Daily Archives: June 14, 2014

Executive Council discusses Diocesan Contributions to National Church Budget

The liveliest discussion during the opening session of the Episcopal Church’s Executive Council June 10-12 meeting here surrounded how much money the General Convention ought to ask dioceses to contribute to the church-wide budget ”“ and what should be done about dioceses that do not pay the full amount.

The discussion took the form of an informal poll of council members by Diocese of Ohio Bishop Mark Hollingsworth, chair of council’s Joint Standing Committee on Finances for Mission. FFM, as the committee is known, is in the process of helping to shape the draft 2016-2019 budget that council must construct by February 2015. Hollingsworth gave each council member 30 seconds to share what they are hearing around the church about the budget-funding process, and what they think ought to be done.

In the 2013-2015 triennium, dioceses are asked to contribute 19 percent of their annual income to help fund the church-wide budget. Each year’s annual giving in the three-year budget is based on a diocese’s income two years earlier, minus $120,000.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Ecclesiology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Executive Council, Parish Ministry, Stewardship, TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils, Theology

House of Deputies president’s opening remarks at Executive Council

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), Executive Council, House of Deputies President

Presiding Bishop’s opening remarks at Executive Council

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), Presiding Bishop

(Local Paper) Veterans saddened by lives 'thrown away' with Iraq on brink of collapse

The collapse of Iraq’s armed forces in the face of a lightning advance by Islamic militants has left some Lowcountry veterans of the Iraq war, incuding the Army general who helped pave the way for the U.S. invasion in 2003, frustrated, saddened and disappointed.

“I’m very sad about what could have been and what appears is now happening,” retired Lt. Gen. Colby Broadwater, who commanded operations in northern Iraq and Turkey in early 2003, said Friday. “We lost the better part of 4,000 soldiers in that operation. The Iraqis lost a lot of people. We have put untold billions of dollars into assisting and stabilizing that nation, which is a very difficult thing, to build a nation, and now it appears it’s all falling apart.”

Broadwater, now president of the American College of the Building Arts in Charleston, worked closely with American and Iraqi leaders, including current Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, to organize Iraq’s new government after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein’s regime.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, Defense, National Security, Military, Iraq War

Chuck Noll, the coach who led Steelers to 4 Super Bowl titles, dies at age 82

Success was never a destination for Chuck Noll. It was not a road that had an ending, rather always a new beginning. It was a journey, a path that never allowed for complacency or made room for satisfaction. Along the way, the lesson he instructed was always the same, whether it was life or football: Getting to the top is not nearly as difficult as staying there.

No head coach in National Football League history has ever enjoyed as much success as Charles Henry Noll, the only coach to win four Super Bowl trophies. And he did it in a six-year span of the 1970s in which the Steelers, the franchise he transformed from doormat to dynasty, became one of the most dominating teams of any NFL era….”He will go down as the guy who helped create the mystique that exists now with the Steelers,” said former coach Bill Cowher, who replaced Mr. Noll in 1992 and accumulated 161 victories and one Super Bowl title in 15 seasons with the Steelers, second only to Mr. Noll’s 209 victories in 23 seasons.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Death / Burial / Funerals, History, Parish Ministry, Sports

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Basil the Great

Almighty God, who hast revealed to thy Church thine eternal Being of glorious majesty and perfect love as one God in Trinity of Persons: Give us grace that, like thy bishop Basil of Caesarea, we may continue steadfast in the confession of this faith, and constant in our worship of thee, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; who livest and reignest for ever and ever.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Church History, Theology

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O God, who according to thy promise hast given thy Holy Spirit to us thy people, that we might know the freedom of thy children and taste on earth our heavenly inheritance: Grant that we may ever hold fast the unity which he gives, and, living in his power, may be thy witnesses to all men; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

–Church of South India

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

At the set time which I appoint I will judge with equity. When the earth totters, and all its inhabitants, it is I who keep steady its pillars….

For not from the east or from the west and not from the wilderness comes lifting up; but it is God who executes judgment, putting down one and lifting up another.

–Psalm 75: 2-3; 6-7

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Peter Berger–Is the Chinese Regime becoming more Hostile Toward Christianity?

Intense Protestant missionary activity, most of it from America and Britain, began [in Wenzhou] in the late nineteenth century. Wenzhou now has the largest percentage of Christians in the country””estimated at 15%. No wonder it has been called a “Christian Jerusalem”! What is particularly interesting is that the Christian community, most of it Protestant, has a large number of successful business people, known locally as “boss Christians”. Some of them expressed the opinion in a study that Protestantism would become the majority religion in China, and that this would not only be good for the economy but would help China become a great power (a prospect they welcomed). Until now, there have been relaxed relations between the Christian churches and the local power structure (state and party).

Christianity in China has exploded in numbers in recent decades. The phrase “Christianity fever” was used to describe this. I generally rely on two demographers of religion, Todd Johnson and Brian Grim. In their book The World’s Religions in Figures (2013), they estimate the total number of Christians in China at 67 million (about 5% of the country’s population). There are other estimates, the highest, by the World Christian Data Base (an Evangelical outfit), at 108 million (about 8%). This may be wishful thinking. Official Chinese government figures are much lower (possibly wishful thinking too, as is typical of all statistics released by authoritarian governments). Johnson and Grim estimate that the total of Protestants is 58 million (4.3 of the country’s population), with Catholics far behind at 9 million (0.7%). I would think that the Protestants are mainly Evangelical, many of them Pentecostal/charismatic. All these estimates include both churches that have been officially registered by the government, and those that have not. The distinction is important: The latter category of Christians (often referred to as belonging to “underground” or “house” churches””rather a misnomer, as some of them are very much “above ground” and worshipping in large buildings). However, even if tolerated by local authorities, the members of unregistered churches are very hard to count. I would therefore guess that totals of Christians including both categories are under-estimated.

Just what happened in Wenzhou? And what does it mean beyond that charming little town of nine million people?

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Asia, China, Church History, History, Missions, Religion & Culture

(NYT At War Blog) Reactions to the Turmoil in Iraq From Those Who Served

As a young Marine Corps officer, I helped keep communications lines running in Al Anbar, Iraq, while parts of Falluja burned. My younger brother mailed me his own lieutenant bars and a uniform hat on which to pin them; he earned an Air Force commission that spring. Much has changed in 10 years: My deployment is long over, my now-captain brother will be married tomorrow, and all of Iraq is poised to fall in flames. Today, I think of the service members who did not make it home to wed their beloved, and of Iraqi marriage celebrations destroyed by bombs. My horror mixes with stoic hope for my brother, who will deploy 10 days after his wedding.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Defense, National Security, Military, History, Iraq War

The Dutch Stun World Champions Spain 5-1


Still sitting here in eerie silence. Robin Van Persie’s first goal changed that game.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Brazil, Europe, Globalization, South America, Spain, Sports, The Netherlands