Daily Archives: September 21, 2016

(HBR) Research: We Drop People Who Give Us Critical Feedback

Think about the people at work who are part of your network ”” the individuals who help you improve your performance or provide you with emotional support when you are going through a tough spell. If you’re like most people, the colleagues who come to mind are those you get along with and who have a good impression of you. But has anyone in your network actually given you tough feedback?

Your likely answer is “not many.” As I discovered in recent research I conducted with Paul Green of Harvard Business School and Brad Staats of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, people tend to move away from those who provide feedback that is more negative than their view of themselves. They do not listen to their advice and prefer to stop interacting with them altogether. It seems that people tend to strengthen their bonds with people who only see their positive qualities.

In one of our studies, we used four years of archival data on over 300 full-time employees at a United States-based food manufacturing and agribusiness company. The company has a fluid structure that gives employees some discretion in defining the scope, responsibilities, and deliverables of their role on an annual basis.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anthropology, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Education, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Marriage & Family, Psychology, Theology

(CC) Katherine Willis Pershey–On knowing (yes, in the biblical sense)

A book I begrudgingly appreciate is The Meaning of Marriage, by Timothy Keller. Keller is not my theological cup of tea. He embraces traditional gender roles and rejects same-sex marriage, and these points are not marginal to his arguments. They are central to his take on the whole institution of marriage. So while I longed to write him off on principle, I found myself nevertheless affirming a great deal of what I read, particularly his take on premarital sex.

One of the reasons we believe in our culture that sex should always and only be the result of great passion is that so many people today have learned how to have sex outside of marriage, and this is a very different experience than having sex inside it. Outside of marriage, sex is accompanied by a desire to impress or entice someone. It is something like the thrill of the hunt. When you are seeking to draw in someone you don’t know, it injects risk, uncertainty, and pressure to the lovemaking that quickens the heartbeat and stirs the emotions.

Many will roll their eyes at this blanket statement. After all, according to Keller, he and his wife were virgins on their wedding night. What does he actually know about what it’s like to have sex before marriage? Surely this is a reductive blanket assessment of casual or committed-but-not-married sex. There are undoubtedly a wide variety of ways to experience unmarried sex. But for me? Yeah. The shoe fits. I can see it now. My relationships with boyfriends were devoid of any true intimacy. Sure, on rare occasions the sex was great””but it was never truly good.

The contrast between unmarried and married sex is significant. The covenant of marriage””the vows to love now and forever””changes everything. It just does.

Read it all (emphasis hers).

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Anthropology, Books, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Marriage & Family, Pastoral Theology, Psychology, Sexuality, Teens / Youth, Theology, Theology: Scripture, Young Adults

Andrew Sullivan on Being an Infoaholic in the Information Age–I Used to Be a Human Being

I was, in other words, a very early adopter of what we might now call living-in-the-web. And as the years went by, I realized I was no longer alone. Facebook soon gave everyone the equivalent of their own blog and their own audience. More and more people got a smartphone ”” connecting them instantly to a deluge of febrile content, forcing them to cull and absorb and assimilate the online torrent as relentlessly as I had once. Twitter emerged as a form of instant blogging of microthoughts. Users were as addicted to the feedback as I had long been ”” and even more prolific. Then the apps descended, like the rain, to inundate what was left of our free time. It was ubiquitous now, this virtual living, this never-stopping, this always-updating. I remember when I decided to raise the ante on my blog in 2007 and update every half-hour or so, and my editor looked at me as if I were insane. But the insanity was now banality; the once-unimaginable pace of the professional blogger was now the default for everyone.

If the internet killed you, I used to joke, then I would be the first to find out. Years later, the joke was running thin. In the last year of my blogging life, my health began to give out. Four bronchial infections in 12 months had become progressively harder to kick. Vacations, such as they were, had become mere opportunities for sleep. My dreams were filled with the snippets of code I used each day to update the site. My friendships had atrophied as my time away from the web dwindled. My doctor, dispensing one more course of antibiotics, finally laid it on the line: “Did you really survive HIV to die of the web?

Read it all from New York Magazine.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, --Social Networking, Anthropology, Blogging & the Internet, Ethics / Moral Theology, Globalization, Media, Science & Technology, Theology

(Guardian) Archbishop Welby's prayers answered as payday loan firms brought to book

In 2013 the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, declared war on Wonga and other payday lenders crucifying borrowers with 5,000% interest loans. Three years later it looks as if his prayers may have been answered.

CFO Lending, which was fined £34m this week by the Financial Conduct Authority, is just the latest operator brought to its knees by regulators punishing bad lending behaviour. CFO, which traded under brand names Payday First, Money Resolve and Flexible First, will have to hand money back to nearly 100,000 victims of its unfair practices.

Citizens Advice said complaints about payday loans have collapsed by 86% between 2013 and 2016. But campaigners warn that the industry is reinventing itself with still “eye-watering” interest rates on three-month loans aimed at people earning less than £20,000 a year on insecure work contracts.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Personal Finance, Religion & Culture, The Banking System/Sector, Theology

(Telegraph) The Race to save a much-loved British endangered species (the local vicar)

The Church of England will see the number of traditional clergy drop by 15 per cent in just 20 years unless it dramatically increases ordinations over the next decade, new figures show.

While falling numbers in the pews have attracted headlines in recent years, senior clerics are also concerned about a separate looming decline – in the pulpit.

Bishops fear a fall in the number of priests could make the task of reversing declining congregations by winning new converts more difficult than ever.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Church of England (CoE), Ethics / Moral Theology, Evangelism and Church Growth, History, Men, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Seminary / Theological Education, Sociology, Theology, Women, Young Adults

(Vatican Radio) Archbishop Welby on Bartholomew's legacy of dialogue, reconciliation

Among the world’s religious leaders gathered in Assisi on Tuesday for the World Day of Prayer for Peace is the Archbishop of Canterbury and head of the worldwide Anglican Communion, Justin Welby.

The Anglican leader was moderating one of the many panel discussions organised by the St Edigio community as part of a three day international meeting focused on the theme ”˜Thirst for peace ”“ religions and cultures in dialogue’. Since the first Day of Prayer for Peace in Assisi, called for by Pope John Paul II exactly 30 years ago, St Egidio has organised an annual interfaith encounter to highlight the vital role of dialogue among all people of faith in promoting peace in the world.

Read and listen to it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Ecumenical Relations, Theology

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Saint Matthew

We thank thee, heavenly Father, for the witness of thine apostle and evangelist Matthew to the Gospel of thy Son our Savior; and we pray that, after his example, we may with ready wills and hearts obey the calling of our Lord to follow him; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Spirituality/Prayer, Theology, Theology: Scripture

A Prayer to Begin the Day from Saint Augustine

O God, our true Life, in whom and by whom all things live, Thou commandest us to seek Thee, and art ready to be found; Thou biddest us knock, and openest when we do so. To know Thee is life, to serve Thee is freedom, to enjoy Thee is a kingdom, to praise Thee is the joy and happiness of the soul. I praise, and bless, and adore Thee, I worship Thee, I glorify Thee, I give thanks to Thee for Thy great glory. I humbly beseech Thee to abide with me, to reign in me, to make this heart of mine a holy temple, a fit habitation for Thy Divine majesty. O Thou Maker and Preserver of all things, visible and invisible! keep, I beseech Thee, the work of Thine own hands, who trusts in Thy mercy alone for safety and protection. Guard me with the power of Thy grace, here and in all places, now and at all times, forevermore. Amen.

–James Manning,ed., Prayers of the Early Church (Nashville: The Upper Room, 1953)

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

While Apol”²los was at Corinth, Paul passed through the upper country and came to Ephesus. There he found some disciples. And he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” And they said, “No, we have never even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” And he said, “Into what then were you baptized?” They said, “Into John’s baptism.” And Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, Jesus.” On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them; and they spoke with tongues and prophesied. There were about twelve of them in all.

And he entered the synagogue and for three months spoke boldly, arguing and pleading about the kingdom of God; but when some were stubborn and disbelieved, speaking evil of the Way before the congregation, he withdrew from them, taking the disciples with him, and argued daily in the hall of Tyran”²nus. This continued for two years, so that all the residents of Asia heard the word of the Lord, both Jews and Greeks.

–Acts 19:1-10

Posted in Uncategorized

(CNS) Failure of ecumenism would imprison mercy, Archbishop Justin Welby says

Churches that are not reconciled with one another weaken the experience of mercy that unites believers to God and with each other, Anglican Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury said.
By not reconciling with one other, “our worship is diminished and our capacity to grow close together with God is reduced,” he said Sept. 20 in Assisi during a discussion on ecumenism.
“The failure of ecumenism imprisons mercy and prevents its liberation and its power with one another,” he said.
Speaking before Pope Francis arrived in Assisi for an interreligious peace meeting, Archbishop Welby joined other Christian leaders exploring how love, charity and mercy help foster peace and unity among Christian denominations.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Ecumenical Relations, Other Churches, Pope Francis, Roman Catholic, Theology

"Beauty, intimacy and adventure are hints of home," says Ken Boa to Diocese of S Carolina Gathering


(Photo: Joy Hunter)

Prolific author and teacher Dr. Ken Boa spoke to a crowd at St. John’s, Johns Island, September 7, 2016 on “Rewriting Your Broken Story: Gaining an Eternal Perspective on your Christian Walk,” which is also the title of his most recent book.

“All of us have broken stories,” said Boa. “How is yours broken?”

He began retelling a story of Martin Laird’s which tells of a dog who when set free simply ran in circles, because it had lived most of its life in a cage. “We buy into a false narrative,” said Boa.

Read it all and note the link to his talk and to pictures.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * South Carolina, Adult Education, Anthropology, Christology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Parish Ministry, Soteriology, Theology, Theology: Scripture