, Defense, National Security, Military, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Military / Armed Forces, Parish Ministry, Theology

Randall Forsyth: Uncertainty Stifles Business Spending

….these macroeconomic arguments between policy-makers and intellectuals are blind to obstacles to growth faced on a micro level by real, live entrepreneurs and managers. Confronted with incredible uncertainty about the future business climate brought about by massive regulatory and tax changes, they are sitting on cash instead of investing in capital equipment and, especially, hiring new workers.

White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel famously said never let a crisis go to waste. But the policy changes on health-care and financial services that have emerged from the current crisis, plus the largest tax increase in history that will hit Jan. 1 without Congressional action, are restraining companies, especially mid-to-small-sized ones.

Atlas didn’t shrug; he’s sitting on his hands””and his wallet.

That is the message heard repeatedly from entrepreneurs, their private-equity investors and their wealth managers. And it is becoming increasingly apparent, not so much in the parade of stronger-than-expected second-quarter earnings numbers from Standard & Poor’s 500 companies, but in regional Federal Reserve Bank reports.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Corporations/Corporate Life, Credit Markets, Economy, House of Representatives, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Senate, The Banking System/Sector, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, The U.S. Government

Lord [Chris] Patten: Pope's UK Trip Will Be a Success

Lord Chris Patten, named by the British Prime Minister to be in charge of Benedict XVI’s trip to the United Kingdom, said that the visit will be “an incredible success.”

He told Vatican Radio on Monday that those who criticized the Pope’s Sept. 16-19 trip will be surprised to discover its importance.

“I am absolutely certain that all the preparations undertaken by the government, local governments, the episcopal conferences of Scotland and England, will make the Pope’s visit an incredible success,” Patten affirmed.

He acknowledged that the preparation of the Papal visit has been more complex than expected, above all because the organizers underestimated the “complexity involved in fitting together the State visit aspects and the pastoral aspects, so that they were a seamless whole.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, England / UK, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Mary and Martha [and Lazarus] of Bethany

Generous God, whose Son Jesus Christ enjoyed the friendship and hospitality of Mary, Martha and Lazarus of Bethany: Open our hearts to love thee, our ears to hear thee, and our hands to welcome and serve thee in others, through Jesus Christ our risen Lord; who with thee and the Holy Spirit liveth and reigneth, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Scripture Readings

When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathe’a, named Joseph, who also was a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. And Joseph took the body, and wrapped it in a clean linen shroud, and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn in the rock; and he rolled a great stone to the door of the tomb, and departed.

–Matthew 27: 57-60

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

SEC Says New Financial Regulation Law Exempts it From Public Disclosure

So much for transparency.

Under a little-noticed provision of the recently passed financial-reform legislation, the Securities and Exchange Commission
no longer has to comply with virtually all requests for information releases from the public, including those filed under the Freedom of Information Act.

The law, signed last week by President Obama, exempts the SEC from disclosing records or information derived from “surveillance, risk assessments, or other regulatory and oversight activities.” Given that the SEC is a regulatory body, the provision covers almost every action by the agency, lawyers say. Congress and federal agencies can request information, but the public cannot.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Economy, House of Representatives, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, Senate, Stock Market, The U.S. Government

Group reaches out to help abuse victims of Erie Episcopal bishop

Meeting others who were sexually abused by clergy can help victims heal, says a leader of a support group for survivors.

“We hope they will try and talk with others and find they are not alone. They didn’t do anything wrong,” said Barbara Dorris, outreach director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

She didn’t know whether victims of a local Episcopal bishop had contacted S.N.A.P., but said they would be just as welcome by the Chicago-based nonprofit as the more highly publicized victims of Roman Catholic priests.

Read it all.

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

Ride for Haiti heads out Thursday from St. Alban's Episcopal Church in Superior Wisconsin

Every church in the Episcopal Diocese of Eau Claire will receive a visit from a motorcycle gang with a message: Don’t forget Haiti.

The Rev. George Stamm, a retired minister who led both Christ Episcopal Church and St. Simeon’s Episcopal Church in Chippewa Falls, is one of about 15 bikers who will ride from Superior to La Crosse for four days beginning Thursday ”” stopping at all 22 churches in the diocese to benefit Haiti.

Riders prepare to head out from St. Alban’s Episcopal Church in Superior at 8 a.m. Thursday and the public is invited to cheer on the riders and pledge their support for the people of Haiti.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, Caribbean, Episcopal Church (TEC), Haiti

Greater Cincinnati Area Episcopal priest quits over same sex union blessing issues

The Rev. Stockton Wulsin, pastor of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Evanston, resigned effective Sept. 30.

He told his congregation in a letter dated July 19 – the same day the church’s Vestry issued a letter to church members confirming that it had accepted the resignation.

In his letter, which Wulsin said was not intended for the public, the priest cited two reasons for his decision. “The Anglican Communion has been in a state of crisis for several years over the choice of the American Episcopal Church to ordain bishops living in openly homosexual relationships and to pronounce liturgical blessings on people living in same sex relationships.”

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Ecclesiology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Global South Churches & Primates, Instruments of Unity, Lambeth 2008, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology