Daily Archives: June 4, 2011

Archbishop Rowan Williams–A Sermon for Ascension Day 2011

Jesus hasn’t just gone away. He has gone deeper into the heart of reality ”“ our reality and God’s. He has become far more than a visible friend and companion; he has shown himself to be the very centre of our life, the source of our loving energy in the world and the source of our prayerful, trustful waiting on God. He has made us able to be a new kind of human being, silently and patiently trusting God as a loving parent, actively and hopefully at work to make a difference in the world, to make the kind of difference love makes.

So if the world looks and feels like a world without God, the Christian doesn’t try to say, ”˜It’s not as bad as all that’, or seek to point to clear signs of God’s presence that make everything all right. The Christian will acknowledge that the situation is harsh, even apparently unhopeful ”“ but will dare to say that they are willing to bring hope by what they offer in terms of compassion and service. And their own willingness and capacity for this is nourished by the prayer that the Spirit of Jesus has made possible for them.

The friends of Jesus are called, in other words, to offer themselves as signs of God in the world ”“ to live in such a way that the underlying all-pervading energy of God begins to come through them and make a difference.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Archbishop of Canterbury, Ascension, Christology, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Theology

(NY Times On Religion) As Roman Catholic Schools Close in Major Cities, the Need Only Grows

Over the last half-century, the number of Catholic schools has fallen to 7,000 from about 13,000, and their enrollment to barely two million children from more than five million. A disproportionate share of the damage has come in big cities.

So when a landmark topples as Rice [High School in Harlem] did ”” and as Cardinal Dougherty High School did in Philadelphia last year, and as Daniel Murphy High School did in Los Angeles two years before that ”” it ought to provoke more than sentimentality or tears. It ought to sound an alarm about a slow-motion crisis in American education.

To grasp what is being lost, one needed only to look through the roster in the graduation program for Rice. With a student body that is 98 percent black or Hispanic, with 80 percent of its students requiring financial aid, virtually every graduating senior was bound for college: Penn, Cincinnati, Holy Cross, Fairfield, Iona. Four of the Rice men had received scholarships in excess of $150,000.

I absolutely love the picture–check it out and read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, City Government, Education, Other Churches, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

Top al Qaeda leader Ilyas Kashmiri killed in US Predator strike

The US has killed Ilyas Kashmiri, one of al Qaeda’s most dangerous military commanders and strategists, in a Predator airstrike yesterday in South Waziristan.

Kashmiri is said to be one of nine members of the al Qaeda-linked Harkat-ul Jihad Islami, or HUJI, who were killed in yesterday’s Predator airstrike that leveled a compound in the Wana area of South Waziristan. A Harkat-ul Jihad Islami spokesman told Dawn that Kashmiri was killed in the attack.

US intelligence officials contacted by The Long War Journal said that Kashmiri was indeed a target of the attack, but they could not confirm that he was killed.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, Defense, National Security, Military, Terrorism

(AP) Picky Baby Boomers warm up to online dating

Dating online the second time around ”“ after divorce or the death of a spouse ”“ isn’t always second nature among boomers, let alone people who are 65 and older, but neither is it all that scary.

Yet they often have unrealistic notions of how to hunt for love and companionship, said Pepper Schwartz, a sociology professor at the University of Washington in Seattle who is also a sex and relationship expert for the AARP and developer of an algorithm to make matches more meaningful on the dating site PerfectMatch.com.

“People 65 or older, they’re picky in a different way,” she said. “Young people tend to go for looks, period. Older people often have a little bit more leeway on what somebody looks like, but then they have all these other kinds of requirements that may or may not be realistic.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Blogging & the Internet, Men, Middle Age, Psychology, Women

Church Army Opens New Home in Sheffield

The last six months have seen the charity relocate north from its offices in London, and His Royal Highness’s visit on 2 June will mark a new chapter in its 129-year history.

During his visit His Royal Highness will tour the recently renovated building which has been transformed from the charity’s former training college into a multi-purpose centre for staff and the wider community. He will also plant a tree in the centre’s new garden and meet the Church Army team.

The £2m building project has seen a wide range of facilities added to the centre including a café, library, bookshop, chapel and 30-bed conference centre which are all open to the public. Church Army’s training department, research team and office staff will also be based there.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE)

(Local Paper) Regulators seize Atlantic Bank in Charleston

Speculation has swirled for months about whether Atlantic Bank would survive the fallout of the prolonged real estate downturn that began to take hold about five years ago.

The lender had been reeling from three back-to-back years of losses and was “critically undercapitalized,” federal regulators said in a statement Friday. Its 2011 first-quarter deficit totaled $4.4 million. The FDIC said Friday that Atlantic Bank was added to its “Problem Institution List” in February.

The lender began operating under a “cease-and-desist” supervisory order with the Office of Thrift Supervision in January after an examination last summer found “unsafe and unsound” practices.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, Economy, The Banking System/Sector, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, The U.S. Government

Ted Olsen–Recent statistics on Islam, Persecution and Megachurches

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Islam, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture

(LA Times) Imam preaches Islam with a distinct US style

At the pulpit of an inner-city Chicago mosque, the tall blond imam begins preaching in his customary fashion, touching on the Los Angeles Lakers victory the night before, his own gang involvement as a teenager, a TV soap opera and then the Day of Judgment.

“Yesterday we watched the best of seven. … Unfortunately we forget the big final; it’s like that show ‘One Life to Live,’ ” Imam Suhaib Webb says as sleepy boys and young men come to attention in the back rows. “There’s no overtime, bro.”

The sermon is typical of Webb, a charismatic Oklahoma-born convert to Islam with a growing following among American Muslims, especially the young. He sprinkles his public addresses with as many pop culture references as Quranic verses and sayings from the prophet. He says it helps him connect with his mainly U.S.-born flock.

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

(Irish Times) Dublin hosts first atheist congress

Up to 350 international delegates are expected to attend Ireland’s first World Atheist Convention in Dublin this weekend.

Organised by Atheist Ireland, the event, from Friday to Sunday, will also see the launch of a newly restructured umbrella group for atheists worldwide, Atheist Alliance International. Its first chairwoman will be Tanya Smith of the Atheist Foundation of Australia.

Delegates from the US, Europe, South America and Australasia will attend.

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Posted in Uncategorized

The Journal Online gives a Profile Article of the new Bishop Designate of Durham

Dr Welby said the death of Johanna, in a road accident in France in 1983 when she was just seven-months-old, had drawn his family closer to their faith.

“It was a very dark time for my wife Caroline and myself, but in a strange way it actually brought us closer to God,” he said.

After the tragedy, Dr Welby continued in the oil business and by 1987 had moved to the top of the oil finance industry, but chose to resign.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry

(Toronto Star) Canadian Anglican Diocese will not allow same-sex couple to tie the Knot

[Christopher] Papps and his partner, Chris Moret, 37, are gay. And, despite the diocese’s provisional authorization of same-sex blessings, they can’t be married in the chapel.

Unlike adjoining Trinity College, which is affiliated with the university, the chapel is the jurisdiction of the Anglican Diocese of Toronto. And it hasn’t yet been allowed to offer same-sex blessings.

“Regrettably from my standpoint, they can’t,” said Trinity’s chaplain, Rev. Andrea Budgey. “The inclusion of same-sex couples in the church is something that’s the subject of pretty much constant conversation . . . I’m one of the people in the Anglican Church who would very much welcome the full inclusion of gay and lesbian people and that’s why I’ve been part of this conversation for a long time.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)

Adoration Words for the Ascension

Thou art the King of glory, O Christ; thou art the everlasting Son of the Father.

When thou tookest upon thee to deliver man, thou didst not abhor the Virgin’s womb.

When thou hadst overcome the sharpness of death, thou didst open the kingdom of heaven to all believers.

Thou sittest at the right hand of God, in the glory of the Father.

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

…an argument arose among them as to which of them was the greatest. But when Jesus perceived the thought of their hearts, he took a child and put him by his side, and said to them, “Whoever receives this child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me; for he who is least among you all is the one who is great.”

–Luke 9:46-48

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Court Lets New York City Restrict Church Use of Schools

New York City may again block religious groups from using school facilities outside of regular school hours for “religious worship services,” a federal appeals court in Manhattan ruled on Thursday.

Deciding 2 to 1, a panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit said the city had “a strong basis to believe” that allowing the religious services to be conducted in schools could be seen as the kind of endorsement of religion that violated the First Amendment’s establishment clause.

“When worship services are performed in a place,” Judge Pierre N. Leval wrote for the majority, “the nature of the site changes. The site is no longer simply a room in a school being used temporarily for some activity.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, City Government, Education, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

A Haunting Graphic–The Average Duration Of Unemployment in the U.S.

Take a careful look–ugh.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, City Government, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, House of Representatives, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Psychology, Senate, State Government, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, The U.S. Government