Daily Archives: September 9, 2011

Tim Townsend–Can We Forgive?

September 11, 2001, was chaos, sinister dust, mangled hunks of machinery, and primeval noises that sounded as if they came from the fiery, violent birth of the planet. That’s what made the morning scary. It was the jumpers who gave the day its humanity.

From the ground, it was impossible to imagine the hell going on inside those skyscrapers-turned-ovens. But when people appeared in the windows””91 stories high, with black smoke licking up into the air behind them””suddenly the enormity of the morning became clear. In the final seconds of life, by holding hands, a simple act of love, they denied evil.

Still, actual forgiveness””even for the most devout among us””remains elusive. “Some people say, ‘I forgive them,’ and they say it so quickly,” Fr. [Patrick] Ryan observed. “I don’t know that I can say it so quickly.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Theology

(Church Times) Schools are defying law on Christian worship, survey says

The place of Christianity in school assemblies was questioned this week after a survey for BBC Local Radio faith programmes suggested that the law requiring schools to provide “broadly Christian” collective wor­ship was being widely ignored. The survey also suggested that 60 per cent of the general public was not in favour of enforcing the law, the BBC says.

The suggestions were based on tele­phone interviews in July with 1743 adults, 500 of whom were parents of school-age children, by ComRes, a polling organisation. The interviews showed that more than half of those over 65, but only three in ten of the 18-24 age group, favoured enforce­ment.

The chairman of ComRes, Andrew Hawkins, said that the poll told a story of declining support for Christian worship in schools, with only lukewarm support for the law. “The key question for the future is whether younger people will become more supportive of collective wor­ship as they age, or whether this marks a generational change, and therefore further decline in support over the coming years.”

Read it all

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Education, England / UK, Law & Legal Issues, Religion & Culture

(NY Times) Omitting Clergy at 9/11 Ceremony Prompts Protest

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has come under attack by some religious and political leaders for not including clergy members as speakers at Sunday’s official ceremony at ground zero on the 10th anniversary of the attacks.

Richard D. Land, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, which is the public policy arm of the Southern Baptist Convention, said in an interview that the planned ceremony only proved that New York was the “epicenter of secularism,” out of step with the rest of America.

“We’re not France,” he said. “Mr. Bloomberg is pretending we’re a secular society, and we are not.”

Read it all

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, City Government, History, Inter-Faith Relations, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Other Faiths, Parish Ministry, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

The Vice Provost of Port Elizabeth Cathedral (South Africa) on the visit of TEC's Presiding Bishop

The arrival of a foreign dignitaries to our shores is usually preceded by a fanfare and in some cases a carefully worded announcement full of diplomatic ”˜flourishes’ to allay any misgivings the locals may have about hidden agendas and territorial posturing by the said visitor. It was thus with interest that I read the syrupy bulletin issued to inform us that Katherine Jefferts-Schori, leader of a notorious North American brand of Anglicanism was invited to address the Synod of Bishops of our church later this month. This particular brand is not only increasingly apostate, it is both irrelevant to Africa and impotent in the face of the challenges the African church faces. Eager to cement relationship with the Anglican leadership in Southern Africa, and in the face of very severe objections, these false prophets are taking full advantage of the opportunity to distribute largesse and sow their teachings….

Read it all

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Church of Southern Africa, Anglican Provinces, Episcopal Church (TEC), Globalization, Presiding Bishop, Theology

(RNS) Interfaith Worship Doubled since 9/11, but Remains Low

Interfaith worship services have doubled in the decade since the 9/11 attacks, according to a new study released Wednesday (Sept. 7), even as more than seven in 10 U.S. congregations do not associate with other faiths.

The survey by an interfaith group of researchers found that about 14 percent of U.S. congregations surveyed in 2010 engaged in a joint religious celebration with another faith tradition, up from 6.8 percent in 2000.

Interfaith community service grew nearly threefold, with 20.4 percent of congregations reporting participation in 2010, up from 7.7 percent in 2000, according to the Cooperative Congregations Studies Partnership.

Read it all

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, History, Inter-Faith Relations, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Religion & Culture, Terrorism

From the Email Bag

Dear Kendall,

I have been appreciating your website “TitusOneNine” for almost two years now and I thought it was time to send you a brief note of gratitude for your service. I am.. [an] Anglican priest in the diocese of.. [ ] and someone pointed me to your website shortly after we [arrived in our current locale]… while I was discerning my call to the priesthood. Anyway, I normally read your site once a day and find it most helpful….

….I won’t bore you with too many other details of my life. Again, I appreciate your website. Every blessing upon you in Christ for your continued service.

With much gratitude,…

[signed]

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Blogging & the Internet

Poetry for a Friday– Benjamin Myers' "On Taking Communion with My Students"

Let greasy spikes be caught in halos
thrown from chapel windows
and the lazy shuffle of saints
trace the body of Christ down the chapel alley.

Let this one,
paper late,
eyes avoiding mine
like two blackbirds in sudden flight,
receive.

And let this one,
absent a week
only to resurface
as the sinking vessel rises
one last time from ocean’s deep midnight,
also receive.

Let greasy spikes be caught in halos
thrown from chapel windows
and the lazy shuffle of saints
trace the body of Christ down the chapel alley.

Let this one,
paper late,
eyes avoiding mine
like two blackbirds in sudden flight,
receive.

And let this one,
absent a week
only to resurface
as the sinking vessel rises
one last time from ocean’s deep midnight,
also receive.

–Benjamin Myers, Elegy for Trains (Bellingham: Village Books Press, 2010) [You may find further information about the book here if you are interested–KSH]

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Education, Eucharist, Poetry & Literature, Religion & Culture, Sacramental Theology, Theology, Young Adults

The American Flag Outside the New York Stock Exchange this Morning for 9/11

Check it out.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Economy, History, Stock Market, Terrorism

(SMH) Simon Smart on Robert Putnam and David Campbell's Findings–Believers are nicer

Described by London’s Sunday Times as the most influential academic in the world today, Putnam is not a religious believer. Best known for Bowling Alone, the book that made ”social capital” a key indicator of a healthy society, Putnam, with his co-author David Campbell (a Mormon), has waded into the debate about religion in the public square with his latest offering, American Grace: How Religion Unites and Divides Us. The book emerges out of two massive and comprehensive surveys into religion and public life in America.

Their most conspicuously controversial finding is that religious people make better citizens and neighbours. Putnam and Campbell write that ”for the most part, the evidence we review suggests that religiously observant Americans are more civic, and in some respects simply ‘nicer'”.

Read it all.

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

(Telegraph) Germany pushes Greece to the brink in dangerous brinkmanship

Harvinder Sian from RBS said the sovereign humiliation of Greece by EU creditor states smacks of colonialism and can expect to meet fierce resistance. It may be tempting for Greece to precipitate a “hard default” before the second rescue package comes into force and switches a large stock of debt contracts from Greek law to English law, he said.

It is not clear who is in the stronger position in the latest round of brinkmanship between Greece and the German bloc. If pushed too far, Greece can set off a powderkeg. The International Monetary Fund says European banks are highly vulnerable and need to raise their capital by €200bn. Many of the weakest are in Germany.

The Greek crisis has spilled over into Cyprus, raising the risk that a fourth country will soon need an EU bail-out….

Read it all

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --European Sovereign Debt Crisis of 2010, Credit Markets, Currency Markets, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Euro, Europe, European Central Bank, Foreign Relations, Germany, Greece, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, The Banking System/Sector, Theology

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Constance and her Companions

We give thee thanks and praise, O God of compassion, for the heroic witness of Constance and her companions, who, in a time of plague and pestilence, were steadfast in their care for the sick and the dying, and loved not their own lives, even unto death. Inspire in us a like love and commitment to those in need, following the example of our Savior Jesus Christ; who with thee and the Holy Spirit liveth and reigneth, one God, now and for ever.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Church History, Spirituality/Prayer, Women

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Almighty God, whose loving hand hath given us all that we possess: Grant us grace that we may honour thee with our substance, and, remembering the account which we must one day give, may be faithful stewards of thy bounty; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

–BCP

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Parish Ministry, Spirituality/Prayer, Stewardship

From the Morning Bible Readings

Eli’jah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, to whom the word of the LORD came, saying, “Israel shall be your name”; and with the stones he built an altar in the name of the LORD. And he made a trench about the altar, as great as would contain two measures of seed. And he put the wood in order, and cut the bull in pieces and laid it on the wood. And he said, “Fill four jars with water, and pour it on the burnt offering, and on the wood.” And he said, “Do it a second time”; and they did it a second time. And he said, “Do it a third time”; and they did it a third time. And the water ran round about the altar, and filled the trench also with water. And at the time of the offering of the oblation, Eli’jah the prophet came near and said, “O LORD, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word. Answer me, O LORD, answer me, that this people may know that thou, O LORD, art God, and that thou hast turned their hearts back.” Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt offering, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.

–1 Kings 18:31-38

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

U.S. sees credible but unconfirmed terrorism threat for 9/11 10th anniversary

Read it all.

Posted in Uncategorized

President Obama's jobs speech to Congress: The full text

Please note that any comments not on the actual content of the speech will not be retained–thank you–KSH.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama