Daily Archives: December 16, 2014

Ebola and U.S. Hospital Chaplains: A (Deliberately) Untold Story

In the days that followed, many healthcare workers talked with Brown-Haithco about their vocations. These conversations often mirrored the tone she had set in her memo, neither ignoring the risks of treating Ebola patients nor succumbing to panic. A calling doesn’t exclude fear, she explained, but fear “does not prevent us from moving with compassion toward someone in need.”

Neither does fear encourage a dull news cycle. When the Ebola outbreak began, the American public heard from doctors, nurses, public health experts, and WHO officials. Once healthcare workers were diagnosed in Dallas, we heard about PPE procedures, CDC guidelines, and airport screenings. We heard about hospital employees in New York who faced discrimination for working near an infected patient, and about the exotic dancers who started a GoFundMe account to support their voluntarily quarantine. Most recently, we heard about the $27,000 the city of Dallas spent taking care of Bentley, the beloved dog of Dallas nurse and recovered Ebola patient, Nina Pham.

But during the initial frenzy of U.S. Ebola coverage, we didn’t hear much about hospital chaplains, the members of hospital teams tasked with providing spiritual and emotional support to patients, their families, and medical staff. According to university estimates, there were 42,410 stories mentioning Emory and Ebola published between July 31 and September 22; Brown-Haithco and her chaplain colleagues were interviewed four times, including a segment with Matt Lauer that never aired.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Media, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Theology

(CC) Stephanie Paulsell–Christmas Eve visions

On a Christmas Eve in the 12th century, a Benedictine nun named Elisabeth kept vigil in the church with her community. During the celebration of the Eucharist, she saw a woman sitting in the center of a bright, shining sun. The woman’s hair fell over her shoulders, and the light from the sun around her filled the monastery where Elisabeth was praying and then gradually spread out to illuminate the entire world.

As Elisabeth gazed at the woman, a dark cloud moved in to obscure the rays of the sun, and the woman began weeping. Elisabeth’s vision lasted all through the night of Christmas Eve, with the cloud moving in and out, the woman shining and weeping, the earth lightening and darkening.

On Christmas Day an angel appeared to Elisabeth, and she asked him who the woman was. She is the sacred humanity of Jesus, the angel explained, and the sun is the divinity that holds Christ’s humanity and illuminates it.

It’s hard to imagine a better time to have a vision of the humanity of Jesus in all its beauty and compassion than Christmas Eve, one of the most visual liturgical celebrations of the year.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Christmas, Christology, Church History, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Theology

Lent and Beyond: Prayer for South Carolina on Tuesday December 16th

Awaiting the results of litigation. Please pray for Her Honor Judge Diane S. Goodstein

Now to Him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages, but has now been disclosed and through the prophetic writings has been made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith”” to the only wise God be glory forevermore through Jesus Christ! Amen.
Romans 16:25-28

Father, we thank You for strengthening the Diocese of South Carolina.

And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.
II Corinthians 9:8

We thank You for the grace You are pouring out on the Diocese of South Carolina.

Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen
Ephesians 3:20-21 NASB

We thank You for the abundance given to the Diocese of South Carolina.

Please pray it all and there are more prayers for South Carolina here

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: South Carolina

(L. Times) Dominic Grieve offers strong defense of C of E in speech to Ecclesiastical Law Society

In a speech to the Ecclesiastical Law Society in Westminster that offered a staunch defence of the Church of England as an important counterweight to the upheaval created by successive governments, Mr Grieve said: “The desire for addressing [public] discontent is genuine, but we often seem to lurch from efforts at promoting optimism based on economic indicators to hand-wringing expressions of sympathy with our electorate’s concerns.

“There seems little sign at present that any of these exertions are really helping restore the nation’s confidence in existing or reformed political processes and institutions.”

He seized on plans concocted by Chris Grayling, the justice minister, to repeal the Human Rights Act and found a “British bill of rights”.

“I think this proposal is illustrative of a growing trend, which affects successive governments irrespective of party,” he said. “Those in power are failing to look at issues in the round and in the long term.”

Read it all.

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

(Wash. Post) Millennials exit the federal workforce as government jobs lose their allure

Six years after candidate Barack Obama vowed to make working for government “cool again,” federal hiring of young people is instead tailing off and many millennials are heading for the door.

The share of the federal workforce under the age of 30 dropped to 7 percent this year, the lowest figure in nearly a decade, government figures show.

With agencies starved for digital expertise and thousands of federal jobs coming open because of a wave of baby-boomer retirements, top government officials, including at the White House, are growing increasingly distressed about the dwindling role played by young workers.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Economy, History, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Psychology, The U.S. Government, Young Adults

William Witt writes about his friend Martha Giltinan

From Facebook:

Here is my friend and colleague the Rev. Dr. Martha Giltinan as I love to remember her — talking about Prayer Book spirituality.

Martha was really not interested in promoting herself. She did not keep copies of her sermons. I encouraged her to write a memoir — she had an amazing story about being converted from atheism as a young woman, two decades of ministry, and almost a decade teaching pastoral theology at a seminary, but she just wasn’t interested. She was always being asked to give talks or to serve on some committee or other. She had a book on women in ministry in her that only she could have written. But Martha seemed to consider her words as largely disposable. If you wanted Martha, you had to get her live.

Unfortunately, that’s no longer possible. I am happy that there is this, some sermons on the internet, and even a video of her reading a lengthy passage from the Book of Homilies, but not much.

For those who never knew Martha, and for those who did, here’s something to remember her by.

One of the most amazing women I have ever known, a lover of Jesus, and someone who knew the meaning of friendship.

“Using the Prayer Book at Home” – Rev. Martha Giltinan from St. Peter's Anglican Church on Vimeo.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Death / Burial / Funerals, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Seminary / Theological Education, Theology

(ABP) Kanchan Gupta–Will the world wake up after Peshawar?

Yes we grieve, like all decent, democratic and humane societies should, over the tragedy that has visited Peshawar. But our grief also tells a story that cannot but discomfit those who repudiate everything that terrorism and terrorists stand for. It tells us that proximity alerts us to Islamist barbarism that distance tends to dull.

When 200 teenaged girls were abducted by Boko Haram and pressed into sex slavery in Nigeria, we barely took note of that crime. When the Islamic State militia massacred Yezidis, forcing survivors to take shelter in the barren Sinjar mountains where children died like flies, we merely took note of it. Earlier, when terrorists attacked a school in Beslan, Russia, in September 2004, leaving 385 dead, among them 186 children, we wondered what it was all about.

Just as the story of global trans-border terrorism does not begin with the devastatingly spectacular attacks of 9/11, the story of innocents being massacred in the name of jihad does not begin with the ghastly attack on the school in Peshawar. These are stories with prologues and preceding chapters; each day, each week, each month a new chapter is added to these stories.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Asia, Ethics / Moral Theology, Globalization, Islam, Other Faiths, Pakistan, Religion & Culture, Theology, Violence

Martha Giltinan's Facebook Page

If you didn’t know about her, you need to learn. She was without a doubt in my mind one of the heroines of the faith among Anglicans in North America in our generation. Take a moment to read some of the comments and tributes.

Update: there is more there.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Death / Burial / Funerals, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Seminary / Theological Education, Theology

Students Among Dead as Pakistan Gunmen Kill 126 at Army School

Pakistan militants killed dozens of children in an attack on an army-run school in the northwestern city of Peshawar that left 126 people dead so far, the country’s worst terrorist attack since at least 2007.

Some 84 students were among the dead after gunmen gained access to the school by dressing up as paramilitary soldiers, Pervez Khattak, chief minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, told reporters. The army was in the final stages of clearing out the school, Asim Bajwa, army spokesman, said on Twitter.

“This is a decisive moment in the fight against terrorism,” Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif told reporters in televised remarks from Peshawar. “The people of Pakistan should unite in this fight. Our resolve will not be weakened by these attacks.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Asia, Children, Education, Law & Legal Issues, Pakistan, Police/Fire, Violence

(Books+Culture) Bruce Herman on John LaFarge for his Feast Day–The Unguarded Gaze

under the eye and pen of Katie Kresser, LaFarge is revealed to be ahead of his time on many fronts””in his late theoretical writings, his sometimes daringly compressed pictorial space, and in his insistence on a certain epistemic humility before his painterly subjects. Kresser suggests that LaFarge, himself a believing Roman Catholic, anticipated the thought of Catholic philosophers Jacques Maritain and Etienne Gilson, both of whom worked at a high view of artistic making as a fundamental mode of being on par with the human capacity to know or to communicate. Kresser discusses LaFarge’s stubborn decision to forego certainty or stylistic brand in favor of steadfastly beholding the mystery of being, as uniquely manifest in the fragile humanly wrought thing. In LaFarge’s view, the artist participates in the wildness and unpredictability of the Creation itself by becoming a servant of the work of art””itself now become a further extension of Being.

In his book Real Presences, George Steiner discusses at length the concept of intellectual hospitality and the need for the reader to freshly submit to the “presence” communicated in a given text or work of art””to achieve an unguarded gaze and receptivity that allows the work to do its work. Steiner goes on to say, “It takes uncanny strength and abstention from re-cognition, from implicit reference, to read the world and not the text of the world as it has been previously encoded for us”””in other words, to submit to the thing seen, not to its culturally conditioned simulacrum. The LaFarge that Kresser paints for us is just such a receptive soul who persistently attempts to achieve that unguarded gaze.

LaFarge’s expansive intellect would not let him seek a facile stylistic brand. His paintings are exploratory even as they participate in traditional idioms””and therefore occasionally seem weak or unfinished. It is as though the artist says, “I am a servant of the form, of the tradition, and of this passing moment of looking.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Art, Books, Church History

(FT) Oil price fall threatens $1trillion worth of projects

The findings suggest the supply glut that has sent prices tumbling could soon vanish as the oil majors delay big-ticket production projects ”” the lifeblood of future petrol supplies, heating fuels and chemicals.

Brent, the international benchmark, has fallen more than 45 per cent since mid-June amid surging US shale production, strong supply from the Opec cartel and weak oil demand in Europe and Asia.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Energy, Natural Resources, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Globalization, Middle East, Politics in General, Saudi Arabia, Theology

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Ralph Adams Cram, John LaFarge and Richard Upjohn

Gracious God, we offer thanks for the vision of Ralph Adams Cram, John LaFarge and Richard Upjohn, whose harmonious revival of the Gothic enriched our churches with a sacramental understanding of reality in the face of secular materialism; and we pray that we may honor thy gifts of the beauty of holiness given through them, for the glory of Jesus Christ; who livest and reignest with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Art, Church History, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer to Begin the Day

We beseech thee, O Lord, to purify our consciences by thy daily visitation; that when thy Son our Lord cometh, he may find in us a mansion prepared for himself; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.

–Gelasian Sacramentary

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

But there will be no gloom for her that was in anguish. In the former time he brought into contempt the land of Zeb”²ulun and the land of Naph”²tali, but in the latter time he will make glorious the way of the sea, the land beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations.

The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light;
those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness,
on them has light shined.
Thou hast multiplied the nation,
thou hast increased its joy;
they rejoice before thee
as with joy at the harvest,
as men rejoice when they divide the spoil.
For the yoke of his burden,
and the staff for his shoulder,
the rod of his oppressor,
thou hast broken as on the day of Mid”²ian.
For every boot of the tramping warrior in battle tumult
and every garment rolled in blood
will be burned as fuel for the fire.
For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government will be upon his shoulder,
and his name will be called
“Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
Of the increase of his government and of peace
there will be no end,
upon the throne of David, and over his kingdom,
to establish it, and to uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
from this time forth and for evermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.

–Isaiah 9:1-7

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(Globe and Mail) The Saudi standoff: Oil-rich nation takes on world’s high-cost producers

In the high-stakes contest between the United States, the biggest shale oil producer, and Saudi Arabia, the biggest oil exporter, America has blinked first.

The OPEC refusal to cut production at its November meeting was widely seen as the declaration of a price war against booming U.S. shale oil producers, which had sent their country’s oil production soaring. Saudis had watched as their market share dropped precipitously in the world’s biggest oil-consuming nation, and they wanted to send a clear message across the global energy market that they weren’t about to back off.

Oil prices have been in freefall ever since. Brent crude, the global oil benchmark, sank another 3 per cent Friday to $61.85 (U.S.) a barrel, while West Texas intermediate, the U.S. benchmark, dropped 3.6 per cent to $57.81, extending its slide from well over $100 a barrel in the summer.

If the global oil standoff pits the industry stalwart Saudi Arabia against the surging U.S. rival, other global players are coping with the pricing fallout, including Canada. Oil companies around the world are being forced to revisit their spending and production plans for 2015, and in the offices towers of downtown Calgary, those changes are already well under way.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Canada, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Energy, Natural Resources, Foreign Relations, Globalization, Middle East, Politics in General, Saudi Arabia