Daily Archives: August 8, 2010

CEN–Women bishops by 2014, Second Church Estates Commissioner predicts

The first woman bishop of the Church of England could be appointed by 2014, the Second Church Estates Commissioner told Parliament on July 27.

Speaking in response to a question from the member for Kingston upon Hull North, Diana Johnson (Lab), as to his “guess” when the Church of England might first see women bishops, the Second Church Estates Commissioner Mr. Anthony Baldry stated the legislation completed its Report stage at the meeting of General Synod at York.

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

South Carolina Bishop Mark Lawrence: The Importance of Leisure

Summer is a time many people plan their vacation, or at least a few leisurely evenings for friendly conversation over barbecues,beside a pool, on a boat or skiff, or along a mountain brook. This is nothing akin to laziness. It is in many cases the real work and stuff of life. Every human being has a need for a Sabbath rest. It is part of what God meant for us when he created us. The Jewish theologian, Abraham Joshua Heschel, writes of rest in the Sabbath tradition: “The meaning of the Sabbath is to celebrate time, rather than space. Six days a week we live under the tyranny of things of space; on the Sabbath we try to become attuned to the holiness of time. It is a day on which we are called upon to share what is eternal in time, to turn from the results of creation to the mystery of creation; from the world of creation to the creation of the world.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Episcopal Church (TEC), Pastoral Theology, TEC Bishops, Theology

NPR–Ties That Bind: A Bittersweet Tale Of Friendship

Gail Caldwell, a Texas transplant in Boston, was happy with her life. In her early 40s, Caldwell kept busy by writing book reviews and training a new dog ”” she wasn’t really looking for friendship.

Then she met Caroline Knapp, another writer living in Boston, and gradually their lives became thoroughly intertwined. Until the day Caroline died of lung cancer at 42.

Now Caldwell has written a memoir, Let’s Take the Long Way Home, that describes the unique, sisterly bond she shared with Knapp.

These two women may not have grown up down the street from one another or attended the same schools, but their friendship was just as strong as if they had.

Listen to it all (just over 8 1/2 minutes).

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Death / Burial / Funerals, Parish Ministry, Women

BBC: Cardinal attacks US over Lockerbie bomber reaction

The leader of the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland has attacked the US over the release of the Lockerbie bomber.

Cardinal Keith O’Brien said the Scottish government was right to free Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi last year on compassionate grounds.

US lawmakers want Scots politicians to explain their decision to a committee, but the cardinal said ministers should not go “crawling like lapdogs”.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Africa, America/U.S.A., Economy, England / UK, Foreign Relations, Law & Legal Issues, Libya, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Scotland, Terrorism, The U.S. Government

Peggy Noonan: America Is at Risk of Boiling Over

The biggest political change in my lifetime is that Americans no longer assume that their children will have it better than they did. This is a huge break with the past, with assumptions and traditions that shaped us.

The country I was born into was a country that had existed steadily, for almost two centuries, as a nation in which everyone thought””wherever they were from, whatever their circumstances””that their children would have better lives than they did. That was what kept people pulling their boots on in the morning after the first weary pause: My kids will have it better. They’ll be richer or more educated, they’ll have a better job or a better house, they’ll take a step up in terms of rank, class or status. America always claimed to be, and meant to be, a nation that made little of class. But America is human. “The richest family in town,” they said, admiringly. Read Booth Tarkington on turn-of-the-last-century Indiana. It’s all about trying to rise.

Parents now fear something has stopped. They think they lived through the great abundance, a time of historic growth in wealth and material enjoyment. They got it, and they enjoyed it, and their kids did, too: a lot of toys in that age, a lot of Xboxes and iPhones. (Who is the most self-punishing person in America right now? The person who didn’t do well during the abundance.) But they look around, follow the political stories and debates, and deep down they think their children will live in a more limited country, that jobs won’t be made at a great enough pace, that taxes””too many people in the cart, not enough pulling it””will dishearten them, that the effects of 30 years of a low, sad culture will leave the whole country messed up. And then there is the world: nuts with nukes, etc….

When the adults of a great nation feel long-term pessimism, it only makes matters worse when those in authority take actions that reveal their detachment from the concerns””even from the essential nature””of their fellow citizens. And it makes those citizens feel powerless.

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Posted in Uncategorized

Notable and Quotable

In other words, fallen man is not simply an imperfect creature who needs improvement: he is a rebel who must lay down his arms.

–C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, Book 2, Chapter 4

Posted in Anthropology, Theology

Local paper front Page: Why is South Carolina college tuition so high?

When South Carolina lawmakers slashed funding for public colleges and universities, tuition soared.

But tuition did the same thing during better times, when lawmakers raised higher education funding.

While lawmakers and college officials point the finger of blame at each other, annual tuition increases over the past decade have nearly tripled the cost of a four-year degree from a South Carolina public university.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, Education, Politics in General, State Government

Christianity Today: The 'Low'-Down on Robert Duvall

You have a history of playing flawed, complicated, broken men. What attracts you to these roles?

Well, they present themselves to me, and those characters make good drama. If people don’t have conflicts, contradictions, and faults, then there is no drama there. My favorite part of all time was probably Gus McCrae in Lonesome Dove; I also played Josef Stalin in a TV movie. I also always try to find the vulnerable side and the positive side of the character….

Some people thought The Apostle was mocking Southern holiness or Pentecostal preachers ”¦

Who said that?

Oh, some Christians wished it had been a more positive portrayal of a preacher rather than a man with all these ”¦

Let me straighten these people out. And you can put it in print. My guy [Rev. Euliss “Sonny” Dewey, the title character] killed a guy out of anger, right? But he wasn’t one half as bad as King David in the Psalms, who sent a man off to be killed so he could be with his wife. Every time I read the Psalms I think of that. But on the other hand, I heard that Billy Graham liked the movie, and many, many preachers did. Rev. James Robison of Fort Worth said I could use anything from any of his services to put in the film. So I’m not mocking.

If Hollywood had done this, they would have mocked these people. No, I did not mock these people. I didn’t patronize these people. I’ve been in many, many churches, Pentecostal churches. I could have made these people look bad if I wanted to. So you can tell these people I did not mock these people or condescend at all. Had I done it in a Hollywood movie, we would have patronized these people. That’s why I had to do the movie myself.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Movies & Television, Religion & Culture

Canon Joseph A. Gibbes Preaches on the Rich Fool in Luke 12

…so, Jesus exposes that this man in the crowd, and in fact all of us with him, are not simply covetous, but idolatrous, seeking from things or situations of our own making the soul-level satisfaction that only God can provide. For the man in the parable, the idol he was seeking to give him rest for his soul was financial security. For me that day in college, as just one example among thousands I could give you, it was a relationship (which, in retrospect, thankfully didn’t work out).

In a recent article, NY Times columnist David Brooks spoke candidly about his own unquenched desire for success, saying, “The thirst for public admiration is like the thirst for money””it’s never-ending; you never get to the point where you say, I’ve had enough.”

My guess is that for most of us here this morning, not only can we name the idols we hope will bring peace to our souls, but, like Mr. Brooks, we can also admit that those things never actually bring the peace and satisfaction we think they promise ”“ only more anxiety and more searching for peace.

And yet there is a simple reason for the fact that our souls search for rest and peace under every rock like hungry hyenas on the prowl; and the reason is that our souls were made by God for rest and peace in God….

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

Camden, New Jersey, Closing Their Public Library System to Save Money Under Duress

New Jersey’s most impoverished city will close all three branches of its public library at year’s end unless a rescue can be pulled off.

Camden’s library board says the libraries won’t be able to afford to stay open past Dec. 31 because of budget cuts from the city government. The city had its subsidy from the state cut.

The library board president says the library system, which opened in 1904, is preparing to donate, sell or destroy its collections, including 187,000 books.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, City Government, Economy, Education, Politics in General

State and Local Governments Go to Extremes as the Economic Downturn Wears On

Plenty of businesses and governments furloughed workers this year, but Hawaii went further ”” it furloughed its schoolchildren. Public schools across the state closed on 17 Fridays during the past school year to save money, giving students the shortest academic year in the nation and sending working parents scrambling to find care for them.

Many transit systems have cut service to make ends meet, but Clayton County, Ga., a suburb of Atlanta, decided to cut all the way, and shut down its entire public bus system. Its last buses ran on March 31, stranding 8,400 daily riders.

Even public safety has not been immune to the budget ax. In Colorado Springs, the downturn will be remembered, quite literally, as a dark age: the city switched off a third of its 24,512 streetlights to save money on electricity, while trimming its police force and auctioning off its police helicopters.

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

Hard-Line Islam Fills Void in Flooded Pakistan

As public anger rises over the government’s slow and chaotic response to Pakistan’s worst flooding in 80 years, hard-line Islamic charities have stepped into the breach with a grass-roots efficiency that is earning them new support among Pakistan’s beleaguered masses.

Victims of the floods and political observers say the disaster has provided yet another deeply painful reminder of the anemic health of the civilian government as it teeters between the ineffectual and neglectful.

The floods have opened a fresh opportunity for the Islamic charities to demonstrate that they can provide what the government cannot, much as the Islamists did during the earthquake in Kashmir in 2005, which helped them lure new recruits to banned militant groups through the charity wings that front for them.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Asia, Defense, National Security, Military, Foreign Relations, Islam, Other Faiths, Pakistan, Politics in General, War in Afghanistan