Daily Archives: April 6, 2011

(RNS) Dying? Plan ahead: Priests scarce for last rites

In days long gone, Roman Catholic priests regularly made deathbed house calls, even in the middle of the night with little notice, to pray over the dying and anoint them with holy oils.

The candlelight ritual, popularly known as last rites, continues in hospitals, nursing homes, hospice houses and private homes. But it happens less frequently because priests ”” the only ones who can perform the service ”” are in short supply.

Although fewer Catholics are seeking what’s officially known as the sacrament of anointing of the sick, those who do want it could be at risk of reaching their final hours without the prayer-whispering presence of a Roman-collared priest unless they plan ahead.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Death / Burial / Funerals, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Roman Catholic

Archbishop of York to join Rossendale church celebrations

A church which has been at the heart of Rossendale for 500 years is set to host the Archbishop of York.

Right Rev John Sentamu, the charismatic Anglican church leader, will preach at St Nicholas, in Newchurch, on Palm Sunday.

His arrival is part of ongoing celebrations marking five centuries of worship there.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Church of England (CoE), Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry

Report on the 107th Diocesan Council of the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas

On Thursday afternoon, Council took up discussion of a diocesan statement concerning the Anglican Covenant. After several drafts, the current version of the Anglican Covenant is now being presented to the 38 provinces of the Anglican Communion. The Episcopal Church will no doubt discuss it at General Convention 2012. Although a diocese cannot make an official response to the Covenant, only a province of the Communion can do that, The Episcopal Church has invited dioceses to study and discuss the covenant and forward their comments to General Convention 2012.

In response to this invitation, in 2010, Lillibridge asked the diocese to read the Anglican Covenant, and during the past year, some discussion groups were held around the diocese. In November 2010, the elected leadership of diocesan clergy and lay leaders gathered to write a statement in response to the covenant. This statement was brought to the floor of Council this year for the delegates and clergy to discuss and affirm. After 30 minutes of discussion, the statement was adopted and will be sent forward to General Convention in 2012.

Go here for the [pdf]adode reader download, and it is pages 4 and following.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Covenant, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops, TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils

More Pupils Are Learning Online, Fueling Debate on Quality

Jack London was the subject in Daterrius Hamilton’s online English 3 course. In a high school classroom packed with computers, he read a brief biography of London with single-paragraph excerpts from the author’s works. But the curriculum did not require him, as it had generations of English students, to wade through a tattered copy of “Call of the Wild” or “To Build a Fire.”

Mr. Hamilton, who had failed English 3 in a conventional classroom and was hoping to earn credit online to graduate, was asked a question about the meaning of social Darwinism. He pasted the question into Google and read a summary of a Wikipedia entry. He copied the language, spell-checked it and e-mailed it to his teacher.

Mr. Hamilton, 18, is among the expanding ranks of students in kindergarten through grade 12 ”” more than one million in the United States, by one estimate ”” taking online courses.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Blogging & the Internet, Education

In one Florida School, Teenagers Speak Up for Lack of Faith

Every other Wednesday, right after school at 2:45, the newest club at Rutherford High, the atheist club, meets in Room 13-211.

Last Wednesday, Jim Dickey, the president, started out by asking his fellow student atheists (there are a few agnostics, too) whether they wanted to put together an all-atheist Ultimate Frisbee team for a charity event.

“We can pay the entry fee from the club treasury,” said Michael Creamer, the atheists’ faculty adviser, who urged them to take part.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Atheism, Education, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Teens / Youth

Notable and Quotable (II)

[Gail Stevenson]…recalled Rev Harry Robinson’s world renowned ministry which she described as “very powerful, very transforming and very Biblical”. Visitors to Vancouver ”“ especially from Toronto and England ”“would come to St John’s because of his preaching. She said the ministry carried on under Rev David Short, describing it as “a seamless transition”¦ very evangelical, very Biblically based”.

–From an ANIC description of testimony given in court in 2009

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics

Notable and Quotable (I)

The ground had been prepared for this the year before. When we first came to Canada in 1964 we decided to compromise and become Presbyterians. Mollie had been raised in the happy warmth of Cheam Baptist Church. She was ill at ease in the somber liturgy and music of Anglican worship. She gagged at the antiquated jargon of Canons and Archdeacons, Lent and Ember days, Quinquagesima, Sexagesima, Septuagesima, collects and rubrics. None of our four children had been baptized as babies. I had also come to the conclusion that the Anglican denomination I had been ordained in was so stuck in its traditions that it could hardly survive the counterculture of the sixties. I hated its refusal to accept others to communion till they were properly confirmed.

So we used to drive down the Don Valley Parkway and across to Knox Presbyterian on Spadina Avenue. We loved the long rich sermons of Bill Fitch. Then some good friends in Don Mills asked us to come and join them in St. Mark’s Presbyterian. When we moved to Collingsbrook Road, which was then at the northern limit of Metro Toronto, we linked up with Donald MacLeod at Bridlewood Presbyterian. They used to meet at Don Mills Collegiate where our children, Rachel and Peter, had begun high school. For the second time I applied to be accepted as a Presbyterian minister, but got cold feet as I filled in the forms.

One evening in the spring of 1970 Mollie and I decided to attend the evening service at Little Trinity on King Street in the run down part of Cabbage Town. At that time Hippies were not appreciated among respectable Christians. As we arrived we could see the building was packed with young people wearing bellbottom Jeans and flower child dresses. A beautiful girl named Gunta Sturis greeted me at the door and gave me a flower and a kiss. That settled it. If this was what Anglicans were about, I wanted back in.

For the first time in her life Mollie delighted in the Anglican services led by Harry Robinson. We were thrilled and encouraged by many new friends in our new family. We were moved by the long haired students kneeling next to Bay Street business men around the circular communion rail. And then Bill Foley at the organ would begin the notes of a charismatic song, and the church sounded like heaven.

–Robert Brow, A Personal View of the Twentieth Century, Chapter 9, my emphasis

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Canada, History, Religion & Culture

(AFP) Hackers hunt prey on smartphones, Facebook

Hackers are following prey onto smartphones and social networking hotspots, according to reports released Tuesday by a pair of computer security firms.

Cyber criminals are also ramping up the sophistication and frequency of attacks on business and government networks, one of the companies, Symantec, said in the latest volume of its Internet Security Threat Report.

Symantec depicted a “massive” volume of more than 286 new computer threats on the Internet last year, continued growth in attacks at online social networks and “a notable shift in focus” by hackers to mobile devices.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, --Social Networking, Blogging & the Internet, Law & Legal Issues

Derrick Rose Blocks the Shot

Wow.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Sports

Anglican Parish in Texas Breathes Spirit Life into Cambodia Church Plant

A thirteen hour time difference, over 9,000 miles, and the International dateline separate St. Vincent’s Cathedral in Texas from a new church plant in Cambodia’s province of Pursat.

That kind of distance might make a direct partnership between Cambodia and Texas seem nearly inconceivable, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

In fact, St. Vincent’s put up half the funds necessary to make the new church plant a reality and has sent teams over to work directly on the project.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Asia, Cambodia, Missions, Parish Ministry

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O God, the glory of thy saints, who being above all, and through all, and in all, dost yet accept the prayer of the contrite: Grant that I, being hallowed in mind, fervent in spirit, and chaste in body, may offer to thee the pure sacrifice of a heart uplifted in thy praise, and a life devoted to thy service; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Lent, Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Bible Readings

The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD: “Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will let you hear my words.” So I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was working at his wheel. And the vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter’s hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to do. Then the word of the LORD came to me: “O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter has done? says the LORD. Behold, like the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel.

–Jeremiah 18:1-6

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(BBC) Libya: Rebel leader accuses Nato of failing civilians

The Libyan rebel commander, Gen Abdul Fattah Younis, has accused Nato of standing idly by while pro-Gaddafi forces kill people in Misrata.

If Nato waited another week to intervene, the besieged city’s people faced extermination, he told reporters in the de facto rebel capital Benghazi.

A Nato-led coalition mandated by the UN to protect civilians is enforcing a no-fly zone and attacking ground targets.

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Posted in * International News & Commentary, Africa, Libya

More on Harry Robinson, with a picture

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Death / Burial / Funerals, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry

Episcopal Congregations Overview: Findings from the 2010 Faith Communities Today Survey

–Over half of Episcopal congregations (52.4%) are small, family-sized congregations where average worship attendance is 70 persons or less (2009 Parochial Report data). Pastoral-sized congregations make up the next largest proportion of parishes and missions (28.6%). Corporate-sized congregations with 351 or more in worship represent only 3.3% of Episcopal congregations.

–The median Episcopal parish had 66 persons at Sunday worship in 2009 according to the annual Parochial Report””down from 72 in 2006 and 77 in 2003.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Episcopal Church (TEC), Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, TEC Data, TEC Parishes