Daily Archives: May 29, 2012

Five vie to be Episcopal bishop in Western Massachusetts

The five candidates seeking to become the ninth bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts, which includes Worcester County, come from diverse backgrounds and include a former music industry executive, a former Roman Catholic priest and book editor, and a former banker.

Clergy and lay delegates will vote on a new bishop Saturday at Christ Church Cathedral in Springfield.

Pending the consent of the church’s 77th General Convention, which will be held in July, the new prelate will be ordained Dec. 1 during ceremonies at the MassMutual Center, also in Springfield.

Read it all.

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

One Idaho Town Honors the War Dead with their "Field of Heroes"

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Watch it all–please.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Children, Death / Burial / Funerals, Defense, National Security, Military, Marriage & Family, Parish Ministry, Rural/Town Life

For Anglicans in Spain, Pentecost wind whispers through the carob trees

The three congregations of St Christopher’s on the Costa Azahar, north of Valencia, united in the service in a church member’s large garden overlooking the Mediterranean in Ampolla.

Their Australian locum priest, Fr. Kevin Ellem, spoke passionately of the power of God’s Spirit to invigorate His Church today. Fr Kevin added a native touch to the occasion by leading the service wearing an outback approved sun hat.

Read it all and enjoy the pictures.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Europe, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Pentecost, Spain

(Telegraph) Peter Stanford–Archbishop of Canterbury: Who'll get the impossible job?

“The new arrangements are being tested at a time when the Church is more polarised now than at any time in its recent history,” says Andrew Carey, a columnist in the Church of England Newspaper and son of the former Archbishop of Canterbury. “The controversy around the appointment of [the openly gay] Jeffrey John as a bishop in 2003, and his subsequent withdrawal, and then the decision to go ahead with women bishops, have only deepened the divisions during Rowan’s time as Archbishop. These issues now hang over the Church like a stalactite.”

Carey is broadly on the Low Church or Evangelical wing of the Church of England. At the other end of the spectrum, the novelist and churchgoer Kate Saunders shares his pessimism about any “unity” candidate emerging. “We sometimes pride ourselves as Anglicans on being a broad church, and that does have many benefits, but the downside is that we can never agree with each other, even on the most basic questions, such as whether we are essentially a Protestant church or a reformed Catholic church. And that debate goes all the way back to the Reformation.”

In more recent times, the chosen method for keeping the various factions of the Church content when selecting an Archbishop of Canterbury has been to alternate High Church and Low Church appointments. Or Catholic and Evangelical, if you prefer those terms (labels are another thing Anglicans disagree on)….

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, History, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

(BBC) U.S. Funeral homes turn cremation into hot new business

The number of Americans and Canadians being cremated upon their deaths is rising sharply, according to data collected by the Cremation Association of North America. Both countries lag far behind Britain, where funeral directors confronted the shift decades ago.

Americans are more conservative and religious in their attitudes towards the final disposition of their loved ones than Britons, death care industry experts say.

Evidence for that can be seen in the regional breakdown: Cremation is least prevalent in the so-called “Bible belt” states of the South-East….

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Consumer/consumer spending, Death / Burial / Funerals, Economy, History, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

Trinity Wall Street decides to Close Its Conference Center in West Cornwall, Connecticut

A Letter From The Rector (James Cooper)

Dear Trinity Family,

I am writing today to inform you of a decision undertaken by the current Vestry. After extensive study, conversation, and deliberation, it has been decided that the Trinity Conference Center in West Cornwall, Connecticut, will cease operations effective in November.

The Trinity Conference Center was created so that non-profit and religious organizations could have access to a first-class site for conferences and retreats at reduced and accessible rates. For countless vestries, parishioners, grassroots organizations, and non-profit leaders, the center was a place where excellence in hospitality and beautiful surroundings inspired reflection, conversation, and the kind of being together that truly brought people together….

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

Kendall Harmon's 2012 Pentecost Sermon–A Vision of the Church with Power, Purity and Genuine Unity

Listen to it all if you so desire.

Posted in * By Kendall, * Christian Life / Church Life, * South Carolina, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pentecost, Sermons & Teachings

(Washington Post) In Photos–Memorial Day across the nation

Look at them all (27 total, auto play slideshow option available).

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Economics, Politics, Death / Burial / Funerals, Defense, National Security, Military, Parish Ministry

(AP) Fertlizer Bomb Suspected In Nairobi Blast

A fertilizer bomb could have caused the blast that ripped through a building full of small shops, an official told The Associated Press on Tuesday as the FBI joined the investigation.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the smell of ammonia at the scene of Monday’s explosion on Moi Avenue indicates the possible presence of a fertilizer bomb, which is commonly made of ammonium nitrate and fuel oil.

Among the 33 people wounded was a woman who blamed the blast on a “bearded man” who left behind a bag shortly before the detonation.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Kenya, Terrorism, Violence

(Time Magazine) Egypt's Presidential Choices: The Trouble with Democracy

Not only did Egypt pull off its first democratic presidential election in the country’s history last week, but it managed to make it a relatively clean vote. Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter told journalists in Cairo over the weekend that international monitors working for the Carter Center had noted minor violations during the election, but nothing so serious as to impact the result. Enthusiasm seemed high: Egypt’s electoral commission reported a relatively strong turnout.

And yet the results are not what anyone expected. Neither of the two initial front runners for the June 16 and 17 runoff vote qualified for that round of voting. Instead, the two men who are now expected to come out on top are the two most polarizing candidates on the ballot: the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsy and ousted President Hosni Mubarak’s former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafik. “It’s a charade,” says Adel al-Sobki, who owns a Cairo supermarket and says he voted for the Arab nationalist candidate Hamdeen Sabbahi. “We’re now stuck with either the old regime or the Muslim Brotherhood.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Egypt, Middle East, Politics in General

(Touchstone) Douglas Farrow–Why fight same-sex marriage?

…at the center””indispensable to the rest””is the service marriage does to the bond between a child and its natural parents. “Sex makes babies, and babies need a mother and a father,” as Maggie Gallagher (an indefatigable champion) likes to say. Marriage is designed to make it more likely that children will have and keep their parents.

Same-sex marriage proponents, for their part, are forced to set aside this concern. On their view, the parent-child bond lies beyond the immediate purview of marriage, as does the particular sexual act that produces children. Marriage is simply the formalization of an intimate relationship between adults. If those adults happen to produce or obtain children, well, that is another matter. Moreover, their bond with those children does not require any particular family structure to support it; good outcomes can be had from diverse family structures….

The champions of marriage respond that they are very much in favor of adult bonding, which the institution is indeed meant to serve. That bonding, though good in itself, is for a purpose beyond itself, however. It is for a purpose of public as well as private interest, the purpose of procreation and child-rearing. It is not necessary, they point out, to hold that procreation constitutes the only good of marriage in order to recognize that procreation is an essential good of marriage. Nor, for that matter, is it necessary to hold that a childless marriage is not a marriage, at least where the childlessness is not deliberate””a matter rightly shielded from public scrutiny. But they insist that to exclude procreation as an essential or defining good makes nonsense of marriage.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Anthropology, Children, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Religion & Culture, Theology

A Prayer for the Feast Day of the First Book of Common Prayer

Almighty and everliving God, whose servant Thomas Cranmer, with others, did restore the language of the people in the prayers of thy Church: Make us always thankful for this heritage; and help us so to pray in the Spirit and with the understanding, that we may worthily magnify thy holy Name; 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, Anglican Provinces, Church History, Church of England (CoE), Liturgy, Music, Worship, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Almighty and most merciful God, who hast given thy Son to die for our sins and to obtain eternal redemption for us through his own blood: Let the merit of his spotless sacrifice, we beseech thee, purge our consciences from dead works to serve thee, the living God, that we may receive the promise of eternal inheritance in Christ Jesus our Lord; to whom with thee and the Holy Ghost be honour and glory, world without end.

–German Reformed Church

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

O LORD, I love the habitation of thy house, and the place where thy glory dwells.

–Psalm 26:8

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

O CAPTAIN! my Captain!

O CAPTAIN! my Captain! our fearful trip is done;
The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won;
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring:
But O heart! heart! heart!
O the bleeding drops of red,
Where on the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.
O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up””for you the flag is flung””for you the bugle trills;
For you bouquets and ribbon’d wreaths””for you the shores a-crowding;
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
Here Captain! dear father!
This arm beneath your head;
It is some dream that on the deck,
You’ve fallen cold and dead.

My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still;
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will;
The ship is anchor’d safe and sound, its voyage closed and done;
From fearful trip, the victor ship, comes in with object won;
Exult, O shores, and ring, O bells!
But I, with mournful tread,
Walk the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.

–Walt Whitman (1819”“1892)

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