Monthly Archives: August 2010

For Many, a New Job Means Lower Wages, Studies Find

After being out of work for more than a year, Donna Ings, 47, finally landed a job in February as a home health aide, earning about $10 an hour, with a company in Lexington, Mass.

Chelsea Nelson, 21, started two weeks ago as a waitress at a truck stop in Mountainburg, Ark., making around $7 or $8 an hour, depending on tips, ending a lengthy job search that took her young family to California and back.

Both are ostensibly economic success stories, people who were able to find work in a difficult labor market. Ms. Ing’s employer, Home Instead Senior Care, a company with franchises across the country, has been aggressively expanding. Ms. Nelson’s restaurant, Silver Bridge Truck Stop, recently reopened and hired about 20 people last month in an area thirsty for jobs.

Both women, however, took large pay cuts from their old jobs ”” Ms. Ing worked in the office of a wholesale tuxedo distributor; Ms. Nelson used to be a secretary. And both remain worried about how they will make ends meet in the long run.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

Great Shot Roger !!!

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Sports

David Brooks: Nation Building Works

Iraq ranks fourth in the Middle East on the Index of Political Freedom from The Economist’s Intelligence Unit ”” behind Israel, Lebanon and Morocco, but ahead of Jordan, Egypt, Qatar and Tunisia. Nearly two-thirds of Iraqis say they want a democracy, while only 19 percent want an Islamic state.

In short, there has been substantial progress on the things development efforts can touch most directly: economic growth, basic security, and political and legal institutions. After the disaster of the first few years, nation building, much derided, has been a success. When President Obama speaks to the country on Iraq, he’ll be able to point to a large national project that has contributed to measurable, positive results.

Of course, to be honest, he’ll also have to say how fragile and incomplete this success is. Iraqi material conditions are better, but the Iraqi mind has not caught up with the Iraqi opportunity.

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

NPR–Is Believing In God Evolutionarily Advantageous?

For decades, the intellectual descendants of Darwin have pored over ancient bones and bits of fossils, trying to piece together how fish evolved into man, theorizing about the evolutionary advantage conferred by each physical change. And over the past 10 years, a small group of academics have begun to look at religion in the same way: they’ve started to look at God and the supernatural through the lens of evolution.

In the history of the world, every culture in every location at every point in time has developed some supernatural belief system. And when a human behavior is so universal, scientists often argue that it must be an evolutionary adaptation along the lines of standing upright. That is, something so helpful that the people who had it thrived, and the people who didn’t slowly died out until we were all left with the trait. But what could be the evolutionary advantage of believing in God?

[Jesse] Bering is one of the academics who are trying to figure that out. In the years since his mother’s death, Bering has done experiments in his lab at Queens University, Belfast, in an attempt to understand how belief in the supernatural might have conferred some advantage and made us into the species we are today.

Read or listen to it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Anthropology, History, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology, Theology

Stephen Conway Announced as the New Bishop of Ely

Following the formal announcement and a press conference with the local media, Bishop Stephen spent the day touring the Diocese visiting some of his future colleagues and parishioners.

After meeting Diocesan Office staff and others he visited a farm in Ramsey. He then went to Hampton, the site of a new church, for lunch with others from the Diocese. In the afternoon he met with a headteacher from one of our church schools, and visited a small innovative hi-tech business and one of the Universities in Cambridge. His day concluded at Ely Cathedral where he joined worshippers for Evening Prayer.

Read it all and enjoy the pictures.

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

Your Prayers Requested for the election of new Rwandan Archbishop September 17

You may find some information on this here–read it all.

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

Your prayers Requested for a Diocese of South Carolina Clergy Day September 2

It is one part of a very full fall.

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

BBC: Iraq 'independent' as US combat operations end

Iraq’s prime minister has said the country is “independent” as the US formally ends combat operations.

Nouri Maliki said the country’s security forces would now deal with all threats, domestic or other.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Defense, National Security, Military, England / UK, Foreign Relations, Iraq War, Middle East

Diocesan-led worship begins at St. Matthew's, Abbotsford after split

The size of the congregation more than met expectations. Some in attendance were visitors whose homes are not in Abbotsford. The service ended at 8:45am. At this initial service of renewed diocesan worship at St. Matthew’s a post service coffee time in the parish hall had not been planned, but members of the ANiC congregation which use the St. Matthew’s church building had thoughtfully set-up tables for a post service coffee time and had made the kitchen available. 17 of those in attendance at the service did go for breakfast/coffee at a nearby restaurant. Organizing and on-site “Coffee Time” will happen in the near future.

The ANiC leaders representing their community were cordial and cooperative and did an outstanding job of setting up the Parish Hall for worship. The ACoC congregation were not required to replace chairs or re-organize the space. Arrangements for future Sundays may differ. The ANiC leadership agreed to the use of the piano to add a musical component to the worship and that may come to pass in future weeks.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Parish Ministry, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)

Manchester Evening News–Vicars to be told how to spot sham marriages

Vicars in Greater Manchester are to be coached on how to spot bogus marriages.

The UK Border Agency is issuing guidance to clergy across the north west after a spate of fake weddings were exposed during immigration raids.

In recent months, immigration teams have swooped on a number of suspected sham ceremonies in local register offices following tip-offs that brides and grooms did not even speak the same language.

Read it all.

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

RNS–Church court convicts pastor on same sex marriage charges

A Presbyterian court on Friday (Aug. 27) found a retired California pastor guilty of violating church rules and her ordination vows by performing same-sex marriages while it was briefly legal in the state in 2008.

The Rev. Jane Spahr, 68, did not deny presiding at as many as 16 ceremonies, even though her denomination, the Presbyterian Church (USA), prohibits ministers from stating, implying or representing same-sex unions as marriages.

The Napa, Calif.-based Permanent Judicial Commission of the Presbytery of the Redwoods found Spahr guilty by a 4-2 vote, concluding she persisted in a “pattern or practice of disobedience.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Marriage & Family, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Presbyterian, Sexuality, Sexuality Debate (Other denominations and faiths), Theology

(Guardian) Is the Pope Benedict's media team up to the challenge?

Pope John Paul II was seen as the great communicating pontiff, a man who went out from the Vatican to engage with the world. The message was clear and the symbolism spot on: remember him kneeling to kiss the ground when he came to the UK during the Falklands war in 1982? The present pope, Benedict XVI, could not be more different. A scholarly man who made his way as the previous pope’s enforcer in the Vatican, he is not a natural communicator.

Benedict XVI’s regime has seen several PR disasters: the Regensburg address in 2006, which was widely interpreted as an attack on Muslims, then the suggestion that saving humanity from homosexuality was as important as saving the rainforest, and the decision to pardon Richard Williamson, the Holocaust-denying British bishop.

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

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Saint Cuthbert of Lindisfarne

Everliving God, who didst call thy servants Aidan and Cuthbert to proclaim the Gospel in northern England and endued them with loving hearts and gentle spirits: Grant us grace to live as they did, in simplicity, humility and love for the poor; through Jesus Christ, who came among us as one who serves, and who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

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

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Saint Aidan

Everliving God, who didst call thy servants Aidan and Cuthbert to proclaim the Gospel in northern England and endued them with loving hearts and gentle spirits: Grant us grace to live as they did, in simplicity, humility and love for the poor; through Jesus Christ, who came among us as one who serves, and who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

O LORD, I love the habitation of thy house, and the place where thy glory dwells.

–Psalm 26:8

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture