Daily Archives: September 8, 2015

(AP) Across much of US, a serious shortage of psychiatrists

It is an irony that troubles health care providers and policymakers nationwide: Even as public awareness of mental illness increases, a shortage of psychiatrists worsens.

In vast swaths of America, patients face lengthy drives to reach the nearest psychiatrist, if they can even find one willing to see them. Some states are promoting wider use of long-distance telepsychiatry to fill the gaps in care. In Texas, which faces a severe shortage, lawmakers recently voted to pay the student loans of psychiatrists willing to work in underserved areas. A bill in Congress would forgive student loans for child psychiatrists.

Even with such efforts, problems are likely to persist. A recent survey by the Association of American Medical Colleges found that 59 percent of psychiatrists are 55 or older, the fourth oldest of 41 medical specialties, signaling that many may soon be retiring or reducing their workload.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Pastoral Theology, Psychology, Theology

(EN) Churches unite in call for United States to confront racism

Leaders from historically African-American Methodist churches have joined in Washington, D.C. to publicly call for the United States to confront racism and demand legal solutions to bring about racial equality.

Members of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, AME Zion Church, Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, and Union American Methodist Episcopal Church held a Sept. 1 and 2 event entitled “Liberty and Justice for All.”

“With the election of the first black president in the United States, many people may think that the country has entered an era in which racism has ended,” said Bishop Reginald Jackson, ecumenical officer and chair of the social action commission of the AME Church.

The meeting convened by churches, many of which belong to the World Council of Churches, was called to discuss criminal justice reform, education, economic justice, gun reform and voting rights, the WCC said.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Ecumenical Relations, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Parish Ministry, Politics in General, Race/Race Relations, Religion & Culture, Theology

Eugene Volokh-This Kentucky Law Clerk Case is anything but as simple as do your job or Quit

….it seems to me that Davis has a much stronger claim under state law for a much more limited exemption. Davis’s objection, it appears (see pp. 40, 133, and 139 of her stay application and attachments), is not to issuing same-sex marriage licenses as such. Rather, she objects to issuing such licenses with her name on them, because she believes (rightly or wrongly) that having her name on them is an endorsement of same-sex marriage. Indeed, she says that she would be content with

Modifying the prescribed Kentucky marriage license form to remove the multiple references to Davis’ name, and thus to remove the personal nature of the authorization that Davis must provide on the current form.

Now this would be a cheap accommodation that, it seems to me, a state could quite easily provide. It’s true that state law requires the County Clerk’s name on the marriage license and the marriage certificate. But the point of RFRAs, such as the Kentucky RFRA, is precisely to provide religious objectors with exemptions even from such generally applicable laws, so long as the exemptions don’t necessarily and materially undermine a compelling government interest.

And allowing all marriage licenses and certificates ”” for opposite-sex marriages or same-sex ones ”” to include a deputy clerk’s name, or just the notation “Rowan County Clerk,” wouldn’t jeopardize any compelling government interest. To be sure, it would have to be clear that this modification is legally authorized, and doesn’t make the license and certificate invalid. But a court that grants Davis’s RFRA exemption request could easily issue an order that makes this clear.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anthropology, City Government, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Pastoral Theology, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Theology

Nicholas Chamberlain Announced as the New Bishop of Grantham

He went on to study English at St Chad’s College, Durham, and while there, came to a living Christian faith. In time, through inspiration from the people of the North East, he offered himself for ordination, for which he trained at Edinburgh Theological College, graduating with a Bachelor of Divinity degree in 1988. Nicholas also completed a PhD in American Literature at St Chad’s College, Durham.

In 1991, Nicholas was ordained deacon in Durham Cathedral, and served his title at the parish of St Mary, Cockerton in the Diocese of Durham, being ordained priest in 1992. He went on to serve as curate at St Francis Church, Newton Aycliffe in 1994, before becoming Team Vicar there in 1995. The parish of St Andrew, Great Aycliffe, was added to the team in 1996 to become the Great Aycliffe Team Ministry.

In 1998, Nicholas took up the post of officer for Continuing Ministerial Education and Post Ordination Training in the Diocese of Durham, while also serving as Priest in Charge of St Barnabas, Burnmoor. He took up his current post of Vicar of St George and St Hilda, Newcastle upon Tyne, in 2006.

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

(CC) Benjamin Dueholm–Pulp inequality: How popular culture exhibits the class divide

It is not only intimate life and family dramas that are twisting in the chasm between the elite and the rest of us. CBS recently aired an instantly notorious reality show called The Briefcase, in which a struggling family is given a briefcase full of money and told they can either keep it all or give some to another, similarly struggling family. The twist is that the second family has been given an identical briefcase and told the same thing. The scenario recalls the classic “prisoner’s dilemma” of game theory””though in this case the tension comes not from rational decision making but from the anguish of the participants. The show’s producers step into the Christian Grey role, an entity with effectively limitless resources that finds a random family on which to lavish its attentions at an emotional cost it determines for them in advance.

Even philanthropy cannot seem to escape the sadistic thrill of playing Christian Grey””of dangling something people need on the far side of some ludicrous obstacle. Last year the Dr. Pepper Tuition Giveaway invited university students to make videos explaining why their tuition should be paid for. The top entrants were invited to compete in a contest at a college football halftime show. If they managed to throw enough footballs into an oversized Dr. Pepper can, they won up to $100,000 in tuition support. If not, at least they had an all-expenses-paid trip to the conference championship game. It’s astonishing that this was called a giveaway, as if hustling up a viral video, earning the most votes, and then performing a circus trick in a stadium were not a rather taxing sort of labor.

There is a lurid odor about these entertainments. The sight of real people wriggling and dancing and chucking footballs to win a cruise makes a very slight claim on our sense of fairness and decency. The sight of them doing it for tuition or medical bills shreds it beyond any recognition.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anthropology, Books, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Movies & Television, Personal Finance, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Theology, Violence

(B+C) Philip Jenkins–What we Can Learn from Early Christian-Muslim encounters

At the start of the 7th century, Christianity was making slow advances across much of Western Europe. Anglo-Saxon England was just receiving the faith, which had as yet made few inroads into most of the Germanic world. The Frankish lands were notionally Christian, but in a political environment so savage and chaotic that it made Game of Thrones seem as polite and domestic as Downton Abbey. For any objective observer, there was no doubt that the faith’s spiritual and theological centers lay far to the east, in the surviving Roman Empire based in Constantinople, and in the Christian cultures that flourished in Persian realms. If the Christian world had a center of gravity, it was located not far from Antioch, in western Syria. The church’s core languages of thought and debate were Greek, Coptic, and Syriac, with Latin an optional extra.

That was the world, then, that from the 630s experienced the sudden shock of the Arab conquests and the eruption of Islam. That point needs emphasizing because we so often view Christian history through the eyes of Europeans and specifically Latins, who would eventually dominate the church. It is easy, then, to think of the Islamic conquest as affecting the distant fringes of the “Christian world” rather than, as we now see, its heart and center.

Within a century, an Islamic empire ruled from the shores of the Atlantic deep into Central Asia, with Muslim élites a tiny minority ruling over Christians, Jews, and Zoroastrians. The literate and cultured Christians of the eastern lands were thus on the front lines of this epochal transformation, which they struggled to fit into their schemes of historical interpretation, their salvation history. As Michael Phillip Penn remarks, “For those interested in the history of early Christianity, ignoring the post-630s churches in the Middle East meant ignoring almost half of that period’s Christians.” (I would suggest well over half.)

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Church History, History, Inter-Faith Relations, Islam, Muslim-Christian relations, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Theology

(NYT Beliefs) Young Methodists Plant Churches With Environmental Gospel

Growing up in nearby Eden Prairie, Minn., Tyler Sit felt called to be a minister. But he was not sure what kind.

“I was a cradle Methodist,” said Mr. Sit, 26, who is half-Chinese, half-European and all-Minnesotan: sweet, smiley and Protestant. “I went to church camp, did Sunday school, was youth-group leader, was in the choir, sat on worship committees.”

So Mr. Sit went searching. “I spent a lot of time with Buddhists in Zen circles, studied in India, did a mindfulness retreat with Thich Nhat Hanh,” Mr. Sit said, in a conversation that began in the May Day Café and wandered several blocks to his apartment. Then, in May 2014, visiting the Taizé Christian spiritual community in France, he decided to return to his roots.

“I realized that Christianity has within itself a deep internal religion, and also a deep ethic of social justice,” Mr. Sit said. “I don’t need to outsource to Buddhism.”

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Energy, Natural Resources, Ethics / Moral Theology, Methodist, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Theology, Young Adults

Melanesian Archbishop retires from pastoral duties

The Archbishop of the Church of Melanesia Most Reverend David Vunagi officially retired yesterday after serving six years as the head of the church during a farewell service at St Barnabas Cathedral last Sunday.

Thousands of Anglicans from various parishes, schools, dioceses including government officials and Solomon Island Christian Association (SICA) representatives attended the service to give glory and honor for his service to the church.

Rev Vunagi acknowledged the Anglican Communion for having trust on his leadership and entrusted him as the Arch Bishop.

“Today I thank each and everyone and God who have been the source of power that enable me to meet the challenges in the church.

“My term is very short with full of challenges especially in the management and finance of the church but I am humble to be able to sustain institutions and sustain patrol ministries,” he said.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry

Bishop Robert Innes–The European Union–not as godless as you think

The creation of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) in 1952 was a landmark, giving Europe its first organisation with genuinely supranational characteristics. By setting German and French coal and steel production under a new independent ”˜High Authority’ it was intended that the major powers could never again engage in warfare against each other. European co-operation began with peace-making, reconciliation and forgiveness.

Three of the key players in post-war reconstruction were Robert Schuman (prime minister then foreign secretary of France) Konrad Adenauer (chancellor of Germany) and Alcide de Gasperi (prime minister of Italy). Each of these men were Roman Catholics who put their faith into practice in Christian Democracy.

Schuman was outspoken that reconstruction was only possible in a Europe ”˜deeply rooted in Christian values’. And Adenauer saw the creation of new European structures as a ”˜real Christian obligation’. Together with the (Catholic) French diplomat Jean Monnet, they were the early advocates and architects of European Union.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Ethics / Moral Theology, Europe, History, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Theology

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Søren Kierkegaard

Heavenly Father, whose beloved Son Jesus Christ felt sorrow and dread in the Garden of Gethsemane: Help us to remember that though we walk through the valley of the shadow, thou art always with us, that with thy philosopher Søren Kierkegaard, we may believe what we have not seen and trust where we cannot test, and so come at length to the eternal joy which thou hast prepared for those who love thee; through the same Jesus Christ our Savior, who livest and reignest with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Church History, Philosophy, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer to Begin the Day from the Pastor's Prayer Book

Fix thou our steps, O Lord, that we stagger not at the uneven motions of the world, but go steadily on our way, neither censuring our journey by the weather we meet, nor turning aside for anything that may befall us; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you stand firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, and not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is a clear omen to them of their destruction, but of your salvation, and that from God. For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake, engaged in the same conflict which you saw and now hear to be mine.

–Philippians 1:27-30

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Lent & Beyond: Prayer for the Diocese of South Carolina

The hearing of the appeal by TEC and its local agents against the Diocese of South Carolina starts today at 10:30 am Eastern Time.

Prayer for the Diocese of South Carolina posted on Wednesday September 23rd

We ponder the mystery that today’s court hearing for the South Carolina dioceses is on Yom Kippur, “the great day of covering over,”
and we honor Jesus, who paid the ransom for our sins with His precious blood.
Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.
We appeal to heaven and humbly ask for an alignment of this court case with Your perfect justice and righteousness.
We bless the South Carolina Court and Justices, the lawyers on both sides of this case, and the churches they represent.
May Your name be honored in all of the proceedings.
Your kingdom come to this hearing, Lord.
Your will be done as it is in heaven. Amen.

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

Prayer for the Diocese of South Carolina posted on Monday September 21st

For the LORD’s portion is his people, Jacob his allotted inheritance.
You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.
In a desert land he found him, in a barren and howling waste.
Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive glory.
He shielded him and cared for him; he guarded him as the apple of his eye,
Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power.
like an eagle that stirs up its nest and hovers over its young, that spreads its wings to catch them and carries them on its pinions.
Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive strength.
The LORD alone led him; no foreign god was with him.
Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive honor.
He made him ride on the heights of the land and fed him with the fruit of the fields.
Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive riches.
He nourished him with honey from the rock, and with oil from the flinty crag,
Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive wisdom.
with curds and milk from herd and flock and with fattened lambs and goats, with choice rams of Bashan and the finest kernels of wheat. You drank the foaming blood of the grape.
Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive blessings.
Deuteronomy 32:9-14, Revelation 4:11, 5:12

Our Father in heaven,
We loose these songs of Moses and the angels over the courtroom hearings in the South Carolina litigation. Amen.

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

Prayer for the Diocese of South Carolina posted on Monday September 14th

Ezra 6:22 (ESV)
And they kept the Feast of Unleavened Bread seven days with joy, for the Lord had made them joyful and had turned the heart of the king of Assyria to them, so that he aided them in the work of the house of God, the God of Israel.

Our Father in heaven,
We humbly request that You turn the heart of the judges to the Diocese of South Carolina in the upcoming litigation and aid the Diocese in the work of the house of God. Amen.

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

Prayer for the Diocese of South Carolina posted on Monday September 7th
Psalm 22:3 (ESV)
Yet you are holy,
enthroned on the praises of Israel.

Revelation 4:6,8 (ESV)
And before the throne there was as it were a sea of glass, like crystal. And around the throne, on each side of the throne, are four living creatures . . . And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and within, and day and night they never cease to say,

“Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty,
who was and is and is to come!”


Our Father in heaven,

Enthroned upon the praises of Israel, enthroned upon the praises of the four living creatures, enthroned upon the praises of those who have been adopted as sons and daughters through Jesus Christ,

Holy is Your name.

We thank You for the blessings that You bestow upon the Diocese of South Carolina each and every day. You are her Provider, her Protector, and her Defender. You are her Good Shepherd.

The Diocese of South Carolina shall not want. You make her lie down in green pastures. You love her with a love that is beyond measure. You know her needs, and You sustain her, even in this season of litigation.

You lead her beside still waters. All of her fountains of joy are in You. You restore her soul.

You lead her in paths of righteousness for Your name’s sake. Your word is a lamp to her feet and a light to her path. Through Your precepts, You give her understanding.

Even though she walks through a valley of litigation, You are with her. She will fear no evil, for You guide her continually and satisfy her desire in scorched places and make her strong. Your rod and Your staff, they comfort her.

You prepare a table before her in the presence of her enemies. She delights in wine and milk without money, without price! She listens diligently to You and eats what is good. She delights herself in Your provision, and You anoint her head with the oil of gladness.

Her cup overflows, and she shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow her, and she shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Amen.

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

A Prayer for Labor Day (V)

O Almighty God and Heavenly Father, who by thy divine providence has appointed for each of us our work in life, and hast commanded us that we should not be slothful in business, but fervent in spirit, serving thee; help us always to remember that our work is thy appointment, and to do it heartily as unto thee. Preserve us from slothfulness, and make us to live with loins girded and lamps burning, that whensoever our Lord may come, we may be found striving earnestly to finish the work that thou hast given us to do; through the same Jesus Christ our Saviour.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Economics, Politics, Anthropology, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Spirituality/Prayer, Theology

75 years ago today–The London Blitz Began

The piece is just under 9 minutes long; listen to it all–KSH.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Defense, National Security, Military, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Europe, Germany, History, Theology, Urban/City Life and Issues