Monthly Archives: September 2014

(NYT) Life in the post ACA World–Big bills When E.R. Is in Network but Drs. Arent

When Jennifer Hopper raced to the emergency room after her husband, Craig, took a baseball in the face, she made sure they went to a hospital in their insurance network in Texas. So when they got a $937 bill from the emergency room doctor, she called the insurer, assuming it was in error.

But the bill was correct: UnitedHealthcare, the insurance company, had paid its customary fee of $151.02 and expected the Hoppers to pay the remaining $785.98, because the doctor at Seton Northwest Hospital in Austin did not participate in their network.

“It never occurred to me that the first line of defense, the person you have to see in an in-network emergency room, could be out of the network,” said Ms. Hopper, who has spent months fighting the bill. “In-network means we just get the building? I thought the doctor came with the E.R.”

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Posted in Uncategorized

(Anglican Ink) Next Lambeth Conference cancelled?

The 2018 Lambeth Conference has been cancelled. The precarious state of the Anglican Communion has led the Archbishop of Canterbury to postpone indefinitely the every ten year meeting of the bishops of the Anglican Communion.

A spokesman for Archbishop Justin Welby told Anglican Ink that as the archbishop had not yet met with each of the primates of the communion, he would not be commenting on the news. Since his installation last year, the Archbishop of Canterbury has travelled extensively and plans on visiting the 37 other provinces of the Anglican Communion within the first 18 months of his term of office.

News of the cancellation was made public by the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, the Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori on 23 Sept 2014. In response to a question from the Bishop of Rochester, the Rt. Rev. Prince Singh, who asked if money was being set aside to fund the Episcopal Church’s participation in the 2018 meeting, the Presiding Bishop told the Fall Meeting of the House of Bishops gathered in Taipei, Taiwan, that she had been told by Archbishop Welby the meeting had been cancelled.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Latest News, --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury

Anglican Church says Newman Government program fuels gambling addiction

[Dean of Brisbane] Dr [Peter] Catt, the chair of the church social responsibilities committee, launched a stinging attack on the Government.

He said: “A business model that depends to a large extent on losses from problem gamblers and the subsequent harm to individuals and families is unethical.

“Even proceeding on the erroneous assumption that harm is in fact limited to a small percentage of the population, this approach effectively validates the great harm done to a few, for the mild pleasure, financial benefit and convenience of the majority.’’

Dr Catt said the Government policy was exposed as “deeply destructive” to both gamblers and their families.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Australia / NZ, Ethics / Moral Theology, Gambling, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, Poverty, Religion & Culture, Theology

Lent and Beyond: Prayer Diary Sept 30th

Lent and Beyond is now on Twitter (@anglicanprayer) …

and it’s given them a lot of new ideas for how to mobilize prayer! They’ve launched what they hope will be a fairly regular new feature. A daily prayer diary composed of Tweets they’ve come across focused on specific prayer needs, encouragement from Scriptures, ministries to support, articles challenging us to grow in our Christian life and ministry.

Check it out. Prayer Diary Sept 30 (10 favorite Tweets)

Prayer needs included today include: Ebola, Iraq, South Asia Flooding, Nigeria, Laos, Church Society, Bible Translation, Outreach to Muslims, Hong Kong

Also, don’t forget Lent & Beyond’s Ebola Crisis Prayers

Latest entries:
Praying for Church leaders in West Africa by name
14 Key Leaders to Pray For
Ebola crisis intercessors

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Resources & Links, Resources: blogs / websites, Spirituality/Prayer

(CC) Carol Merritt–8 things you can do to get the word out about your church

Often we want our churches to grow, but we’re not sure what sort of tools to use. We don’t have any sort of action plan to get the word out about our congregations. Of course, word of mouth is still the best way to get people to church, but there are things we can do to make that message sharable. Here are a few steps we can take.

Clarify our message””Think about who your church is and what they aspire to be. Can you think of a story in your history that reflects who you are? Can you think of a metaphor or some sort of physical object to reflect that message? Can you boil the message down to three to five words?

Google Maps””Find your church on Google maps and fill out the details. Make sure the contact information is good. Put your website there.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, --Social Networking, Blogging & the Internet, Evangelism and Church Growth, Media, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Care, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology, Theology

The Archbishop of Canterbury pays tribute to Bishop Michael Scott-Joynt RIP

His tenure in Winchester was more than 15 years, during which he not only served that See with distinction, but made a vital contribution to the House of Bishops and to the work of the Church in the House of Lords. With his ability to grasp detail and a remarkable stamina, he fulfilled all the demands made of him with a willingness that made him highly respected not only in the church, but far beyond. In addition Michael served as Prelate to the Order of the Garter, a privilege which he was honoured to fulfill with loyalty and care in service of his Sovereign.

In the wider communion there will be many mourning his passing, as he both cared about and championed many of the dioceses with which Winchester was linked, who suffered not only from lack of resources, but the scourges of war and famine.

He was a person not afraid to say what he believed, even when he knew those views might not be popular. But all this he did from his deep faith, and after much careful prayer.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, --Justin Welby, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Death / Burial / Funerals, Parish Ministry

(Guardian) Schoolgirl jihadis: the female Islamists leaving home to join Isis fighters

Hundreds of young women and girls are leaving their homes in western countries to join Islamic fighters in the Middle East, causing increasing concern among counter-terrorism investigators.

Girls as young as 14 or 15 are travelling mainly to Syria to marry jihadis, bear their children and join communities of fighters, with a small number taking up arms. Many are recruited via social media.

Women and girls appear to make up about 10% of those leaving Europe, North America and Australia to link up with jihadi groups, including Islamic State (Isis). France has the highest number of female jihadi recruits, with 63 in the region ”“ about 25% of the total ”“ and at least another 60 believed to be considering the move.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, --Social Networking, Blogging & the Internet, England / UK, Europe, Islam, Other Faiths, Teens / Youth, Terrorism, Women

California adopts first 'yes means yes' sex assault law. Does it go too far?

“This idea that bad judgment is why sexual assault occurs is not true,” says Laura Dunn, a campus rape survivor and legal advocate through the group SurvJustice. “We need to be asking the question: How should laws be addressing the issue of alcohol, rather than allowing it to be a cause. Whether we like it or not, alcohol is part of college campus. In Europe, kids grow up with wine drinking as part of life in the home. In America, we send them off to school when they are 17-18 and say, ‘See ya later, hope you can understand what drinking is all about”¦’ ”

But other experts say that lingering questions regarding substance abuse on campus should not overshadow the purpose of California’s new law.

“Underage drinking is a small part of this puzzle, but it has overshadowed the basic idea that this new law is trying to address that ‘yes means yes,’ ” says Michele Delaney, professor of law and associate dean for faculty research at the Villanova School of Law. “So the debate about underage drinking plays into the blurred lines that our society has now allowed to occur.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Education, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, Sexuality, State Government, Theology, Young Adults

(Globe and Mail) In Liberia, Ebola threat prompts Red Cross to remove all bodies, infected or not

When the body collectors arrived at the home of Theresa Jacob, at the top of a rocky hillside in Liberia’s capital, her family fought to keep her body. She didn’t die of Ebola, they insisted, showing a stack of hospital documents.

It was a futile battle. After a long argument, a team of Red Cross specialists entered the house in full Hazmat suits, goggles, masks, hoods, boots and two layers of gloves. They disinfected the body of the 24-year-old woman with a heavy chlorine spray, put her into a body bag, carried her down the hillside to their truck and drove her away to be cremated.

Because of the risk of Ebola, every body in Monrovia now is collected and burned, regardless of the cause of death. It’s a symptom of a nearly collapsed state in a massive emergency, when extraordinary measures are needed. With at least 1,830 deaths by official count ”“ and two or three times that number by unofficial estimate ”“ Liberia is the most devastated country in the Ebola zone.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Globalization, Health & Medicine, Liberia

(BBC) Former Bishop of Winchester Michael Scott-Joynt dies aged 71

The former Anglican Bishop of Winchester, the Right Reverend Michael Scott-Joynt, has died aged 71.

He served as bishop from 1995 until his retirement in 2011.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, said the Church of England had “lost a faithful, hard working and distinguished servant”.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Ethics / Moral Theology, Theology

(CNN Money) More and more Hospitals ask patients to pay upfront

The policies available on the Obamacare exchanges are hastening this trend. Many enrollees are opting for the bronze and silver plans, which often carry deductibles upwards of $5,000 and $2,000, respectively.

“The bronze plans are scaring a lot of administrators because the patient liability is so large,” said Debra Lowe, administrative director of revenue cycle at Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center. “Patients are unaware they have this high deductible.”

Upfront payments aren’t usually required, but more hospitals are asking patients to settle the bill in advance. If patients can’t afford the charges, some hospitals place them into financial assistance programs, such as payment plans or low-interest loans. Others help them sign up for Medicaid or individual coverage on the Obamacare exchanges. Patients can still opt to wait until after the bill goes through their insurance.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --The 2009 American Health Care Reform Debate, America/U.S.A., Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Health & Medicine, Personal Finance

In the Diocese of Portsmouth, a Vicar trains as barista for a church coffee shop

St Barnabas Church in Swanmore will launch Barnaby’s Coffee Shop on October 11 after a £20,000 project to create a relaxed space for coffee, cake and chat.

Members of the congregation have worked hard to transform their old Victorian school room into a modern coffee shop. Volunteers ”“ including the vicar the Rev Claire Towns ”“ have been training as baristas so they can serve everything from expressos to macchiatos.

The church has bought proper coffee machines, comfy seating, atmospheric lighting and real Columbian coffee to ensure a quality experience.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Dieting/Food/Nutrition, England / UK, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

(NYT Op-ed) Ross Douthat–The Cult Deficit and what it says about our Time

Twice in the last few months I’ve encountered writers taking note of this shift, and both have made a similar (and provocative) point: The decline of cults, while good news for anxious parents of potential devotees, might actually be a worrying sign for Western culture, an indicator not only of religious stagnation but of declining creativity writ large.

The first writer is Philip Jenkins, a prolific religious historian, who argues that the decline in “the number and scale of controversial fringe sects” is both “genuine and epochal,” and something that should worry more mainstream religious believers rather than comfort them. A wild fringe, he suggests, is often a sign of a healthy, vital center, and a religious culture that lacks for charismatic weirdos may lack “a solid core of spiritual activism and inquiry” as well.

The second writer is Peter Thiel, the PayPal co-founder, venture capitalist and controversialist, who includes an interesting aside about the decline of cults in his new book, “Zero to One” ”” officially a book of advice to would-be entrepreneurs, but really a treatise on escaping what he regards as the developed world’s 40-year economic, technological and cultural malaise.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anthropology, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Philosophy, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology, Theology

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Almighty God, who knowest our necessities before we ask, and our ignorance in asking: Set free thy servants from all anxious thoughts for the morrow; give us contentment with thy good gifts; and confirm our faith that according as we seek thy kingdom, thou wilt not suffer us to lack any good thing; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

–Saint Augustine (354-430)

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

The Lord reigns; let the earth rejoice; let the many coastlands be glad! Clouds and thick darkness are round about him; righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne. Fire goes before him, and burns up his adversaries round about. His lightnings lighten the world; the earth sees and trembles. The mountains melt like wax before the LORD, before the Lord of all the earth. The heavens proclaim his righteousness; and all the peoples behold his glory.

–Psalm 97:1-6

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture