Daily Archives: October 21, 2012

Raymond Edwards Marks nearly 50 Years since CS Lewis' Death–Signpost to a higher love

On one side, then, we have Lewis as conflicted evangelical bully. On the other, there is the figure that the Episcopal Church in the United States celebrates as “holy C.S. Lewis” (with a feast day on 22 November). In the concomitant hagiography, his connection with Mrs Moore and his odd late marriage (famously sentimentalised in the 1993 film Shadowlands) are either silently elided or eirenically glossed; beer and tobacco fade into mere period colour.

Unsurprisingly, the man himself was more complex than either approach fully allows. Lewis was a supremely bookish man, but also a loud man, and like many loud men annoyed as many as he entertained; that aside, there were formidable, and almost wholly anonymous, practical charities (he gave away most of his income); unquantifiably great personal influence (without Lewis, Tolkien’s imaginative writing would probably have remained unpublished); and a dogged effort to live a Christian life. One non-believing acquaintance described him, after his death, as “a very good man, to whom goodness did not come easily….”

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Apologetics, Books, Church History, Education, England / UK, Philosophy, Religion & Culture, Theology

Religion and Ethics Newsweekly–Father Shay Cullen's remarkable ministry to sex trade victims

DE SAM LAZARO: Over the years, Father Cullens’s People’s Recovery, Empowerment and Development””or PREDA Foundation””has sheltered and rehabilitated thousands of young women rescued from the sex trade.

[FATHER SHAY] CULLEN: Many of the girls are underage and young and available. On these clubs and bars, this is only the outer, the more legitimate looking trafficking of human beings, no, but the trafficking of minors, younger girls is secret, and it operates on a different system. It’s all done by cell phone, without any direct contact between the supplier, the trafficker, and the customer. They have go-betweens.

DE SAM LAZARO: Their stories have common threads: physical or sexual abuse in childhood and families in various forms of dysfunction and separation. In all cases, abject poverty underlies their child labor and prostitution….

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Asia, Consumer/consumer spending, Economy, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Philippines, Roman Catholic, Sexuality, Urban/City Life and Issues

'Mother Of Outcasts' Named A Saint For Her Leprosy Work

A German-American nun will become a saint Sunday, nearly a century after her death. Mother Marianne Cope is the second person to be honored in this way for caring for people in Hawaii with leprosy, now known as Hansen’s disease.

During a tragic era in Hawaiian history, more than 8,000 people with leprosy were banished to Kalaupapa, a remote peninsula on the island of Molokai. Back then, there was no cure. The patients were treated as outcasts until a Belgian priest, Father Damien, came to care for them in 1873. Eventually he contracted the disease himself and died. He was canonized by the pope in 2009.

Just five months before Damien’s death, Cope arrived in Kalaupapa. She worked in Hawaii in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Sister Alicia Damien Lau says Cope risked her life to care for people with leprosy.

Read or listen to it all and do not miss the picture.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Health & Medicine, History, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Poverty, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Women

(WSJ) Spanish Voters Deliver a Mixed Message to Rajoy

An exit poll showed Mr. Rajoy’s conservative party winning 39 or 40 of the parliament’s 75 seats in his native Galicia, a gain of at least one seat over the Spanish Socialist Party and two smaller rivals. He had touted Galicia as a regional model for the economic-austerity program his government has pursued amid rising popular protest in the rest of Spain.

In the Basque Country, another exit poll showed a surprisingly strong second-place finish by a new radical separatist coalition, apparently enough to help a more-moderate nationalist party oust the ruling coalition between Mr. Rajoy’s party and the Spanish Socialist Workers Party.

The exit polls, taken by the regional government-owned television networks in Galicia and Basque Country, are widely regarded as reliable.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --European Sovereign Debt Crisis of 2010, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Euro, Europe, European Central Bank, Politics in General, Spain, The Banking System/Sector, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

Upper South Carolina Episcopal diocese meets, plans for next year

This year’s convention focused a great deal on making, equipping and sending mature disciples into the world, McKay said.

“That’s what the bishop is focusing on,” she said.

To do that, the Rt. Rev. W. Andrew Waldo laid out four priorities for the diocese’s 63 congregations: building the church community for prayer and discussion, teaching and vocation within the church, bearing witness and bringing service to the world and good stewardship of people, place and money, [Sally] McKay said.

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

Some churches shorten services to give families, busy young people, a worship option

Struggling with shrinking attendance, some churches are shortening their traditional Sunday service, promising to get a generation with limited attention spans out the door in as little as 30 minutes.

These abbreviated ceremonies are aimed at luring back the enormous numbers of young people who avoid Sundays at church. With distractions such as the Internet and a weak connection to the faith of their childhoods, many are steering clear, to the dismay of religious leaders who desperately want them back.

“We are increasingly aware of the time pressures on families, and they have been telling us that the traditional service is too long,” said the Rev. Chip Stokes of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Delray Beach, Fla. “We recognize that things are changing, and we have to be more adaptive without losing our core.”

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Children, Consumer/consumer spending, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Marriage & Family, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

Fond Du Lac Episcopal bishop says no to same-sex blessings

For Fond du Lac Episcopal Diocese churches wishing to perform same-sex relationship blessing ceremonies, Bishop Russell Jacobus’ decision is no … for now.

He told Saturday’s 138th Annual Diocesan Convention audience at the Holiday Inn Manitowoc that more study was needed “before we move forward into an era where the church would be re-interpreting … the historical and traditional view of marriage.”

After his address to delegates, Jacobus said only one church in the diocese, with 37 worshiping sites, had discussed and studied the issue with the kind of thoroughness he believes necessary without risking unnecessary divisiveness.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Bishops, TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils

(Tribune-Review) Pittsburgh Episcopalians install new bishop in tradition-bound ceremony

A church rocked by divisions over beliefs came together in jubilation on Saturday as leaders of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh consecrated the Rev. Dorsey McConnell as its first permanent bishop since 2008.

“The last four years have been trying, but it’s wonderful to have someone here now, especially a man like Bishop McConnell,” said Judith Waldorf, 62, of Shaler, who was among 400 people who filled Calvary Episcopal Church in East Liberty for the ceremony. “This is a wonderful day and I’m blessed to be here.”

Church leaders elected Mc-Connell, 58, to bishop in April. He previously served as rector of Church of the Redeemer in Chestnut Hill, Mass. He succeeds the Right Rev. Kenneth L. Price Jr., who served as provisional bishop since 2009.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Pittsburgh

(Post-Gazette) Unity a theme at new Pittsburgh Episcopal bishop's consecration

Amid the gothic grandeur of the consecration of a new bishop for the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh, a man in an overcoat and fedora suddenly held forth from the center aisle about a vision he said God had given him for a new bridge in Pittsburgh.

The speaker was the about-to-be-consecrated Bishop Dorsey Winter Marsden McConnell. The Yale-educated former actor, 58, teamed with diocesan youth to stage a parable about an engineer who couldn’t persuade anyone to build his “Bridge of the Angels” but used its model to save many families from a fire that broke out amid the great Pittsburgh flood of 1936….

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

Western Massachusetts Episcopal convention votes against casino gambling

A resolution from the convention, meeting at the Sheraton Springfield Monarch Place Hotel, reads, in part:

“Resolved, that we will undertake efforts to educate our members and our communities about the negative impact casinos will have …

“Resolved, that we will take action to minimize that negative impact, in particular by opposing a casino in Springfield because of the large number of our fellow citizens made especially vulnerable because of the effects of age, poverty, and addiction in the city; and we will be prepared to help those people who will suffer as a result of this legislation.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Consumer/consumer spending, Economy, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Gambling, TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils, Theology

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Equip us, O God, for the spiritual conflict with thine own armour: with the shield of faith, the sword of the Spirit, the helmet of salvation, the girdle of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, that we may be able to stand in the evil day; and grant that, having our feet shod with the gospel of peace, we may be able to maintain our ground unflinching to the end, through the might of Jesus Christ, the Captain of our salvation.

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

Praise the LORD! Praise the LORD from the heavens, praise him in the heights! Praise him, all his angels, praise him, all his host! Praise him, sun and moon, praise him, all you shining stars! Praise him, you highest heavens, and you waters above the heavens! Let them praise the name of the LORD! For he commanded and they were created. And he established them for ever and ever; he fixed their bounds which cannot be passed. Praise the LORD from the earth, you sea monsters and all deeps, fire and hail, snow and frost, stormy wind fulfilling his command! Mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars! Beasts and all cattle, creeping things and flying birds! Kings of the earth and all peoples, princes and all rulers of the earth! Young men and maidens together, old men and children! Let them praise the name of the LORD, for his name alone is exalted; his glory is above earth and heaven. He has raised up a horn for his people, praise for all his saints, for the people of Israel who are near to him. Praise the LORD!

–Psalm 148

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Nigeria army arrests 'Boko Haram commander'

The Nigerian army says it has arrested a senior commander of Boko Haram, as attacks by suspected members of the Islamist group continue.

Shuaibu Muhammed Bama was detained at the home of a serving senator in the city of Maiduguri, the army said.

The senator – who has not been named – denies the army’s claim, which has fuelled suspicions that some politicians are helping the militants.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Defense, National Security, Military, Law & Legal Issues, Nigeria, Police/Fire, Politics in General, Terrorism, Violence

Episcopal Forum Members Initiate Attack on South Carolina Bishop

Despite their assertions to the contrary, this is clearly a group comprised of the primary leadership of the Forum. To attempt to claim the Forum is not responsible for these actions is disingenuous at best.

It is also clearly not a group representative of a large portion of the diocese. It is representative of a very narrow slice of what is a small group in a handful of parishes. They have nothing like the broad, concerned constituency they proclaim.

Most troubling is the assertion that they have released their names voluntarily, as a courtesy, to avoid the scandal of secrecy. That is precisely what these actions represent.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: South Carolina, Theology

South Carolina Diocese Releases Statement Regarding Disassociation from the Episcopal Church

The Episcopal Church (TEC) has made an attack against our Bishop and Diocese, in the midst of efforts for a negotiated settlement, which has fundamentally changed our common life. You may have heard or read about this over the last week but it is vital today that we all understand what has occurred and what it means as clearly as possible.
For many years the diocese of South Carolina has opposed the primary theological direction of the national Episcopal Church (TEC). As TEC leadership has moved away from the claim of Jesus’ uniqueness, the authority of Holy Scripture, the meaning of marriage and the nature of what it means to be human, we have had to be more steadfast in our defense of these truths, and more vocal and strong in our opposition to TEC’s disavowal of them.

In the past few years this conflict has escalated to the point where in 2011 charges were brought against Bishop Lawrence (and later voted down in Committee), and where the 2012 General Convention placed an unbiblical doctrine of humanity into the Canons of the Church. The doctrine, discipline and worship of TEC were all fundamentally changed in a fashion most of our clergy cannot and will not comply with. Bishop Lawrence and a majority of our deputation left the Convention before it concluded as a result.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * By Kendall, * South Carolina, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: South Carolina, TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils, TEC Polity & Canons