Daily Archives: January 15, 2013

(NY Times) How Five Workers over 50 remade Their Careers

It’s a baby boomer’s nightmare. One moment you’re 40-ish and moving up, the next you’re 50-plus and suddenly, shockingly, moving out ”” jobless in a tough economy.

Too young to retire, too old to start over. Or at least that’s the line. Comfortable jobs with comfortable salaries are scarce, after all. Almost overnight, skills honed over a lifetime seem tired, passé. Twenty- and thirty-somethings will gladly do the work you used to do, and probably for less money. Yes, businesses are hiring again, but not nearly fast enough. Many people are so disheartened that they’ve simply stopped looking for work.

For millions of Americans over 50, this isn’t a bad dream ”” it’s grim reality….[and] though there is no single path, there are success stories that offer hope….

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Blogging & the Internet, Children, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Marriage & Family, Middle Age, Psychology, Science & Technology

The Story of the 25 Years' Rectorship of George Van De Water at Saint Andrew's, NYC

Dr. Van De Water assumed active charge of the Parish on the date fixed, January 1st, 1888….We had called a young and able Rector to take charge of us, and “the people had a mind to work” with right good will.

It may be interesting to give some approximate figures of the Parish as they were recorded at the opening of the year 1888.

Number of families – 475
Number of Communicants – 1,000
Sunday scholars – 1,050
Debt on the Church, at 5 per cent – $43,500

Read it all.

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

A Profile of Rita Brock–A Minister Tending to Veterans’ Afflictions of the Soul

The personal and the pastoral…both inform Ms. [Rita] Brock’s work. She writes about her father in her recent book “Soul Repair: Recovering from Moral Injury after War.” Her co-author, Gabriella Lettini, is a theologian whose extended family includes veterans emotionally damaged by wartime experience. In the Soul Repair Center, Ms. Brock collaborates with the Rev. Herman Keizer Jr., who was an Army chaplain for 40 years.

Over the past three years, Ms. Brock and Ms. Lettini have spoken about moral injury and soul repair at the American Academy of Religion’s annual meeting and at denominational gatherings of Presbyterians and Unitarian Universalists.

Now, with a $650,000 two-year grant from the Lilly Endowment and the formal support of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), the Soul Repair Center is beginning to teach congregational leaders how to address moral injury in veterans. The first such training session will take place in early February.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anthropology, Books, Children, Defense, National Security, Military, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Marriage & Family, Pastoral Theology, Psychology, Theology, Violence

Archbishop of York: Wearing religious symbols at work

From here
Following the rulings at the European Court of Human Rights today, the Archbishop of York, the Most Revd Dr John Sentamu, has released the following statement.

‘Christians and those of other faiths should be free to wear the symbols of their own religion without discrimination. Christians are not obliged to wear a cross but should be free to show their love for and trust in Jesus Christ in this way if they so wish.

‘In July 2012, the General Synod stated that it is the calling of Christians to order and govern their lives in accordance with the teaching of Holy Scripture and to manifest their faith in public life as well as in private. This means giving expression to their beliefs in the written and spoken word, and in practical acts of service to the local community and to the nation.

‘The Equality Act 2010 encourages employers to embrace diversity – including people of faith. Whether people can wear a cross or pray with someone should not be something about which courts and tribunals have to rule.’

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE)

[Telegraph] Christian wins right to wear cross at work

The European Court of Human Rights ruled that the UK had failed to protect Nadia Eweida’s freedom to manifest her faith in the workplace.

But it rejected a similar legal challenge from Shirley Chaplin, a nurse, ruling that the hospital where she worked should be able to refuse permission to wear a cross on “health and safety” grounds.

Both women lost employment tribunal cases in Britain after being refused the right to wear a cross as a symbol of their faith under their employers’ uniform policy.

And in a hearing in Strasbourg last year the UK Government argued that this was not a breach of their human rights and wearing a cross is not an essential tenet of Christianity.

But in its judgment the court said that manifesting religion is a “fundamental right”.

It added: “[This is because] a healthy democratic society needs to tolerate and sustain pluralism and diversity; but also because of the value to an individual who has made religion a central tenet of his or her life to be able to communicate that belief to others.”

The ruling in favour of Mrs Eweida represents a humiliation for David Cameron who promised to change the law to enshrine workers’ right to wear the cross ”“ even as lawyers for his Government were actively fighting the women in court.

It led to accusations of hypocrisy.

But, in a decision which could have even wider long-term implications, the court also rejected parallel challenges brought by two other Christians who lost their jobs for taking a stand on what they saw as a matter of conscience.

Read it all

See also:
BBC: Christian Court Cases Explained and British Airways Christian employee Nadia Eweida wins case
Reuters: British woman wins religious discrimination case

Posted in * International News & Commentary, England / UK

(Living Church) Gary Yerkey–Sudan Policy Worse than Ever

A coalition of leading human rights activists and scholars has asked that Congress press the Obama administration to end the growing humanitarian crisis in the largely Christian areas of southern Sudan, saying that the administration’s response to the crisis has been non-existent.

U.S. policy toward the continuing human tragedy in Sudan is “in the worst place it’s ever been,” said Mark C. Hackett, CEO and executive director of Memphis-based Operation Broken Silence. “It’s extremely disappointing.”

Hackett and other activists ”” at a Jan. 11 forum organized by the Hudson Institute in Washington, D.C. ”” said that they had spent Jan. 10-11 on Capitol Hill calling for the United States to intervene to stop the systematic attacks of villagers in the Nuba Mountains of southern Sudan by the forces of President Omar al-Bashir.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --North Sudan, --South Sudan, Africa, America/U.S.A., Foreign Relations, Politics in General, Poverty, Sudan, Violence

In Mass., Citizens Against Casino Gaming and clergy groups urge Regular not Special Vote

Citizens Against Casino Gaming and two area organizations are urging the City Council to pass a resolution to have a vote on the casino issue on the November municipal election ballot.

The Springfield-based anti-casino group was joined by The Council of Churches of Greater Springfield and the Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts in seeking the November vote.

Mayor Domenic J. Sarno and the city’s chief development officer, Kevin E. Kennedy, have said that a casino vote is anticipated sometime between June and November.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Gambling, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, State Government, TEC Bishops, Theology

(Journal-Sentinel) Milwaukee Episcopal bishop yet to decide on same-sex blessings

When the Episcopal Church voted last summer to allow the blessing of same-sex unions, many clergy and faithful in Wisconsin and the nation saw it as a major step toward the full inclusion of gay and lesbian members in the life of the church.

Six months later, the prior ban on same-sex blessings remains in effect in the southern third of the state covered by the Diocese of Milwaukee. Bishop Steven Miller has yet to decide whether he’ll allow the provisional rite approved by the church to be used in its parishes. And the lack of a decision is frustrating many in a diocese that strongly supported the change.

“I have people here in my parish – faithful, committed Christians – who are partners in same-sex relationships and long to have their re lationships recognized by the church they love. So I’m really anxious to be able to do that,” said the Rev. Andy Jones of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Madison, echoing the concerns of several pastors in the diocese.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, --Gen. Con. 2012, Anthropology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, General Convention, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Religion & Culture, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Bishops, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(RNS) U.S. mosques hit by shortage of imams

The Spokane Islamic Center wants something mosques all across the country are seeking and can’t seem to find: an educated, bilingual, experienced imam who understands American culture.

According to the report “The American Mosque 2011” by University of Kentucky professor Ihsan Bagby, half of all mosques in the U.S. have no full-time staff, and only 44 percent of imams work as paid, full-time leaders.

In Spokane, the Muslim community has been seeking a leader for 18 months and counting.

Read it all.

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

(BBC) Nigeria 'arrests Boko Haram militant'

The Nigerian military says it has arrested a leader of the Islamist militant group, Boko Haram.

Mohammed Zangina was detained in the Government Reserved Area (GRA) of the north-eastern city of Maiduguri on Sunday afternoon, a statement said.

Mr Zangina, also known as Mallam Abdullahi and Alhaji Musa, was planning “deadly attacks” against civilians and security personnel there, it added.

Read it all.

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

Statement of the Global South Primates on Civil-Partnered CofE Bishops Decision

You may find a copy of this statement here with thanks to George Conger at Anglican Ink
…both the decision to permit clergy to enter civil partnerships and this latest decision which some call it a “local option,”are wrong and were taken without prior consultation or consensus with the rest of the Anglican Communion at a time when the Communion is still facing major challenges of disunity. It is contrary to “the inter-dependence” which we try to affirm between churches within the Communion. Moreover, it does not only widen the gap between the Church of England and Anglicans in the Global South, it also widens the gap between the Anglican Communion and our ecumenical partners. Further, it jeopardizes the relationship between us Anglicans living in the Global South and followers of other faiths, and gives opportunities to exploit such departure of moral standards that this type of decision may provide.

The Church, more than any time before, needs to stand firm for the faith once received from Jesus Christ through the Apostles and not yield to the pressures of the society! In other words, the Church needs to be“salt” and “light”and to present a distinctive message from that of the secular world around us.

We strongly urge the Church of England to reconsider this divisive decision.
________________________________________________________________

The Global South of the Anglican Communion
Secretariat: 37, St Paul Road, Vacoas, Mauritius . Email: dioang@intnet.mu Telephone: +(230) 686-5158 . Facsimile: +(230) 697-1096

12 January 2013

Statement from the Primates of the Global South of the Anglican Communion

We, Primates of the Global South of the Anglican Communion, are deeply concerned and worried by the recent decision of the Church of England’s House of Bishops which approves that clergy living in civil partnerships can be candidates to the episcopate.There is already an ambiguity regarding civil partnerships per se. We learnt that most civil partnerships, according to the Office for National Statistics in the UK, take place among the most sexually active age group. In addition dissolutions of civil partnerships are now increasing especially in the last few years. This puts into question the motives behind this civil partnership and adds to our confusion in the Global South.

When the Church of England allowed civil partnerships in 2005, they said that “The House of Bishops does not regard entering into a civil partnership as intrinsically incompatible with holy orders, provided the person concerned is willing to give assurances to his or her bishop that the relationship is consistent with the standards for the clergy set out in Issues in Human Sexuality.” Now, with allowing candidates for episcopacy to do the same, to whom should they give assurances? Clarification on this point is needed.

Sadly, both the decision to permit clergy to enter civil partnerships and this latest decision which some call it a “local option,” are wrong and were taken without prior consultation or consensus with the rest of the Anglican Communion at a time when the Communion is still facing major challenges of disunity. It is contrary to “the inter-dependence” which we try to affirm between churches within the Communion. Moreover, it does not only widen the gap between the Church of England and Anglicans in the Global South, it also widens the gap between the Anglican Communion and our ecumenical partners. Further, it jeopardizes the relationship between us Anglicans living in the Global South and followers of other faiths, and gives opportunities to exploit such departure of moral standards that this type of decision may provide.

The Church, more than any time before, needs to stand firm for the faith once received from Jesus Christ through the Apostles and not yield to the pressures of the society! In other words, the Church needs to be “salt” and “light” and to present a distinctive message from that of the secular world around us.

We strongly urge the Church of England to reconsider this divisive decision.

+ Mouneer Egypt
The Most Revd Dr. Mouneer Hanna Anis
Bishop of Egypt with North Africa and the Horn of Africa
Chairman, Global South Primates Steering Committee

++Nicholas Abuja
The Most Revd Nicholas Okoh
Primate of All Nigeria Bishop of Abuja
Vice-Chairman, Global South Primates Steering Committee

++ Ian Maritius
The Most Revd Ian Ernest
Primate of the Indian Ocean Bishop of Mauritius
Hon. General Secretary, Global South Primates Steering Committee

++Bolly Kuching
The Most Revd Datuk Bolly Lapok
Primate of South East Asia Bishop of Kuching
Hon. General Treasurer, Global South Primates Steering Committee

++ Stephen Yangon
The Most Revd Stephen Than Myint Oo
Primate of Myanmar Bishop of Yangon
Member, Global South Primates Steering Committee

++Eluid Nairobi
The Most Revd Dr. Eluid Wabukala
Primate of Kenya Bishop of Nairobi
Member, Global South Primates Steering Committee

++Bernard Matana
The Most Revd Bernard Nhatori
Primate of Burundi Bishop of Matana
Member, Global South Primates Steering Committee

++Hector Chile
The Most Revd Hector “Tito” Zavala
Primate of the Southern Cone Bishop of Chile
Member, Global South Primates Steering Committee

++Henri Kinshasa
The Most Revd Kahwa Henri Isingoma
Primate of Congo Bishop of Kinshasa
Member, Global South Primates Steering Committee

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops

The Rev John Richardson: How Much to Go After Philip Giddings?

You can see the background to this vote of no confidence in the Chair of the House of Laity to be taken on Friday January 18 here, here, here, and here,
He may be away from his desk, but I’ve not yet had a reply from my email to Nicholas Hills, the Secretary to the House of Laity of the General Synod, that I sent almost two weeks ago.

In it, I asked him for a “ball-park figure for the likely cost of the House of Laity meeting in January to consider the vote of ‘no confidence’ in the Chair, Philip Giddings”.

Like I said in the email, it was obviously a busy time (even busier now, I guess), but then it can’t be an easy time for Philip either.

A true estimate of the cost must be hard to gauge, given that it will include travel and subsistence, and perhaps even time off work, for all the members. However, there must be some obvious daily costs that one can work out from the usual gatherings of the Synod (a sort of ‘total minus the clergy and bishops’ would do it, I guess).

Nevertheless, in these days of austerity and the need to reduce unnecessary expenditure, we who are paying for it through our quotas etc surely have a right to ask and to know.

We also have the right to know why this meeting is being called. Below is the email sent to all members of the House of Laity setting out the reasons for which Canon Stephen Barney is calling for this special meeting. Judge for yourself whether you think this is a justifiable reason for taking this course of action.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops

(WSJ) Lee Gordon–Why America Is an Uncivil Society

From here:

The ivy-covered walls have insulated John I. Jenkins, president of the University of Notre Dame, from understanding the fact that the majority of Americans are unable to engage in the “deep and candid dialogue” he is promoting (“Persuasion as the Cure for Incivility,” op-ed, Jan. 9).

They cannot frame a decent, reasoned argument because they have neither the verbal skills nor a daily educational stimulus to do so.
I would suggest that he watch one hour of “Buckwild” followed by an hour of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” then conclude his seminar with a perusal of highlights from “Moonshiners.”

Father Jenkins will then see that bluntness and coarseness have permeated all levels of American society. These elements have forever supplanted the civility he is seeking.

.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Education, Military / Armed Forces, Politics in General

(Washington Post) Workers raiding retirement funds to pay the bills

A large and growing share of American workers are tapping their retirement savings accounts for non-retirement needs, raising broad questions about the effectiveness of one of the most important savings vehicles for old age.

More than one in four American workers with 401(k) and other retirement savings accounts use them to pay current expenses, new data show. The withdrawals, cash-outs and loans drain nearly a quarter of the $293 billion that workers and employers deposit into the accounts each year, undermining already shaky retirement security for millions of Americans.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Economics, Politics, Consumer/consumer spending, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Parish Ministry, Personal Finance, Stewardship, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, The U.S. Government, Theology

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O Lord Jesus Christ, who didst sit lowly in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them and asking them questions: Give unto thy servants that humility of heart, and willingness to learn, without which no man can find wisdom; to the glory of thy holy Name.

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