Daily Archives: June 6, 2015

Resources to Nourish Mind+Soul Dept.–Christian Smith’s Webpage

Christian Smith is the William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Sociology and Director of the Center for the Study of Religion and Society at the University of Notre Dame. Smith’s research focuses primarily on religion in modernity, adolescents, American evangelicalism, and culture. Smith received his MA and PhD from Harvard University in 1990 and his BA from Gordon College in 1983. Smith was a Professor of Sociology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for 12 years before his move to Notre Dame.

Smith’s larger theoretical agenda has been to move culture, morality, and identity to the center of sociological theorizing generally and the sociology of religion specifically. Smith’s early work on social movements emphasized not only structural political opportunities but also personal moral motivations for participation in social movement activism.

Check it out there is much food there.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Education, Religion & Culture, Sociology, Theology

A look Back to 2009–An Excerpt from Bishop Lawrence of South Carolina’s Convention Address

So back to the question: What specifically is the Diocese of South Carolina called by God to do? I believe

Ӣ We are to proclaim the gospel in Word and Sacraments (Article XIX) and make disciples for Jesus Christ and God the Father in the power of the Spirit who become responsible members of local parishes or missions and witness to the transforming power of Jesus Christ in their personal lives and within our communities and world.

The heavy lifting involved in this is clearly carried out by the parishes and missions of the diocese. How the bishop, diocesan staff and structures, are called to carry this out is

Ӣ By assisting our existing congregations to grow in numerical and spiritual vitality and to plant new congregations within the diocese in places where the church is inadequately present.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * South Carolina, Christology, Evangelism and Church Growth, Parish Ministry, Soteriology, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(ESPN) Serena Williams Wins French Open for Her 20th Grand Slam Title

In a tournament rich in drama there was, weirdly, little, as Serena won 10 of the first 14 games and found herself two games from the match. But then, perhaps inevitably, it descended midway through the second set. Safarova, fiercely game, won four straight games and forced a tiebreaker.

Serena, double-faulting and missing makeable shots, seemed to shrink. And so, for only the second time in 14 years, the French Open had a women’s final that was going the distance.

Really? Did you think Serena would lose in that monumental spot?

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Europe, France, Sports, Women

(AP) Novak Djokovic tops Andy Murray in 5 sets to reach French Open final

Novak Djokovic squeezed his eyes shut and raised both arms, a rather reserved celebration at the conclusion of his up-and-down, two-day, five-set French Open semifinal victory over Andy Murray.

There’s one more match for Djokovic to win if he’s going to collect his first championship at Roland Garros and complete a long-sought career Grand Slam, and conserving energy was key.

Read it all.

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

Remembering D-Day (V)–The Poem "For the Fallen" by Robert Laurence Binyon (1869-1943)

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted;
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Defense, National Security, Military, England / UK, History, Poetry & Literature

Remembering D-Day (IV)–General Dwight D. Eisenhower's Speech

Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Forces:

You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you. In company with our brave Allies and brothers-in-arms on other Fronts you will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world.

Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well trained, well equipped and battle-hardened. He will fight savagely.

Read it all (audio link also available).

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Defense, National Security, Military, Europe, France, History

Remembering D-Day (III)–Winston Churchill's Speech, June 6, 1944

I have also to announce to the House that during the night and the early hours of this morning the first of the series of landings in force upon the European Continent has taken place. In this case the liberating assault fell upon the coast of France. An immense armada of upwards of 4,000 ships, together with several thousand smaller craft, crossed the Channel. Massed airborne landings have been successfully effected behind the enemy lines, and landings on the beaches are proceeding at various points at the present time. The fire of the shore batteries has been largely quelled. The obstacles that were constructed in the sea have not proved so difficult as was apprehended. The Anglo-American Allies are sustained by about 11,000 firstline aircraft, which can be drawn upon as may be needed for the purposes of the battle. I cannot, of course, commit myself to any particular details. Reports are coming in in rapid succession. So far the Commanders who are engaged report that everything is proceeding according to plan. And what a plan! This vast operation is undoubtedly the most complicated and difficult that has ever taken place. It involves tides, wind, waves, visibility, both from the air and the sea standpoint, and the combined employment of land, air and sea forces in the highest degree of intimacy and in contact with conditions which could not and cannot be fully foreseen.

There are already hopes that actual tactical surprise has been attained, and we hope to furnish the enemy with a succession of surprises during the course of the fighting. The battle that has now begun will grow constantly in scale and in intensity for many weeks to come, and I shall not attempt to speculate upon its course. This I may say, however. Complete unity prevails throughout the Allied Armies. There is a brotherhood in arms between us and our friends of the United States. There is complete confidence in the supreme commander, General Eisenhower, and his lieutenants, and also in the commander of the Expeditionary Force, General Montgomery. The ardour and spirit of the troops, as I saw myself, embarking in these last few days was splendid to witness. Nothing that equipment, science or forethought could do has been neglected, and the whole process of opening this great new front will be pursued with the utmost resolution both by the commanders and by the United States and British Governments whom they serve. I have been at the centres where the latest information is received, and I can state to the House that this operation is proceeding in a thoroughly satisfactory manner. Many dangers and difficulties which at this time last night appeared extremely formidable are behind us. The passage of the sea has been made with far less loss than we apprehended. The resistance of the batteries has been greatly weakened by the bombing of the Air Force, and the superior bombardment of our ships quickly reduced their fire to dimensions which did not affect the problem. The landings of the troops on a broad front, both British and American- -Allied troops, I will not give lists of all the different nationalities they represent-but the landings along the whole front have been effective, and our troops have penetrated, in some cases, several miles inland. Lodgments exist on a broad front.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Defense, National Security, Military, England / UK, History

Remembering D-Day (II)–Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Prayer on June 6, 1944

“My Fellow Americans:

“Last night, when I spoke with you about the fall of Rome, I knew at that moment that troops of the United States and our Allies were crossing the Channel in another and greater operation. It has come to pass with success thus far.

“And so, in this poignant hour, I ask you to join with me in prayer:

“Almighty God: Our sons, pride of our nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity.

“Lead them straight and true; give strength to their arms, stoutness to their hearts, steadfastness in their faith.
“They will be sore tried, by night and by day, without rest — until the victory is won. The darkness will be rent by noise and flame. Men’s souls will be shaken with the violences of war.

“For these men are lately drawn from the ways of peace. They fight not for the lust of conquest. They fight to end conquest. They fight to liberate. They fight to let justice arise, and tolerance and goodwill among all Thy people. They yearn but for the end of battle, for their return to the haven of home.&

“Some will never return. Embrace these, Father, and receive them, Thy heroic servants, into Thy kingdom.

“And for us at home — fathers, mothers, children, wives, sisters, and brothers of brave men overseas, whose thoughts and prayers are ever with them — help us, Almighty God, to rededicate ourselves in renewed faith in Thee in this hour of great sacrifice.

“Many people have urged that I call the nation into a single day of special prayer. But because the road is long and the desire is great, I ask that our people devote themselves in a continuance of prayer. As we rise to each new day, and again when each day is spent, let words of prayer be on our lips, invoking Thy help to our efforts.

“Give us strength, too — strength in our daily tasks, to redouble the contributions we make in the physical and the material support of our armed forces.

“And let our hearts be stout, to wait out the long travail, to bear sorrows that may come, to impart our courage unto our sons wheresoever they may be.

“And, O Lord, give us faith. Give us faith in Thee; faith in our sons; faith in each other; faith in our united crusade. Let not the keenness of our spirit ever be dulled. Let not the impacts of temporary events, of temporal matters of but fleeting moment — let not these deter us in our unconquerable purpose.

“With Thy blessing, we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy. Help us to conquer the apostles of greed and racial arrogances. Lead us to the saving of our country, and with our sister nations into a world unity that will spell a sure peace — a peace invulnerable to the schemings of unworthy men. And a peace that will let all of men live in freedom, reaping the just rewards of their honest toil.

“Thy will be done, Almighty God.

“Amen.”

You can listen to the actual audio if you want here and today of all days is the day to do that. Also, there is more on background and another audio link there.–KSH.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Defense, National Security, Military, History, Office of the President, Politics in General, Spirituality/Prayer

Remembering D-Day (I)–He got to witness 'The Longest Day'

Cornelius Ryan was a 24-year-old war correspondent when he had a chance to see a defining moment in the defining event of the 20th century — the Allied landings on the coast of France to retake France and bring down Hitler.

Ryan at first witnessed the invasion from a bomber that flew over the beaches. Then, back in England, he scrambled to find the only thing he could that was going to Normandy. A torpedo boat that, he learned too late, had no radio. “And if there’s one thing that an editor is not interested in,” he said, “it’s having a reporter somewhere he can’t write a story.”

Recalling those five hours off the coast, watching the struggle on the beaches, he remembered “the magnitude of the thing, the vastness. I felt so inadequate to describe it.”

But today, as the 71st anniversary of D-Day approaches on June 6, Ryan is most likely to be remembered for being the one who did describe it, who told so many millions the real story of what happened that day, in his book which became the famous movie, “The Longest Day.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Death / Burial / Funerals, Defense, National Security, Military, England / UK, Eschatology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Europe, France, History, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Theology

Ini Kopuria by Charles E. Fox (1946)

This is not the place to write of the Brotherhood, of Ini’s founding of the order of Companions of the Brothers, and of his other ideas, the children of an impulsive but very original mind. He worked first in his own island of Guadalcanal, then in Santa Cruz, then in Sikaiana, which owes him its Christianity, then in Mala, and then for some time in SagSag at the western end of New Britain, opposite New Guinea, where he prepared a number of people for Baptism. One of my memories is of that baptism, when Ini and I stood waist deep in the very cold water of that mountain river for several hours, while streams of people came…to us from the heathen side, were baptised by us and passed over to the Christian side, where the Bishop sat in his chair on a high grassy bank with the few already Christians round him. There the newly baptised dressed in white loincloths, and finally a great procession, led by the Cross, set off for the church, a procession so long that they were singing different hymns in different parts without releasing it, or caring either, so joyful did they feel. That is just one of the many memories of Ini. What great days those were!

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Church of Melanesia, Anglican Provinces, Books, Church History

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Ini Kopuria

Loving God, may thy Name be blest for the witness of Ini Kopuria, police officer and founder of the Melanesian Brotherhood, whose members saved many American pilots in a time of war, and who continue to minister courageously to the islanders of Melanesia. Open our eyes that we, with these Anglican brothers, may establish peace and hope in service to others, for the sake of Jesus Christ; who with thee and the Holy Spirit livest and reignest, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Church of Melanesia, Anglican Provinces, Church History, Missions, Spirituality/Prayer

Praise to the Trinity to Begin the Day from Thomas Ken

To God the Father, who first loved us, and made us accepted in the Beloved; to God the Son, who loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood; to God the Holy Ghost, who sheddeth the love of God abroad in our hearts: to the one true God be all love and all glory for time and for eternity.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Spirituality/Prayer, The Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Theology

From the Morning Scripture Readings

The point is this: he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must do as he has made up his mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that you may always have enough of everything and may provide in abundance for every good work. As it is written,

“He scatters abroad, he gives to the poor;
his righteousness endures for ever.”
He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your resources and increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way for great generosity, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God; for the rendering of this service not only supplies the wants of the saints but also overflows in many thanksgivings to God. Under the test of this service, you will glorify God by your obedience in acknowledging the gospel of Christ, and by the generosity of your contribution for them and for all others; while they long for you and pray for you, because of the surpassing grace of God in you. Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!

–2 Corinthians 9:6-15

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(NPR) Former Baltimore Mayor Kurt Schmoke: City Must Confront The 'Rot Beneath The Glitter'

It’s the end of a tough week in Baltimore. Tensions continue in the Freddie Gray case. And now the murder rate has spiked to a 40-year high. One man who understands well what the city is going through is Kurt Schmoke. He’s a native son and was elected as Baltimore’s first black mayor in 1987. He served three terms, grappling with high unemployment, poor schools and violent crime.

Now the president of the University of Baltimore, Schmoke shares his memories of the city and his thoughts about moving it forward with Morning Edition.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, City Government, Education, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, Poverty, Religion & Culture, Theology, Urban/City Life and Issues

(CNBC) Shockingly weak productivity haunts US job gains

U.S. productivity, or output per worker hour, just registered another dismal performance. In the first quarter, it was up a bare 0.3 percent from a year earlier.

That has unfortunately become the norm. Productivity has risen just 0.6 percent on average over the past five years.

“This is the worst five-year run for productivity since the early 1980s, and the worst five-year performance on record outside of a recession,” J.P. Morgan economists observed in a client note.

Clearly, there is a problem. The trouble is determining what exactly it is””and what, if anything, to do about it.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anthropology, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Science & Technology, The U.S. Government, Theology