Daily Archives: June 6, 2012

The General Synod of the Scottish Episcopal Church opens Tomorrow

The annual three-day gathering, presided over by the Primus, the Most Rev David Chillingworth, will be asked to vote on whether to back the controversial Anglican Covenant, a set of principles drawn up after the rows over [non-celibate] gay priests.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Covenant, Anglican Provinces, Scottish Episcopal Church

Steve Wood Elected ACNA Bishop

Ahead of Assembly 2012, members of the Anglican Church in North America College of Bishops gathered in Ridgecrest, N.C. The meeting began with Morning Prayer and a time of Bible study and was undergirded by the theme of spreading the transforming love of Jesus Christ.

The bishops in attendance prayerfully considered and approved the election of a new bishop, The Rev. Stephen Wood, rector of St. Andrew’s Church-Mount Pleasant, S.C. Wood has been serving as vicar general for the Diocese of the Carolinas, a diocese in-formation within the Anglican Church in North America.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA)

(Belfast Telegraph) Facebook's children ban could be lifted

Faced with slowing growth in its advertising business, Facebook is considering throwing open its social network to children, in the hope that their parents will pay for games and other content on the site.

The plan is also designed to limit the company’s legal risk over the already-widespread use of the site by minors, millions of whom might be on Facebook after lying about their age.

News that chief executive Mark Zuckerberg, pictured, is considering legitimising and expanding the use of the site by children comes as Facebook shares fall further below their flotation price. The stock slipped below $27 in early trading in New York yesterday, compared to the $38 at which they were sold to new investors two-and-a-half weeks ago, as investors continued to fret about slowing advertising income from its website and the even narrower options for monetising traffic on its mobile site.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, --Social Networking, Blogging & the Internet, Children, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Education, Marriage & Family, Science & Technology, Stock Market

St. Luke's Episcopal Church of Kalamazoo, Michigan–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

St. Luke's Episcopal Church of Kalamazoo, Michigan, pays $468k Severance to former rector

[Former rector Jay] Lawlor, 42, who was cleared in a jury trial of the assault charge, served at St. Luke’s for 21 months. The payout was equivalent to more than a three-year severance package.

Lawlor’s 2010 compensation was $125,000, which included $85,000 in salary, plus housing and benefits.

That year, the church had a $630,650 operating budget and $1.9 milllion in investments at the end of the year, according to records shared last year with the Gazette.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Stewardship, TEC Parishes

Wisconsin Results Last Night (III): A Washington Post Summary Article "Gov. Walker survives recall"

“I voted for [Walker] in 2010 because I realized we have to do something about the deficit. I voted for him in the recall because I don’t believe recall elections are meant for what they’re doing with it,” said Katy Tomlanovich, who teaches at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College. She said recall elections should be reserved for politicians who commit gross malfeasance, not for those who make unpopular decisions.

Tomlanovich said she plans to vote for Obama in November but cast a ballot for the Republican on Tuesday. “Scott Walker is actually doing something about [spending], and I think he should be allowed to serve the rest of his term.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Budget, Economy, House of Representatives, Housing/Real Estate Market, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Office of the President, Politics in General, Senate, State Government, Taxes, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, The National Deficit, The U.S. Government

Wisconsin Results Last Night (II): Steven Malanga Argues Walker represents Fiscal Realism

Everyone seems to have an opinion on what the vote in Wisconsin means for national politics.

But beyond the issue of whether Scott Walker’s survival puts Wisconsin in play in November, his victory represents an example of the way politicians in our most pressed states are sorting themselves as they confront this long fiscal downturn. Increasingly they fall into two camps: those willing to undertake tough reforms in the face of severe fiscal restraints that don’t appear likely to improve anytime soon, and those who continue to put off the difficult decisions even as their states’ balance sheets deteriorate and investors grow wary of their budget instability.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, House of Representatives, Housing/Real Estate Market, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Office of the President, Politics in General, Senate, State Government, Taxes, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

Wisconsin Results Last Night (I): Walker wins recall election by wider margin than 2010 race

Scott Walker became the nation’s first governor ever to survive a recall election ”“ and it was not as close as many predicted. With over 99-percent of the vote counted, the Republican Walker led Democrat Tom Barrett 53-to-46 percent, with Brookfield kidney specialist Hari Trivedi getting the other one-percent.

Walker’s victory margin was slightly bigger than when he first defeated Barrett in 2010.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, Politics in General, State Government, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

An Interesting Look Back to the Bishop of London's Diamond Jubilee Accession Service Sermon

While there is scepticism whenever those who represent Caesar in the political realm invoke God, [and there is great wisdom in the consequent reticence displayed by politicians] it has been possible for the Queen with her very different role to be steadily more explicit in her Christmas broadcasts about her own lively faith in Jesus Christ which sustains her work.

The cost of this call and way of life is so great that it is proper to regard it in sacrificial terms. As a notable republican said to me the other day ”“ “I don’t believe that we should ask anyone to do the job”

But the job has been done with conspicuous dedication over the past sixty years. The Queen embodies the truth at the heart of our life as a nation that the kingdom of God and a humane society is built, yes by raw political power and programmes but also and perhaps most profoundly by the human touch, loving and unwearied service, attention to others.

Christian monarchy today embodies not a set of policies or the pinnacle of a hierarchical social order but a life, a fully human life, lived in the presence and calling of God who dignifies all humanity. Such a life which is open to us all is the essential ingredient from which the Kingdom; God’s plan for the human race, grows.

The spectacle of such a life properly evokes loyalty.

Reread it all should you care to do so.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, History, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

(CSM) In Lebanon, a worrying sectarian spillover from Syria

Last week warnings that Syria’s conflict could spread rang out in the halls of the UN and world capitals. US ambassador to the UN Susan Rice said she’s worried about a scenario where “the violence escalates, the conflict spreads and intensifies… in involves countries in the region it takes on increasingly sectarian forms and we have a major crisis not only in Syria, but in the region.”

That concern was echoed Sunday by Akmaluddin Ihsan Oglu, the head of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, who warned that Lebanon could slip into civil war once again if the clases continue. “We want all sides in Lebanon to seek their country’s higher interest, which is peaceful coexistence between its people,” he said.

Tripoli’s hilltop district of Jabal Mohsen is where the first embers of a spreading fire could land.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Lebanon, Middle East, Religion & Culture, Syria, Violence

Benjamin Guyer on Canon Law–A Measuring Rod

Any Anglican theology of law is bound to use both pre- and post-Reformation authors such as Gratian, Aquinas, and Hooker. At the beginning of his Decretum, Gratian offers two important definitions: “What is put in writing is called enactment or law, while what is not collected in writing is called by the general term ”˜custom.’” Aquinas used this distinction to posit a difference between divine law and natural law, both of which are unchanging, and human or positive law, which can be revised. Following Aquinas, Hooker maintained the same. Canon law is human law and insofar as it achieves a good end, the law itself is good. Should canon law fail in this, it must be revised. It is precisely here in a discussion of the good that canon law invokes other canons, namely, the canon of Scripture. If Scripture contains “all things necessary to salvation,” then canon law should be written to aid the Church in attaining these same divinely revealed ends.

Canon law is thus evangelical through and through. A church’s witness to the wider society begins with its own, internal witness. In this way, canon law is constructive, even in its punitive functions. The purpose of ecclesiastical discipline is never to punish but always to restore. The violation of canon law is a matter of no small importance in the Church, just as the violation of civil law is a matter of importance in the State. Only the arbitrary use of authority allows law to be violated in an ad hoc fashion. In the State this is called tyranny; in the Church it is called abuse. A church that cares nothing for canonical infractions also cares nothing for restoration. A church without confession is a church without repentance, and such a church is also without forgiveness, for it stands in need of lawful and righteous judgment. How can there be justice if there is no law?

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Commentary, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Polity & Canons

Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI poll–Many Roman Catholics 'do not believe' church teachings

The majority of Catholics in Ireland do not attend Mass regularly and significant numbers do not believe in key tenets of the church’s teaching, according to an Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI poll.

The poll results, which come as Ireland hosts the 50th Eucharistic Congress of the Catholic Church this week, show belief in the church is strongest in rural areas but falls off significantly in urban areas.

Despite the fallout from clerical sex abuse scandals, a significant proportion of the country ”“ including non-Catholics ”“ believe the church has had a broadly positive influence on Ireland.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, England / UK, Ireland, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

Michael Lewis' 2012 Baccalaureate Remarks at Princeton University

Exactly 30 minutes into the problem-solving the researchers interrupted each group. They entered the room bearing a plate of cookies. Four cookies. The team consisted of three people, but there were these four cookies. Every team member obviously got one cookie, but that left a fourth cookie, just sitting there. It should have been awkward. But it wasn’t. With incredible consistency the person arbitrarily appointed leader of the group grabbed the fourth cookie, and ate it. Not only ate it, but ate it with gusto: lips smacking, mouth open, drool at the corners of their mouths. In the end all that was left of the extra cookie were crumbs on the leader’s shirt.

This leader had performed no special task. He had no special virtue. He’d been chosen at random, 30 minutes earlier. His status was nothing but luck. But it still left him with the sense that the cookie should be his.

This experiment helps to explain Wall Street bonuses and CEO pay, and I’m sure lots of other human behavior. But it also is relevant to new graduates of Princeton University.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anthropology, Economy, Education, Ethics / Moral Theology, Philosophy, Psychology, Stock Market, The Banking System/Sector, Theology, Young Adults

George Weigel –Critter prayers and transhumanism

My Canadian colleague did some digging and found the following, instructive excerpt from the collected works of Ms. [Barbara] Marx Hubbard:

“Although we may never know what really happened, we do know that the story told in the Gospels is that Jesus’ resurrection was a first demonstration of what I call the post-human universal person. We are told that he did not die. He made his transition, released his animal body, and reappeared in a new body at the next level of physicality to tell all of us that we would do what he did. The new person that he became had continuity of consciousness with his life as Jesus of Nazareth, an earthly life in which he had become fully human and fully divine. Jesus’ life stands as a model of the transition from Homo sapiens to Homo universalis.”

Irrespective of the insight that this remarkable passage gives us into the cast of mind at the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, Marx Hubbard’s blundering through Scripture and Christology does suggest one path to which the Episcopal critter prayers can lead. When the biblical metaphors used by the Lord (“people of your pasture” and “sheep of your hand”) are taken to imply that there is no substantial difference between human beings and the animal kingdom, then the temptation to transhumanism–the deliberate manipulation of the human condition through biotechnology–intensifies. As we can “improve” beef cattle, chickens and turkeys by manipulating breeding, we can make “better” human beings: transhumanized human beings, cyberhuman hybrids who are immortal. Prometheus, call your office. Aldous Huxley, how did you see this coming 80 years ago, when you were finishing “Brave New World”?

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Anthropology, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Other Churches, Roman Catholic, Theology

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Ini Kopuria

Loving God, may thy Name be blest for the witness of Ini Kopuria, police officer and founder of the Melanesian Brotherhood, whose members saved many American pilots in a time of war, and who continue to minister courageously to the islanders of Melanesia. Open our eyes that we, with these Anglican brothers, may establish peace and hope in service to others, for the sake of Jesus Christ; who with thee and the Holy Spirit livest and reignest, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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