Monthly Archives: April 2014

Midday mental Health Break–incredible piece on Kentucky fan Marlana VanHoose, blind since birth

Watch it all from ESPN’s E-60.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Children, Health & Medicine, Marriage & Family, Music, Sports

(FT) Gavin Jackson–In charts: a Christian country?

In an article written last Wednesday for Church Times, an Anglican newspaper, David Cameron claimed that Britain was a “Christian country”. In response fifty-five assorted public figures including academics, scientists and comedians wrote a letter to the Telegraph newspaper on Easter Sunday saying that it was no such thing and in fact: “repeated surveys, polls and studies show that most of us as individuals are not Christian in our beliefs or our religious identities.”

That depends on how the question is asked. The results of the 2011 census supports Cameron, with narrow majorities in England and Wales, and Scotland and an overwhelming majority in Northern Ireland identifying as Christian. Yet the 2012 British Social Attitudes Survey (BSAS) places Christians in the minority comprising only 46 per cent of the population.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Church History, England / UK, History, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Sociology

(WSJ) GDP Slows to Crawl in 1st Quarter, Up 0.1%

The U.S. economy slowed in the first quarter to one of the weakest paces of the five-year recovery as the frigid winter appeared to have curtailed business investment and weakness overseas hurt exports.

Gross domestic product, the broadest measure of goods and services produced across the economy, advanced at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 0.1% in the first quarter, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had forecast growth at a 1.1% pace for the quarter.

The broad slowdown to start the year halted what had been improving economic momentum during much of 2013. In the second half of last year, the economy expanded at a 3.4% pace. The first quarter reading fell far below even the lackluster average annual gain of near 2% since the recession ended.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Globalization, Housing/Real Estate Market, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Personal Finance, Politics in General, The U.S. Government

Invitation for submissions to the Commission on the Marriage Canon in Ang Ch of Canada

The General Synod stipulated that the preparation of this motion should include a process of broad consultation. To facilitate this, a Commission on the Marriage Canon was formed. An important part of its mandate includes inviting submissions on the proposed change to Canon XXI (“On Marriage in the Church”).

Input from members of the Anglican Church of Canada is vital as the church enters this time of discernment. Commission chair, Canon Robert Falby, encourages broad participation in this process. “Commission members are aware of the strong feelings that many Anglicans have on the issues which it is looking at and we hope that we will receive input which reflects that spectrum.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Canada, Marriage & Family, Religion & Culture, Sexuality

(Chr Today) Hope and remembrance: Poppies planted to commemorate World War I centenary

Churches and pupils at church schools across the school are today planting poppy seeds in memory of those who fought and died in the First World War.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, took to Instagram earlier in the month to ask that people plant the seeds “to remember the terrible events of the First World War and as a sign of our hope in Jesus Christ for peace in the future”.

The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, is getting involved by planting seeds in the grounds of his official residence, Bishopthorpe Palace.

Read it all.

Posted in Uncategorized

(BBC) Nigeria girls' abduction: Protest march in Abuja

Demonstrators are to march through the Nigerian capital Abuja to press for the release of more than 200 schoolgirls abducted by militants two weeks ago.

They say they will march to the National Assembly and demand more action from the government, which has been criticised for not doing enough.

The Islamist group Boko Haram has been blamed for abducting the girls from their school in Chibok, Borno state.

Boko Haram has not yet made any response to the accusation.

Read it all.

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

(Churchman) J.I. Packer–Baptism: A Sacrament of the Covenant of Grace

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, Baptism, Evangelicals, Other Churches, Sacramental Theology, Theology

Anglican Diocese of Newcastle snuffs rumours of land development around Christ Church Cathedral

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican Provinces, Economy, Housing/Real Estate Market, Parish Ministry, Urban/City Life and Issues

(KSLA) Ale and the Almighty: Is there room for beer with Bible study?

It’s something you don’t think of together very often: beer and Bibles. A Shreveport group says the combination is breaking down traditional church walls, allowing their faith to become bar talk, with no judgments. After all, the Bible says Jesus turned water into wine.

“If we have a beer with someone, and you’re just going to be talking, the conversation happens to be about Jesus and God and how it applies to our lives in a very comfortable, casual setting,” explains Brooks Boylan with Shreveport’s St. Mark’s Cathedral.

Boylan says Ale and the Almighty is a new type of bible study in Shreveport, where the group pops open bottles of wine and beer before sitting down to discuss what theology is on tap. “I thought it was really appealing because it’s kind of not the stuffy church thing people think of sometimes,” says David Roberts, who has shown up to join in the conversation.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Alcohol/Drinking, Episcopal Church (TEC), Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, TEC Parishes, Theology, Theology: Scripture, Young Adults

(Local Paper) Justice Ministry calls for real solutions to youth crime, unemployment at rally

The nonpartisan interfaith ministry unites about two dozen diverse local faith-based entities to identify serious social justice problems and then develop and promote specific solutions.

At Tuesday’s rally, ministry members noted that despite local unemployment rates below the national average, and construction projects obvious around the area, young adults ages 16 to 24 here face far higher rates of unemployment.

They asked local municipalities for hiring policies that mandate 25 percent of all entry level jobs in publicly funded construction projects go to unemployed young adults who have undergone job training.

Read it all (on the front page of the paper edition).

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, Anthropology, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Religion & Culture, Teens / Youth, Theology

Ohio surgeons hope chip in man’s brain lets him control paralyzed hand with thoughts

Nearly a decade of research had brought them here: Doctors would, on this day last week, insert a chip into the brain of a man four days shy of his 23rd birthday. The chip would connect by wire to a port screwed into the man’s skull. A cable would link the port to a computer.

The computer was programmed to decode messages from the brain and beam their instructions to strips of electrodes strapped around the man’s forearm. The electrodes were designed to pulse and stimulate muscle fibers so that the muscles could pull on tendons in his hand.

If it all worked, a man who was paralyzed from the chest down would think about wiggling his finger, and in less than one-tenth of a second, his finger would move.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Health & Medicine, Science & Technology

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O Lord Jesus Christ, who art shepherd of thy people, so that they shall not want: We want thee to lead us peacefully to the green pastures and beside the still waters; to restore our souls when we wander from thee; and evermore to guide us in the paths of righteousness, for thy name’s sake.

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch of mine that bears no fruit, he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already made clean by the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If a man does not abide in me, he is cast forth as a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you; abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.”

–John 15:1-11

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(NYT) A Link Between Fidgety Boys and a Sputtering Economy

By kindergarten, girls are substantially more attentive, better behaved, more sensitive, more persistent, more flexible and more independent than boys, according to a new paper from Third Way, a Washington research group. The gap grows over the course of elementary school and feeds into academic gaps between the sexes. By eighth grade, 48 percent of girls receive a mix of A’s and B’s or better. Only 31 percent of boys do.

And in an economy that rewards knowledge, the academic struggles of boys turn into economic struggles. Men’s wages are stagnating. Men are much more likely to be idle ”” neither working, looking for work nor caring for family ”” than they once were and much more likely to be idle than women.

We reported last week that the United States had lost its once-enormous global lead in middle-class pay, based on international income surveys over the last three decades. After-tax median income in Canada appears to have been higher last year than the same measure in this country. The poor in Canada and much of western Europe earn more than the poor here.

These depressing trends have many causes, but the social struggles of men and boys are an important one.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Children, Economy, Education, Ethics / Moral Theology, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Marriage & Family, Men, Theology

In British Columbia, Property sale could fund Holy Trinity Cathedral restoration

Holy Trinity Cathedral is a monument to New Westminster’s past.

But to restore it to its former glory may require a modern solution.

The Anglican/Episcopalian church sits regally perched above Downtown at the top of Church Street.

It’s tucked away, surrounded by the police station, a nightclub, the Columbia SkyTrain station and high rises.

And now the congregation is hoping the city will be open to the idea of a plan that would put a residential tower on the site, and help them fix their church.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Canada, Economy, Housing/Real Estate Market, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Stewardship, Urban/City Life and Issues