Daily Archives: July 28, 2014

A Message from Bishop Mark Lawrence at the Close of the recent Diocese of SC Trial

We also had witnesses in rebuttal to the case made by TEC attorneys. Our diocesan administrator, Nancy Armstrong, combed through centuries of diocesan records to contrast monies that have come into the diocese from TEC and its various related agencies with monies sent by the diocese to TEC. This was in rebuttal to the one-sided presentations given by witnesses from the National Church (including UTO grants which any woman from our DCW can tell you are from contributions from the pews in congregations around the country and not from some National Church budget). In summary the court learned that for every 81 cents given by The Episcopal Church and its various entities to us in South Carolina and our congregations for ministry; the diocese sent $100 to TEC ($100 to 81 cent ratio), therein undermining the defendants’ one-sided presentation of the “facts”. In fifteen minutes of testimony she undermined hours of tedium and an endless parade of documents from so-called experts for the National Church. When Mr. Runyan called to the stand the renowned professor and historian, Dr. Allen Guelzo, author of some 16 books and a foremost historian of the Civil War era and 18th and 19th centuries of American intellectual history we were treated to a breath-taking tour de force disputing the alleged hierarchical assumptions of the national Episcopal Church. Others in this rebuttal stage of the trial were Fr. Robert Lawrence from Camp St. Christopher, the Rev. Greg Kronz, who chaired the Bishop’s search committee and Chancellor Wade Logan who once again punctuated our case. On the last day, I was called finally to the stand.

But I need to say, and can hardly say it enough, undergirding it all””felt at times in palpable ways””the prayers and intercessions from tens of thousands of the saints within the diocese and around the world upholding us in prayer. Some of these intercessors came to the courtroom to pray while testimonies and cross-examinations were taking place. Others of you prayed from home, perhaps on a lunch break, or while driving to and from your work place. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Read it all.

Posted in * Admin, * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Episcopal Church (TEC), Featured (Sticky), Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Stewardship, TEC Conflicts

The Atlantic's Big Article on Polyamory–Multiple Lovers, Without Jealousy

The subtitle deserves to be printed just as written: Polyamorous people still face plenty of stigmas, but some studies suggest they handle certain relationship challenges better than monogamous people do.

Terri Conley, a professor of psychology and women’s studies at the University of Michigan who studies polyamory, has analyzed a sample of 1,700 monogamous individuals, 150 swingers, 170 people in open relationships, and 300 polyamorous individuals for a forthcoming study. She said that while people in “open relationships” tend to have lower sexual satisfaction than their monogamous peers, people who described themselves as “polyamorous” tended to have equal or higher levels of sexual satisfaction.

What’s more, polyamorous people don’t seem to be plagued by monogamous-style romantic envy. Bjarne Holmes, a psychologist at Champlain College in Vermont has found that polyamorous people tend to experience less overall jealousy, even in situations that would drive monogamous couples to Othello-levels of suspicion. “It turns out that, hey, people are not reacting with jealousy when their partner is flirting with someone else,” Holmes told LiveScience.

Sheff agreed. “I would say they have lower-than-average jealousy,” she said. “People who are very jealous generally don’t do polyamory at all.”

Read it all.

I will take comments on this submitted by email only to KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, --Polyamory, America/U.S.A., Marriage & Family, Men, Psychology, Sexuality, Women

(Telegraph) Google's most popular questions

Like many people, I trust Google to find me answers to everything from the mundane to the medical. Now, after a decade in which our increasing obsession with social media brought our computers out of the study and into the living-room, more of us are turning to the internet even when our question is emotional or irrational. The result: two decades after the birth of the web, our search histories have become a mirror to every aspect of our lives.

“Someone once said that what you look for is way more telling than information about yourself ”“ this is something Google and other search engines understood a long time ago,” says Luciano Floridi, the Professor of Philosophy and Ethics of Information at the Oxford Internet Institute.

“Future generations will be able to trace our interests as a society just by looking at what we were looking for. Even if we don’t find the information, it doesn’t matter. Who we are, how we represent ourselves, how the world feeding back a mirror image of ourselves shapes our idea of ourselves ”“ this is as old as philosophy, but today has a completely new twist. The online and offline are becoming more and more blurred, and that feeds back into our self-perception.” (If that sounds pseudy, then think of the example of a recruiter Googling someone who’s applied for a job: does the person on Twitter better represent who they really are, or the person on their best behaviour in the interview room?)

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, --Social Networking, Blogging & the Internet, England / UK, Health & Medicine, Philosophy, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology

(Independent) Stefano Hatfield–Complete disestablishment of church and state necessary

Being more cynical, one might buy into the famous Marx quotation: “religion is the opium of the people”. While it’s true that Marx was articulating his belief that religion was a way of “power” saying “don’t worry if you’re downtrodden in this life, you will find a reward in the next”, in the wider quotation from which those words are taken, he was actually being more sympathetic: acknowledging the potential of religion to give solace where there is distress.

That’s how I feel when I look on in bemused fascination at members of my own family’s religious devotion despite their never-ending series of trials in this life. As a callow, arrogant youth I would try the Marx line out on them, only to be dismissed. And rightly so, because back then I was merely trying to provoke them.

Today, the conversation is different. I respect their beliefs because I can see the solace they have brought them, whilst absolutely rejecting any attempts to continue to force those beliefs upon others, or to marry them to the state.

The need for complete dis-establishment of church and state not only in this country, but in all countries, appears so obvious in the face of the many inequalities that accompany “establishment” that it is mystifying that in the 21 Century that there can be any argument against it. But then, what do I know? Apparently, my heart is closed.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Church/State Matters, England / UK, History, Law & Legal Issues, Religion & Culture, Theology

(Living Church) Detained Border Children Get Episcopal Church Minister Pastoral Visits

For the past two months, federal authorities have been turning away clergy and nuns who’ve been trying to minister to detained, unaccompanied migrant children from Central America. But that situation is beginning to change.

In mid-July, an Episcopal priest in Arizona and a nun in Texas were among the first to receive invitations to provide pastoral care at detention facilities, where U.S. Customs and Border Protection has been overwhelmed and hard pressed to develop visitation protocol.

According to Bishop Kirk Smith of the Episcopal Diocese of Arizona, children detained in the Tucson area got a pastoral visit in mid-July from the Rev. John Smith, rector of the Church of St. Michael and All Angels in Tucson. Bishop Smith said the rector brought along his guitar.

“They wanted to sing songs with him,” Bishop Smith said. “They wanted to have prayers with him. People asked him for a blessing.”

Read it all.

Posted in Uncategorized

Kendall Harmon's Sunday Sermon–The Kingdom of God is abt Power to Grow and the Call to Transfrmatn

The Sermon is based on Matthew 13:31-3:

He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field. It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is larger than all the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.”

He told them another parable. “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven that a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, till it was all leavened.”

You may find the audio link here if you wish to suffer through it. Also note that there is an option to download it there (using the button which says “download” underneath the link which says “listen”).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * By Kendall, * Christian Life / Church Life, * South Carolina, Christology, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Sermons & Teachings, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(Reuters) Pool, phones, yoga: world intrudes on Amish now home in Ohio after prison

Amish farmer Raymond Miller developed a taste for Mountain Dew soda, got his GED, and wonders if he should get a pool table after learning to play in prison.

His wife, Kathryn, who had never ridden a public bus before boarding one last year to go to prison for forcibly cutting the hair of her relatives, was introduced to yoga and step classes while behind bars.

The Millers, members of an Amish breakaway sect from eastern Ohio at the center of shocking 2011 hair-cutting attacks on other Amish followers, are trying to settle back into life at home after being exposed in prison to a world their religion is focused on locking out.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Prison/Prison Ministry, Religion & Culture

(Catholic Herald) Patriarch decries ”˜mass cleansing’ of Mosul Christians

Syriac Patriarch Ignace Joseph III Younan travelled to Washington to meet US government representatives to highlight the plight of Christians in Mosul.

He spoke out about the “mass cleansing” of Christians from the Iraqi city by what he called “a bed of criminals”.

“We wonder how could those criminals, this bed of criminals, cross the border from Syria into Mosul and occupy the whole city of Mosul ”¦ imposing on the population their Shariah (law) without any knowledge of the international community,” he said on Friday, referring to Islamic State fighters, formerly known by the acronyms ISIS or ISIL.

“What happened is really kind of a cleansing based on religion. You have heard about what they did: proclaim ”” they announced publicly with street microphones, the ISIS ”” there’s no more room for Christians in Mosul, that they either have to convert, pay tax, or just leave. And they have been leaving now since then with absolutely nothing,” he added.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Iraq, Middle East, Other Churches, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Terrorism, Theology, Violence

Al-Qaeda-Linked Attacks Crush Kenya’s Coastal Tourism Industry

As Robert Mutuku hangs “Out of Africa” T-shirts in his craft shop in the Kenyan port city of Mombasa, he worries that the scarcity of tourists because of Islamist-militant attacks may doom his chances of keeping his five children in school.

Mutuku, 47, has had to fire three people who made souvenirs at his workshop for the tourists who once crowded the alleys of the city’s Old Town to savor its spice aromas and admire its Portuguese and Islamic architecture. Now Mutuku is certain he won’t be able to fulfill the dream of his eldest daughter, Catherine Ndinya, 21, to attend college.

“I have spent three days without selling anything,” Mutuku said in a July 25 interview. “I already took a bank loan to send the others back to school this term. I don’t know what I’ll do next term.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Kenya, Terrorism, Theology, Violence

(BBC) Downing of MH17 jet in Ukraine 'may be war crime' – UN

The downing of Malaysia Airlines jet MH17 in eastern Ukraine may constitute a “war crime”, the UN human rights chief Navi Pillay says.

Ukraine and Western governments believe pro-Russian rebels shot down MH17, using a missile system supplied by Russia. All 298 people on board – most of them Dutch – died on 17 July.

Moscow and the rebels have blamed Ukrainian forces for the plane crash.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Defense, National Security, Military, Ethics / Moral Theology, Europe, Globalization, Law & Legal Issues, Russia, Theology, Travel, Ukraine, Violence

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Johann Sebastian Bach, George Frederick Handel and Henry Purcell

Almighty God, beautiful in majesty and majestic in holiness, who dost teach us in Holy Scripture to sing thy praises and who gavest thy musicians Johann Sebastian Bach, George Frederick Handel and Henry Purcell grace to show forth thy glory in their music: Be with all those who write or make music for thy people, that we on earth may glimpse thy beauty and know the inexhaustible riches of thy new creation in Jesus Christ our Savior; who livest and reignest with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Church History, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Most merciful Father, giver of every good gift, who hast called us to stand in thy house and keep watch over thy people; Forgive us, we beseech thee, all our sins, and remove every trace of them, that they may not darken our minds and make us blind leaders of the blind. Sanctify us with thy truth, kindle our hearts with the love of thy Name, and grant us to walk in the light of thy presence; that ever seeking thee alone we may attain unto thee, and taught of thee may by word and example lead others to thee, the true Shepherd of our souls.

–The Pastor’s Prayerbook

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Bible Readings

When I am afraid, I put my trust in thee. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust without a fear. What can flesh do to me?

–Psalm 56:3-4

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(BBC) 'Boko Haram' abducts Cameroon politician's wife

The Cameroonian military says members of the Nigerian militant group Boko Haram have abducted the wife of the country’s deputy prime minister in the northern Cameroonian town of Kolofata.

A local religious leader and mayor was also abducted from the same town.

Separately, at least five people in northern Nigeria were killed in a blast – residents suspect Boko Haram.

Boko Haram has stepped up cross-border attacks into Cameroon in recent weeks, as the army was deployed to the region.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Cameroon, Foreign Relations, Marriage & Family, Nigeria, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Terrorism, Violence

(Sun. Telegraph) Archbp Welby’s unity plea to Pope Francis over women bishops

The Archbishop of Canterbury has written to Pope Francis in a plea to prevent the ordination of women bishops from derailing plans for the eventual reunification between the Anglican and Roman Catholic churches.

The Most Rev Justin Welby acknowledged that the vote at the General Synod earlier this month would be a “further difficulty” on the tortuous road towards eventual unity between the two churches which formally separated in the 16th Century.

But in a letter to the Pope and other global church leaders including leading orthodox patriarchs, he asked for prayers for the Church of England, telling them: “We need each other.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, --Justin Welby, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Ecumenical Relations, Other Churches, Pope Francis, Roman Catholic, Theology, Women