Daily Archives: May 6, 2015

(NYT The Well) Doctors and Nurses, Not Learning Together

During medical school, I spent countless evenings in a library, half-asleep, poring over textbooks and talking through cases with other medical students. What I did not do, ever, was take a class with anyone studying to be a nurse, physician assistant, pharmacist or social worker. Nor did I collaborate with any of these health professionals to complete a project, participate in a simulation or design a treatment plan. It wasn’t until residency that I first began to understand just how many professions come together to take care of a single patient ”” what exactly they do, how they do it, and how what I do makes their jobs easier or harder.

As a first-year resident, you finally learn to put into practice the theory of medicine you have been nurturing since fumbling around with organic chemistry models in college. You learn in a safe and hierarchical environment ”” with senior residents, fellows, consultants and attending physicians each demonstrating, with increasing degrees of nuance and sophistication, how much clinical medicine you have yet to learn and how far you have left to go.

But, in all that time, there is surprisingly little education on what it means to be a leader of a medical team, with its nurses, physician assistants, pharmacists, respiratory therapists, physical therapists, dieticians and case managers. There is even less discussion of how to understand one another’s roles, perspectives, frustrations and limitations….

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Anthropology, Education, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Pastoral Theology, Psychology, Theology

Faith McDonnell: Praying Psalms for the Persecuted Church

In a recent sermon, the rector of my church recommended adding the Psalms to our prayers, if we had not already discovered this wonderful method of praying. At various times, I have used the Psalms in prayer, but that reminder was an encouragement to be more intentional about using this treasure trove of prayers.

Of course, praying the Psalms is also a powerful way to pray for our persecuted brothers and sisters around the world. If anyone fits the description “the cords of death entangled me,” it is Christians in Iraq, Pakistan, Nigeria, or wherever Christians are suffering for the sake of Christ.

Wouldn’t it be great if Christians in the West all committed daily to praying Psalms on behalf of our persecuted brothers and sisters?

Here’s an example of doing just that from the Psalm I referenced above…

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

[ABC] Power of unity ”˜impossible to exaggerate’, Archbishop tells Leadership Conference

Unity among Christians releases a power that is “impossible to exaggerate”, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby told the Leadership Conference 2015 at the Royal Albert Hall this morning.

The Archbishop was speaking during an on-stage interview with Nicky Gumbel, Vicar of HTB, alongside Cardinal Vincent Nichols, President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales.

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

Fr Dwight Longenecker: Is Ecumenism between Catholics and Anglicans over?

With its African leadership, GAFCON represents the future of the Anglican Church. The Episcopal Church of the USA, under the leadership of presiding bishop Katherine Jeffers Schori, has suffered a disastrous decline. Using strong-arm tactics to bully disenchanted Episcopalians into line, Schori has overseen plummeting numbers and falling revenues. Meanwhile, the Church of England, following the Episcopalians’ enthusiasm for liberal causes, has shared the Episcopal Church’s drastic fall in worshippers. The Episcopal Church membership has dropped from 3.6 million in the 1960s to fewer than 1.4 million today; Church of England attendance has halved in the past 40 years.

Meanwhile, as John L. Allen Jr. reports in “The Future Church,” Christianity in Africa is burgeoning, and the Anglican Church accounts for a significant part of the growth. The Pew Forum reports that at the beginning of the 20th century, Anglicans from sub-Sahara Africa made up only 0.4 percent of Anglicans worldwide. Today they comprise more than 45 percent. When that is contrasted with the fact that the Episcopal Church makes up less than 4 percent, one can understand the disenchantment of African bishops at the hugely disproportionate presence that North American Anglicans have at the global Anglican table.

Unless there is some unexpected turnaround in the Church of England and the Anglican churches of the developed world, GAFCON is the Anglican Communion of the future. If so, what does this development mean for Anglican-Roman Catholic ecumenism?

First, it should be recognized that the old form of Anglican-Roman Catholic dialogue is finished.

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Posted in * Religion News & Commentary, Ecumenical Relations

Communiqué from the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission

Communiqué from the meeting of ARCIC III in Villa Palazzola

5 May 2015
The Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC) is the official body appointed by the Roman Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion to engage in theological dialogue in order that they may come into visible unity and full ecclesial communion. It held the fifth meeting of its current phase (ARCIC III) in an atmosphere of shared prayer and friendship at Villa Palazzola, the summer residence of the Venerable English College in Rome, 28 April”“4 May 2015. Members of the Commission are grateful to the staff of Villa Palazzola for the warm welcome extended to them.

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Posted in * Religion News & Commentary, Ecumenical Relations

Premier: Unity is key, says Nicky Gumbel at HTB Conference

Loyalty to our leaders ”“ whether or not we agree with them ”“ is also essential if we are to build unity. ”˜I feel so blessed to have Justin Welby as the Archbishop of Canterbury. Whatever he decides to do we will back him.’
Rev Nicky Gumbel, vicar of HTB, launched the two-day Leadership Conference by sharing his heartfelt passion for a united global Church.

”˜There is a crisis in the world; there is a crisis in the Church; there is a crisis of faith,’ he said. ”˜Unity is the only hope for the world.’

”˜The same Spirit lives in the Catholic, the Pentecostals, the Anglicans ”“ that’s what makes us one.’

Unity around Jesus, he said, is the key to the evangelisation of a nation. ”˜A divided world demands a united Church.’

Achieving a united Church boils down to our own individual choices in how we lead and how we follow. ”˜Ultimately, unity is not doctrinal, it’s relational,’ he said.

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Update: There is a report from Day 2 here

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

Burk Parsons: The Heresy of Indifference

Doctrine matters””it matters in life and in death. Our doctrine determines our destiny. It not only affects our view about God but our view about everything. We are doctrinal beings by nature. Everyone holds to some sort of doctrine; the question is whether or not our doctrine is biblical. Consequently, we dare not be indifferent about doctrine. Indeed, there is a reason we’ve never heard of a Christian martyr who was indifferent about doctrine. Indifference about doctrine is the mother of every heresy in all of history, and in our day indifference about doctrine is spreading like wildfire in the pulpits and pews of our churches. Ironically, the assertion that doctrine doesn’t matter is in fact a doctrine in itself.

When people tell me they are into Jesus but not into doctrine, I tell them that if they are not into doctrine, they are, in fact, not into Jesus. We cannot know Jesus without knowing doctrine, and we cannot love God without knowing God, and the way we know God is by studying His Word. Doctrine comes from God, it teaches us about God, and by faith it leads us back to God in worship, service, and love. Indifference to doctrine is indifference to God, and indifference to God is indifference to our own eternity. Pastors who think it is relevant and cool to be indifferent about doctrine””who play down the necessity and importance of doctrine and who fail to preach and explain doctrine in their sermons””are in fact failing to give their people that which will save their souls. For us to downplay doctrine or to be intentionally fuzzy in preaching doctrine isn’t cool or humble or relevant, it’s outright arrogant. There is nothing more relevant than doctrine, there is nothing more humbling than doctrine, and there is nothing that more quickly gets our eyes off ourselves and fixes them on our loving and gracious God than doctrine that proceeds from God.

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Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Tim Stanley: How should Christians vote?

This Thursday, millions of Christians will go to the polling stations. Before putting a cross on the ballot paper, here are some things for them to consider
I’ve not decided who to vote for yet and, according to the polls, a lot of you haven’t either. One thing that we Christians have to consider is how the various choices match up to the ideals and aspirations of the Bible. And so I thought it might be helpful to examine where the parties stand on the pertinent issues.

My aim isn’t to assess “what would Jesus do.” If Jesus were alive today, not only would he not vote but there would be no election ”“ we’d all be far too busy dealing with the Apocalypse. Moreover, I appreciate that Jesus instructed his followers to “render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s”, which is often interpreted as a call to recognise some division between one’s personal faith and the will of the state. So I am not looking for perfection or imagining that Christians have a right to impose their views on everyone else. I’m trying to identify what’s important and where the parties stand on it. Using this excellent voting guide produced by the Christian Institute, I’ve tried to reduce it to four basic themes

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Posted in * International News & Commentary, England / UK

[AM] David Cameron pledges to end gay cure therapies and consider Gender X passports

Prime Minister David Cameron has pledged to in a Q&A with PinkNews to consider the introduction of Gender X passports.

Answering questions from readers, the Prime Minister ruled out the extension of civil partnerships to straight people due to public opposition, and came out against mandatory sex and relationship education in all schools ”“ but pledged to take a tough stance on ”˜gay cure’ therapy.

The Conservative leader also said he would consider following Australia and New Zealand in introducing ”˜Gender X’ passports for people who do not identify as male or female ”“ after Ed Miliband also pledged to review the issue in his PinkNews Q&A.

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Posted in * International News & Commentary, England / UK

[Reuters] IBM's Watson to guide cancer therapies at 14 centers

From the Brave New World Department…

Fourteen U.S. and Canadian cancer institutes will use International Business Machines Corp’s Watson computer system to choose therapies based on a tumor’s genetic fingerprints, the company said on Tuesday, the latest step toward bringing personalized cancer treatments to more patients.

Oncology is the first specialty where matching therapy to DNA has improved outcomes for some patients, inspiring the “precision medicine initiative” President Barack Obama announced in January.

But it can take weeks to identify drugs targeting cancer-causing mutations. Watson can do it in minutes and has in its database the findings of scientific papers and clinical trials on particular cancers and potential therapies.

Faced with such a data deluge, “the solution is going to be Watson or something like it,” said oncologist Norman Sharpless of the University of North Carolina Lineberger Cancer Center. “Humans alone can’t do it.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Health & Medicine, Science & Technology

On a Personal Note–Greetings from greater Pittsburgh before the Funeral

Good morning from western Pennsylvania, where it appears the weather will be nice for the funeral of my Father-in-Law Edward James Deenihan. I am looking forward especially to the full military honors and the bagpipes later. Thanks for your prayers–KSH.

Posted in * By Kendall, * Christian Life / Church Life, Death / Burial / Funerals, Harmon Family, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry

A Memorial remembrance of the Rev. Edwin Harwood (1902)

One derived an impression of his strength of nature from a certain reticence regarding his deepest feelings and experiences. That which he thought and felt was kept under the lock and key of a masterful will, repressing any full expression of much that was characteristic within. In intercourse with him one felt the quiet power of self-control. A man of rare personal dignity, he manifested the gravity of a noble seriousness in tone of conversation and in outward bearing. It was evident that his mind was resolutely set to meditate upon great and worthy things.

Dr. Harwood was a typical scholar. Graduated from the University with high honors, he gave his best energies in loyal devotion to the Queen of Sciences, Theology. He had read widely, studied diligently, and thought profoundly. Especially was he a student of sacred Scripture. From 1854 to 1859 he was Professor of the Literature and Interpretation of the Scriptures in the Berkeley Divinity School. Thence he brought to this parish the treasures of his scholarship. I well remember, as a boy, sitting in this Church, being impressed by his reading of the Scriptures. That office he performed with a reverence and dignity and an accurate touch of emphasis which brought out the meaning of every word of that Holy Writ he knew so thoroughly.

He was a man of vast reading in theology. That which especially characterized him as a theologian, I should say, was, first, his love of truth, and, secondly, his courageous faith in truth. Devotion to truth was with him a passion. His reverence for the authority of truth made him fearless, that is to say, he was not afraid of the truth and he was not afraid for the truth. Nor did he ever fear to speak out what he believed to be the truth. In theological controversy he was truly “a man of war,” a foeman of undaunted prowess. As an example of his virile doggedness and fearlessness, let me quote these characteristic words from a pamphlet of his regarding a controversial topic: “We have heard lately that this is a closed topic! Pray, will any one I tell me what is closed? How was it closed? When was it closed? Who closed it? It is not a closed, but a very open I topic.” The words sound like him, one who has drunk delight of battle with his peers, “a mighty valiant man.”

Read it all (emphasis mine).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Church History, Death / Burial / Funerals, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Seminary / Theological Education, Theology

(W Post) E J Dionne–Insight from when Sen. Coons addressed the Secular Coalition for America

“I was very active in the progressive community in my law school, and most of my friends were politically active progressives,” he said. “But I was unprepared for their response when word started filtering out that I had enrolled in divinity school. Some of them literally disowned me; my own roommates moved out. Several folks literally stopped speaking to me and acted as if I had lost my mind.”

His own background was thrown in his face, with friends saying: “Chris, you’re a scientist, you’re a chemist, you trained as a chemist as an undergraduate, how could you possibly believe this insane stuff…?”

Coons’s message was deceptively simple: that we must find ways of “getting past some of our misunderstandings of each other.” The problem: Respecting each other on matters of faith and politics seems beyond our current capacities.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Education, Ethics / Moral Theology, Inter-Faith Relations, Law & Legal Issues, Other Faiths, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Secularism, Senate, Theology

A Prayer to Begin the Day from A devotional Diary

O God, who hast created man after thine own image and made him capable of discerning and striving after truth and goodness, honour and loyalty, unselfishness and purity: Grant that by the power of thy indwelling Spirit we may learn to prize these above all else, knowing that in them we truly live; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not kill, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this sentence, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

Besides this you know what hour it is, how it is full time now for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed; the night is far gone, the day is at hand. Let us then cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light; let us conduct ourselves becomingly as in the day, not in reveling and drunkenness, not in debauchery and licentiousness, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.

–Romans 13:8-14

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture