Daily Archives: March 2, 2018

(CT) Many Species Face ‘Thinning of Life’–On World Wildlife Day, conservationists reflect on biblical ways of dealing with eco-anxiety

There has been a 95 percent drop in tiger numbers over the last hundred years and a 40 percent drop in African lions over just 20 years.

Numbers like these have drawn attention to the “pre-traumatic stress” felt by environmental scientists whose everyday work seems to be that of a doomsday prophet. Not only are their audiences not as receptive as they feel they should be, but their understanding of what their data mean for the future is driving them to a “professional depression.”

Last year meteorologist Eric Holthaus sparked an online frenzy, as well as solidarity from fellow scientists, as he spoke openly about the psychological effects of his work. “How am I supposed to do my job—literally to chronicle planetary suicide—w/o experiencing deep existential despair myself? Impossible.”

Christians are called to rule over creation as God’s image bearers on earth, reflecting the character and self-sacrificial rule of God. So how can we respond to this atmosphere of despair? We spoke to a number of Christian conservationists who are working in very different countries and contexts but share similar stories of working with feelings of deep personal loss.

Read it all.

Posted in Ecology, Energy, Natural Resources, Ethics / Moral Theology, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(Stuff) New Zealand Anglicans to debate marriage blessings for same sex couples

Same sex couples may be able to have their marriages blessed in New Zealand Anglican churches under a divisive new proposal being debated by Canterbury diocese members.

Christchurch Anglicans are meeting on Saturday to discuss whether to allow same sex blessings in a debate that could split the church. A final decision on whether to adopt the proposal will be voted on by the national Anglican Synod, the church’s governing body, at a meeting in New Plymouth in May.

The proposal would allow each Anglican bishop to decide if same sex blessings were allowed in their diocese. In 2014, the New Zealand Anglican church defined marriage as being “between a man and a woman.” The decision meant same sex couples could not marry in Anglican churches. The new proposal would allow only for blessing ceremonies for same sex couples who were married elsewhere.

The proposal would also give each diocese’s bishop and clergy immunity from complaint if they refused to conduct blessings of same sex couples.

Read it all.

Posted in --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Pastoral Theology, Sexuality, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology, Theology: Scripture, Uncategorized

(Church Times) IICSA hearing likely to prompt more disclosures of abuse, C of E safeguarding officials say

The Church of England must be prepared for new revelations and disclosures of clerical sex abuse during, and in the wake of, a public hearing of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse (IICSA), a spokesperson for the National Safeguarding Team (NST) has said.

Starting on Monday, the public hearing in London will consider the extent of any institutional failures to protect children from sexual abuse within the Anglican Church.

It will use the diocese of Chichester as a case study to examine the “culture of the Church” and whether its “behaviours, values, and beliefs inhibited or continued to inhibit the investigation, exposure, and prevention of child sexual abuse” (News, 2 February).

An NST spokesperson said on Tuesday: “High-profile cases that we have been involved with before, such as independent reviews, have led to more disclosures. We must assume that people will come forward for the first time: we would not want to rule that out.”

The public hearing is due to conclude on 23 March.

Read it all.

Posted in Anthropology, Children, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Ministry of the Laity, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Theology, Violence

My favorite story of the week–Wilmot Collins Is Montana’s First African-American Mayor from NBC

Watch it all– America at its best, great stuff.

Posted in City Government, Liberia

(Wash Post) Anti-Semitic incidents soared in 2017, marking nation’s largest single-year increase, report finds

Anti-Semitic activities in the United States shot up an unprecedented 57 percent last year, marked by hate crimes in schools and bomb threats against Jewish institutions, according to a report released Tuesday by the Anti-Defamation League.

The ADL’s 2017 Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents identified 1,986 examples of anti-Semitic harassment, vandalism and assault in 2017, the largest single-year increase and the second-highest number since it started tracking the data in the 1970s.

Vandalism was up by 86 percent, and incidents targeting Jewish schools, community centers, museums and synagogues had surged by 101 percent since 2016, the report found. The number of anti-Semitic incidents in K-12 schools has roughly doubled each year for the past two years, the report said.

Read it all.

Posted in Judaism, Religion & Culture

WSJ-Why ‘Deaths of Despair’ May Be a Warning Sign for America – Moving Upstream

Does a decades-long rise in suicide among white Americans signal an emerging crisis for U.S. capitalism and democracy? Nobel prize-winning economist Angus Deaton, and his wife, fellow Princeton Prof. Anne Case, share their provocative theory with WSJ’s Jason Bellini in this episode.

“..that really does suggest that something really bad is going on under the surface.”

Watch it carefully and watch it all (just over 10 1/3 minutes).

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Middle Age, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Suicide, Theology

Music for a Friday Morning–Matthew Smith’s Psalm 103

Listen and enjoy it all.

Posted in Liturgy, Music, Worship, Theology: Scripture

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Saint Chad

Almighty God, whose servant Chad, for the peace of the Church, relinquished cheerfully the honors that had been thrust upon him, only to be rewarded with equal responsibility: Keep us, we pray thee, from thinking of ourselves more highly than we ought to think, and ready at all times to give place to others, (in honor preferring one another,) that the cause of Christ may be advanced; in the name of him who washed his disciples’ feet, even the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

Posted in Church History, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer to Begin the Day from John Wesley

O Lord, take thou full possession of my heart, raise there thy throne, and command there as thou dost in heaven. Being created by thee, let me live to thee. Being created for thee, let me ever act for thy glory. Being redeemed by thee, let me render to thee what is thine, and let my spirit ever cleave to thee alone; for thy name’s sake.

Posted in Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Bible Readings

On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. And a great storm of wind arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care if we perish?” And he awoke and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Have you no faith?” And they were filled with awe, and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even wind and sea obey him?”

–Mark 4:35-41

Posted in Theology: Scripture