Daily Archives: January 11, 2013

Gregory Wolfe–Whispers of Faith in a Postmodern World

…for the past 24 years I have edited Image, a journal that publishes literature and art concerned with the faith traditions of the West. Our instinct when launching the publication was that the narrative of decline was misguided, but we honestly didn’t know if we could fill more than a few issues.

Sometimes when you look, you find. Over the years Image has featured many believing writers, including Annie Dillard, Elie Wiesel, Christian Wiman, Marilynne Robinson and Mark Helprin. But these writers of religious faith and others are not hard to find elsewhere. Several prominent American authors””Franz Wright, Mary Karr and Robert Clark””are Catholic converts. Nathan Englander and Jonathan Safran Foer last year published “New American Haggadah,” a contemporary take on the ritual book used by Jews on Passover.

In short, the myth of secularism triumphant in the literary arts is just that””a myth. Yet making lists of counterexamples does not get at a deeper matter. It has to do with the way that faith takes on different tones and dimensions depending on the culture surrounding it.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Books, Media, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Secularism

An Anglican Ink Article on the Statement on the C of E Bishops Decision on civil partnered bishops

The African church’s objections were not to the appointment of men to the episcopate who had a same-sex sexual orientation, but to clergy who had contracted a gay civil partnership being appointed to the episcopate. The proviso that such relationships were celibate only when they involved the clergy of the Church of England was preposterous, one African bishop told Anglican Ink.

Archbishop Stanley Ntagali of Uganda said the House of Bishops’ decision “to allow clergy in civil partnerships to be eligible to become Bishops is really no different from allowing gay Bishops. This decision violates our Biblical faith and agreements within the Anglican Communion.”

The decision to permit partnered gay clergy to serve as bishops “only makes the brokenness of the Communion worse and is particularly disheartening coming from the Mother Church,” he argued.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Church of Nigeria, CoE Bishops, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Sexuality, Theology, Theology: Scripture

A Revealing Proposed Canonical Change in the TEC Diocese of Georgia for next month's Convention

From here:

Replace Title IV, Canon 1””Ethical Standards
The proposed change would replace the current text of Title IV, Canon 1

Ethical Canon Draft Revision for the Diocese of Georgia’s Title IV, Canon 1 (“Ethical Standards”) currently reads: “Marriage between a man and a woman or abstinence from sexual activity are the only acceptable forms of sexual behavior for a Deacon, Priest or Bishop in the Diocese of Georgia.”

The proposed substitute from the Committee on Constitution & Canons is as follows:

Deacons, Priests, and Bishops in the Diocese of Georgia are called to be wholesome examples to the Church exhibiting the teachings and virtues of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Their personal lives must manifest faithfulness, monogamy, life-long commitment, mutual caring, and the healthy care of themselves and their families. Their public lives must show financial honesty, confidentiality as required, respect of interpersonal and professional boundaries, and the avoidance of fraud, deceit, or deliberate misrepresentations.

References for above:
The ordination rite of the BCP
Title IV, Canon 4

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Anthropology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Bishops, TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils, TEC Polity & Canons, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(BBC) Will South Africans ever be shocked by rape?

At a time when Indians are re-examining their society in the light of a single, horrific incident of gang rape, South Africa seems numb – unable to muster much more than a collective shrug in the face of almost unbelievably grim statistics – seemingly far worse than India’s.

Here almost 60,000 rapes are reported to the police each year – more than double the number in India, in a far smaller country.

Experts believe the true figure is at least 10 times that – 600,000 attacks….

Read it all or watch the video report (recommended).

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anthropology, Asia, Ethics / Moral Theology, India, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Men, Politics in General, Sexuality, South Africa, Theology, Violence, Women

(ABC Nightline) Investigating Chinese Firms listed on American exchanges later found to be Frauds

“Dozens of companies have been delisted from our exchanges due to economy irregularities and outright fraud,” said Dan David, vice president of GeoInvesting, LLC, a firm that monitored the Asian investment craze. “They raised hundreds of millions, some companies, that is outright money that was taken from investors that they’ll never see again.”

[Mary] Schapiro said the SEC opened 40 cases against Chinese firms during her tenure, targeting financial schemes she described as “brazen” and “extraordinary.” Schapiro, who stepped down in December, said that when she asked Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan for help during a trip to Beijing in July her requests were rebuffed.

“We haven’t yet achieved a level of cooperation that makes it possible for us to get access to Chinese companies the way we need,” Shapiro said. “We will fight hard to try to secure recovery for U.S. investors. But it’s harder when we don’t have the cooperation of the foreign government.”

Read it all and watch the video report (recommended)

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Asia, China, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Globalization, Law & Legal Issues, Stock Market, Theology

Tom McClusky–”˜Fiscal cliff’ deal penalizes married couples

On top of the possible employment losses, what messages are we sending when the government penalizes marriage at any level? One message is clear. The decision by Congress to impose a marriage penalty only discourages couples from getting married and subsidizes cohabiting households. The Marriage and Religion Research Institute studies the social science data and research on the impacts of marriage and religious practice on the lives of children and the future of the nation. Statistics show that homes headed by married couples are less likely to need government assistance. Analyzing the data, they have found that children in homes headed by married couples are more likely to be higher-achieving students and better citizens, and are less likely to become dependent on the failing government subsidy system.

Add in the higher taxes (an average of $2,425 per employee) from the 2 percent tax increase in everyone’s paychecks to pay for Social Security and the myriad tax increases all families will pay thanks to the malady known as Obamacare, and it is likely that families will end this year with their own personal fiscal cliffs. If Congress is serious about tax reform, easing the burdens on all families should be at the center of any transformation.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, City Government, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Office of the President, Personal Finance, Politics in General, Senate, Taxes, The U.S. Government, Theology

(Church Times) Bp. Paterson on Civil partnerships: ”˜We should have shown workings'

Bishop Paterson was appointed to chair a group looking into whether clergy in civil partnerships should be eligible for nomination to the episcopate ( News, 2 December 2011). The House of Bishops had recommended a moratorium on such appointments until the group reported ( News, 8 July 2011).

Speaking on Monday, Bishop Paterson said that the group – whose other members were the Bishop of Portsmouth, the Rt Revd Christopher Foster, and the Bishop of Dorchester, the Rt Revd Colin Fletcher – had produced a 20-page report for the House of Bishops in May last year.

The group’s report examined three questions: should the moratorium be maintained or not? If not, should there be any additional requirements made of candidates for the episcopate that would not be made of those seeking a parish appointment? If so, what should those additional requirements be?

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Religion & Culture, Sexuality

The Latest Edition of the Diocese of South Carolina Enewsletter

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Media

The Latest Edition of the Diocese of South Carolina Newspaper is now available

If you have not seen this material, you need to. Read it all (16 page pdf).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Blogging & the Internet, Episcopal Church (TEC), Media, TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: South Carolina

Episcopal Church in Totowa, New Jersey, closing after 91 years

Borough resident Shirley Gerhardt, 88, remembers her early days at the Christ Episcopal Church on Totowa Road. She started going there as a teenager.

“My father used to say I spent more time there than I spent at home because I used to do yard work in the garden, planted plants and all kinds of stuff, in addition to actually worshiping there,” Gerhardt said.

She would go on to represent the church before the Diocese Council, which with the working group that governs the church, and last week recalled some of the outreach efforts that the church conducted in its prime.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, TEC Parishes

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O God, who by the guidance of a star didst manifest to the Gentiles the glory of thine only begotten Son: Grant us grace that, being led by the light of thy Holy Spirit, we may, in adoring love and lowliest reverence, yield ourselves to thy service; that thy kingdom of righteousness and peace may be advanced among all nations, to the glory of thy name; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

–Book of Common Order

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Epiphany, 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

(AP) Bishop nominated for parishes seeking affiliation with TEC in the yet to be established Diocese

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Episcopal Church (TEC), Parish Ministry, Presiding Bishop, TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Polity & Canons

(ENS) Charles vonRosenberg nominated to be Bishop for a Diocese that Does Not Exist Yet

Read it all.

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

And How do You See That Theological Paucity? By Revisiting The 2008 Calif. Catholic Bps' Statement

“Catholic teaching maintains that marriage is a faithful, exclusive and lifelong union between one man and one woman joined in an intimate partnership of life and love””a union instituted by God for the mutual fulfillment of the husband and wife as well as for the procreation and education of children.

“Partnerships of committed same-sex individuals are already legal in California. Our state has also granted domestic partners spousal-type rights and responsibilities which facilitate their relationships with each other and any children they bring to the partnership. Every person involved in the family of domestic partners is a child of God and deserves respect in the eyes of the law and their community. However, those partnerships are not marriage””and can never be marriage””as it has been understood since the founding of the United States. Today’s decision of California’s high court opens the door for policymakers to deconstruct traditional marriage and create another institution under the guise of equal protection.

Read it all (note it is my emphasis) and check out the comments and look at the related postings here,here, here and there. Also, check out this valuable posting and the comments also.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anthropology, Children, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Bishops, TEC Parishes, Theology, Theology: Scripture