Daily Archives: June 8, 2011

Diocese of San Joaquin Authorizes Blessings of Same Sex Civil Marriages

Effective on Pentecost, June 12, 2011, clergy in the Diocese of San Joaquin may perform blessings of same gender civil marriages, domestic partnerships, and relationships which are lifelong committed relationships characterized by “fidelity, monogamy, mutual affection and respect, careful, honest communication, and the holy love which enables those in such relationships to see in each other the image of God.” Said relationships shall be called “Sacred Unions” for purposes of the blessing and recognition of these relationships. A liturgy authorized for use within the Diocese will be published separately.

It must also be recognized that the Canons of the Church currently limit marriages to opposite sex couples, as does California law. Accordingly, until such time as both the Canons and state law permit the solemnization of the marriage of a same gender couple, and specific authorization of the bishop is given, no priest of this Diocese shall
attempt to solemnize a marriage between two persons of the same gender.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Episcopal Church (TEC), Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Bishops

Nominee Tells Senate Panel Afghan War Is Not Hopeless

President Obama’s nominee for ambassador to Afghanistan offered an unvarnished assessment on Wednesday of the nearly decade-old war, but he told a skeptical Senate committee that the United States could not afford to walk away anytime soon.

In his confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Ryan C. Crocker, the nominee, said that the United States had abandoned Afghanistan once before, after its war with the Soviet Union in 1989, with “disastrous consequences” ”” the rise of the Taliban. “We cannot afford to do so again,” Mr. Crocker said.

Mr. Crocker nonetheless acknowledged a panoply of problems facing Afghanistan, including government corruption that he said would become “a second insurgency” if left unchecked. He said the United States’s goal in Afghanistan was merely to help the Afghans create a “good-enough government,” not necessarily a model democracy. While progress has been hard, he said, the situation was not hopeless.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Afghanistan, America/U.S.A., Asia, Defense, National Security, Military, Foreign Relations, Pakistan, War in Afghanistan

(RNS) Egyptians Want Advice, Not Rule, of Clerics

Four months after the fall of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, a new Gallup survey says a majority of Egyptians want religious leaders to advise the nation’s officials but they do not want a theocracy.

About seven in 10 Egyptians said clerics should advise national leaders on legislation. In comparison, 14 percent said religious leaders should have full authority in creating laws and 9 percent said they should have no authority.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Egypt, Middle East, Religion & Culture

(Reuters) France, Germany at odds over Greek debt restructuring

France remains steadfast in its opposition to a restructuring of Greece’s debt under any terms, the government’s spokesman said on Wednesday, showing a divergence of opinion with Berlin.

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble raised the prospect of a restructuring, saying in a letter to EU partners this week that private bondholders should bear some of the burden of a debt relief deal, preferably via a bond swap and a rescheduling.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --European Sovereign Debt Crisis of 2010, Currency Markets, Economy, Euro, Europe, European Central Bank, France, Germany

(The Age) Anglican Church seeks converts at a 'sinema' near you

The Anglican Church is making a radical bid for new recruits by holding Sunday services in a city cinema.

Evangelical Christian churches started the trend to hold services at movie theatres at Chadstone, Northland and Eastland.

And now a mainstream church is ”bringing the church to the people” by offering teenagers and young adults a Sunday morning choice – Hangover 2 or the word of God at Hoyts in Melbourne Central.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican Provinces, Australia / NZ, Evangelism and Church Growth, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Young Adults

Anglican Chaplain Denies Problem of Islamic Extremism on University Campuses

An Anglican chaplain at a British university has rebutted claims that universities throughout the U.K. are a breeding ground for extremist recruitment, and that universities are not doing enough to tackle the problem.

Jeremy Clines who is the Anglican chaplain at the University of Sheffield has said that Islamic extremists were not the problem for universities, but rather government spending cuts were of greater concern.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Education, England / UK, Islam, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Faiths, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

Robert J. Samuelson–How NOT to control health spending

[What about]…the government’s Medicare savings? CMS actuaries offered three estimates for a three-year period: $170 million, $510 million and $960 million (the higher the estimate, the less likely it was to occur). Even the highest figure is only five-one-hundredths of 1 percent of the $1.842 trillion of Medicare’s estimated spending from 2012 to 2014. If CMS modifies its rules to make ACOs more attractive to hospitals and doctors, they would probably keep more of the savings ”” and Medicare less.

It’s a good bet that what’s true of ACOs also applies to other cost-cutting ideas from the Obama administration, such as “bundled payments” and “comparative effectiveness research.” The concepts seem smart, but they’re likely to suffer from micromanagement. They create jobs for lawyers and health-care “experts.” They sound impressive in speeches and op-ed pieces. But they don’t much “bend the cost curve,” and they mislead the public by suggesting that health spending is being controlled. It isn’t.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, --The 2009 American Health Care Reform Debate, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Health & Medicine, Politics in General, The U.S. Government

(Washington Post) Report: Afghan nation-building effort in peril

The hugely expensive U.S. attempt at nation-building in Afghanistan has had only limited success and may not survive an American withdrawal, according to the findings of a two-year congressional investigation to be released Wednesday.

The report calls on the administration to rethink urgently its assistance programs as President Obama prepares to begin drawing down the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan this summer.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Afghanistan, America/U.S.A., Asia, Defense, National Security, Military, Foreign Relations, Pakistan, Politics in General, War in Afghanistan

WSJ Front Page–Federal Reserve Sees the Recovery Lagging

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke offered a relatively glum view of the U.S. economy, acknowledging that it is growing more slowly than the Fed had expected, but predicted improvement later this year.

“The U.S. economy is recovering from both the worst financial crisis and the most severe housing bust since the Great Depression, and it faces additional headwinds ranging from the effects of the Japanese disaster to global pressures in commodity markets,” Mr. Bernanke said Tuesday, seeking””as he has before””to moderate expectations that the central bank can solve the economy’s lingering problems on its own. “In this context, monetary policy cannot be a panacea.”

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, Federal Reserve, Politics in General, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, The U.S. Government

A Deer in the Backyard!

Is there any better way to start the day?

Posted in * General Interest, Animals

Thomas Rosica–Viewing the Church Through the Lens of the Holy Spirit

What is the deepest and surest assurance and intimation that the Holy Spirit is present in our world and Church today? The answer is: joy. If there is joy present you can bet that the Holy Spirit has something to do with this precious gift.

St. Augustine who was the most musically passionate of the Fathers of the Church memorably evokes the experience of this joy with these words: “Whenever people must labor hard they begin with songs whose words express their joy. But when joy brims over and words are not enough they abandon even this coherence and give themselves to the sheer sound of singing.

“What is this jubilation? What is this exultant song? It is the melody that means our hearts are bursting with feelings that cannot express themselves. And to whom does this jubilation most surely belong? Truly to God who is unutterable, if words will not come and may not remain silent what else can you do but let the melody soar? This is the song of the Holy Spirit.”

On this great feast of the birth of the Church, let us ponder anew the whole reality of the Church, from the wide-angle view of its vastness and beauty, to the sometimes turbulent and complex surface, zooming in finally on hope, one of the deepest manifestations of the Spirit alive in the Church. In doing so, we can marvel once again at the mercy and generosity of God and give thanks to the Lord who continues to call us to fidelity and joy.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Ecclesiology, Other Churches, Pastoral Theology, Pentecost, Roman Catholic, Theology, Theology: Holy Spirit (Pneumatology)

A Prayer for the Provisional Feast Day of Roland Allen

Almighty God, by whose Spirit the Scriptures were opened to thy servant Roland Allen, so that he might lead many to know, live and proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ: Give us grace to follow his example, that the variety of those to whom we reach out in love may receive thy saving Word and witness in their own languages and cultures to thy glorious Name; through Jesus Christ, thy Word made flesh, who livest and reignest with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Provinces, Church History, Church of England (CoE), Missions, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Grant, O heavenly Father, that as we have each received any gift of thine entrusted to us, so we may minister the same one to another, as good stewards of thy manifold grace; that thy holy name may in all things be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever.

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

The seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!” And he said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I have given you authority to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy; and nothing shall hurt you. Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you; but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”

–Luke 10:17-20

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(CNS) Maryland Episcopal community says faith journey led to Catholic Church

In the fall of 2009, Pope Benedict XVI issued an apostolic constitution called “Anglicanorum coetibus” to provide a means for entire Anglican parishes or groups to become Catholic while retaining some of their Anglican heritage and liturgical practice.

That document “opened up a door that had previously been closed,” said the Rev. Mark Lewis, rector of St. Luke Episcopal Parish in Bladensburg. At that same time, he had been studying a book on Catholicism and Anglicanism.

After a long period of discernment, the Maryland congregation announced June 6 that it would seek entry into the Catholic Church.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, Ecclesiology, Ecumenical Relations, Episcopal Church (TEC), Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic, TEC Conflicts, TEC Departing Parishes, Theology