Daily Archives: January 16, 2014

(Telegraph) Bishop 'downsizing’ to mansion costs Church of England £700,000

The Church of England has been accused of scoring an “extraordinary” own goal spending hundreds of thousands of pounds buying a house for a bishop so he would not live in the grandeur of a medieval palace.

The Church Commissioners, the Church’s property arm, announced last month that the next bishop of Bath and Wells will not live in the 800-year-old palace occupied by his predecessors.

Instead, the Rt Rev Peter Hancock will be housed in a property outside Wells offering greater “privacy” and which would be more “conducive to effective ministry and mission”.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Economy, England / UK, History, Housing/Real Estate Market, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Stewardship

(Reuters) European nations top for nutritious, plentiful and healthy food, Oxfam says

The Netherlands nudged past France and Switzerland as the country with the most nutritious, plentiful and healthy food, while the United States and Japan failed to make it into the top 20, a new ranking released by Oxfam showed.

Chad came in last on the list of 125 nations, behind Ethiopia and Angola, in the food index released on Tuesday by the international development organisation.

“The Netherlands have created a good market that enables people to get enough to eat. Prices are relatively low and stable and the type of food people are eating is balanced,” said Deborah Hardoon, a senior researcher at Oxfam who compiled the results.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, America/U.S.A., Asia, Dieting/Food/Nutrition, England / UK, Europe, Globalization, Health & Medicine, Science & Technology

(IBD) Facebook Loses 7 Million College Users In 3 Years

Leading social network Facebook (FB) has lost some 59% of its college users in three years and teenagers are also leaving the platform, an independent research firm said Wednesday.

Teen users have fallen by about 25%, according to a triennial report from iStrategyLabs, a digital strategy and marketing firm.

The data that’s backing the study come from Facebook’s ad platform, says iStrategyLabs Chief Marketing Officer DJ Saul in a blog post.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, --Social Networking, Anthropology, Blogging & the Internet, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Education, Ethics / Moral Theology, Theology, Young Adults

A BBC Magazine Article on Fasting

Fasting is not just physically demanding. It’s also psychologically tough, says the Anglican Bishop of Manchester, the Right Reverend David Walker, who has drunk only tea and water one day a week during lent for the last decade.

“The night before you start, you think: ‘How am I going to get through the day?'” says Bishop Walker. But it’s never as bad as you expect, he adds.

The key thing is to make sure you’re busy at normal mealtimes, he says. The body is conditioned to want food according to a routine.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Church History, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Ethics / Moral Theology, Spirituality/Prayer, Theology, Theology: Holy Spirit (Pneumatology)

The Anglican Church admits its first nuns in Namibia

The Diocese of Namibia of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa made history yesterday when it admitted its first celibate nuns during a ceremony held at the Onekwaya West Mission Station in the Ohangwena Region.

The church’s secretary and treasurer, Father Lukas Kaluwapa Katenda, said three young Namibian women took their vows of celibacy, poverty and obedience as Sisters of the Order of the Good Samaritan, a new religious order in the Anglican Church of Southern Africa.

“This is the first in the history of the Anglican Church in Namibia,” he said.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anglican Church of Southern Africa, Anglican Provinces, Namibia

(BBC) 'Lost boy' pastor: Fighting dishonours South Sudan

The Reverend Thon Moses Chol is a pastor at St Paul’s Episcopal Church in Alexandria, Virginia and one of South Sudan’s Lost Boys, a refugee to the US….

Read it all and watch the whole video (a little over 2 minutes)

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Episcopal Church (TEC), Episcopal Church of the Sudan, Ethics / Moral Theology, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Theology, Violence

(SFGate Blog) “Tips for Jesus” leaves $3,000 tip at S.F. restaurant

The anonymous diner famous for leaving huge tips in the name of Jesus ”” or, perhaps, a copycat ”” paid a visit to a San Francisco sushi restaurant Tuesday night, forking over a $3,000 tip on a $147 bill.

Employees at the high-end Japanese restaurant Roka Akor on Montgomery Street confirmed a “tall, dark and handsome” man dined with one other person before signing over the obscenely generous gratuity with the note “Tips for Jesus.” He also picked up the $389 tab for the table next to his ”” leaving before his waitress could thank him.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Consumer/consumer spending, Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Parish Ministry, Personal Finance, Religion & Culture, Stewardship, Theology, Urban/City Life and Issues

(Telegraph) Dysfunctional separated parents should be open to criticism, say some MPs

Sir Edward Leigh, MP for Gainsborough, said family breakdown had become a “modern plague”.

He blamed a “conspiracy of silence” perpetrated by the Church, the BBC, Parliament and the Press that discouraged people from speaking up for marriage. It has left hundreds of thousands of children “living a tragic life,” he said.

“In our permissive society a view has grown up that people are happiest if they are totally liberated. It is about ”˜me’,” he said. “We are told Britain has changed and we have to accept it but don’t we have a responsibility to speak out for what’s right?”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Children, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Theology

(NYT) The N.S.A. Devises a Radio Pathway Into Computers

The National Security Agency has implanted software in nearly 100,000 computers around the world that allows the United States to conduct surveillance on those machines and can also create a digital highway for launching cyberattacks.

While most of the software is inserted by gaining access to computer networks, the N.S.A. has increasingly made use of a secret technology that enables it to enter and alter data in computers even if they are not connected to the Internet, according to N.S.A. documents, computer experts and American officials.

The technology, which the agency has used since at least 2008, relies on a covert channel of radio waves that can be transmitted from tiny circuit boards and USB cards inserted surreptitiously into the computers. In some cases, they are sent to a briefcase-size relay station that intelligence agencies can set up miles away from the target.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Corporations/Corporate Life, Defense, National Security, Military, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Globalization, Politics in General, Science & Technology, The U.S. Government, Theology

Archbishop Justin Welby appoints ACNA priest Tory Baucum as a Canterbury preacher

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, --Justin Welby, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Archbishop of Canterbury, Parish Ministry

(Gallup) More Americans Worse Off Financially Than a Year Ago

More Americans, 42%, say they are financially worse off now than they were a year ago, reversing the lower levels found over the past two years. Just more than a third of Americans say their financial situation has improved from a year ago.

These results come from Gallup’s annual “Mood of the Nation” poll, conducted Jan. 5-8. Gallup has found that Americans’ economic confidence, self-reported consumer spending, and perceptions of job creation improved in 2013. Despite Americans’ more positive views of the overall U.S. economy in 2013, nearly two-thirds believe their personal financial situation deteriorated or was stable over the past year.

Though down from mid-2013, the percentage of Americans saying they are financially better off than a year ago is nearly in line with the historical average (38%), spanning 1976-2014. On the other hand, the share of Americans saying they are financially worse off compared with a year ago is, by historical standards, high — eight percentage points above the average. The record high of 55% occurred in May and September 2008, the year (and, in the latter case, the month) of the global financial meltdown.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Children, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Housing/Real Estate Market, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Marriage & Family, Personal Finance, Psychology, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

(W. Post) National Cathedral opens worship space to free classes and more to boost profile, coffers

When Congress authorized the creation of Washington National Cathedral in 1893, it envisioned a national spiritual home. Decades later, it became a setting for presidential funerals, sermons by the likes of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and worship services for epic national tragedies such as Newtown and Sept. 11.

But would it have thought of tai chi and yoga mats?

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Episcopal Church (TEC), House of Representatives, Office of the President, Parish Ministry, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Senate, Stewardship, Theology, Urban/City Life and Issues

(Diocese of S.C.) TEC denied again by Judge in attempt to seize Diocese of SC identity

U.S. District Judge C. Weston Houck issued a sharply worded ruling today that rebuffed efforts by The Episcopal Church to sidestep a South Carolina Circuit Court injunction preventing the denomination from seizing the identity and symbols of the Diocese of South Carolina.

In his ruling, Judge Houck said, “It appears Bishop [Charles G.] vonRosenberg is using the motion to express his disagreement with the Court’s ruling and to ”˜rehash’ previously presented arguments. ”¦ As such, Bishop vonRosenberg’s motion is improper and reconsideration is not justified.”

Bishop vonRosenberg had asked Judge Houck to effectively overturn a state court injunction preventing him and his followers from claiming to be the Diocese of South Carolina.

“We are grateful Judge Houck saw through The Episcopal Church in South Carolina (TECSC) efforts to distract from the real issues in this case,” said Jim Lewis, Canon to the Ordinary of the Diocese. “Their attempt to claim violation of trademark rights was little more than a stalling tactic.

“It’s understandable that TECSC wants to postpone the adjudication of the actual issues involved, but we’re confident the courts will not be distracted,” Lewis said. “Sadly, all the legal shenanigans simply add to the tens of millions of dollars the denomination has spent on legal bills aimed at bullying disaffected members to remain with TEC.”

TEC has historically used the courts to punish parishes and dioceses who disagree with the denomination’s shifting theology. The group has spent more than $22 million on legal efforts to seize individual church property and evict parishioners. At times when judges have ruled against TEC, the denomination has filed time-consuming appeals that have tied up break-away resources and, occasionally, worn down the resolve of individuals seeking religious freedom.

The state court case is scheduled to go to trial in July.

The Diocese of South Carolina disassociated from the Episcopal Church in October 2012 after TEC tried to defrock Bishop Lawrence. Following the Diocese’s decision, 49 churches representing 80 percent of the Diocese’s 30,000 members voted to remain in union with the Diocese and not with TEC.

The Diocese has consistently disagreed with TEC’s embrace of what most members of the global Anglican Communion believe to be a radical fringe scriptural interpretation that makes following Christ’s teachings optional for salvation.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Church History, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Stewardship, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: South Carolina, Theology

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O God, who by the leadings of thy providence didst bring wise men from far to give homage to Jesus, born to be King of all: Help us, who by various ways are led to Christ, humbly and thankfully to adore him with our gifts, and as our costliest treasure to present before him ourselves for his honour and service, now and always.

–James Ferguson

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

Therefore, holy brethren, who share in a heavenly call, consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession. He was faithful to him who appointed him, just as Moses also was faithful in God’s house. Yet Jesus has been counted worthy of as much more glory than Moses as the builder of a house has more honor than the house. (For every house is built by some one, but the builder of all things is God.) Now Moses was faithful in all God’s house as a servant, to testify to the things that were to be spoken later, but Christ was faithful over God’s house as a son. And we are his house if we hold fast our confidence and pride in our hope.

–Hebrews 3:1-6

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture