Daily Archives: October 16, 2012

(John Pope) At Vatican II Catholic leaders gathered to change their church and its world outlook

With Vatican II, the Catholic Church sent out the message that it was part of the modern world, said Thomas Ryan, director of the Loyola Institute for Ministry. “Not against, not above, not apart, but in the modern world,” he said. “The church sought to engage, not condemn.”

The council documents say there must be a conversation between the church and the world, Aymond said. “The church, by its teaching and by its discipleship, has something to say to the world. At the same time, the world is saying something to the church. It’s saying some good things, I think, about globalization and the environment, respecting people of all genders and classes and cultures and languages.

“We can’t just say we’re not going to be involved in these conversations. As the church, we have to be in conversation with others who agree and disagree with us.”

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Church History, Inter-Faith Relations, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

ZocDoc CEO Cyrus Massoumi On Making Medicine More Tech-Savvy, One Appointment At A Time

…despite its long history, ZocDoc has refrained from launching new products, opting instead to focus on scaling out the reach of its flagship scheduling offering to an audience that includes medical providers in 31 metro areas in the United States. That is, until last week, when ZocDoc started rolling out “Check-In,” a new feature that lets patients fill out medical forms online prior to their doctor’s appointments.

Read it all and watch the whole interview.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Health & Medicine, Science & Technology

For those of You Following the TEC Legal Stuff–Oral Arguments Today in Texas and Virginia

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Fort Worth, TEC Conflicts: Virginia

(CNS) Science, faith can work together to help the world, scientist tells Roman Catholic bishops

Science and faith need each other for the benefit of all of creation, a Nobel-prize winning geneticist told Pope Benedict XVI and the world’s bishops.

Werner Arber, a Swiss microbiologist who serves as the president of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, also said that, while there is still no proof, he is one of a number of scientists who believe there may be life on some planets outside of Earth’s solar system….

“If Jesus Christ would live among us today, he would be in favor of the application of solid scientific knowledge for the long-term benefit of humans and their natural environment, as long as such applications” fully respected the laws of nature, said Arber, one of three winners of the 1978 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Science & Technology

House of Deputies President opening remarks to Executive Council

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), Executive Council, House of Deputies President

Kendall Harmon's Sermon from Sunday–The Gospel comes to Samaria (Acts 8:1-25)

Listen to it all if you so desire.

Posted in * By Kendall, * Christian Life / Church Life, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(CNBC) Simpson, Bowles, Blankfein–US Nears Fiscal Disaster: 'Washington Doing Nothing'

From an interview with the authors of the Simpson-Bowles reform plan and Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein:

“…We just met with — a dozen of the largest high-tech company CEOs in the country. Not only are they hoarding cash. All their customers, all their suppliers are. They’re scared to death we’re going to go over this cliff and it could be a catastrophe….”

You can find a summary article to read there, it has briefer video links, but the best use of your time is to watch the full interview over here or read the transcript (about 42 1/2 minutes). Also, David Brook’s piece on the debt indulgence is worth a careful revisit.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Budget, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Credit Markets, Currency Markets, Economy, Federal Reserve, House of Representatives, Medicare, Office of the President, Politics in General, Senate, Social Security, Taxes, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, The National Deficit, The U.S. Government

(Guardian) UN warns of looming worldwide food crisis in 2013

World grain reserves are so dangerously low that severe weather in the United States or other food-exporting countries could trigger a major hunger crisis next year, the United Nations has warned.

Failing harvests in the US, Ukraine and other countries this year have eroded reserves to their lowest level since 1974. The US, which has experienced record heatwaves and droughts in 2012, now holds in reserve a historically low 6.5% of the maize that it expects to consume in the next year, says the UN.

“We’ve not been producing as much as we are consuming. That is why stocks are being run down. Supplies are now very tight across the world and reserves are at a very low level, leaving no room for unexpected events next year,” said Abdolreza Abbassian, a senior economist with the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Globalization, Poverty

Lord George Carey's Address at the Five Talents Conference

Like many things, Five Talents started in a very small way. It began its life at the Lambeth Conference in 1998 when Martin Mimms came to tell me about Five Talents. I was immediately smitten by the idea and made a donation towards. It has gone on to become a firmly established NGO in both the USA and UK ”“ with professional staff and committed supporters. And I do want to say how much I admire the leadership of Tom Sanderson whose vision and drive is behind the success of Five Talents.

The organisation has grown quickly ”“ raising several millions (c.£5m) in its lifetime to help support 15 Microfinance programmes around the world. I recall the setting up of the Mama Bahati project some years ago which an organization led by Brian Griffiths raised several thousands of pounds ”“ including donations from Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. This was taken over by Five Talents and it is thrilling to read from Five Talents on the Web that it is now serving 3,139 women in Tanzania.

But what is micro finance? The term ”˜micro-finance’ means providing very poor families with very small loans to help them engage in productive activities, or small businesses, to help them out of poverty. It is of no surprise to those of us who have visited Africa and India that it is women who have gained so much from this initiative. The former UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, described it as ’a critical anti-poverty tool for the poorest, especially women’. Indeed, women have emerged as credit worthy clients, offering reliable and conscientious commitment and, in turn, micro-finance initiatives have strengthened social and human capacity of women in the family and community. I read recently that the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh offers loans to 7,000 people, 97% of whom are women. Women are transforming their own life chances and are emerging from poverty as a result.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Economy, Globalization, Personal Finance, Poverty, Women

Divided Pittsburgh Episcopal dioceses team to support ministry for homeless, hungry

Two factions that divided the Episcopal church in Pittsburgh four years ago as part of a national schism have agreed to work together to support a ministry for homeless veterans and others in need.

An accord between the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh and the Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh clears the way for Shepherd’s Heart Fellowship to take title to all property at its Uptown location and to seek a more favorable financing of its debt.

The Episcopal Diocese considers the ministry of paramount importance, spokesman Rich Creehan said.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Defense, National Security, Military, Episcopal Church (TEC), Parish Ministry, Poverty, TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Pittsburgh, Urban/City Life and Issues

Edmonton Anglican diocese approves same sex union blessings

Neil Gordon understands the comfort some people feel in having their civil union blessed by a church.

An Anglican priest who was married by a justice of the peace 25 years ago, Gordon was thrilled to have Kent Clarke, the Archbishop of Edmonton, say a simple prayer for him and his Jewish wife at their wedding dinner.

“I can’t tell you how much it meant to me,” Gordon, the rector of All Saints’ Cathedral and dean of Edmonton, said. “It told me the church was pulling for us. It was a wonderful gift.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)

But How Do You Really Feel? Someday the Computer May Know

In a Cairo school basement, two dozen women analyze facial expressions on laptops, training the computers to recognize anger, sadness and frustration.

At Cambridge University, an eerily realistic robotic head named Charles sits in a driving simulator, furrowing its brows, looking interested or confused.

And in a handful of American middle school classrooms this fall, computers will monitor students’ emotions in an effort to track when they are losing interest and when they are getting excited about lessons.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Science & Technology

Elisabeth Sifton and Fritz Stern–The Tragedy of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Hans von Dohnanyi

On April 23, Good Friday, Hans wrote to Dietrich””not knowing, of course, whether the letter would be delivered. His message was one of soul-searing regret:

That I am responsible for you, Christel, the children, and the parents having to bear this pain, that my beloved wife and you are robbed of freedom””you won’t believe how this depresses me”¦. If I knew that you all””and you personally””don’t think of me with reproaches, a weight would be lifted from my soul.
Dietrich quickly reassured him:

There is not a grain of reproach or bitterness in me regarding what has happened to you and me. Such things come from God, and only Him. And I know that you and Christel are at one with me, that before Him there is only submission, endurance, patience””and gratitude.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Church History, Europe, Germany, Politics in General, Theology

Episcopal Church Facts and Figures

Read it all and then take the time to go through the numbers here and also a summation there.

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

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Hugh Latimer and Nicholas Ridley

Keep us, O Lord, constant in faith and zealous in witness, after the examples of thy servants Hugh Latimer, Nicholas Ridley, and Thomas Cranmer; that we may live in thy fear, die in thy favor, and rest in thy peace; for the sake of Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Provinces, Church History, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Spirituality/Prayer