Daily Archives: August 14, 2015

(HH) Report: Marriage can lead to reduction in heavy drinking among young adults

Research on alcohol-use disorders consistently shows problem drinking decreases as we age.

Also called, “maturing out,” these changes generally begin during young adulthood and are partially caused by the roles we take on as we become adults. Now, researchers collaborating between the University of Missouri and Arizona State University have found evidence that marriage can cause dramatic drinking reductions even among people with severe drinking problems. Scientists believe findings could help improve clinical efforts to help these people, inform public health policy changes and lead to more targeted interventions for young adult problem drinkers.

“A key conceptual framework psychologists use to explain maturing out and the ”˜marriage effect’ is role-incompatibility theory,” said Dr. Matthew Lee, a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Psychological Sciences in the College of Arts and Science at MU. “The theory suggests that if a person’s existing behavioral pattern is conflicting with the demands of a new role, such as marriage, one way to resolve the incompatibility is to change behavior. We hypothesized that this incompatibility may be greater for more severe drinkers, so they’ll need to make greater changes to their drinking to meet the role demands of marriage.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Alcohol/Drinking, Alcoholism, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Marriage & Family, Psychology, Theology

(S. Anglicans) Archbishop of Sydney backs plebiscite plan

The Archbishop of Sydney, Dr Glenn Davies, has congratulated the Prime Minister and the Coalition for backing a plebiscite on same-sex marriage.

“I believe that marriage is a foundational concept to our society and indeed to human civilisation as a whole, in accordance with God’s own plan for all people, and it is intrinsic to the continuation of the human race as the bedrock of the family from which succeeding generations are born.”

“Despite the relentless campaign by some sections of the community, it is only now that other views are starting to be heard in the media, not only from the churches. T

a href=”http://sydneyanglicans.net/mediareleases/archbishop-backs-plebiscite-plan”>Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Pastoral Theology, Politics in General, Rural/Town Life, Sexuality, Theology

(WSJ) William McGurn–What Motivates a Modern Nun?

On a hot August morning, 30-year-old Sister Bethany Madonna sits before the altar of the Basilica of St. John the Evangelist. Seated alongside her are seven other women, also in their 30s, also dressed in blue habits and long white veils.

The moment has been years in coming: the day they consecrate themselves to Jesus Christ as they offer their final vows as members of the Sisters of Life.

Which provoked a question: What could lead a personable young woman from a happy family to give up everything — especially at a moment when women have never had as many opportunities before them?

It’s a reasonable question.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Spirituality/Prayer, Theology, Women

(CC) M. Craig Barnes–Revival without tents

Those of us in the mainline traditions don’t really know what to make of revivalism. Not many of us walk down the aisle to confess and surrender our sins to God. We don’t think that we receive the grace of God because we have found faith; we believe faith is a response to the prevenient grace of God. I get that too.

What I do not get is why the more theologically sophisticated a person becomes, the less likely she or he is to have any interest in inviting people to experience conversion. The apostle Paul knew a lot more theology than most of us before he encountered Jesus on the road to Damascus. So he was wrong. This is what we are not so good at confessing””that there is more to Jesus than we know.

We in the liturgically devoted Christian traditions are as in need of repentance and surrender as those who shuffled into my father’s revival tent. We gave up the revival tents, thankfully, but for some reason we also gave up the invitation to surrender all to Jesus.

Read it all (my emphasis).

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Anthropology, Christology, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Soteriology, Theology

(W Post) Russell Moore–A year after Ferguson, have white Christians learned anything?

The white Christians I know who care deeply about solving our nation’s racial injustices are those who are embedded in communities with black and Hispanic and Asian Christians. They care not just about issues but about people they love as their brothers and sisters in Christ.

Where we see churches that expand beyond the sameness of ethnicity or economic status, we see people who are willing to stand up for one another in the public square, because they’ve learned to love one another at the family table.

The answer to racial injustice is precisely the way the Hebrew prophets once framed the answer to all social evil. It means working for courts and systems that are fair and impartial. But it doesn’t stop with policies and structures. It must also include people who are transformed, not just by greater social awareness, but also by consciences that are formed by something other than our backgrounds. For that, we need more than national conversations and policy proposals (as important as those are).

We need, nationally, what Abraham Lincoln called “a new birth of freedom.” But we also need, personally, a new birth.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Ethics / Moral Theology, Evangelicals, History, Other Churches, Politics in General, Race/Race Relations, Religion & Culture, Theology

(Mass. Live) A Profile Article of TEC Bishop of Western Mass. Douglas Fisher

In the Episcopal Church we believe in the continuing revelation of God. The Holy Spirit did not retire to Florida after the Bible was written or the Creeds promulgated. The Holy Spirit continues to teach us. I believe that the Holy Spirit has been expanding our consciousness about the dignity and equality of our gay brothers and sisters. That consciousness might well have been developed in society before it was developed in the Church, and now the Church is catching up to the Holy Spirit. The Church is catching up to the broader society.

As to the election of Michael Curry as Presiding Bishop, he was chosen (the first time anyone has been elected on the first ballot) not because he is African-American but because in an outstanding field of four candidates, he is the best person to lead us now. Michael is an inspired preacher and brilliant organizer who passionately invites all to join the “Jesus Movement” – to change the nightmare this world so often is for so many into the dream God has for it.

Although he was not chosen because he is African-American, I do find it holy and good that an African-American was chosen at this time of tremendous racial tension in our country. Our country has a history of racism embedded within it that we have never really faced. Could this be the time to have an honest discussion about that history and move forward as a New Creation?

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, General Convention, Pastoral Theology, Politics in General, Psychology, Religion & Culture, TEC Bishops, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(Winn. Free Press) Scientology doc reveals horror behind star-endorsed facade

To the casual skeptic, the notion of getting sucked into the Church of Scientology’s belief system is a prospect as likely as a Sunday brunch date with galactic overlord Xenu.

But for the average Canadian, it helps that this film’s main liaison is filmmaker Paul Haggis, a practising Scientologist for 35 years before his explosive departure from the church in 2009.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Ethics / Moral Theology, Movies & Television, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Theology

(Church Times) Reader to lose Permission to Officiate over his same-sex marriage plans

Jeremy Timm, a Reader, has described the “tears and soul-searching” that he endured before deciding to convert his civil partnership to marriage, knowing that this would result in the loss of his permission to officiate (PTO).

Mr Timm, a Reader in the Howden Team Ministry in Hull, was told by the Archbishop of York, Dr Sentamu, last month, that his PTO would be revoked if he pursued his intention to convert his partnership with Mike Brown.

Writing on the website of Changing Attitude, Mr Timm described being “placed in an impossible situation by the Church of England . . . faced with choosing between marriage or ministry”.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Ministry of the Laity, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Theology

(DM) Sir Muir Gray–Human beings do not have shelf life

[Recently]..there have been two poignant reminders of the prevalence of that attitude, where the advancing years are regarded as a cause for apprehension and fear.
The first was the death of Cilla Black at the comparatively young age of 72.
Although she had problems with her hearing and suffered from arthritis, she was ”” so far as we know ”” in reasonable health. But psychologically, she appeared to have been preparing for the end, explaining in interviews last year that she ”˜did not want to live longer than 75’.

In this rather bleak outlook, she seems to have been heavily influenced by the experience of her mother, who lived until she was 84 but suffered a good deal in her final years.
The second episode to highlight this fear of old age was the sad case of retired nurse Gill Pharaoh, who recently took her own life at a Swiss assisted suicide clinic, despite the fact she was only 75 and had no serious health issues.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Aging / the Elderly, Anthropology, Children, Death / Burial / Funerals, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Life Ethics, Marriage & Family, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Politics in General, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Theology

Today in Church History

1941–Martyrdom of Maximilian Kolbe who volunteered to die in place of a stranger in the German Concentration camp at Auschwitz, Poland.
Authority for the date: Dewar, Diane. All for Christ: Some Twentieth Century Martyrs. Oxford University Press, 1980.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Church History

A Prayer to Begin the Day from the Church of South India

O God, who, calling Abraham to go forth to a country which thou wouldest show him, didst promise that in him all the families of the earth would be blessed: Fulfill thy promise in us, we pray thee, giving us such faith in thee as thou shalt count unto us for righteousness; that in us and through us thy purpose may be fulfilled; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

Hear my prayer, O LORD; let my cry come to thee! Do not hide thy face from me in the day of my distress! Incline thy ear to me; answer me speedily in the day when I call!

–Psalm 102:1-2

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Demolition Underway at Saint Martin's Anglican Church in Fort St. John, Canada

The demolition of St. Martin’s Anglican Church is now a done deal as the North Peace Savings and Credit Union moves forward with plans for of a new three story administrative centre at the location.

Negotiations for purchase of a portion of the site, adjacent to the existing credit union building on 100th Street, began back in 2013 and the demolition followed the removal of hazardous materials.

Read it all. You can read about the final worship service there and you can find the location here.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Canada, Economy, Housing/Real Estate Market, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Stewardship

(SA) American Renters paying record proportion of income on rent

According to Zillow, renters spent 30.2% of income on rent in Q2, the highest percentage since as far back as the data go (1979).

In comparison, the average between 1995 and 2000 was just over 24%.Los Angeles is tops for unaffordability at 49%, with San Francisco not far behind at 47%. In NYC, renters historically have paid about 25% of income for rent, but that has gone up to 41%. Known for being more affordable than other major cities, the luxury condo market has transformed Miami, and renters there now pay 44.5%.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Children, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Housing/Real Estate Market, Marriage & Family, Personal Finance, Politics in General, Theology

(ACNS) Anglican Family Network shows how 'family' can be place of reconciliation

The latest International Anglican Family Network’s (IAFN) newsletter continues exploration of the theological basis for the concept of ”˜family’ and celebrates the potential of Christ’s reconciling love lived out in family settings.

Sharing personal experience and good practice stories gathered from Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia and the Middle East, the newsletter The Family ”“ A Reconciling Community shows how practical, Gospel-centred approaches can help to overcome strained and broken relationships and strengthen family life.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Anthropology, Children, Ethics / Moral Theology, Globalization, Marriage & Family, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Theology