Daily Archives: September 9, 2010

Christianity Today interviews 70-year old Duke theologian Stanley Hauerwas

CT: When you just said, “The Episcopal church is the embodiment of much that Wesley cared about,” I think you are referring to a particular congregation and not the denomination as a whole.

SH: I say, “We’re all congregationalists now.” I don’t particularly like it, but we are. How to ensure given that reality that Eucharistic assemblies are not separate from each other is one of the great challenges before us. The role of the bishop is very important to make sure that Eucharistic assemblies are not isolated from one another. There are also other ways to do it. Certainly sending people from one congregation to another helps. But how we recover Christian unity in the world in which we find ourselves is a deep challenge. By “unity,” I don’t mean just agreement about ecclesial organization; I mean the refusal of Christians to kill one other. I think that the division of the church that has let nationalism define Christian identity is one of the great judgments against the Reformation in particular.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Parish Ministry, Seminary / Theological Education, Theology

New Zealand Chapel hurriedly deconsecrated and torn down after the Earthquake

A historic Anglican chapel damaged in Canterbury’s 7.1 magnitude earthquake was hastily deconsecrated before being torn down.

The chapel, at Christchurch’s Churchill Court aged care facility, suffered irreparable damage in Saturday’s devastating quake.

Bishop Victoria Matthews said she had almost no warning that the chapel had to be demolished.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, Anglican Provinces

A graphic map of the New Zealand Earthquake

Check it out.

Posted in * International News & Commentary, Australia / NZ

Clifford Longley on the Secular and the Religious in Britain

Here’s a bank holiday quiz question. As we congratulate David Cameron and Samantha on the birth of their beautiful baby girl, is our joy at such events “secular” or “religious”? You may think that what matters is the joy – and the baby – and not what category we put our feelings in.

But it does relate to an issue we are going to hear more about in the next few weeks. Will the state visit of Pope Benedict XVI, just over two weeks away, amount to a dramatic confrontation with Britain’s secular society? Indeed, is that a correct – or even useful – description?

A Vatican spokesman, trying to set the stage for the papal visit, said that from Rome Britain seemed a very secular society. But not long ago the Archbishop of Westminster, Vincent Nichols, took a rather different tack. He described British society as a lot less secular than people supposed. Many who did not go to church nevertheless prayed to God when things got difficult – or, indeed, joyful.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, England / UK, Religion & Culture

Falling Rates Aid Debtors, but Hamper Savers

Households and corporations alike are refinancing their loans in droves to take advantage of interest rates that seem impossibly cheap. But those same low rates come with a flip side, driving down the income of retirees and others who live off their savings.

It is a side effect of a government policy meant to push down interest rates to a point that businesses and consumers are compelled to borrow and spend again, and yet it is hurting anyone with a savings account.

With the regulated rate that financial institutions can borrow from one another at almost zero, banks are paying savers next to nothing. The average returns on interest-bearing deposit accounts slipped to 0.99 percent in July, according to Market Rates Insight, which tracks bank rates. It is the first time its measure has dipped below 1 percent since the 1950s, when its data begins.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Credit Markets, Economy, Federal Reserve, Personal Finance, The Banking System/Sector, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, The U.S. Government

Major interfaith call to oppose Koran burning

At the interfaith press conference, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, the former Archbishop of Washington, said the growth of anti-Islamic sentiment was a “powerful moment that calls for a powerful response.” Cardinal McCarrick added, “our message is a message of working together.”

The Rev. Richard Cizik, representing the New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good, said “shame on you” to those who would burn another religion’s sacred texts. He was referencing plans by the Christian minister of a church in Gainesville, Fla., to burn copies of the Koran. He added, “you bring dishonor to the name of Jesus Christ.”

Opposition to the New York Islamic center is widespread in the US, even among those who would support a mosque in their own neighborhood, according to a poll released Aug. 26 by the Public Religion Research Institute and Religion News Service. Nearly 60 percent of Americans surveyed opposed building an Islamic center or mosque two blocks from the site of the Sept. 11 attacks, but 76 percent of those polled would support a mosque in their own community.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Islam, Media, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture

The Diocese of Southwark prepares for the London Olympics

With the London Olympics less than two years away, in Southwark Diocese work has begun to engage with the mission opportunities presented by the games.

A Diocesan Olympic coordinating group was formed in 2009, with local clergy from each of the four Olympic sites (Greenwich Peninsula, Greenwich Park, Woolwich and Wimbledon), plus representatives from the Board of Education, Youth & Children’s Group, Mission Department, Southwark Cathedral, Communication and Resources – and two former Olympic athletes, Lorna Boothe from Mitcham and Shaun Lightman from Selsdon.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Evangelism and Church Growth, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Care, Religion & Culture, Sports

One Woman, One Idea, and a Lot of Changed Lives for Military Spouses Worldwide

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Watch it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, --Social Networking, Blogging & the Internet, Children, Globalization, Marriage & Family, Military / Armed Forces, Science & Technology

More young couples try long-distance relationships

Rachel Goldstein and Ben Kuryk try not to let 1,055 miles come between them.

Both 26, they met as freshmen at American University in Washington, D.C. But when they graduated in 2006, Kuryk got a job with a software company in the area, while Goldstein’s job as a commercial real estate broker took her to Miami Beach.

They talk four or five times a day by phone and communicate via text messages, Twitter and Skype. They see each other every three to four weeks.

“We’re professionals at this,” Goldstein says.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, --Social Networking, Blogging & the Internet, Men, Psychology, Science & Technology, Women, Young Adults

China may relax its one-child rule

An aging population and the need for more workers have prompted China’s Communist Party to consider relaxing the decades-long ban that restricts most couples to one child, a harsh policy marked by forced abortions, sterilizations and fines for those who have more than one.

In 2011, China will start pilot projects in five provinces, all of which have low birth rates, to allow a second birth if at least one spouse is an only child, says He Yafu, an independent demographer who is in close contact with policymakers.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Asia, Children, China, Life Ethics, Marriage & Family, Politics in General, Science & Technology

Please pray for an Important Meeting of the Diocese of South Carolina Standing Committee Today

You can find the current members here.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * South Carolina, Episcopal Church (TEC), Spirituality/Prayer, TEC Bishops

The Bishop of Upper South Carolina writes on diocesan staff restructuring

Mary and I are settling into our new home in Columbia and our new life in Upper South Carolina, and we have been honored and humbled by the warm welcomes we continue to receive from our new diocesan family. In the space of three months since my consecration, I have celebrated many Confirmations, several baptisms, and we have had the moving experience of our first visit to our brothers and sisters in Haiti, about which I wrote earlier. We are blessed to be among you.

I have also been blessed to come into a diocesan staff of dedicated and hard working Christians who have been extremely supportive of me in the beginnings of my transition into the role of your bishop. Since my election, I have been in prayerful thought and conversation about how best to structure our diocesan staff. My focus has been on responsive service to the congregations, institutions and leadership of our diocese through leadership development, training and procedural simplifications. My goal is that everything we do contribute in ways large and small to the development of healthy, growing and vibrant congregations throughout the diocese. To that end, the responsibilities of canon staff will include more direct availability to congregations for training and support””in communications, leadership development, congregational development, administration, finance, and, if and when the economic environment improves, Christian formation among all ages. Quality of support to congregations and skilled ability as trainers will be high values for my canon staff. Furthermore, we will be working toward high levels of responsiveness and hospitality among office staff. It will take time for us to put these processes in place, but with these as primary goals, we will be making a number of organizational and personnel changes in the coming weeks and months….

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

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Constance and her Companions

We give thee thanks and praise, O God of compassion, for the heroic witness of Constance and her companions, who, in a time of plague and pestilence, were steadfast in their care for the sick and the dying, and loved not their own lives, even unto death. Inspire in us a like love and commitment to those in need, following the example of our Savior Jesus Christ; who with thee and the Holy Spirit liveth and reigneth, one God, now and for ever.

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

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O God, whose love we cannot measure, nor even number thy blessings: We bless and praise thee for all thy goodness, who in our weakness art our strength, in our darkness, light, in our sorrows, comfort and peace, and from everlasting to everlasting art our God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, world without end.

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

But some men came down from Judea and were teaching the brethren, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.” And when Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and debate with them, Paul and Barnabas and some of the others were appointed to go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and the elders about this question. So, being sent on their way by the church, they passed through both Phoeni’cia and Sama’ria, reporting the conversion of the Gentiles, and they gave great joy to all the brethren. When they came to Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church and the apostles and the elders, and they declared all that God had done with them.

–Acts 15:1-4

Posted in Uncategorized