Daily Archives: June 24, 2012

Ministry About Hearing and Obeying God, Says Bishop Moses Tay

In many cases those who would go on to impact other lives have experienced adversity of some sort, which failing to break them have contributed toward their depth and maturity.

The world for the Right Reverend Dr. Moses Tay had for all practical purposes collapsed around him a mere two months before he was to be ordained Anglican Bishop of Singapore – his first wife had died after a difficult battle with congenial aneurism.

Along with the pain of bereavement came speculation over why it happened by those who had prayed and seen visions.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, The Anglican Church in South East Asia

Muslim Brotherhood's Morsi declared Egypt's new president

Mohamed Morsi was declared the new president of Egypt on Sunday, following the first democratic election in Egypt’s history.

The announcement triggered massive cheers and celebratory gunfire in Cairo’s Tahrir Square.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Egypt, Islam, Middle East, Other Faiths, Politics in General

(Observer) In a Forthcoming book, Rowan Williams pours scorn on David Cameron's 'big society'

The archbishop of Canterbury has denounced David Cameron’s “big society”, saying that it comes across as aspirational waffle that was “designed to conceal a deeply damaging withdrawal of the state from its responsibilities to the most vulnerable”.

The outspoken attack on the prime minister’s flagship policy by Rowan Williams ”“ his strongest to date ”“ is contained in a new book, Faith in the Public Square, that is being prepared for publication ahead of his retirement.

Passages from the book, obtained by the Observer, reflect the archbishop’s deep frustration not just with the policies of Cameron’s government and those of its Labour predecessors, but also with what he sees as the west’s rampant materialism and unquestioning pursuit of economic growth. Williams also laments spiralling military expenditure, writing that “the adventure in Iraq and its cost in any number of ways seems to beggar the imagination”.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, --Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, Books, England / UK, Religion & Culture

(SMH) In Australia Those of no Religion overtake Anglicans, as Hinduism doubles

People professing to have no religion have moved past Anglicans to become the second-largest grouping after Catholics in the 2011 Census.

Almost 4.8 million people said they had no religion, up 29 per cent from 2006, but the number of people not answering the question dropped by 2 per cent. This suggested that more people were claiming a religious identity (including no religion), said Monash University sociology professor Gary Bouma.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Australia / NZ, Religion & Culture

(Press Association) Anglican choir to sing for the Pope

Westminster Abbey choir is to make history this week by singing at the Vatican just under two years after performing for Pope Benedict XVI on his visit to Britain.

The 20 boys and 12 adult singers will become the first to join forces with the Pope’s personal choir, the Sistine Chapel Choir.

The two choirs will sing at First Vespers in the Papal basilica of San Paulo Fuori Le Mura – St Paul Outside The Walls – on Thursday and at the Papal Mass in the Vatican Basilica of St Peter’s the following morning, on the feast day of St Peter and St Paul.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Liturgy, Music, Worship, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic

(ENS) Report lists dioceses’ financial support of Episcopal Church 2012 budget

Just more than 41 percent of the Episcopal Church’s dioceses and regional areas have committed to contributing the full amount asked of them to fund the wider church’s 2012 budget.

According to a report posted June 21 here on the website of the church’s Finance Office, 46 of 111 entities reporting will pay 19 percent or more in 2012. Six of those dioceses have pledged to pay more than what is known as “the asking,” and which for this year is 19 percent of diocesan income.

Read it all and make sure to follow the link to the documentation on individual dioceses.

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

Kirk Hadaway's recent Preliminary report on 2011 Episcopal Church Statistics

The results are quite different from recent years. Average Sunday attendance (ASA) will show an actual increase in 2011 of less than 1,000 persons. However, since Christmas Eve fell on a Saturday in 2011, this essentially adds an extra Sunday to the count. The same thing happened in 2005, when the decline abated, but did not result in an increase. Adjusting for the “Christmas Eve Effect” results in an adjusted loss of slightly less than 12,000 persons or -1.8%. This is less than half the net and percentage loss experienced in 2010 and the smallest percentage loss in average Sunday attendance since 2002 (adjusting for the Christmas Eve effect in 2005).

In terms of active baptized members, the results are similar to ASA, but there is no Christmas Eve Effect to worry about. In 2011 we expect membership to decline by around 27,000 members, or -1.4%. Again, this decline is the lowest in percentage terms since 2002 and about half the loss the Episcopal Church experienced in 2010 when domestic dioceses declined by 54,436 members (-2.7%).

The financial picture is less positive than hoped, but also shows improvement over 2010.

Read it all.

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

(Local Paper Faith and Values Section) Finding refuge in minstering to others

…[Shane Bowers] would be forced take baths after his brother, in dirty water that had gone cold hours earlier. He had to eat alone, standing in another part of his family’s single-wide mobile home, and he was allowed only one serving. Often, he said, he’d scrounge through the trash for a few more bites rather than go to bed hungry.

Eventually, he and his mom stopped going to church. Bowers tried reading the Bible, but without the sense of family he’d found at church, it wasn’t the same.

His yearning for a change wasn’t shaken, though. “I just prayed that God would either kill me, let me die or take me out of that situation,” he said.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Religion & Culture

(Reuters) Egypt is on alert as an election result is imminent

Egypt’s ruling armed forces were on alert on Sunday as fears of violence mounted in the final moments before the state election committee is to name the winner of last weekend’s presidential election – either an Islamist or a former general.

Read it all.

Posted in * International News & Commentary, Egypt, Middle East

(NY Times) Oregon Study Shows Benefits, and Price, for Newly Insured

In a continuing study, an all-star group of researchers following Ms. [Wendy] Parris and tens of thousands of other Oregonians has found that gaining insurance makes people feel healthier, happier and more financially stable. The insured also spend more on health care, dashing some hopes of preventive-medicine advocates who have argued that coverage can save money ”” by keeping people out of emergency rooms, for instance. In Oregon, the newly insured spent an average of $778 a year, or 25 percent, more on health care than those who did not win insurance.

For the nation, the lesson appears to be mixed. Expanded coverage brings large benefits to many people, but it is also more likely to increase a stretched federal government’s long-term budget responsibilities.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, --The 2009 American Health Care Reform Debate, Economy, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, State Government

(WSJ) For Middle-Aged Job Seekers, a Long Road Back

By this point in his life, Keith Daniel thought he would be saving for retirement, helping his daughter through college and slugging his way to glory in his local softball league.

Instead, the 52-year-old is burning through his savings and working odd jobs to make ends meet. He hasn’t held a full-time job in over three years.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Middle Age, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Lift up our hearts, we beseech thee, O Christ, above the false show of things, above fear, above laziness, above selfishness and covetousness, above custom and fashion, up to the everlasting truth and order that thou art; that so we may live joyfully and freely, in faithful trust that thou art our Saviour, our example, and our friend, both now and for evermore.

–Charles Kingsley

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

Bless our God, O peoples, let the sound of his praise be heard, who has kept us among the living, and has not let our feet slip.

–Psalm 66: 8-9

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(AP) Priest's Conviction Is a First, Will More Follow?

[William ] Lynn was far from the only diocesan official in the United States who kept accused priests in parish assignments. Thousands of case files made public through lawsuits and civil investigations revealed that consistent inaction by church officials in the face of abuse claims in earlier years left a trail of victims in dioceses nationwide. About 16,000 claims have been made against Catholic clergy since 1950, according to studies commissioned by the U.S. bishops.

So, why is Lynn the only American church official convicted so far for letting this happen? Here’s an explanation in question-and-answer format….

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Children, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Theology

(Phil. Inquirer) Among Area Catholics, anger and sorrow after the Lynn verdict

As news circulated Friday afternoon that a jury had found Msgr. William J. Lynn guilty of child endangerment, many around the region praised the decision as fair, while some found it too gentle and a few maintained that the priest should have been set free.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Children, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Theology