Daily Archives: February 26, 2014

(Church Times) War of words between bishops and Government

A row has broken out between faith leaders and the Government over the impact of reforms to the welfare system.

The war of words was sparked by a letter in the Daily Mirror last week, signed by 27 Anglican bishops, which accused the Government of creating a food-poverty crisis by changing and restricting various benefits.

David Cameron denied that his government was to blame for up to 500,000 visits to foodbanks last year. He said that he was on a “moral mission” to end dependency on welfare payments.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, --Rowan Williams, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Ethics / Moral Theology, Politics in General, Poverty, Religion & Culture, Theology

(RNS) Benedict rejects rumors on why he resigned as “simply absurd”

As the anniversary of his surprising resignation approaches, Pope Benedict XVI has rejected as “simply absurd” the speculation that he was forced to step down, and he said he still wears the distinctive white papal cassock for “purely practical reasons.”

“At the moment of my resignation there were no other clothes available,” Benedict wrote in a brief letter to an Italian journalist that was published on Wednesday (Feb. 26).

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Media, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

Tom Friedman–How to Get a Job at Google

Last June, in an interview with Adam Bryant of The Times, Laszlo Bock, the senior vice president of people operations for Google ”” i.e., the guy in charge of hiring for one of the world’s most successful companies ”” noted that Google had determined that “G.P.A.’s are worthless as a criteria for hiring, and test scores are worthless. … We found that they don’t predict anything.” He also noted that the “proportion of people without any college education at Google has increased over time” ”” now as high as 14 percent on some teams. At a time when many people are asking, “How’s my kid gonna get a job?” I thought it would be useful to visit Google and hear how Bock would answer.

Don’t get him wrong, Bock begins, “Good grades certainly don’t hurt.” Many jobs at Google require math, computing and coding skills, so if your good grades truly reflect skills in those areas that you can apply, it would be an advantage. But Google has its eyes on much more.

“There are five hiring attributes we have across the company,” explained Bock. “If it’s a technical role, we assess your coding ability, and half the roles in the company are technical roles. For every job, though, the No. 1 thing we look for is general cognitive ability, and it’s not I.Q. It’s learning ability. It’s the ability to process on the fly. It’s the ability to pull together disparate bits of information. We assess that using structured behavioral interviews that we validate to make sure they’re predictive.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anthropology, Blogging & the Internet, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Education, Ethics / Moral Theology, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Science & Technology, Theology

Robert Munday's 5 part Series–Edward Salmon Invites the TEC PB to Preach at Nashotah House

Please take the time to read them in order (from bottom to top). An excerpt follows:

My experience at both Trinity and Nashotah House has led me to conclude:

1. You can be an Anglican seminary outside the control of the Episcopal Church and still survive.
2. You cannot be a seminary in the Episcopal Church and remain orthodox.

In witness to that, I point to the following news I received today: Bishop Iker Resigns in Protest From Nashotah House Board (because Bp. Salmon has invited Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori to preach in Nashotah House’s Chapel), an event that is shocking and tragic to many alumni.

Just as my “getting the House in Trouble” by reaching out to the AMiA and the ACNA and starting a congregation in the seminary chapel may have been the low point (as some would reckon it) of my deanship, the scandal of inviting Katharine Jefferts Schori to preach in the seminary chapel will probably go down as the low point of Bp. Salmon’s deanship. I can only say that I would put the low point of my deanship up against the low point of Bp. Salmon’s deanship any day. (I would also gladly compare the high points of my deanship with the high points of his.)
In Bp. Salmon’s first interview as Dean and President, Doug LeBlanc reported:
Salmon said he plans to strengthen relationships, both among seminary faculty and staff and between the seminary and bishops of the Episcopal Church. (Emphasis added.)
Well, now we see where that has led, don’t we? Salmon is further quoted as saying,
“The name of leadership is relationships – people connecting with each other and working together,” he said. “Our broken relationships in the Church are a testimony against the Gospel.”
No, Bishop, the heterodoxy of the Episcopal Church, in general, and of Katharine Jefferts Schori, in particular, are a testimony against the Gospel. We are called to separate ourselves from false teachers; and a shepherd, whether of a diocese, a parish, or a seminary, is called to protect his flock from wolves. In the words of the ordination vows Bishop Salmon took: “Are you ready, with all faithful diligence, to banish and drive away all erroneous and strange doctrine contrary to God’s Word; and both privately and openly to call upon and encourage others to do the same?” To lead a seminary like Nashotah House in these days, and to fail to keep that ordination vow, is to see your seminary turn into another Seabury-Western, or General, or worse.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Ecclesiology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Pastoral Theology, Presiding Bishop, Seminary / Theological Education, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(Independent) Matthew Norman Responds to Lord Carey's piece on Welfare Cuts

[George Carey’s] …latest tour de force, in The Times, comes in response to the 27 Anglican bishops who have advised David Cameron that the rise of the food bank represents a “national crisis”, and that with more than 5,000 admitted to hospital last year with malnutrition, he has “a moral duty” to address the hideous effects of benefit cuts.

With wonted grace, Carey concedes that mass hunger is a seemly matter for clerical concern. Where he and his brethren differ is over the analysis of the cause. Carey believes that the root of the problem is nothing as fanciful as people not having the money to buy food; but the breakdown of family networks, “in which such basic skills such as cooking”¦ are no longer passed down the generations”.

Perhaps he is right. Perhaps those people became malnourished after spending weeks bemusedly shifting their glance between a prime rib of beef and the oven, vaguely aware the two might somehow work together to produce a meal, but wholly baffled as to how.

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Posted in Uncategorized

([London] Times) George Carey–It’s simplistic for bishops to oppose welfare cuts

I applaud the 27 bishops of the Church of England for drawing attention to the phenomenon of hunger. Churches and clergy are present in all communities throughout the land and observe at first hand the plight of families facing shortages of money and food. They are right in describing a serious problem but only partially correct in their analysis. It is much too simplistic to blame these problems on cutbacks to welfare and “failures in the benefit system, whether it be payment delays or punitive sanctions”.

The problems relate to a great variety of factors, including the loss of essential family networks in which basic skills such as cooking, household management and budgeting are no longer passed down the generations. The welfare system is being asked to replace kinship and neighbourliness and, in contrast to these, it is never going to pass muster as the ideal vehicle to deliver aid to those in greatest need when they most need it.

There is something Canute-like about resistance to welfare cuts. All three political parties acknowledge the need for reductions to welfare spending, wastage and fraud in the system and have all talked about the dangers of welfare dependency and the need to get people into work. They are not agreed on precisely where the axe should fall,…

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Children, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Dieting/Food/Nutrition, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Poverty, Religion & Culture, Theology

Archbishop John Sentamu–'Change is a Constant'

Change is a constant. Doesn’t she know it! And indeed she has demonstrated in her long, dutiful and faithful reign.

We need wisdom and discipline to help us embrace change and guide us to shape it for a better and brighter future.

We also need an inner stability to help us through. Reflecting on my own childhood ”“ my parents, twelve siblings, a large extended family and church-life ”“ helped me to find a true habitat for a constantly renewed mind where the good habits of the heart began to grown and flourish.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Archbishop of York John Sentamu

Bishop Tim Thornton to Lead Parliamentary Inquiry into Foodbanks and Food Poverty

The Bishop of Truro, Rt Rev Tim Thornton, is to co-chair a major parliamentary inquiry into foodbanks and food poverty in Britain.

The inquiry, which will involve MPs and Peers from all parties, will focus on the underlying causes of food poverty and reasons for the growth in food banks.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Dieting/Food/Nutrition, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Poverty, Religion & Culture, Theology

China's Pollution Problem–2 Pictures of Bejing, 3 weeks apart

I found this very powerful–take a look.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Asia, China, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Energy, Natural Resources, Science & Technology

(DCR) George Weigel–Rediscovering the Martyrology

Solidarity with the persecuted Church is an obligation of Christian faith. Reflecting on how well each of us has lived that obligation is a worthy point on which to examine one’s conscience during Lent. And that brings me to a suggestion: Revive the ancient tradition of daily readings from the Roman Martyrology this coming Lent by spending 10 minutes a day reading John Allen’s new book, The Global War on Christians: Dispatches from the Front Lines of Anti-Christian Persecution (Image).

The longtime Vatican correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter and CNN’s senior Vatican analyst, Allen has recently moved to the Boston Globe as associate editor, where he (and we) will see if talent and resources can combine to deepen a mainstream media outlet’s coverage of all things Catholic, both in print and on the Web. Meanwhile, Allen will continue the Roman work that has made him the best Anglophone Vatican reporter ever””work that has given him a unique perspective on the world Church, and indeed on world Christianity. His extensive experience across the globe, and his contacts with everyone who’s anyone in the field of international religious freedom issues, makes him an ideal witness to what he calls, without exaggeration, a global war on Christian believers.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Books, Christology, Death / Burial / Funerals, Ecclesiology, Eschatology, Globalization, Middle East, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Theology, Violence

(NYT On Religion) AA for agnostics, atheists, humanists or freethinkers

Three floors above a Manhattan street of loading docks and coffee shops, in a functional room of folding chairs and linoleum tile, a man who introduced himself as Vic began to speak. “Today is my 35th anniversary,” he said. The dozen people seated around him applauded, and several even whooped in support.

By most overt measures, this gathering two weeks ago was just another meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous, one of its multitude of meetings worldwide. At the session’s end an hour later, however, as the participants clasped hands, instead of reciting the Lord’s Prayer in usual A.A. fashion, they said together, “Live and let live.”

This meeting, as the parting phrase suggests, is one of a growing number within A.A. that appeal to nonreligious people in recovery, who might variously describe themselves as agnostics, atheists, humanists or freethinkers. While such groups were rare even a decade ago, now they number about 150 nationally. A first-ever convention will be held in November in Santa Monica, Calif.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Alcoholism, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Secularism

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O God, the Father of lights, from whom cometh every good and perfect gift: We beseech thee to grant us such health of body as thou knowest to be needful for us; that both in our bodies and our souls we may evermore serve thee with all our strength and might; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

–John Cosin

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Health & Medicine, Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Bible Readings

Go to the ant, O sluggard;
consider her ways, and be wise.
Without having any chief,
officer or ruler,
she prepares her food in summer,
and gathers her sustenance in harvest.
How long will you lie there, O sluggard?
When will you arise from your sleep?
A little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the hands to rest,
and poverty will come upon you like a vagabond,
and want like an armed man.

–Proverbs 6:6-11

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(Kansas City Public Media) Contentious Views Dominate Katharine Jeffort Schori's Tenure

Listen to it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, Presiding Bishop, Theology

Islamist Militants of Boko Haram are Blamed for College Attack in Nigeria

After herding the female students into a classroom, Islamist militants from the group Boko Haram fatally burned or shot dozens of male students in an attack late Monday on a state college in northeastern Nigeria, officials said on Tuesday. It was the fourth school assault attributed to the group in less than a year.

The assailants, who have vilified public education as blasphemous, then burned down dormitories and other buildings and shot at anyone trying to escape. None of the women were reported to have been harmed.

Abdulla Bego, a spokesman for the governor of Yobe State, where the attacks took place, said the killers had traveled in nine pickup trucks to the attack site, the Federal Government College Buni Yadi, about 45 miles from the state capital, Damaturu. They staged the ambush when soldiers in a military garrison assigned to protect the school were absent.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Defense, National Security, Military, Education, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Nigeria, Police/Fire, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Teens / Youth, Terrorism, Theology