Daily Archives: September 20, 2010

For the Unemployed Over 50, Fears of Never Working Again

Patricia Reid is not in her 70s, an age when many Americans continue to work. She is not even in her 60s. She is just 57.

But four years after losing her job she cannot, in her darkest moments, escape a nagging thought: she may never work again.

College educated, with a degree in business administration, she is experienced, having worked for two decades as an internal auditor and analyst at Boeing before losing that job.

But that does not seem to matter, not for her and not for a growing number of people in their 50s and 60s who desperately want or need to work to pay for retirement and who are starting to worry that they may be discarded from the work force ”” forever.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Middle Age, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

Stephen Glover (Daily Mail) Benedict Spoke as one with Authority

[His words]… were delivered in the calmest, meekest, least ranting way possible, and yet they carried a great authority that largely comes, I think, from the Pope’s sense of holiness and evident goodness, as well as from the dignity of his office.

Even hard-hearted cynics and sceptics could not fail but listen.

Most extraordinary of all, here was a religious leader prepared to confront the modern secular world ”“ and modern secular Britain ”“ with the timeless values of Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular.

These values, said Pope Benedict in his final address yesterday, had been traduced by abusive priests who had seriously undermined the moral credibility of the Roman Catholic Church.

It is almost a shock to hear a religious leader speak in so blunt a way, so inured are we to our own religious leaders, particularly Church of England bishops, accommodating themselves to secular values.

Read it all.

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

(NY Times) Belgian Catholics Remain Anguished by Sexual Abuse

There were 32 worshipers at noontime Mass in a side chapel of the soaring Cathedral of SS. Michael and Gudula, which dates from the 11th century. A third of the faithful were African; there were two nuns and a police officer.

The priest, a stocky man with brushy white hair, murmured about a “time of difficulty” and spoke of Jesus and of the Pharisees, who kept the letter of God’s law without understanding his love. “The Pharisee doesn’t recognize the border between the pure and the impure,” the priest said.

His sermon before a thin crowd seemed an obvious demonstration of the anguish of the Roman Catholic Church in Belgium, staggered by a sexual-abuse scandal that has already affected 475 victims. There have been 19 suicide attempts, 13 of them successful, by Belgians abused by clergy members.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Belgium, Children, Ethics / Moral Theology, Europe, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic, Sexuality, Theology

Bishop Nazir-Ali warns of aid naivety in regard to Pakistan

A senior Christian leader has warned much of the aid flowing into Pakistan to help deal with massive flooding may never be used for relief.

Retired Anglican bishop Michael Nazir-Ali, a Pakistani national who has spent much of his life in Britain, is visiting Australia to discuss issues around Islam and its growth in the West.

“The misery that the (Pakistani) people are in has been caused, to some extent, by corruption and incompetence,” Bishop Nazir-Ali told reporters in Canberra on Monday.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Asia, Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Pakistan, Poverty, Religion & Culture

Covenant to be debated for three years by Australian Anglicans

Australian Anglicans have committed themselves to three years of debate before a decision is taken on whether to embrace an international covenant designed to preserve the unity of their church.

The General Synod, meeting at Melbourne Grammar School, adopted a resolution asking the synods of all 23 Australian dioceses to consider whether the Anglican Church of Australia should adopt the Anglican Communion Covenant and to report to the Standing Committee of the General Synod by December 2012. The resolution asked the Standing Committee to report to the next meeting of the Church’s national parliament in 2013.

The Covenant proposal, which is endorsed by Archbishop Rowan Williams of Canterbury, arose out of divisions in the Church over human sexuality. The Episcopal Church in the United States has consecrated two openly gay bishops in the past seven years, while many Anglicans in the developing world hold to traditional Christian teaching against homosexuality.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican Covenant, Anglican Provinces

Parish Response to Father Don Armstrong's Plea Agreement

(Via Email–KSH).

Today our Rector, The Rev. Donald Armstrong, accepted a plea agreement offered by the Pueblo District Attorney which precludes the pending trial and begins to bring to conclusion this long and torturous ordeal for our congregation and the larger Christian Community.

Specifically, Father Armstrong made an Alford plea, which is a special plea used when there is no admission of guilt or basis of fact for the charge, but the charge, in this case a misdemeanor, is accepted to take advantage of an offer, in this case to reduce the original 20 Felony counts to a single misdemeanor.

We are grateful to Don and Jessie for their courage, strength, and witness during this time of personal persecution. Over these last years God has blessed us greatly as individuals and as a congregation.

In preparation for the now canceled trial we have become convinced even more strongly that controversies within the larger denominational church were the catalyst for the Diocese’s investigation and complaint, for the purpose of silencing our bold and successful defense of orthodoxy through our parish’s life, discipline, and teaching ministry.

We believe that the courts are not the place to deal with theological differences, and that to have allowed this dispute to continue to be played out in the news by going to trial would have served only to diminish all Christian witness. With this plea offer now in place such further harm to the entire church in this already difficult age for Christianity will be prevented.

We further believe the disparity between the magnitude of charges made against Father Armstrong by the Episcopal Diocese and the final content of the plea agreement vindicates not only Father Armstrong, but also clearly affirms our confidence that we ran an effective and well managed church in our days at the helm of Grace & St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, and continue to do so at St. George’s Anglican Church.

With only a restitution hearing to be held in the distant future, this essentially concludes this long and expensive attempt to silence orthodox resistance to theological innovations in the Episcopal Church. We are thankful we can now move forward under our Bishop, the Rt. Rev. Martyn Minns, into a future productive for the Kingdom of God.

I will take comments on this submitted by email only to at KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com.

Posted in Uncategorized

Denver Post: Priest pleads no-contest in one count in Colorado Springs theft case

Pueblo Special prosecutor Stephen Jones announced today that former…[Episcopal] priest Donald Armstrong, ex-pastor of Grace Church in Colorado Springs, has entered a “no-contest” plea to felony theft in exchange for a deferred judgement and sentence.

Armstrong, 61, indicted by a 4th Judicial District grand jury in 2009 on 20 counts of felony theft, was accused of embezzling almost $300,000 from church and trust funds over eight years to pay for his two children’s college.

Armstrong and his loyal congregation already had lost a civil trial last year to determine who owned Grace Church and St. Stephen’s Parish, a historic downtown property valued at about $17 million.

Read it all.

I will take comments on this submitted by email only to at KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com.

Posted in Uncategorized

AP–Vatican declares Pope's visit to Britain a success

The Vatican declared Pope Benedict XVI’s four-day visit to Britain a “great success” Sunday, saying the pontiff was able to reach out to a nation wary of his message and angry at his church’s sex abuse scandal.

On his final day, Benedict praised British heroics against the Nazis to mark the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain and moved an Englishman a step closer to possible sainthood.

Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi said the important thing wasn’t so much the turnout ”” crowds were much smaller than when Pope John Paul II visited in 1982 ”” but that Benedict’s warning about the dangers of an increasingly secularized society had been received “with profound interest” from Britons as a whole.

Indeed, the British media coverage was remarkable in the seriousness with which newspapers and television took Benedict’s message, and TV stations ran virtually all of the pope’s speeches, Masses and other events live.

Read it all.

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

Amid Blight and Scavenging, ”˜Old G.M.’ Plants Linger

When American taxpayers bailed out General Motors, the company was split, with the best assets going to the reorganized automaker of the same name. This new General Motors is selling cars, making money and preparing a public stock offering.

The least valuable assets, including the run-down factories in Flint, were left in the shell of the old G.M., now named the Motors Liquidation Company.

This company has filed a bankruptcy reorganization plan that lays out how it will clean up and sell off the dozens of unwanted pieces of what was once the world’s largest automaker.

But the process is slow, and while plant closings have already cost jobs and tax revenue in many communities, the empty factories themselves are now becoming a burden.

“When General Motors closed shop in Flint, they just turned the lights off,” said Chris Swanson, a captain with the Genesee County Sheriff’s Department, which has made nearly two dozen arrests this year at the Flint North complex on charges of theft, assault with intent to murder and others.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

(Star-Bulletin) In Hawaii Church leaders learn to set physical limits

Church leaders training to deal with sexual misconduct are presented with a case study in which a parishioner says of a minister:

“Chris makes me feel really special — phoning and visiting me on a regular basis; knowing when to hug, when to listen, and when to share; and always complimenting me on my hairstyle, smile and overall appearance. Chris models compassion, sensitivity and servant-hood.”

Is Chris’ behavior appropriate for a minister, or does it overstep professional boundaries?

Al Miles, chaplain at the Queen’s Medical Center, poses such questions at training sessions held twice a year to remind Episcopal church representatives that there is zero tolerance for sexual misconduct, no matter how subtle. Miles is a national consultant and author of “Domestic Violence: What Every Pastor Needs to Know.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Ethics / Moral Theology, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Sexuality, Theology, Violence

(Catholic Herald) Cameron tells Pope: ”˜you have made Britain sit up and think’

David Cameron has told Pope Benedict XVI in a powerful farewell speech that his visit had made Britain “sit up and think”.

The Prime Minister said to the Pope: “You have spoken to a nation of six million Catholics, but you have been heard by a nation of over 60 million citizens.”

He cited the Pope’s speech in Westminster Hall on Friday, saying that “faith is not a problem for legislators to solve but rather a vital part of our national conversation”.

He said the Pope’s lesson for Britons had been “to follow our conscience, to ask not what are my entitlements, but what are my responsibilities; to ask not what we can do for ourselves, but what we can do for others”.

Read it all.

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

Pennsylvania Episcopal Bishop's return puts church in a quandary

His wish now to serve out his time as diocesan bishop “is not an ego trip,” he said. “I think I’d always regret that I did not finish what I started.”

What he hopes to achieve is vague, but seems to revolve around preparing his diocese for a new era of Christianity.

“The Episcopal Church is a small but great church,” he said. But with fewer young people identifying themselves by denomination or attending church, Christianity must look toward a “deinstitutionalized” model of faith.

Denominations, including his own, should build partnerships and share resources, he said – not compete for members, prop up failing congregations, or hold on to vacant buildings.

Read it all.

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

NPR–Stories Of The Dead And Famous. And Just The Dead.

In their book, the comedy writers highlight the quirky, sweet and strange about 68 people they call “the justly famous and undeservedly obscure.”

One chapter tells the story of Ada Lovelace, whose father was the poet Lord Byron. The relationship between her father and mother was so bad that she was banned from Byron’s household and her mother refused to let her study any kind of literature. Understandably, she didn’t become a great poet or writer, but she did develop into a mathematical genius.

“She wrote the very first computer program,” Lloyd says, “which is really an extraordinary thing, when you think that this is in the first half of the 19th century. And if you look on Microsoft stickers, on their logo, their hologram, is a little picture of Ada Lovelace.”

You really need to take the time to listen to it all (just under 10 minutes).

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Books, Death / Burial / Funerals, England / UK, History, Parish Ministry, Science & Technology

A Prayer for the Feast Day of John Coleridge Patteson

Almighty God, who didst call thy faithful servants John Coleridge Patteson and his companions to be witnesses and martyrs in the islands of Melanesia, and by their labors and sufferings didst raise up a people for thine own possession: Pour forth thy Holy Spirit upon thy Church in every land, that by the service and sacrifice of many, thy holy Name may be glorified and thy kingdom enlarged; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

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

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Let thy mighty outstretched arm, O Lord God, be our defence; thy mercy and lovingkindness in Jesus Christ, thy dear Son, our salvation; thy all true word our instruction; the grace of thy life-giving Spirit our comfort and consolation, unto the end and in the end; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.

–Knox’s Book of Common Order

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