Daily Archives: April 16, 2015

Choosing a new Bishop of Oxford

The Committee meets at least twice. Its discussions are kept confidential.

The first meeting is aimed at members getting to know one another and for the committee to elect a deputy chair. At a future meeting, the national Appointment Secretaries attend to clarify the process and answer any questions members of the Committee might have.

At this meeting the Committee elects the six members to serve on the CNC of which at least three must be lay people. Only one member of the Bishop’s senior staff team may be elected. After the meeting, the Archbishops’ Appointments Secretary briefs the diocesan CNC representatives on the next steps.

The description of the Diocese and the Statement of Needs prepared by the Vacancy in See Committee are considered by the Crown Nominations Committee (CNC) together with feedback from the Appointment Secretaries on the consultation process and information about the needs of the national church. The CNC normally meets twice, and on the second occasion interviews potential candidates.

Read it all and note the timescale.

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

Michael Ward–C.S. Lewis’s Wit

One of my favourite books is Frederick Buechner’s Telling the Truth: The Gospel as Tragedy, Comedy, and Fairy Tale.

The chapter on Comedy is especially good, I think. And especially needed. Both church-life and the world of theological study are far too po-faced.

As my contribution to injecting a little humour into this situation, I thought I would do a quick survey of C.S. Lewis’s shining wit.

Lewis once wrote: ”˜The English take their “sense of humour” so seriously that a deficiency in this sense is almost the only deficiency at which they feel shame.’ It must be remembered, of course, that C.S. Lewis was Irish. If he’d had the great good fortune to be born English (as I, I humbly admit, did) he would have realised how grievous a thing it is to be humour-impaired.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, Church History, Humor / Trivia, Religion & Culture

Panel offers advice on becoming ”˜ministers of reconciliation’ in African-American communities

Christian ministers should establish relationships with law enforcement, seek ways to become moral authorities in their communities and listen.

Those were the top recommendations from experts at a panel sponsored by The Gospel Coalition on Tuesday (April 14) titled “Seeking Justice and Mercy From Ferguson to New York.”

The popular ministry offered an alternative approach to that of evangelist Franklin Graham, who was widely criticized for his recent “Obey the police, or else” comments on Facebook. The comments followed the spate of police killings of unarmed black men.

Read it all from RNS.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anthropology, City Government, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Police/Fire, Politics in General, Psychology, Race/Race Relations, Religion & Culture, Theology

(PS) Navi Radjou+Jaideep Prabhu–The Rise of the Frugal Economy

In a famous 1937 essay, the economist Ronald Coase argued that the reason Western economies are organized like a pyramid, with a few large producers at the top and millions of passive consumers below, is the existence of transaction costs ”“ the intangible costs associated with search, bargaining, decision-making, and enforcement. But with the Internet, mobile technologies, and social media all but eliminating such costs in many sectors, this economic structure is bound to change.

Indeed, in the United States and across Europe, vertically integrated value chains controlled by large companies are already being challenged by new consumer-orchestrated value ecosystems, which allow consumers to design, build, market, distribute, and trade goods and services among themselves, eliminating the need for intermediaries. This bottom-up approach to value creation is enabled by the horizontal (or peer-to-peer) networks and do-it-yourself (DIY) platforms that form the foundation of the “frugal” economy.

Two key factors are fueling the frugal economy’s growth: a protracted financial crisis, which has weakened the purchasing power of middle-class consumers in the West, and these consumers’ increasing sense of environmental responsibility. Eager to save money and minimize their ecological impact, Western consumers are increasingly eschewing individual ownership in favor of shared access to products and services.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anthropology, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Globalization, History, Theology

A Strange but Important Case–Sex, Dementia and a Husband on Trial at Age 78

There is no question that Donna Lou Rayhons had severe Alzheimer’s.

In the days before being placed in a nursing home in Garner, Iowa, last year, Mrs. Rayhons, 78, could not recall her daughters’ names or how to eat a hamburger. One day, she tried to wash her hands in the toilet of a restaurant bathroom.

But another question has become the crux of an extraordinary criminal case unfolding this week in an Iowa courtroom: Was Mrs. Rayhons able to consent to sex with her husband?

Henry Rayhons, 78, has been charged with third-degree felony sexual abuse, accused of having sex with his wife in a nursing home on May 23, 2014, eight days after staff members there told him they believed she was mentally unable to agree to sex.

Read it all from the New York Times.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Aging / the Elderly, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Pastoral Theology, Psychology, Sexuality, Theology

(The Atlantic) Where the Five-Day Workweek Came From

“Seven days,” wrote Witold Rybczynski in the August 1991 issue of The Atlantic, “is not natural because no natural phenomenon occurs every seven days.” The year marks one revolution of the Earth around the sun. Months, supposedly, mark the time between full moons. The seven-day week, however, is completely man-made.

If it’s man-made, can’t man unmake it? For all the talk of how freeing it’d be to shave a day or two off the five-day workweek, little attention has been paid to where the weekly calendar came from. Understanding the sometimes arbitrary origins of the modern workweek might inform the movement to shorten it.

The roots of the seven-day week can be traced back about 4,000 years, to Babylon. The Babylonians believed there were seven planets in the solar system, and the number seven held such power to them that they planned their days around it. Their seven-day, planetary week spread to Egypt, Greece, and eventually to Rome, where it turns out the Jewish people had their own version of a seven-day week. (The reason for this is unclear, but some have speculated that the Jews adopted this after their exile in Babylon in the sixth century B.C.) At the very latest, the seven-day week was firmly entrenched in the Western calendar about 250 years before Christ was born.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anthropology, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, History, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Psychology, Theology

(CNN) Champions League: Advantage Barcelona and Porto

Eight goals, a big upset and two wonder strikes from Luis Suarez highlighted a pulsating night of Champions League quarterfinal action Wednesday.

Both first leg ties ended 3-1, but Porto’s home win over 2013 champion Bayern Munich was predicted by few, while Barcelona is a warm favorite to progress with a two-goal cushion after its away leg victory against depleted Paris Saint Germain.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Europe, France, Germany, Men, Portugal, Spain, Sports

(Nyasa Times) Anglican Church calls to Malawians to protect albinos

The Anglican Church in Malawi has appealed to all Malawians to take part in protecting people living with albinism and reporting any criminal acts by any suspects in our society.

The Church said it is sickened with reports that people living with albinism are still living in fear because some segments in the society continue hunting for their lives or body parts.

Chairman of the Anglican Council in Malawi, the Right Reverend Vitta Brighton Malasa, who disclosed that the Anglican Communion is monitoring the events and constantly engaging relevant sectors, observed that it is high time the nation joined hands in “uprooting this evil” so that sanity returns in the country.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Church of Central Africa, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Malawi, Pastoral Theology, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Theology

(Time Magazine) The Business of Pot in America

Beer has its Budweiser. Cigarettes have Marlboro. And now, from Nevada to Massachusetts, pioneers in the legal-marijuana industry are vying to create big-name brands for pot.

When the legalization movement began years ago, its grassroots activists envisioned a nation where mom-and-pop dispensaries would freely sell small amounts of bud to cancer patients and cannabis-loving members of their community. But the markets rolling out now are attracting something different: ambitious, well-financed entrepreneurs who want to maximize profits and satisfy their investors. To do that, they’ll have to grow the pot business by attracting new smokers or getting current users to buy more.

To hear these pot-preneurs talk is to get a better sense of how the legalized future could unfold and just how mainstream they believe their product can become. Says Joe Hodas, chief marketing officer at Dixie Elixirs & Edibles, a Denver maker of pot food products: “I want to get that soccer mom who, instead of polishing off a glass of wine on a Saturday night, goes for a 5-mg [marijuana] mint with less of a hangover, less optics to the kids and the same amount of relaxation.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Drugs/Drug Addiction, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, Theology

Local Paper Article on the S.C. Supreme Court agreeing to hear the multimillion dollar TEC lawsuit

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Anthropology, Church History, Ecclesiology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Stewardship, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: South Carolina, Theology, Theology: Scripture

A.S. Haley–Legal News from South Carolina and San Joaquin

Late yesterday the South Carolina Supreme Court issued a brief order transferring to itself the jurisdiction over the appeal filed by ECUSA and its rump group (ECSC) from the February 3, 2015 judgment and order against them entered by Circuit Court Judge Diane Goodstein. ECUSA and ECSC had themselves requested the transfer of the case in order to expedite a final decision in the case by the State’s highest court, without having to wait for any intermediate decision from the Court of Appeals.

The Court’s order declined further to expedite the case’s briefing schedule, set oral argument in the case for September 23, 2015, and then added: “No further extensions of time will be granted.” In view of the great number of parties to the case (Bishop Lawrence’s Episcopal Diocese and thirty-six of its member parishes are all respondents in the appeal, represented each by their own attorneys), the Court’s order relaxes some of the filing and service requirements, and urges the attorneys to compress the multi-volume record on appeal to just the documents necessary for meaningful review of the decision below.

This order will enable a written, final decision in the case to be rendered before the end of the current calendar year, and should be welcome news to those on both sides who want to put this litigation behind them, and get on with the real work of the Church.

Read it all and do follow the links.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, - Anglican: Analysis, Anthropology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Presiding Bishop, Stewardship, TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: San Joaquin, TEC Conflicts: South Carolina, Theology, Theology: Scripture

South Carolina Supreme Court to Hear Appeal of Diocese of SC decision by new TEC Diocese

[Yesterday]… April 15, 2015, the South Carolina Supreme Court agreed to take the appeal of Judge Goodstein’s February 3rd ruling in favor of the Diocese of South Carolina and its parishes. We are grateful that the South Carolina Supreme Court acted so promptly to take jurisdiction of this case, just as it did when requested during the attempted procedural delays prior to the trial. The more quickly the case is resolved, the more beneficial it will be for all parties, allowing us to get about the work of ministry without the incessant distraction of courtroom proceedings.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Anthropology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Presiding Bishop, Stewardship, TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: South Carolina, Theology, Theology: Scripture

A Prayer to Begin the Day from E.B. Pusey

O Thou, who didst manifest thyself in the breaking of bread to thy disciples at Emmaus: Grant us ever through the same blessed sacrament of thy presence to know thee, and to love thee more and more with all our hearts. Abide with us, O Lord, that we may ever abide in thee; for thy tender mercy’s sake.

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

I love thee, O LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies.

–Psalm 18:1-3

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(BBC) Is there a new nuclear arms race?

The US could spend more than $1 trillion (£675bn) over the next 30 years modernising its arsenal of nuclear weapons.

It wants to make them faster and more accurate.

Other nuclear states are trying to do the same, raising questions about their commitment to disarm.

Are we entering a new nuclear arms race?

The BBC World Service’s The Inquiry programme hears from four expert witnesses.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Defense, National Security, Military, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Globalization, History, Politics in General, Science & Technology, Theology