Daily Archives: August 24, 2010
Despite years of talk by Democrats and Republicans about the need to control spending, farm out work to private businesses and make government finances more transparent, the opposite has occurred.
Rather than becoming leaner, the state work force increased by 7.1 percent since 2005 — outpacing Oregon’s population growth.
The number of top state employees earning more than $100,000 a year more than doubled during the past decade.
That leads on to the second aspect of the Good Shepherd’s service that we shepherds must seek to grow into. The Good Shepherd does not abandon his flock when they are at risk; he shares their danger. It is only the hired man who will run away ”“ because he does not have the passionate attachment to the flock that the Good Shepherd has. In theological terms, we could say that the Good Shepherd can never abandon his own Body ”“ these are his own people, purchased with his blood, and his life and theirs are utterly bound up together. He does indeed understand them from the inside: truly human and truly divine, he knows ”“ as the letter to the Hebrews so wonderfully spells out ”“ all the temptations and troubles we know. And in his incarnate life, he exposes himself to the full weight of human sin, to violence and rejection, to the cost and the effect of all that is done wrong in the world. He is a Good Shepherd because he will not separate himself from those he serves. He takes the consequence of their sin and failure and he takes the risk of living alongside them.
So for us who have been called to Christian leadership, the message is clear. We cannot refuse to take risks alongside our people and to take risks for them ”“ to put ourselves and our safety or comfort at risk for the sake of the community’s life. Our authority comes not from being at a safe distance but from being there with those who need our ministry. And we may well think of all those in this continent who in the past and the present have so bravely stayed with their people, who have not sought safety or comfort but have stood alongside God’s precious children and risked so much so as to be able to go on speaking the word of life. In this country, as we have already been reminded this morning, we cannot fail to remember Janani Luwum; but in our own times, there have been many who have courageously continued in this tradition ”“ and here we think specially today with celebration and thanksgiving of our brothers in Sudan, in DRC and Zimbabwe whose authority as pastors in the church of God rests so deeply on their willingness to take risks alongside their flock and for them ”“ while witnesses, in St Peter’s words, witnesses to both suffering and glory.
One of the focal points of this Conference is the renewal of leadership in Africa. And all of us know that, here as elsewhere in the world, there can be no lasting justice without sacrificial and selfless political leadership….
The Bishop in Egypt Dr Mouneer Anis told bishops from more than 400 dioceses at the 2nd All Africa Bishops Conference that this was an historic moment for Africa’s Christian community.
“There is no doubt that history is going to record what happens at this conference for future generations,” he said at today’s opening service in Entebbe, Uganda. “This is no ordinary conference because it’s happening in an extraordinary context.”
He explained that although “Africa groans” under the weight of conflicts, epidemics and poverty the African church was growing in an extraordinary way. It was predicted, he said, to become a continent of 673 million Christians by 2025.
He said that, as a consequence of this growth, the centre of the Christian world was shifting and so was the global role of the church of Africa. He issued a challenge to the bishops present to consider the African church’s place in such a world and said this weeks’ conference could be a turning point in the life of the church of Africa
Your Grace, The Most Rev Luke Orombi, I have chosen to publicly address this communication to you as the Honourable Host to the 400 African Anglican bishops who are coming to Uganda this week. We are informed the purpose of their coming here is to discuss a host of issues affecting the continent. Among the issues are poverty, diseases, matters of justice and peace, wars, ethnic cleansing, genocide; and the relationship between the Church and the State. This is a tall agenda.
According to Amanda Onapito, the public relations officer of the Province of the Church of Uganda, “It is time believers combined their efforts to find solutions to problems that affect Africa.” I am hopeful of all attempts to do so.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, will today meet African bishops, most of whom are unhappy about his perceived tolerance of homosexual behaviour in the Anglican Communion.
Dr Williams, who arrived in the country yesterday, will be the lead preacher at the opening of the All Africa Bishops Conference in Entebbe aimed at fostering unity and breathing life into a Church, the Archbishop of Uganda Luke Orombi, described as “broken”.
About 400 African bishops begin a seven-day meeting in Entebbe today for the second All Africa Bishops Conference. The theme of the conference, organised by the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa (CAPA), is “Securing the future, unlocking our potential”.
President Yoweri Museveni will officially open the conference tomorrow.
The conference takes place at Imperial Resort Beach Hotel. Yesterday, the lobby of the hotel was a beehive of activity, as delegations of clergy from Burundi, Central Africa, Congo, Egypt, Indian Ocean islands, and Kenya checked in for registration.
Here is the way the WSJ front page article on the new party opens–
This year, an anti-Washington mood is opening doors to novice candidates from right and left who speak to the ire coursing through the electorate. The Modern Whigs, a start-up party with a venerable name, are trying to tap an even more elusive force: the angry moderate.
Here is the question: Jeff Vanke, the new Whig candidate running for Congress in Roanoke, Virginia, is how far behind the Republican incumbent at present? Please guess without peaking.
Watch it all (please note it begins with a crisis which is upsetting but I promise it is encouraging–really; KSH).
For now, 50,000 troops will remain ”” combat ready but assigned primarily to training Iraqi forces, a shift made somewhat awkward by Obama’s rigid deadline. It will force the State Department, for instance, to hire an army of private security contractors to take over functions that would more appropriately be handled by the military.
That is odd and troubling. But it doesn’t alter the fact that a large combat force is no longer needed. By every measure in the comprehensive Iraq Index maintained by the Brookings Institution, violence has plummeted. Civilian casualties are down to 1,366 so far this year vs. 34,500 in 2006, the year before President Bush’s “troop surge” strategy reversed the course of the war. U.S. military fatalities stand at 43 this year in Brookings’ July measure, just 1% of the 4,415 who’ve given their lives since the invasion began in 2003. This year, 280 troops have been wounded, vs. 6,412 in 2006.
Stability, the overriding U.S. priority after post-invasion blunders sent Iraq tumbling into chaos, has been achieved. But whether Iraqis can keep it is an open question.
Archbishop Timothy Dolan told parishioners during Mass on Sunday that he was saddened by a spate of suspected anti-Hispanic attacks on Staten Island that has left some Latin American immigrants fearing for their safety.
Dolan made the remarks during a Spanish-language sermon at St. Mary’s of The Assumption Roman Catholic Church in the borough’s Port Richmond section.
The small neighborhood is home to the majority of the borough’s Mexican immigrants, who have been the targets of most of the dozen attacks since April, authorities have said. A gay Hispanic couple also was attacked in one incident.
The Obama administration has turned to the Central Intelligence Agency’s station chief in Afghanistan to troubleshoot Washington’s precarious relationship with President Hamid Karzai, propelling the undercover officer into a critical role normally reserved for diplomats and military chiefs.
The station chief has become a pivotal behind-the-scenes power broker in Kabul, according to U.S. officials as well as current and former diplomats and military figures. In April, when Mr. Karzai lashed out against his Western partners, it was the station chief who was tapped by the White House to calm the Afghan president.
The station chief’s position became more crucial following the June firing of Gen. Stanley McChrystal, perhaps the only other senior American who had a close relationship with Mr. Karzai, U.S. officials say.
The unusual diplomatic channel is in part a measure of how fragile U.S. relations with the mercurial Afghan president are.
A lesbian minister, who officiated at more than a dozen same-sex weddings during the brief window gay marriage was legal in California, goes to trial Thursday before a Presbyterian court, charged with violating her denomination’s constitution.
The case of the Rev. Jane Adams Spahr has gained national attention because “what is being tested is the definition of marriage” in the Presbyterian faith, said the Rev. Carmen Fowler, president of the Presbyterian Lay Committee, a conservative organization that opposes same-sex marriage.
Spahr’s trial, which will be held in Napa, begins less than three weeks after a federal court judge ruled that California’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. And it underscores the awkward position in which changing civil law places many clergy members.
Almighty and everlasting God, who didst give to thine apostle Bartholomew grace truly to believe and to preach thy Word: Grant that thy Church may love what he believed and preach what he taught; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God for ever and ever.