Blessed Lord, who putteth down the mighty from their seat and exaltest those of low degree: Save us, we beseech thee, from pride and vainglory, from self-seeking and false ambition. Give us a humble and contrite spirit, that we may think less of ourselves, more of others, and most of all of thee, who art our mighty God and Saviour; to whom with thee and the Holy Spirit we ascribe all praise and glory, now and for evermore.
Monthly Archives: September 2017
Now Ahazi′ah fell through the lattice in his upper chamber in Samar′ia, and lay sick; so he sent messengers, telling them, “Go, inquire of Ba′al-ze′bub, the god of Ekron, whether I shall recover from this sickness.” But the angel of the Lord said to Eli′jah the Tishbite, “Arise, go up to meet the messengers of the king of Samar′ia, and say to them, ‘Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are going to inquire of Ba′al-ze′bub, the god of Ekron?’ Now therefore thus says the Lord, ‘You shall not come down from the bed to which you have gone, but you shall surely die.’” So Eli′jah went.
The messengers returned to the king, and he said to them, “Why have you returned?” And they said to him, “There came a man to meet us, and said to us, ‘Go back to the king who sent you, and say to him, Thus says the Lord, Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are sending to inquire of Ba′al-ze′bub, the god of Ekron? Therefore you shall not come down from the bed to which you have gone, but shall surely die.’” He said to them, “What kind of man was he who came to meet you and told you these things?” They answered him, “He wore a garment of haircloth, with a girdle of leather about his loins.” And he said, “It is Eli′jah the Tishbite.”
Then the king sent to him a captain of fifty men with his fifty. He went up to Eli′jah, who was sitting on the top of a hill, and said to him, “O man of God, the king says, ‘Come down.’” But Eli′jah answered the captain of fifty, “If I am a man of God, let fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty.” Then fire came down from heaven, and consumed him and his fifty.
Again the king sent to him another captain of fifty men with his fifty. And he went up and said to him, “O man of God, this is the king’s order, ‘Come down quickly!’” But Eli′jah answered them, “If I am a man of God, let fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty.” Then the fire of God came down from heaven and consumed him and his fifty.
Again the king sent the captain of a third fifty with his fifty. And the third captain of fifty went up, and came and fell on his knees before Eli′jah, and entreated him, “O man of God, I pray you, let my life, and the life of these fifty servants of yours, be precious in your sight. Lo, fire came down from heaven, and consumed the two former captains of fifty men with their fifties; but now let my life be precious in your sight.” Then the angel of the Lord said to Eli′jah, “Go down with him; do not be afraid of him.” So he arose and went down with him to the king, and said to him, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Because you have sent messengers to inquire of Ba′al-ze′bub, the god of Ekron,—is it because there is no God in Israel to inquire of his word?—therefore you shall not come down from the bed to which you have gone, but you shall surely die.’”
So he died according to the word of the Lord which Eli′jah had spoken. Jeho′ram, his brother, became king in his stead in the second year of Jeho′ram the son of Jehosh′aphat, king of Judah, because Ahazi′ah had no son.
–2 Kings 1:2-17
(DNA info) Old St. James Episcopal Church in Elmhurst in the borough of Queens, the City’s 2nd Oldest, Gets Landmarked
— Kendall Harmon (@KendallHarmon6) September 21, 2017
The Old St. James Episcopal Church on Broadway, one of the city’s oldest churches, is now officially a landmark.
The Church of England mission church, which was built in 1735 and 1736, was unanimously voted for the distinction by the Landmarks Preservation Commission on Tuesday.
It’s the second-oldest religious building in the five boroughs, constructed in what was then Newtown Village for the new Anglican residents. (The oldest is the Old Quaker Meeting House in Flushing, also known as the Flushing Friends Meeting House, which was built in 1694, according to the church’s website.)
Diane Craglow was caring for a 14-year-old autistic boy named Connor Leibel in Buckeye, Ariz., one day in July. They took a walk to one of his favorite places, a park in an upscale community called Verrado. She was not hesitant to leave Connor alone for a few minutes while she booked a piano lesson for his sister nearby, because he usually feels safe and comfortable in places that are familiar to him, and he learns to be more independent that way.
When Ms. Craglow returned, she couldn’t believe what she saw: a police officer looming over the now-handcuffed boy, pinning him to the ground against a tree. Connor was screaming, and the police officer, David Grossman, seemed extremely agitated.
As Ms. Craglow tried to piece together what had happened, more officers arrived, spilling out of eight patrol cars in response to Officer Grossman’s frantic call for backup. Soon it became clear to Ms. Craglow that the policeman was unaware that Connor has autism, and had interpreted the boy’s rigid, unfamiliar movements — which included raising a piece of yarn to his nose to sniff it repeatedly — as a sign of drug intoxication.
As a graduate of Arizona’s Drug Evaluation and Classification program, Officer Grossman is certified as a “drug recognition expert.” But no one had trained him to recognize one of the classic signs of autism: the repetitive movements that autistic people rely on to manage their anxiety in stressful situations, known as self-stimulation or “stimming.” That’s what Connor was doing with the string when Officer Grossman noticed him while he was on patrol.
(Tel.) Andre Spicer–Insidious management speak has infected the land, from our boardrooms to our churches to our school halls
Management speak has even found its way into the Church of England. In 2014, the Church commissioned a “talent management” programme for “future leaders“. A report about the programme mentioned the word “leadership” 171 times. “God” was mentioned 21 times.
Lamenting how this meaningless chatter had taken over our great national institutions, I turned to daily life for some respite. Instead of solid common sense I found the same guff. One friend remembered asking his girlfriend to meet him after work, to which she responded: “what’s the value add?“. I came across a prospective father who talked about naming his child as “personal brand design“. Another dad talked about how he used “six sigma” techniques to raise his four daughters. I even read a Harvard Business School professor describing marriage as a merger which involve “due diligence“, “synergies“, “costs of integration“, and “strategic execution“.
Why are we attracted to this impenetrable tosh. Are people just stupid? Not really – smart, well-educated people are particularly enthusiastic devotees of management speak. Do they lack experience in the real-world? No again. Management jargon is used by even the most seasoned operators.
So why do we use it? Managers told me there were some big gains to be made from business balderdash. Some said it made them look good. By walking into a meeting and firing off bullet points filled with management jargon, they hoped they would be seen as “up to date“, “intelligent“, and even “inspirational“. In this sense, management talk can also be a useful self-confidence trick. By describing themselves as a “Quality Catalyst” or a “Innovation Sherpa“, a middle manager can feel a little better about their boring job.
Sir Philip found that there was no real attempt during the Vacancy in See process or during the consultation process to address the possibility of appointing a non-ordaining bishop to the Sheffield vacancy.
Neither was there any detailed attempt by the Crown Nominations Commission (CNC) to consider what the implications of appointing a non-ordaining bishop to the diocese might be.
The row arose because Bishop North does not ordain women because of his Anglo-Catholic churchmanship.
“He believed that his candidacy to be their diocesan bishop, including his views on what was meant by mutual flourishing, had been tested by the Crown Nominations Commission and found to be acceptable,” Sir Philip wrote. The reviewer explains that whenthe Archbishop of York asked each of the members of the Commission in turn whether they felt that the needs of the diocese and the wider Church had been met by the outcome, ‘all replied in the affirmative’.
Sir Philip said that when the possibility of Bishop North being nominated was under discussion in the Commission, the diocesan members were asked to comment on this and clear views were expressed by a majority that his nomination would be welcomed in the diocese, although others expressed caution about the likely reaction.
“The view of many (but not all) of the members of the Commission was that his reputation for mission would outweigh any personal reservations about his stance on receiving the ministry of women.”
Read it all (may require subscription).
St. James Episcopal Church, which has made its home at 833 W. Wisconsin Ave. since 1851, will close its doors at the end of this month. The building, which was put up for sale a few years ago, is in the process of being sold.
According to the church’s pastor, Father John Allen, the final worship service will be held on Oct. 1 and the diocese will hold a closing service on the evening on Nov. 1.
“The church will be secularized,” Allen said. “The bishop or his representative will come and say a prayer to say, ‘we blessed you but now we’re taking it back.'”
Allen said the sale of the building is expected to be finalized in November.
He added that a group of partners – including developer Josh Jeffers, Shawn Hittman and The Hidden Kitchen owners Oliver Hunt and Kate Crowle – plan to open a wedding and events venue in the building.
— Graham Tomlin (@gtomlin) September 21, 2017
I have always struggled to understand what Christians mean by freedom. There is quite a lot in the Old Testament about Israel as free people, in the New Testament about how Christ sets us free, Christians talk a lot about freedom, and yet Christianity has always seemed to demand things like obedience, submission to God's will, adopting a moral code where certain things are right and certain things are off-limits, none of which really seems like freedom.
For a number of years now I've been pondering this question, and the result is a book which has just been published, entitled “Bound to be Free: the Paradox of Freedom”, published by Bloomsbury. At the risk of sounding a little arrogant I think I may have worked it out - at least to my own satisfaction!
The problem is not so much a Christian understanding of freedom, but the secular way of thinking about the concept which most of us imbibe without even thinking about it. The book traces the roots of secular notions of Freedom in the libertarian tradition exemplified by thinkers such as John Locke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau and John Stuart Mill. The basic idea here is that freedom is individual freedom. It is the ability to do what I choose with my own goods, talents, time and opportunities, without any hindrance from wider bodies like the state or government. J.S. Mill extends this into the idea that such freedom is necessary from all kinds of social restriction and expectation, and that individuals should be free to do as they choose, as long as they do not harm other people, and do not infringe upon the rights of others to exercise their own freedom within their own personal space.
If that's the way we understand freedom, then it's not surprising that Christians struggle to fit biblical notions of freedom into that framework. However, there is I think a problem with this secular way of thinking about it.
What appeared to be a dispute over property quickly implicated First Amendment rights and the Establishment Clause, when the South Carolina Supreme Court applied different standards and rules to the Episcopal Church for establishing a trust in property than those governing secular organizations.
The court, in applying different and more lenient standards to the Episcopal Church, appeared to favor one denomination over another, according to Alan Runyan, an attorney representing the diocese.
“According to this decision, the Supreme Court of South Carolina has created a special rule which operates here to the benefit of the Episcopal Church, a New York unincorporated association, and to the punishment of the parish churches in the diocese of South Carolina, many of whom predate the Episcopal Church and the United States of America,” Runyan told TheDCNF. “Because, in the exercise of their protected rights to their religious beliefs and to associate with those they choose to associate with, they successfully withdrew from the Episcopal Church, only to have applied to them a rule that would not apply to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.”
“And I say that because in South Carolina there are very precise ways for how you create a trust in property,” Runyan said. “In this case, the [South Carolina] Supreme Court majority expressly stated that, in fact, the Episcopal Church did not have to follow those rules. It didn’t have to follow the same rules that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce would have to follow to create a trust interest in the property of a local chamber of commerce that had joined it. And it is in that respect that this is an egregious violation of the right to freedom of religion and the right to associate with others who share your religious beliefs because, in the exercise of those same rights, a secular organization would not have been punished.”
Lewis told TheDCNF that the implications of the court’s ruling, especially as they pertain to the Establishment Clause, posed a grave threat to the religious community at large.
“Part of our argument is that’s a gross violation of the First Amendment, that the court here has established a different set of rules, a different precedent for how church property ownership is determined than what would be used for a secular nonprofit,” Lewis said. “That’s essentially establishment of religion. There are all kinds of problems with that that should be of concern certainly to anybody in the religious community.”
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.
— Edoardo (@EdoardoFanfani) September 21, 2016
O true light, which lightenest every man that cometh into this world, lighten my eyes that I sleep not in death.
O fire that ever burnest and never failest, I am lukewarm, yes, cold: kindle my heart that it may be on fire with love of thee.
O King of heaven and earth, rich in mercy, I am poor and needy; then help me, O my God, and out of the treasury of thy goodness enrich my soul.
–Robert W. Rodenmayer, ed., The Pastor’s Prayerbook: Selected and arranged for various occasions (New York: Oxford University Press, 1960)
Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down his disciples came to him. And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
As so often happens, a frantic mother called us about her 19-year-old daughter, who I’ll call Jen. A heroin addict, Jen had been shuttled between multiple treatment centers and sober homes by greedy marketers looking to cash in on the teenager’s insurance benefits by keeping her perpetually in recovery, but never sober. As our investigator searched Palm Beach County for Jen, her mother finally reached her by phone. She pleaded with her daughter to leave Florida, to which Jen replied, “Why would I come home? I have all I need here.” In the ensuing months, Jen has become a victim of a vicious cycle known as “the Florida shuffle.” She has continued in and out of treatment, repeatedly relapsed and overdosed, been on the brink of death, was revived and all the while trafficked by marketers offering free rent and other gifts — as she ignores her mother’s desperate pleas to come home.
Americans know of the carnage wrought by the opioid epidemic. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, opioids caused 91 deaths every day in 2015. Expect a significant increase when the 2016 medical examiner and coroner reports are released nationwide. In my jurisdiction alone, 596 people died from opioid-related deaths in 2016, an increase of 286% since 2012.
Less known, however, is that this growing epidemic has been fueled in part by the manipulation of well-intended federal laws — such as the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Mental Health Parity Act — by unscrupulous individuals looking to profit on the misery and vulnerability of others. Fueled by new financial benefits in federal law, private drug treatment providers have flourished, as marketers often push individuals with substance use disorder to the warm weather states of Florida, Arizona and California as recovery destinations. The unethical players within the recovery industry see the addict as a valuable commodity and have exploited federal law to foster a cycle of relapse, rather than recovery.
Today, big money in the drug treatment industry comes through failure. …
Imagine you are in court getting divorced. You may be angry, relieved, or bereft of hope. Nevertheless, you expect fair treatment.
It happens that you are married to a judge.
Wait — the judge hearing your case is your spouse?
Now the judge has ruled in her own favor on their own, personal case. Is this justice? Who cares?
Think about that for a minute. This happened when S.C. State Supreme Court Justice Kaye Hearn ruled in a case despite her membership in the activist Episcopal Forum, and even though it directly involved her own church and disregarded established precedent of the S.C. Supreme Court.
When my wife and I formally complained in writing to the committee on Judicial Conduct on Sept. 28, 2015 about the conflict of interest in accordance with Canons 2 and 3 of the South Carolina Code of Judicial Ethics, we were told this was not a problem.
Now that she has ruled, it is a problem on display for all.
When you love God, you love justice. Blessed are those who are persecuted for his sake.
John B. Kerrison, M.D….