Monthly Archives: March 2012

(Chicago Tribune) Black church leads fight against AIDS with HIV testing

It’s been three decades since HIV and AIDS invaded Chicago’s South Side and surrounded Bray Temple Christian Methodist Episcopal Church in Englewood. But it’s been less than three years since the little church on the corner of 73rd and Greenwood did anything to address the epidemic.

That’s when the Rev. Dorothy Williams arrived and made a change. As a female pastor in the black church, she already had confronted plenty of discouragement. But as a crusader who believes the church should work to stop the spread of HIV in the African-American community, she faced straight-up resistance.

With some trepidation, the elders at Bray have embraced her mission. The church offers periodic HIV testing, and some who have tested positive have sought the pastor’s advice on treatment.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Health & Medicine, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Theology

(CSM) Atheist and pro-Israel, Maikel Nabil tests free speech in Egypt

Maikel Nabil’s views are controversial in Egypt in almost every way ”“ his open atheism, his support for gay rights, and especially his support for Israel.

But it was his opposition to the military that made him the first Egyptian blogger to be imprisoned for his opinions after the uprising that overthrew former President Hosni Mubarak.

The rail-thin blogger, a pacifist, had become a thorn in the Egyptian Army’s side well before Egyptians took to the streets en masse last year by publicly refusing mandatory military service.

Read it all.

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

New Central Florida Episcopal bishop's debut: Marching for Trayvon

Two days after he was consecrated as bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Central Florida, Gregory Brewer was marching Monday with the crowd demanding justice for Trayvon Martin.

He was the only white clergyman to address the Sanford City Commission inside the Civic Center that evening, urging city leaders to address the concerns of the black community.

“I thought it was very courageous,” said Andy Searles, a pastor with Aloma United Methodist Church in Winter Park. “It would have been very easy for him to sit in his office and organize the paperwork on his desk, but he made a statement of what the church should be.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Police/Fire, Race/Race Relations, TEC Bishops, Violence

Today’s Grandmas may be different than you think

Dr. Georgia Witkin, author of the new book, “The Modern Grandparent’s Handbook: The Ultimate Guide to the New Rules of Grandparenting,” (New American Library, $15)…[says that] the average age for a first-time grandparent is 48….Whether they work or not, grandparents are busy, active people. They’re shaking their bodies in Zumba classes, running marathons, biking from the suburbs into the city and back, and chatting with friends and family, far and near, on Facebook.

And some grandmothers, like Gregory of Southfield, Mich., are even abandoning the traditional moniker for names that better fit their personalities and lifestyles, such as Grand, GiGi or Nana.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Aging / the Elderly, Children, Marriage & Family, Middle Age, Psychology

(Bloomberg) MasterCard Investigates Potential Breach of Account Data in U.S.

Data may have been targeted at a “U.S.-based entity,” and MasterCard’s own systems “have not been compromised in any manner,” the Purchase, New York-based company said today in an e-mailed statement. It didn’t specify how many accounts may have been affected.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Blogging & the Internet, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Law & Legal Issues, Police/Fire, Science & Technology

(LA Times) Tech firms' data gathering worries most Californians, poll finds

California’s high-tech firms make the world’s most popular smartphones, social networks and search engines, but there’s one asset they’re struggling to build: trust.

The vast majority of Californians surveyed in a statewide poll are worried about the data collected by Internet and smartphone companies, and most said they distrust even firms known for their ardent fans and tens of millions of daily users.

Many of those surveyed in the latest USC Dornsife/Times poll also said they were wary of firms collecting personal information without their knowledge and concerned that personal data could become public or be harvested to sell them products.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, --Social Networking, Blogging & the Internet, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Law & Legal Issues, Psychology, Science & Technology, The U.S. Government

John Donne for John Donne Day (3)

When all is done, the hell of hells, the torment of torments, is the everlasting absence of God, and the everlasting impossibility of returning to his presence…to fall out of the hands of the living God, is a horror beyond our expression, beyond our imagination…. What Tophet is not Paradise, what Brimstone is not Amber, what gnashing is not a comfort, what gnawing of the worme is not a tickling, what torment is not a marriage bed to this damnation, to be secluded eternally, eternally, eternally from the sight of God?

–From a sermon to the Earl of Carlisle in 1622

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Provinces, Church History, Church of England (CoE), Eschatology, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Theology

John Donne for John Donne Day (2)

I can bring it so neare; but onely the worthy hearer, and the worthy receiver, can call this Lord this Jesus, this Christ, Immanuel God with us; onely that virgin soule, devirginated in the blood of Adam but restored in the blood of the Lambe hath this Ecce, this testimony, this assurance, that God is with him; they that have this Ecce, this testimony, in a rectified conscience, are Godfathers to this child Jesus and may call him Immanuel God with us for as no man can deceive God, so God can deceive no man; God cannot live in the darke himself neither can he leave those who are his in the darke: If he be with thee he will make thee see that he is with thee and never goe out of thy sight, till he have brought thee, where thou canst never goe out of his.

–John Donne (1572-1631), Preached at St. Pauls, upon Christmas Day, in the Evening, 1624

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Provinces, Christology, Church History, Church of England (CoE), Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Theology

John Donne's Batter My Heart to Begin his Feast Day

Batter my heart, three-person’d God, for you
As yet but knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend;
That I may rise and stand, o’erthrow me, and bend
Your force to break, blow, burn, and make me new.
I, like an usurp’d town to’another due,
Labor to’admit you, but oh, to no end;
Reason, your viceroy in me, me should defend,
But is captiv’d, and proves weak or untrue.
Yet dearly’I love you, and would be lov’d fain,
But am betroth’d unto your enemy;
Divorce me,’untie or break that knot again,
Take me to you, imprison me, for I,
Except you’enthrall me, never shall be free,
Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.

–Holy Sonnet XIV

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Church History, Church of England (CoE), Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Poetry & Literature

A Prayer for the Feast Day of John Donne

Almighty God, the root and fountain of all being: Open our eyes to see, with thy servant John Donne, that whatsoever hath any being is a mirror in which we may behold thee; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Church History, Church of England (CoE), Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Poetry & Literature, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Holy Father, who hast redeemed us with the precious blood of thy dear Son: Keep us, we beseech thee, steadfast in faith, and enable us no longer to live unto ourselves, but unto him who died for us and rose again, even the same Jesus Christ our Lord.

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

Since we have the same spirit of faith as he had who wrote, “I believed, and so I spoke,” we too believe, and so we speak, knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God. So we do not lose heart. Though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed every day. For this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, because we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen; for the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

–2 Corinthians 4:13-18

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

William Bennett–Rush to judgment in Trayvon Martin case

At first, it was thought that Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch captain, was the aggressor because he followed Martin, got into a physical scuffle with him and shot him. But then, some witnesses claim that Martin attacked Zimmerman first, and the initial police report said that Zimmerman had blood on his nose and the back of his head after the incident. However, surveillance video footage that surfaced from the police station is leading to questions about the extent of Zimmerman’s injuries.

To make matters more complex, we found out that in the past several months, Martin was suspended from school three times, once for the possession of drug paraphernalia.

The Miami Herald reported that in the gated community in which Zimmerman patrolled, there were eight burglaries, nine thefts and one shooting in the past year.

Read it all.

I will take comments on this submitted by email only to at KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com.

Posted in Uncategorized

Bishop T.D. Jakes–The Curious Case of Trayvon Martin

[This case]…is evolving into a case of two justices: separate and, like Jim Crow laws, far from equal.

From the apparent racial profiling, overt violation of neighborhood watch protocols and real-time police directives, to accusations of tampered evidence, to the failure to undertake reasonable measures afforded by the law, I count a multitude glaring discrepancies. How did “The System” fail to ensure that this boy’s life was not inconsequential?

As a citizen, I understand that no case is all black or all white, despite appearances to the contrary. I realize that justice is fraught with nuances, not the very least of which is Florida’s “stand your ground” law, which was designed to protect threatened parties, and in all irony of all ironies appears to be the very thing keeping the instigator out of prison, in complete contrast to the spirit of the controversial pro-gun law.

Read it all.

I will take comments on this submitted by email only to at KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Law & Legal Issues, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Police/Fire, Race/Race Relations, Religion & Culture, Violence

Diocese of Pennsylvania's Trinity Episcopal Church, Buckingham–Some of its Recent Statistics

Click here to see a pictorial representation of some of the statistics for the parish mentioned in the previous posting.

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