Daily Archives: May 12, 2011

(USA Today) Henry G. Brinton–America, the biblical (if not Christian) nation

I celebrate the birthday of the King James Version, and look forward to its continued use in public discourse, to inspire and to persuade. But I do not support legislation based on the Bible, or any effort to label America a Christian nation. And I say that as a proud and practicing Christian.

Our nation is well served by the Constitution’s guarantee of the free exercise of religion, which gives us unrestrained liberty to gather for worship and read the King James Version, or any other sacred text we want.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Church/State Matters, History, Law & Legal Issues, Religion & Culture

Squeezed Cities Ask Nonprofits for More Money

As recession-racked cities struggle to balance their budgets with everything short of feeling behind sofa cushions for loose change, a growing number are seeking more money ”” just don’t use the word taxes ”” from nonprofit institutions that occupy valuable land but by law do not pay property taxes.

Boston has been sending letters to its largest nonprofit institutions this year, telling them the value of their land and asking them to begin making annual payments that would eventually rise to a quarter of what they would owe if they paid property taxes. Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel of Chicago wants the city to begin charging water fees to nonprofits, which have been spared them in the past. And the mayor of Providence, R.I., Angel Taveras, cited Boston’s example this month when he called on nonprofits to pay more money to the city.
“Every citizen, every city worker, every taxpayer, every business and every organization ”” including tax-exempt institutions ”” must share part of the burden of saving our city,” Mr. Taveras said in his budget address. He proposed closing Providence’s $109 million budget gap by shutting schools, laying off workers, cutting the Police and Fire Department budgets and raising taxes on homeowners as well as seeking larger payments from the city’s prestigious universities and other nonprofit institutions.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, City Government, Economy, Housing/Real Estate Market, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Taxes

In West Sussex Two Anglican Bishops back anti-cuts campaigners

The Don’t Cut Us Out campaign supporters will address West Sussex county councillors, urging them to change their minds over cuts.

And supporting them in a letter to councillors are Bishop John Hind of Chichester and Bishop Mark Sowerby of Horsham.

In their letter ahead of the debate on the petition against cuts in a full council meeting, the bishops address councillors.

They want councillors to “work with petitioners properly to examine and review alternatives to the changes in eligibility for care and the cuts to day care; and that the current rapid implementation of these changes be paused while reflection and scrutiny on the way ahead take place.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Economy, England / UK, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

This Years June ATC Conference–"Recognizing the ancient sacred in the modern secular"

Please note that this year’s conference is dedicated to the memory of the late [great] Father Robert Crouse–KSH.

Read it all and consider making plans to attend.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, Canada, Theology

Book of Common Prayer goes high-tech with iPhone application developed in Oklahoma City

A new iPhone application has brought the traditional Book of Common Prayer together with today’s technology, courtesy of a group from a Nichols Hills church.

The new app, iPray, became available in mid-April, much to the delight of the group of people who helped create it.

David Hill, CEO of Kimray Inc. and a member of All Souls’ Episcopal Church, 6400 N Pennsylvania, came up with the idea for the app as a way to help his children navigate the Book of Common Prayer more easily.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, --Book of Common Prayer, Episcopal Church (TEC), Liturgy, Music, Worship, Science & Technology, Spirituality/Prayer, TEC Parishes

Statement from the GAFCON/FCA Primates Council

(The link to this was posted yesterday but it wasn’t noticed and this is important–KSH).

Alleluia! Christ is risen! The Lord is risen indeed! Alleluia!

1. We met in Nairobi from April 25th through April 28th, 2011. We gathered as the elected leaders of provinces and national churches of the Anglican Communion and as leaders of GAFCON/FCA. We rejoice in the Easter proclamation that Jesus Christ is alive and we joyfully acknowledge his love for all humanity, his Lordship over all the earth and his promise to return with power and great glory.

2. We are profoundly saddened by the many disasters that have afflicted our world in recent months and offer our prayers for those whose lives have been devastated. We take to heart the warning from our Lord that in our age there would be “wars and rumors of wars” and a season when, “nations will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom and famines and earthquakes in various places.” We also remember His solemn warning that no-one can know the time for the end of this age and so we acknowledge all these events as reminders of the urgent need for repentance and reconciliation with our heavenly Father.

3. We are distressed that, in the face of these enormous challenges, we are still divided as a Communion. The fabric of our common life has been torn at its deepest level and until the presenting issues are addressed we will remain weakened at a time when the needs before us are so great. We were disappointed that those who organized the Primates meeting in Dublin not only failed to address these core concerns but decided instead to unilaterally reduce the status of the Primates’ Meeting. This action was taken with complete disregard for the resolutions of both Lambeth 1978 and 1998 that called for an enhanced role in “doctrinal, moral and pastoral matters”. We believe that they were seriously misled and their actions unacceptable.
4. We note the efforts of the Roman Catholic Church to offer support for those Anglican clergy and congregations who find themselves alienated by recent actions in the Communion. We believe that the provision of an Anglican Ordinariate is intended to be a gracious gift but sadly one that also points out that our own Communion has failed to make adequate provision for those who hold to a traditional view of the faith. We remain convinced that from within the Provinces that we represent there are creative ways by which we can support those who have been alienated so that they can remain within the Anglican family.

5. We devoted a considerable portion of our time together exploring some of the presenting issues regarding Anglican ecclesiology. We were mindful of the importance of letting scripture speak directly to the nature of the church and not simply let our current experience delimit our doctrine. While we are grateful for our history and our particular Anglican tradition we believe that there is and can only ever be one church of Jesus Christ which he has purchased with his own blood and over which he is the Head. The local church is the fundamental expression of the one true church here on earth and is bound together with other local churches by ties of love, fellowship and truth. From such networks have come denominations, national churches and global communions.

6. As members of the global Anglican Communion we delight in the particular history with which we have been blessed. We are grateful for the missionary heritage that gave birth to our global communion with its distinctive balance of reformed catholicity. Meeting in Nairobi we are especially thankful for the influence of the East African Revival with its emphasis on the renewing power of the Holy Spirit, a call to Holy living and unquestionable desire for evangelism.

7. We believe, however, that we are fully the church in our various settings, created and sustained by Word and Sacrament, and marked by obedience that results in faith, hope and love. We also recognize the Lord’s call to discipline demands from us a commitment to unity, holiness, apostolicity and catholicity. All of these are aspects of what it means to be church and we are committed to resourcing our bishops and other leaders so that we can more fully become the church that God has established.

8. We continue to be troubled by the promotion of a shadow gospel that appears to replace a traditional reading of Holy Scriptures and a robust theology of the church with an uncertain faith and a never ending listening process. This faith masquerades as a religion of tolerance and generosity and yet it is decidedly intolerant to those who hold to the “faith once and for all delivered to the saints”. We believe that the theological principles outlined in the Jerusalem Declaration offers the only way forward that holds true to our past and also gives a sure foundation for the future.

9. Confident of the power of God’s Word to renew His church we are creating a network for theologians and theological educators who embrace the Jerusalem Declaration to give further support for our seminaries and Bible Colleges. We have also reviewed and approved plans for the leadership conference now scheduled for April 2012 and the beginning preparations for an international gathering of Primates, Bishops, Clergy and Lay Leaders now scheduled for the first half of 2013 and provisionally designated “GAFCON 2”.

10. We are delighted in the election of the Most Rev’d Eliud Wabukala, Primate of the Anglican Church of Kenya to serve as Chairman of the Primates’ Council and also the Most Rev’d Nicholas D. Okoh, Primate of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) to serve as Vice-Chairman. We were pleased to appoint Bishop Greg Venables and Archbishop Emmanuel Kolini as trustees. We also welcomed the Most Rev’d Hector Zavala, Province of the Southern Cone and the Most Rev’d Onesphore Rwaje, Anglican Church of Rwanda as new members of the Council.

11. We also recognized that if we are offer adequate support to our member provinces, sustain our various initiatives, and strengthen our communications capabilities we must add capacity to our current secretariat. Consequently it was agreed that a GAFCON/FCA Chairman’s office would be established in Nairobi, Kenya and a Global Coordination office would be established in London under the direction of the Rt. Rev’d Martyn Minns, Missionary Bishop of the Church of Nigeria, serving as Deputy Secretary and Executive Director.

12. Finally we know that it is only be God’s grace that we can accomplish anything and we call on all those who acknowledge Jesus Christ as Lord to join us in prayer for our world and especially for those who are suffering because of natural disasters as well as those who struggle to live under violent and oppressive governments. We know that our only hope is in the redeeming and transforming love of God and we pray that we will all be faithful to our call to be an instrument of God’s grace.

13. To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.

The Primates Council
The Most Rev’d Eliud Wabukala, Archbishop, Anglican Church of Kenya, Chair
The Most Rev’d Justice Akrofi, Archbishop, Anglican Province of West Africa
The Most Rev’d Robert Duncan, Archbishop, Anglican Church in North America
The Most Rev ”˜d Onesphore Rwaje, Archbishop, Anglican Church of Rwanda
The Most Rev’d Valentino Mokiwa, Archbishop, Anglican Church of Tanzania
The Most Rev’d Nicholas Okoh, Archbishop, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion)
The Most Rev’d Henry Orombi, Archbishop, Church of Uganda
The Most Rev’d Hector Zavala, Province of the Southern Cone
The Most Rev’d Peter Jensen, Archbishop, Diocese of Sydney, Secretary

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, GAFCON I 2008, Global South Churches & Primates

(First Things) Mary Ann Glendon–The Bearable Lightness of Dignity

The assault on the dignity-based vision of human rights was particularly intense at the UN’s Beijing Women’s Conference in the fall of 1995. In fact, a European-led coalition attempted to remove the word “dignity” from the Beijing documents because they suspected it might be in tension with their particular view of gender equality. They also opposed all references to the Universal Declaration’s provisions on marriage, the family, religious freedom, protection of motherhood, and parental rights. The reason, apparently, was that those provisions were regarded as obstacles to the new sexual and reproductive rights for which the coalition hoped to gain recognition.

Meanwhile, the idea of the dignity of human life was coming under attack from members of the scientific community who wished to remove obstacles to experimentation on human embryos….

Yet another offensive was launched by advocates of euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide….

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Anthropology, Globalization, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Life Ethics, Religion & Culture, Theology

Lowcountry South Carolina Shooting-range death [of Kendall's dear friend Bill] is ruled accidental

“There is no evidence to support a finding of homicide, nor is there sufficient evidence to find that Mr. [Bill] Rust committed suicide,” [Dorchester County Coroner Christopher] Nisbet said. “The trajectory of the bullet and evidence on scene indicates that Mr. Rust likely tripped while carrying the loaded weapon.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Children, Death / Burial / Funerals, Marriage & Family, Parish Ministry

(London Times) Crisis in Greece could lead to second Lehman-style shock

Richard McGuire, a bond strategist at Rabobank in London, said there was a risk of a “domino effect” through the financial system reminiscent of the aftermath of Lehman if the crisis was mishandled.

He said: “The implications of a Greek default are nightmarishly complicated and would affect Britain through a number of channels.

“It is only when Greece defaults and the rug is pulled from under this complex web of cross-border relationships that we see where the risk really lies.”

Read it all (requires subscription).

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --European Sovereign Debt Crisis of 2010, Credit Markets, Currency Markets, Economy, England / UK, Euro, Europe, European Central Bank, Greece, The Banking System/Sector

50 Years After Trial, Eichmann Secrets Live On

A different picture of the man, and the period, has begun to circulate. Bild, the German tabloid, having recently forced the BND through the courts to release a few files, uncovered an index card from 1952 that made clear that West German intelligence officials already knew Eichmann was living in Argentina. The card listed his alias there, or something close to it, and a contact who edited a well-known Nazi magazine in Buenos Aires, Der Weg.

West German authorities had claimed they had no clue where Eichmann went until the Israelis found him. Then in 2006 declassified C.I.A. documents showed they knew as early as 1956. Now it turns out they knew even earlier. Considering that Eichmann’s wife and children settled in Argentina in 1952 ”” living openly with Eichmann under their own names, in a house that was under his name ”” it seems remarkable today that authorities got away with claiming ignorance for so long.

Germans reacted to the Bild article with a familiar shake of the head that, here, implies not a lack of concern but stoic resignation. The bigger kerfuffle, though, has been around the more than 4,000 pages of undisclosed intelligence about Eichmann.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Europe, Germany, History

Korean Bible instructor held following China raid

Chinese police are holding a South Korean Bible instructor and his wife following a raid on an underground Protestant church, an activist group said Wednesday, as the government pressures Christians worshipping outside the Communist-controlled church.

The instructor, whose Chinese name was given as Jin Yongzhe, was detained Tuesday along with dozens of other Christians during a police assault on a three-floor church building in the central province of Henan’s Weishi county, the U.S.-based China Aid Association said.

The church building was searched and thousands of dollars worth of property seized during the raid, which the association said targeted a religious education seminar being held there.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Asia, China, Law & Legal Issues, Religion & Culture, South Korea

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O God our Father, who hast taught us that our citizenship is in heaven, and hast called us to tread a pilgrim’s path here on earth: Guide us, we pray thee, on our journey through this world to the Celestial City; defend us from the perils that await us in the way; give us grace to endure faithfully to the end; and at the last bring us to thy eternal joy; through the mercy of thy Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

–Frank Colquhoun (1909-1997)

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

And when …[Jesus] had ceased speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.” And when they had done this, they enclosed a great shoal of fish; and as their nets were breaking, they beckoned to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the catch of fish which they had taken; and so also were James and John, sons of Zeb’edee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; henceforth you will be catching men.”

–Luke 5:4-10

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Billionaire Investor Raj Rajaratnam Found Guilty in Insider Trading Case

Raj Rajaratnam, the billionaire investor who once ran one of the world’s largest hedge funds, was found guilty on Wednesday of fraud and conspiracy by a federal jury in Manhattan. He is the most prominent figure convicted in the government’s crackdown on insider trading on Wall Street.

Mr. Rajaratnam was convicted on all 14 counts.

Mr. Rajaratnam, dressed in a black suit, had no expression as the verdict was read in the overflowing courtroom.

His lawyer, John Dowd, said he would appeal.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Stock Market, The U.S. Government, Theology

ENS–National Cathedral re-envisions its 'ministry at the heart of the nation'

The mission statement harkens to the cathedral founders’ intent that it be the spiritual home for the United States. The vision outlined says the cathedral ought to be a “catalyst for spiritual harmony in our nation, renewal in the churches, reconciliation among faiths, and compassion in our world.”

The four goals call for the cathedral to be:

a sacred place, welcoming the country to pray, commemorate, celebrate, and mourn.
an historic landmark and national treasure symbolizing the role of faith in America.
a living, Christian community in the Episcopal tradition welcoming people of all faiths.
a leader in convening people of all faiths to examine and respond to important issues in the world.

The 44-page plan, which is being printed and readied for distribution, explains the mission, vision and goals in detail, and is based on interviews, workshops, analysis, and review. It is, the dean said, “the culmination of several years of thinking hard about our strategic future.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Episcopal Church (TEC), Parish Ministry