Daily Archives: October 11, 2011

(USA Today) Tom Krattenmaker–Holy texts become unholy weapons

A new push is under way to get people reading the Bible ”” a sensible antidote to Americans’ well-documented biblical illiteracy. Behind the drive are influential Texas pastors Randy Frazee and Max Lucado, who both have new books out to guide people through the Scriptures. As capable as these read-your-Bible champions are, however, theirs is not the most straightforward task.

For starters, they are fighting against a social current that is making book-reading of any sort a harder sell. But perhaps even more significant are the disturbing discoveries awaiting readers who are lured back to the “the good book” ”” content that might come as an unpleasant surprise to Christians convinced it’s only certain other religions that must account for violence in their sacred texts.

As becomes unavoidably clear from a stroll through the Old Testament, the Bible can be gruesome, too.

Read it all.

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

Drivers paying more tolls to use roads, bridges

The toll hikes are more than chump change: Cash tolls on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge jumped to $4 from $2.50, and to $12 from $8 on all the New York-New Jersey Hudson River crossings.

The trend reflects tough economic times and growing uncertainty in state capitols about the future of federal road money. Congress has repeatedly delayed approval of a multiyear funding bill for highway projects.

The tolling also highlights the intensifying national debate over how the USA should pay to maintain and improve highways, bridges and tunnels ”” the federal fuel tax, tolls or something else, such as public-private partnerships. The federal gas tax, 18.4 cents a gallon, has not been raised since 1993; more fuel-efficient vehicles have worsened the funding shortage.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, City Government, Economy, Personal Finance, Politics in General, State Government, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, Travel

(LA Times) Student Morticians: Serving life at the altar of death

[Amber Carvaly] listened to his stories about going to the morgue, setting up for a service, picking up the deceased ”” babies from families, husbands from wives ”” and she was amazed that someone her age could do this work.

Classes started in August and are designed to give students an edge when they take the state and national licensing exams. If Carvaly graduates in three semesters, she will have paid a little more than $5,000 to learn how to embalm and to arrange a funeral. Some have called the profession “the dismal trade,” but she sees nothing dismal about it.

“We can’t appreciate life without appreciating death,” she says. “I want to help people realize this.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Death / Burial / Funerals, Education, Parish Ministry, Young Adults

(All Africa) Anglican Head Admits problem with Same Sex Unions Issue

Dr Williams admitted at a Press conference after meeting President Mugabe that homosexuality was indeed a problem within the church.

He said not everybody accepted it, but the homosexuals “deserved dignity and respect”.

“The church does not allow same sex relationships and that is common ground across the Anglicans,” he said.

“On the practice of homosexuality by bishops in the US and Canada, these are provinces, which do not represent the general line.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Archbishop of Canterbury, Ethics / Moral Theology, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology, Zimbabwe

A (London) Times article on Kelvin Holdsworth's Sermon–Catholic views ”˜unpleasant’

A leading cleric has launched a withering attack on the Catholic leaders of a campaign against gay marriage, labelling them “out of touch, arrogant, conceited and rude” and warning that they risk damaging the reputation of the wider Christian community.

In a sermon that exposed the gap between liberal and traditional opinion, the Very Reverend Kelvin Holdsworth, Provost of the Episcopal Cathedral Church of St Mary the Virgin, Glasgow, called the views of senior Catholics on gay marriage “unpleasant and ill-judged”. They “embarrassed” him.

[The] Rev Holdsworth was preaching a month after the Scottish government launched its consultation on same-sex marriages. Nicola Sturgeon, Deputy First Minister, said that the Government tended towards the opinion that they should be introduced.

Read it all (requires subscription).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Preaching / Homiletics, Roman Catholic, Scotland, Scottish Episcopal Church, Theology

Kelvin Holdsworth's Sermon Criticizing the Scottish R.C. Church's Response to Same Sex Marriage

Kelvin Holdsworth is the Provost of the Episcopal Cathedral Church of St Mary the Virgin in Glasgow.

You can watch and listen to the sermon here under the date of 9 October 2011 (it lasts some 12 minutes). His text is “The Parable of the Wedding Banquet” which is in Matthew 22:1-14.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, England / UK, Law & Legal Issues, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Politics in General, Preaching / Homiletics, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Scotland, Scottish Episcopal Church

(Zenit) Glasgow Archbishop Faults Scotland’s same-sex ”˜marriage’ move

An ideology that sees any structure or ethical system as “inimical to human freedom” is at the root of Scotland’s move toward same-sex “marriage,” according to the archbishop of Glasgow.

In a statement released Sunday, Archbishop Mario Conti explained the Church’s opposition to same-sex “marriage.” His statement is part of a national marriage-defense campaign launched across Scotland’s 500 Catholic parishes.

The Scottish government is holding a consultation on whether same-sex “marriage” should be introduced.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, England / UK, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Other Churches, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Scotland, Sexuality

Charleston, South Carolina, named America's top tourist destination by Conde Nast

Mayor Joe Riley was pleased the city he’s helmed since 1975 is now the No. 1 tourist destination in America.

“We love to share our extensive heritage and tradition of hospitality,” Riley said in a prepared statement. “It is thrilling to see that the visitors who come here not only enjoy what they see and experience, they also find an open welcome from the city. Great food and lovely hotels add much to the enjoyment of our guests who come either for a day or a week. We look forward to the opportunity to show visitors what makes Charleston a great place to visit.”

Voters annually evaluate cities based on six categories: atmosphere/ambience, culture/sites, friendliness, lodging, restaurants and shopping. The city with the highest composite appeal wins top honors.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, City Government, Economy, Politics in General, Travel

(NC Register) Large Group of Episcopalians Received Into the [Roman Catholic] Church

As people filed into the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception yesterday, Mark Lewis was wearing a layman’s tie rather than the clerical collar he had worn for years.

Accompanied by his wife, daughter and grandson, Lewis was preparing to lead his flock at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in suburban Maryland into full communion with the Catholic Church.

Lewis is the former rector of St. Luke’s, the first Episcopal church in the Washington metropolitan area and the second in Maryland to come into the Church under provisions created for Episcopalians and Anglicans by Pope Benedict XVI.

Read it all.

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

(AP) South Carolina Clergy meet today to discuss allegations about Episcopal bishop

Clergy of the Diocese of South Carolina are meeting [today] to discuss an Episcopal Church investigation of allegations against the local bishop.

Read it all.

Please pray for our meeting today–thanks; KSH.

Update: I see Saint Michael’s, Charleston, has called for a special parish meeting on all these matters this coming Sunday

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * South Carolina, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Spirituality/Prayer, TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: South Carolina, TEC Polity & Canons

New Moderator and Deputy Moderator elected for the Church of North India

The delegates of the 14th Ordinary Synod have elected The Most Revd. Dr. Philip P. Marandih, Bishop of the Diocese of Patna, as the Moderator and The Rt. Rev. Pradeep Kumar Samantaroy, Bishop of the Diocese of Amritsar, as the Deputy Moderator of the Church of North India for the next triennium.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Asia, India, Other Churches

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Philip the Deacon

Holy God, no one is excluded from thy love; and thy truth transformeth the minds of all who seek thee: As thy servant Philip was led to embrace the fullness of thy salvation and to bring the stranger to Baptism, so grant unto us all the grace to be heralds of the Gospel, proclaiming thy love in Jesus Christ our Savior, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Church History, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Give unto us, O Lord our God, the spirit of courage. Let no shadow oppress our spirit, lest our gloom should darken the light by which others have to live. Remove from our inmost souls all fear and distrust, and fill us daily more completely with thy love and power; through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Bible Readings

“Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. Beware of men; for they will deliver you up to councils, and flog you in their synagogues, and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear testimony before them and the Gentiles. When they deliver you up, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say; for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.

–Matthew 10:16-20

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

David Briggs on Clergy, Pensions, retirement, the Economy and the Church

Like their secular counterparts, many clergy who devoted their attention to less temporal matters than financial planning now find themselves amid shrinking church budgets and a poor economy being forced to work beyond traditional retirement ages.

It is an especially critical issue in smaller churches that still do not set aside money for clergy retirement. In a 2008 study of Church of Christ clergy in Texas, just a quarter of respondents said they had plans to fully retire.

But it is also a burden for larger, mainline Protestant denominations. As memberships shrink and many older clergy find it financially untenable to retire, even fewer younger clergy are able to find work.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Aging / the Elderly, Credit Markets, Economy, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pensions, Personal Finance, Stewardship, Stock Market, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--