Daily Archives: May 20, 2012

Mormons, Catholics and Episcopalians see growth in Charleston County

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints acquired more members than other denominations in Charleston County from 2000 to 2010, a group tracking such information says. The number of members increased by 2,697.

Catholics saw the county’s second largest increase with 2,231 and Episcopalians were third with 2,141, according to the 2010 U.S. Religion Census recently released by the Association of Religion Data Archives….

“In the last 10 years, we have made a commitment to grow our parishes, seeking to engage the culture while holding faithfully to the gospel of Jesus Christ,” [South Carolina Bishop Mark] Lawrence says. “We have put special emphasis on growing churches, engaging in youth and young adult ministries and reaching families.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops, TEC Data

In New York, St. Mark’s church celebrates its beginnings 175 Years Earlier

On May 8, 1837 ”“ 175 years ago — St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Penn Yan was officially incorporated under the laws of the State of New York.

The parish celebrated this historic event on the weekend May 5-6, beginning with a concert on Saturday evening featuring Mitzie Collins and Striking Strings Hammered Dulcimer Ensemble from Rochester, as well as St. Mark’s singers Chris Holder, Craig Sandberg, and Deb Henderson.

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

(Guardian) Wadah Khanfar–These are crucial times in Egypt's transition to democracy

Ultimately, Moussa may win more votes than any other candidate in the first round; but he is not expected to win in the second round. It is highly unlikely that those who vote for Abul-Futoh and Mursi in the first round will vote for Moussa in the second. Instead, the Islamists voters would unite behind a single candidate who is recognisably Islamist, whether he is Mursi or Abul-Futoh.

Thus, it appears the next president of Egypt would be an Islamist. That will ensure a break from the past. Moreover, it will safeguard the transition toward democracy. However, if Moussa were to be elected, the revolutionary forces would suffer a huge setback and relations between the presidency and the parliament could become tense. Not only this, the army would continue to predominate in one form or another. That may embroil Egypt in disputes and divert it from the transition toward democracy.

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

(CDN) Strife in Sudan stretches into several regions

Security agents in Sudan’s South Darfur state have closed the offices of the Sudan Council of Churches (SCC) and relief group Sudan Aid in the state’s capital, Nyala.

Agents from the Sudanese National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) arrived at the organizations’ compound in Nyala, a city of some 550,000 people, at 8 a.m. on April 22. They ordered SCC staff members to hand over keys to the offices and vehicles and, without explanation, ordered them to leave immediately, an SCC staff worker told Compass Direct News by phone.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --North Sudan, --South Sudan, Africa, Politics in General, Sudan, Violence

Board suspends Toronto Islamic school’s operating permit after row over anti-Jewish curriculum

The school said in a statement Thursday morning it was disappointed by the decision. “Our curriculum is not intended to promote hatred towards any individual or group of people; rather, the children are taught to respect and value other faiths and beliefs, and to uphold Canada’s basic values of decency and tolerance.”

But the school’s curriculum, which it has now taken off its website, referred to “crafty,” “treacherous” Jews and contrasted Islam with “the Jews and the Nazis.” The passages were from two books published by Iranian foundations.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Canada, Education, Law & Legal Issues, Religion & Culture

(NPR) 150 Years Of 'Taps'

This Saturday, 200 buglers will assemble at Arlington National Cemetery to begin playing “Taps,” a call written 150 years ago this year.

Retired Air Force Master Sgt. Jari Villanueva, a bugle player, says he started out as a Boy Scout bugler at about age 12. He went on to study trumpet at the Peabody Conservatory before being accepted into the United States Air Force Band ”” where one of his duties over the next 23 years was to sound that call at Arlington National Cemetery.

The audio on this is fantastic and not to be missed (7 1/3 minutes).

Update: you can find a picture of Master Sgt. Jari Villanueva there.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Death / Burial / Funerals, Defense, National Security, Military, History, Music, Parish Ministry

Bishop Michael Fape expresses concern over state of the nation in Nigeria

The cleric noted that the all social vices confronting the country had continued to increase on a daily basis, despite several calls to governments at all levels to checkmate those problems.

The Bishop said, “ As Nigerians, we have no other country than this one. Therefore, we must make it as Nehemiah to seek the welfare of this nation. While so many social evils have been identified in the past year in our charge, there seems not to be respite yet for Nigerians.

“Kidnapping is still in place, the power sector is still in comatose, and corruption has become an established evil staring at us in the face as a nation in all the three tiers of government.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anglican Provinces, Church of Nigeria, Ethics / Moral Theology, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Politics in General, Preaching / Homiletics, Religion & Culture, Theology

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O Lord Jesus Christ, who after thy resurrection didst manifestly appear to thine apostles, and in their sight didst ascend into heaven to prepare a place for us: Grant that, being risen with thee, we may lift up our hearts continually to seek thee where thou art, and never cease to serve thee faithfully here on earth; until at last, when thou comest again, thou shalt receive us unto thyself; who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end.

–Frederick B. Macnutt

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

Then the LORD said, “I have seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters; I know their sufferings, and I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Per’izzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. And now, behold, the cry of the people of Israel has come to me, and I have seen the oppression with which the Egyptians oppress them. Come, I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring forth my people, the sons of Israel, out of Egypt.”

–Exodus 3:8-10

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Saturday Mental Health Break–Learning to Haggle from Monty Python

Watch it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * General Interest, Consumer/consumer spending, Economy, Humor / Trivia, Movies & Television

Kentucky Derby Winner I'll Have Another Wins The Preakness Stakes

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, Animals, Sports

Colin Powell in Parade Magazine on a Lesson learned as a Parish Warden

Many years ago I was the warden””the senior lay­person””of a small suburban Episcopal church in northern Virginia. During that time, the bishop assigned to our parish an elderly priest, in some kind of distress and in need of a parish, to serve as an assistant pastor. I never knew the ­nature of his problem. We just welcomed him into the church, treated him as one of us, and ministered to him, just as we ministered to one another. He was with us for a year. On his last Sunday, he was assigned the ­sermon. As he finished, he looked out over the congregation and with a smile on his face quietly concluded, “Always show more kindness than seems necessary, ­because the person receiving it needs it more than you will ever know.” That sentence hit me with a special force that has remained with me for four ­decades. His lesson was clear: Kindness is not just about being nice; it’s about recognizing another human being who deserves care and respect.

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

(AP) Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire elects Massachusetts priest as bishop

A Massachusetts priest will succeed Bishop Gene Robinson as New Hampshire’s next Episcopal bishop.

A delegation of clergy and lay people chose the Rev. A. Robert Hirschfeld of Grace Church in Amherst from a field of three nominees. Votes were cast Saturday at St. Paul’s Church in Concord.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops, TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils

Chelsea Wins the Champions League Final–Wowowowowow

Regular time, then extra time, then penalty kicks. What a razor-thin margin they won by–but they did, overcoming huge obstacles again and again.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, England / UK, Europe, Germany, Men, Sports

Orthodox Churches in Britain and Ireland Respond to Government's ”˜Same-Sex Marriage’ Consultatio

The Pan-­”Orthodox Episcopal Assembly for the British Isles and Ireland has considered the Government’s proposed changes to the law relating to civil marriage and welcomes the opportunity to respond to the public consultation on this important matter. We recognise that we live in a pluralistic society and we value the traditional tolerance of British society in which we enjoy freedom to practise and witness in accordance with our Orthodox Christian faith. At the same time, we cannot be indifferent to the evident signs of the negative consequences of the weakening of the traditional understanding of family life that has undeniably occurred in the last fifty years or so. The tragically high rates of family breakdown and divorce, of teenage pregnancy and abortions and of single-­”parent families are painful to contemplate. The early sexualisation of children and indeed, the loss of childhood itself, fill us with concern for the future of our society.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Children, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Ireland, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Orthodox Church, Other Churches, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Theology