Daily Archives: August 15, 2010

ENS: Herb Gunn–Episcopal clergy 'very stressed,' but 'very happy'

Through analysis articulated in the Clergy Wellness Report (2006) and the initial findings of the Emotional Health of Clergy Report (2010), we have observed that there is more to the challenge of clergy stress than fickleness of congregations and the cultural pressures of increased consumerism among churchgoers.

This research points to interesting conclusions that differ slightly from the research Vitello noted, as well. CREDO’ s research found that the only major health factor for which Episcopal clergy are at greater risk than the larger population is stress. Yet, remarkably, work-related stress, which frequently leads the general population to employment dissatisfaction, job loss or job change, exists alongside notably lower “turnover intent” for Episcopal clergy. Compared to the general population, Episcopal clergy report significant levels of well-being, self-efficacy and meaning in their work.

“Clergy are both very happy and satisfied and very stressed,” concludes the Rev. Joseph Stewart-Sicking, who continues to study clergy emotional health. “These two dimensions are somewhat independent and are influenced by different factors. In order to help clergy achieve a healthy balance of emotions, it is not enough to reduce stressors or capitalize on the positive things in ministry; it will take both. Moreover, just helping clergy cope with problems is insufficient to help them flourish.”

Read it all and please note that both of the initial articles Mr. Gunn mentions were published here on the blog–KSH.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Health & Medicine, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Psychology, Theology

(Saint Luke's Ewing, New Jersey's, rector) The Rev. Dirk C. Reinken's Sermon this Morning: St. Mary

See what you make of it.

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

Bishop Edward Lee–Living out our Baptismal Covenant

(–Per the diocesan website, the Rt. Rev. Edward Lee is Assisting Bishop for Ordinations and Coordinator of Campus/Young Adult Ministries in the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania).

Since 1976 when the current Book of Common Prayer restored the sacramental significance and centrality of Holy Baptism to the liturgical and ministerial life of The Episcopal Church, an interesting and exciting movement has been emerging and bubbling up in congregations and dioceses. Simply stated it’s called the “Ministry in Daily Life” movement. It has no formal national organization. Rather, it has local manifestations generated by people who are convinced that the Baptismal Covenant is the basis for intentional baptismal living and ministry every day of the week.

In the Diocese of Pennsylvania this movement has been spearheaded for over 20 years by the Center for Baptismal Living (CBL), a group of lay and clergy persons who have been committed to finding ways to raise the awareness of
both individuals and parishes to the question, what does it mean to be “sealed by the Holy Spirit in Baptism and marked as Christ’s own forever” (BCP, p. 308)? Or put another way, what does baptismal living look like Monday through Saturday after the Christian community has gathered on Sunday and exited to the dismissal, “Go in peace to love and serve the Lord”?

Read it all (go to page 5).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Baptism, Episcopal Church (TEC), Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Sacramental Theology, Theology

Brian Hamilton–Flannery O’Connor and theological writing

I’m in the middle of reading Mystery and Manners, a posthumous collection of Flannery O’Connor’s non-fiction….

What really struck me…. were a few brief observations at the very end of the piece. The speech was given at some kind of writers’ conference, and O’Connor had apparently been given a few of the participants’ short stories ahead of time. She finished by marking a few problems she had seen in them. First, she noted “the use of language in these stories was such that, with one exception, it would be difficult to distinguish one story from another” (102). There were clichés, she said, but not one enduring image. Second, it was impossible to tell where these stories unfolded. They could have happened anywhere in the world without changing the story. Finally, the characters functioned as siphons for ideas or particular actions; they lacked real, story-driving personality.

Again, mutatis mutandis, these are the problems in a great deal of theological and philosophical writing…..

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Poetry & Literature, Religion & Culture

Barry Spurr on T.S. Eliot's Journey of Faith

With his loathing of sectarianism and his convictions that the culture and faith of a people should be intertwined, he was drawn to the Church of England, but recognized, of course, that that body had an unsatisfactory mixture of Protestantism and Catholicism in its character and observances, being, from the viewpoint of the Catholic Church at least, not Catholic at all.

Eliot’s solution was to align himself with the Anglo-Catholic movement in the Church of England which believed that that Church was part of the universal Catholic Church from which it had been regrettably separated at the Reformation (while still retaining valid orders and sacraments – a view rejected, of course, by Rome) and to which it was aspiring to return in full Catholic communion.

So, a combination of several negative elements led Eliot in this decade (1915-25) to focus his attention, increasingly, on the Catholic faith, in its Anglican form: there was his intensifying personal suffering in a failing marriage, a sense of cultural dissolution in the Great War, the failure to find consolation in philosophy and wide reading in such as the eastern religions, and a long-standing disillusionment with Unitarianism and Protestantism in all its varieties (either as lacking doctrinal and cultural substance or relying too heavily on individual perceptions of the divine at the expense of the teachings of centuries of learning and tradition).

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, History, Poetry & Literature, Religion & Culture

The Standing Committee Statement to the Diocese of Pennsylvania

Although he could not exercise Ecclesiastical Authority or exercise any of the gifts of ordination of a Priest or a Bishop during the period of his inhibition, he remained at all times the Bishop of the Diocese of Pennsylvania throughout the process. With the entry of the Final Judgment, Bishop Bennison’s Ecclesiastical Authority in the Diocese of Pennsylvania was automatically restored.

Bishop Bennison will be returning to Church House on Monday, August 16, 2010. The Secretary of the Standing Committee, Ms. Arlene McGurk and Father Glenn M. Matis, President of the Standing Committee will meet with Bishop Bennison on Tuesday afternoon, August 17, 2010 at Church House. Bishop Rodney Michel, who has been serving as Assisting Bishop for the past two years in Bishop Bennison’s absence, has been asked by Bishop Bennison to remain for a period in order to effectuate an orderly restoration of Bishop Bennison’s assumption of authority.

We in the Diocese of Pennsylvania owe a great debt of gratitude to Bishops Rodney Michel, Allen Bartlett, and Edward Lee and Chancellor Michael Rehill for their willingness to assist the Standing Committee during the period of Bishop Bennison’s inhibition.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Pennsylvania

Kathleen Parker–Colleges come up short on what students need to know

It is generally true that you get what you pay for, but not necessarily when it comes to higher education.

A study scheduled for release Monday about the value of a college education, at least when it comes to the basics, has found the opposite to be true in most cases. Forget Harvard and think Lamar.

Indeed, the Texas university, where tuition runs about $7,000 per year (Harvard’s is $38,000) earns an A to Harvard’s D based on an analysis of the universities’ commitment to core subjects deemed essential to a well-rounded, competitive education.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Education, Young Adults

William Oddie-The Anglican Ordinariate will happen; and it will be a blessing for the English Church

I suspect that the ordinariate will begin on a fairly small scale, while those in charge feel their way. There will be one or two parishes in every large centre of population to begin with. After a time, the new jurisdiction will grow. Parishes will become more numerous and also larger as more and more Anglicans join them and as local Roman Catholics, dissatisfied with the way their own liturgy is conducted, start attending on Sunday (this, I predict, will have a salutory effect on many existing Catholic Parishes). And as has already happened where Anglican Rite Parishes (mostly in the US) have been set up, they will become gateways back into the Church for lapsed Catholics. They will not be divisive, as some fear; on the contrary, they will be a great blessing for the English Church. But don’t hold your breath: this is all going to take time.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic, Women

Local Paper Faith and Values Section–Pastoral pauses, Charleston Area Clergy reflect on Rest

Vacation time increasingly is seen as essential for the wellbeing of clergy — and, by extension, their congregations — to be maintained.

So The Post and Courier asked a few local clergy to write about their vacations (real or hoped for). Do they get any downtime?…

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, * South Carolina, Episcopal Church (TEC), Other Churches, Pastoral Theology, Theology

Oxford Roman Catholics take to the road to meet the Pope

Pope Benedict XVI will arrive in the the UK on September 16 to visit Edinburgh, Glasgow and London before heading to Birmingham to attend a beatification ceremony for Cardinal John Henry Newman, a 19th century convert to Catholicism, who had been a leading Anglican cleric in Oxford.

The ceremony, on Sunday, September 19, which is part of the process towards a person becoming a saint, will be attended by hundreds of Catholics from Oxfordshire.

Father Daniel Seward, a priest at the Oratory Church, in Woodstock Road, said it was important for the city’s Catholics to see the beatification of a leading Oxford figure.

He said: “We will be sending seven coaches of worshippers up to Birmingham, about 300 people.

Read it all.

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

Message for youth ministers during Birmingham conference: Less gimmick, more God

“Entertainment for the sake of entertainment is missing the point,” said Cameron Cole, director of youth ministries at [Cathedral Church of the] Advent. “A lot of youth ministry focuses on entertainment and behavior modification, not on long-term spiritual formation. If there’s no belief system that undergirds it, there’s not much foundation on which to stand.”

Anglican theologian Ashley Null, a chaplain for the U.S. Olympic team, led a discussion about pressures on youth ministers to entertain, draw numbers and “fix kids.”

The push to perfection for both youth ministers and youth can be destructive, he said. “Are you pursuing perfection to your own harm?” he asked. He urged ministers to embrace God’s grace and love of imperfection.

“Love does strange things to us,” he said. “We gladly make changes out of love.”

Read it all and enjoy thew lovely picture of Ashley Null.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * South Carolina, Episcopal Church (TEC), Parish Ministry, TEC Parishes, Theology, Youth Ministry

Atheist author Philip Pullman finds bishops in agreement

Professor Harries lauded Pullman for writing with “moral clout” and said he had enjoyed the book.

And he agreed with Pullman about the humane qualities of Jesus.

However, he said the author had put a “great abyss between Jesus the Good man and what the church has done to him”.

Prof Harries said this was not true to the New Testament.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Books, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, Religion & Culture, Scotland, Scottish Episcopal Church

Scotsman–Ministry of Defence pen to Humanist chaplains

According to a much-quoted military maxim there are no atheists in a foxhole when the shelling begins.
But the Ministry of Defence (MoD) is now edging towards official recognition for the needs of non-believers serving in the armed forces by considering the appointment of Humanist chaplains.

Military sources have revealed they are “sympathetic” to the idea of establishing a organisation to represent the interests of non-religious servicemen and women.

Non-believers in the forces, including a senior Scottish officer, hope the move will pave the way for the establishment of Humanist chaplains, who would offer support and consolation to those with no spiritual beliefs.

Read it all.

Posted in Uncategorized

LA Times–Economic fears rise as disappointing figures pile up

Most economists believe a dip back into recession ”” as well as an equally debilitating bout of deflation, or broadly falling prices ”” will be avoided. But many have nonetheless warned that the prospects are rising, and say the more probable scenario isn’t much more appealing: a protracted economic malaise with imperceptible growth and stubbornly high joblessness.

“We are mired in a jobless recovery, and the government has run out of ammunition to help out the economy,” said Sung Won Sohn, an economics professor at Cal State Channel Islands. “The current situation doesn’t look very good.”

Read it all.

Posted in Uncategorized

The Latest Electronic Newsletter from the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina

Check it out if you so desire.

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