Daily Archives: October 6, 2007

Al Parish cuts deal in investment-fraud case

From the front page of the local paper:

Al Parish, the former high-flying Charleston Southern University economist who burned through millions of investors’ dollars to fund a lavish lifestyle of gold watches, custom cars and pens, confessed to his crimes Friday.

In a plea deal that reduces the number of criminal charges from 11 to three, Parish admitted guilt in a massive case of investment fraud.

He said little during his one-hour appearance inside the federal courthouse in Charleston. But an FBI agent said the con was simple: Investors were lured by promises of stellar returns, only to see their money pay for his extravagance.

And a Christian response to this is….? Prayer and a lack of surprise, I would hope. A full doctrine of sin means understanding that we all lead desperately fractured, double lives. Read it all–KSH.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, Economy

Shift in Policy on Same-sex Blessings by New Bishop of Arkansas

From The Living Church we have this tidbit:

Priests are expected to use only authorized public liturgies when responding to the pastoral needs of gay and lesbian members, according to the Rt. Rev. Larry Benfield who said the shift became effective with his installation as Bishop of Arkansas last January. The policy shift was explained during a meeting of the clergy prior to diocesan convention last February and was a factor in the voluntary renunciation of vows by at least one priest recently.

If anyone knows more detail about this I would like to hear it–KSH.

Update: Some information about the previous situation may be found here.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Bishops

Meghan Daum: Did 9/11 kill feminism?

In a succinct 354 pages (shockingly brief for the normally prolix [Susan] Faludi), she argues that in the months and years following the 9/11 attacks, the rhetoric surrounding various notions of national security (some of it appropriate, much of it overly simplistic and reactive) enabled the media to more or less announce that the whole nation was returning to traditional values and gender roles.

Citing changes such as the sudden and precipitous drop in the presence of female print journalists and news anchors right after 9/11, or what she saw as a marked upsurge in trend pieces about educated women choosing motherhood over careers, Faludi laments that we have responded “to real threats to our nation by distracting ourselves with imagined threats to femininity and family life” and have “base[d] our security on a mythical male strength that can only measure itself against a mythical female weakness.”

One of the few things I’ll defend more vigorously than the rights of women is the right of social critics to make sweeping, dangerously elastic connections between ideas that may have as much to do with one another as pegged jeans and North Korea. So I’ll admit that I was cheering Faludi on from Page 1. Despite the dissertation-like qualities of her Big Idea — that the ultra-masculine mythos of the American frontier has long belied a deep shame about not being able to fend off attacks from Indians — her writing is so deft that the work of many of her ostensible peers (Kate O’Beirne, Sylvia Ann Hewlett, Danielle Crittenden) reads, by comparison, like transcripts from “The View.”

That said, I’m not sure that much or even most of what Faludi is putting forth has any basis in reality. As someone who has spent a lot of time thinking about why increasing numbers of American women seem to have whittled their ambitions down to the size of engagement rings and baby booties (or inflated them into silicon breasts or collagen-filled lips), I’m about as rapt an audience as Faludi could hope for. But her assertion that the return of domestic goddesshood is not only a result of post-9/11 psychological vulnerability but actually a media creation didn’t fascinate me as much as it made me wish things were that simple.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch

Christian Split in Lebanon Raises Specter of War

With the Islamist group Hezbollah having brought Lebanese politics to a standstill, the country’s once-dominant Christian community feels under siege and has begun re-establishing militias, training in the hills and stockpiling weapons.

Many Lebanese say another civil war ”” like the 15-year one that started in 1975 ”” is imminent and that the most dangerous flash points are within the divided Christian community.

Christian youth are signing up for militant factions in the greatest numbers since the end of the civil war, spray painting nationalist symbols on walls and tattooing them on their skin, and proclaiming their willingness to fight in a new civil war ”” in particular, against fellow Christians.

“When the war begins, I’ll be the first one in it,” said Fadil Abbas, 30, flexing his biceps in Shadow Tattoo as an artist etched a cross onto his shoulder. “I want everyone to know I am a Christian and I am ready to fight.”

The struggle is over who gets to be the next president, a post reserved for a Christian under Lebanon’s Constitution, and which must be filled by the end of November. But the larger question ”” one that is prompting rival Christian factions to threaten war ”” is whether Lebanese Christians must accept their minority status and get along with the Muslim majority (the choice of the popular Gen. Michel Aoun) or whether Christians should insist on special privileges no matter what their share of the population (the position of veteran civil war factions like the Phalange and the Lebanese Forces).

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Middle East, Religion & Culture

A Priest Methodically Reveals Ukrainian Jews’ Fate

His subjects were mostly children and teenagers at the time, terrified witnesses to mass slaughter. Some were forced to work at the bottom rung of the Nazi killing machine ”” as diggers of mass graves, cooks who fed Nazi soldiers and seamstresses who mended clothes stripped from the Jews before execution.

They live today in rural poverty, many without running water or heat, nearing the end of their lives. So Patrick Desbois has been quietly seeking them out, roaming the back roads and forgotten fields of Ukraine, hearing their stories and searching for the unmarked common graves. He knows that they are an unparalleled source to document the murder of the 1.5 million Jews of Ukraine, shot dead and buried throughout the country.

He is neither a historian nor an archaeologist, but a French Roman Catholic priest. And his most powerful tools are his matter-of-fact style ”” and his clerical collar.

The Nazis killed nearly 1.5 million Jews in Ukraine after their invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941. But with few exceptions, most notably the 1941 slaughter of nearly 34,000 Jews in the Babi Yar ravine in Kiev, much of that history has gone untold.

Knocking on doors, unannounced, Father Desbois, 52, seeks to unlock the memories of Ukrainian villagers the way he might take confessions one by one in church.

“At first, sometimes, people don’t believe I’m a priest,” said Father Desbois in an interview this week. “I have to use simple words and listen to these horrors ”” without any judgment. I cannot react to the horrors that pour out. If I react, the stories will stop.”

Such noble, astonishingly difficult work. Read it all.

Posted in * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Europe, Judaism, Other Churches, Other Faiths, Roman Catholic

Christopher Hitchens: A Death in the Family

I was having an oppressively normal morning a few months ago, flicking through the banality of quotidian e-mail traffic, when I idly clicked on a message from a friend headed “Seen This?” The attached item turned out to be a very well-written story by Teresa Watanabe of the Los Angeles Times. It described the death, in Mosul, Iraq, of a young soldier from Irvine, California, named Mark Jennings Daily, and the unusual degree of emotion that his community was undergoing as a consequence. The emotion derived from a very moving statement that the boy had left behind, stating his reasons for having become a volunteer and bravely facing the prospect that his words might have to be read posthumously. In a way, the story was almost too perfect: this handsome lad had been born on the Fourth of July, was a registered Democrat and self-described agnostic, a U.C.L.A. honors graduate, and during his college days had fairly decided reservations about the war in Iraq. I read on, and actually printed the story out, and was turning a page when I saw the following:

“Somewhere along the way, he changed his mind. His family says there was no epiphany. Writings by author and columnist Christopher Hitchens on the moral case for war deeply influenced him ”¦ ”

I don’t exaggerate by much when I say that I froze. I certainly felt a very deep pang of cold dismay. I had just returned from a visit to Iraq with my own son (who is 23, as was young Mr. Daily) and had found myself in a deeply pessimistic frame of mind about the war. Was it possible that I had helped persuade someone I had never met to place himself in the path of an I.E.D.?

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Iraq War

Leander Harding: Comments on the CAPA Communique

This is a clear signal these leaders from the Global South who now represent the majority view in the communion will no longer accept artfully contrived language as a solution to the chaos in the Anglican World. They are wanting a demonstration of a good will in meaningful actions.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Commentary

God, religion take center stage this season in Chicago

Any minister of religion who despairs of the secular obsessions of modern society hasn’t been paying much attention lately to the Chicago theater scene. These last couple of weeks, it’s felt like every opening night has been the harbinger of another religious debate.

Let’s take it from north to south.

Up in Glencoe, Southern Protestants currently battle Southern Catholics in Evan Smith’s limp new comedy, “The Savannah Disputation.” In Evanston, a progressive Anglican minister is trying to square her faith with familial reality in Keith Bunin’s slick, smart and theologically obsessed drama, “The Busy World is Hushed.” On the North Side of Chicago, the Steppenwolf Theatre Company’s skilled director Anna D. Shapiro has taken that old rationalist Arthur Miller and ramped-up “The Crucible” as a probing of the dangerous gap between factual truth and hysterical belief. And in the Loop, Sarah Ruhl’s unruly epic “Passion Play” is deconstructing the political and human manipulation of the Passion of the Christ over two continents, 500 years and more than three hours of stage time.

Some of this is theatrical business as usual — to go to the theater every night is to ponder the meaning of life with atypical and probably unhealthy regularity. But you couldn’t see all (or even most) of these shows without noticing the sudden preponderance of actors in vestments.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Religion & Culture, Theatre/Drama/Plays

Ken Yarmosh on the Tyranny of the Urgent in the Internet Age

The Internet seems like an infinite source of information and knowledge, yet we often allow it and other digital technology to be infinitely distracting. Cell phones, e-mail, and IM are tried and true digital distractions. Today, that’s advanced to satellite television, social networks, and text messaging. These technologies create a sense of urgency due to their instantaneous or mobile natures. We’ve allowed the dings, buzzes, and chimes to interrupt everything from meals, meetings, and movies. We’ve yielded to urgency or perhaps better put, been fooled into believing that next e-mail, phone call, headline update, or text message is indeed urgent.

In 1967, Charles Hummel wrote an essay about the “tyranny of the urgent,” where his point was not that we have insufficient time to accomplish tasks but rather that we prioritize the urgent over the important:

“We have left undone those things which we ought to have done; and we have done those things which we ought not to have done.”

Since his essay was written in a less digital world, Hummel references the impact of the telephone on the urgent, “A man’s home is no longer his castle; it is no longer a place away from urgent tasks because the telephone breaches the walls with imperious demands.” The latter part of the sentence could now read, “it is no longer a place away from urgent tasks because cable, satellite, Internet, cell phones, etc. breach the walls with imperious demands.”

The urgent is synonymous with the now. It relates to the “What are you doing?” question of Twitter, ostensibly the most egregious of urgency offenders. In the always-on always-connected urgent world, so much time can be spent “keeping up” with new stories, new e-mails, new text messages, and new updates of various types that “keeping up” becomes a task itself. In fact, it teeters on becoming the task of the day; the news of our lives never stops.

But how much is too much?….

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Blogging & the Internet, Science & Technology

A Statement from the Most Rev’d Ian Ernest


A Statement from the Most Rev’d Ian Ernest,
Bishop of Mauritius, Archbishop of the Indian Ocean,
Chairman of CAPA
5th October 2007

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

I write to you as the newly elected Chairman of CAPA with profound gratitude for the trust shown in me by my brother and sister delegates and also with the sure conviction that I can only serve in this role with the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the mercy of God our Heavenly Father and the power of the Holy Spirit.

We have just completed the CAPA Council Meeting for 2007 with the theme “CALLED TO A LIFE OF FAITHFULNESS” and this, I believe, will be an appropriate theme for my service among you. I do not bring long years of experience nor the resources of a large Province but what I do bring is a confidence in Jesus Christ who has been my Lord, Savior and Friend since childhood. My family members have all been faithful Anglicans for generations and we know what it is to live by His grace and have seen His hand at work in our lives.

I also bring the experience of living in Mauritius, a multi-cultural and multi-religious society that is an example to the world as we live together with a sense of mutual respect and acceptance. I have also seen God’s hand at work in the Province of the Indian Ocean as we have confronted enormous challenges both environmental and cultural and yet continue to grow in numbers and faithfulness. My hope is that I will be able to bring this experience to the challenges that confront the various provinces of beloved Communion at this time.

I take the work of reconciliation very seriously and believe that reconciling people to God and to one another is our apostolic call; but the unity that we seek must never be at the expense of the truth of the Holy Scriptures that is the bedrock of our faith. I also know that nothing can be accomplished that is not rooted in prayer and so I call on all believers to pray for the people, clergy and bishops of the Provinces of CAPA, the work to which we have all been called and the leadership of the Anglican Communion.

Be assured of my prayers and commitment, by the grace of God, to live a life of faithfulness among you.

With every blessing,

+Ian Mauritius

To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy ”” to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen. (Jude 1:24,25)

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, - Anglican: Primary Source, -- Statements & Letters: Primates, Africa, Global South Churches & Primates

The CAPA Primates Communique 2007

The Communiqué
CAPA Primates’ Meeting in Mauritius
5th October 2007

We, the Primates of the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa (CAPA) meeting 3rd to 5th October in Mauritius, Province of the Indian Ocean, issue this Communiqué from our meeting:

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our one and only Saviour.

1. We have been greatly encouraged by our time together with the CAPA Council that has just completed its General Meeting. A separate Communiqué has been issued from these proceedings and we give thanks to God for the dedication of each of the delegates and the many signs of God’s blessing throughout our various provinces.

2. At the conclusion of that meeting we conducted elections for the CAPA leadership team and are pleased to announce that the Most Rev’d Ian Ernest, Bishop of Mauritius and Archbishop of the Province of the Indian Ocean was elected to serve as Chairman with the Most Rev’d Emmanuel Kolini, Bishop of the Diocese of Kigali and Archbishop of the Episcopal Church of Rwanda, elected to serve as Vice-Chairman. We are grateful for their courageous leadership and look forward to the work of CAPA going from strength to strength.

3. We are, however, aware that we live and serve within the context of the wider Anglican Communion and acknowledge that we are profoundly concerned by the current impasse that confronts us. We have spent the last ten years in a series of meetings, issuing numerous communiqués, setting deadlines and yet we have made little progress. As was clearly articulated by our brother bishop, the Most Rev’d Mouneer Anis, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal/Anglican Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East when he addressed the House of Bishops of The Episcopal Church (TEC), “we want unity but not unity at any expense.” We have observed that his call for clarity in response to the Dar es Salaam recommendations and his appeal to them to turn back from their current path or acknowledge that TEC has chosen to walk a different way from the rest of the Anglican Communion was ignored. We believe, therefore, that a change of direction from our current trajectory is urgently needed.

4. While meeting in Mauritius we received a copy of the report of the Joint Standing Committee (JSC) of the Primates and the Anglican Consultative Council. On first reading we find it to be unsatisfactory. The assurances made are without credibility and its preparation is severely compromised by numerous conflicts of interest. The report itself appears to be a determined effort to find a way for the full inclusion of The Episcopal Church with no attempt at discipline or change from their prior position.

5. We are convinced that what is at stake in this crisis is the very nature of Anglicanism ”“ to understand it simply in terms of the need for greater inclusivity in the face of changing sexual ethics is a grave mistake. It is not just about sexuality but also about the nature of Christ, the truth of the Gospel and the authority of the Bible. We see a trend that seems to ignore the careful balance of reformed catholicity and missionary endeavor that is our true heritage and replace it with a religion of cultural conformity that offers no transforming power and no eternal hope.

6. In our considered opinion, however, there is a possible way forward. The Anglican Communion Covenant is the one way for us to uphold our common heritage of faith while at the same time holding each one of us accountable to those teachings that have defined our life together and also guide us into the future. We therefore propose the following actions:

a. Call a special session of the Primates Meeting. We believe that meeting together is essential if we are prayerfully to allow the Holy Spirit to work through our interactions and bring us to a common mind. We would need to:
i. Review the actual response made by The Episcopal Church ”“ both their words and their actions.
ii. Finalize the Covenant proposal and set a timetable for ratification by individual provinces.

b. Postpone current plans for the Lambeth Conference. We recognize that such an action will be costly, however, we believe that the alternative ”“ a divided conference with several provinces unable to participate and hundreds of bishops absent would be much more costly to our life and witness. It would bring an end to the Communion, as we know it. Postponement will accomplish the following:
i. Allow the current tensions to subside and leave room for the hard work of reconciliation that must be done.
ii. Ensure that those invited to the Lambeth Conference have already endorsed the Covenant and so can come together as witness to our common faith.

7. We make these proposals in good faith believing that they provide an opportunity for us to reunite the Communion consistent with our common heritage and give us a way forward. We also stand ready to work with the various instruments of the Communion to ensure their success.

8. We are very much aware of the plight of faithful Anglicans in North America during these difficult times. We assure them of our prayers, support and full recognition until the underlying concerns are fully resolved.

9. While these current difficulties are challenging for all concerned we do not lose heart because we know that the One we serve is faithful. During our time together we have heard numerous testimonies of God’s faithfulness in the face of enormous difficulties and we are confident that we will find a way forward that will bring honour to His Name.

10. We recognize the fellowship and participation of the following Archbishops who have announced their retirement: the Most Rev’d Bernard Malango, The Church of the Province of Central Africa, the Most Rev’d Most Rev’d Njongonkulu Ndungane, Anglican Church of Southern Africa, the Most Rev’d Donald Mtetemela, Anglican Church of Tanzania. We also give thanks to God for the dedicated leadership of our outgoing chairman, the Most Rev’d Peter J. Akinola, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion).

11. Finally, we acknowledge with grateful thanksgiving the hospitality of the Most Rev’d Ian Ernest and the opportunity to pay courtesy calls on the President of the Republic of Mauritius, Sir Aneerood Jugnauth, and the Prime Minister, the Honourable Dr Navinchandra Ramgoolam.

To Him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy ”” to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, - Anglican: Primary Source, -- Reports & Communiques, -- Statements & Letters: Primates, Africa, Episcopal Church (TEC), Global South Churches & Primates, Sept07 HoB Meeting, TEC Bishops

The CAPA Communique, 2007

Council of Anglican Provinces in Africa
Tenth CAPA Council Meeting
Mauritius, Indian Ocean, October 2007

1. We, delegates of the Council of Anglican Provinces in Africa, gathered at Hotel El Monaco, Quatre Bornes, Mauritius between the 2nd and 5th October 2007 for the tenth meeting of the Council under the chairmanship of the Most Rev’d Peter J. Akinola. We represent eleven of the twelve Provinces of CAPA* as laity, clergy, bishops and archbishops and we issue this Communiqué from our meeting.

2. We have gathered in Mauritius, a delightful republic that is a bright light of hope for all developing nations after its years as a colonial territory of Great Britain. Mauritius is a diverse multi-ethnic society, with a stable democracy, regular free elections, a positive human rights record and a growing economy that has won world-wide recognition. We have come here to join with our sisters and brothers of the Province of the Indian Ocean to give thanks for their faithfulness as we all bear witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ that is the only hope for eternal transformation.

3. We are extremely grateful for the warm welcome shown to us by the Primate of the Indian Ocean and Bishop of Mauritius, the Most Reverend Ian Ernest, the Acting General Secretary, the Most Rev’d Benjamin Nzimbi, the Provincial Secretary, the Rev’d Samatiana Johnson, and the local support team. We are thankful for the gracious hospitality shown to us by the Prime Minister of Mauritius, the Honourable Dr Navinchandra Ramgoolam, the Acting Prime Minister, the Honourable Dr. Rashid Beebeejaun, and the Mayor of Quatre Bornes, Her Worship Regina Maudar. We were also pleased to be able to welcome the Archbishop of York, the Most Rev’d John Sentamu, for part of the meeting.

4. We recognize that not every nation in Africa is blessed with such an open and stable government and a helpful economic environment, but we do rejoice in the encouraging signs that have been shared with us. For example, after years of devastating war there are glimmers of hope in Democratic Republic of the Congo and the now vibrant economies of Kenya and Ghana have recently drawn plaudits from the World Bank.

5. We have met as representatives of the fastest growing part of our beloved Communion and those of us gathered account for more than 37 million Anglicans. We believe that we have “come of age”. We, who were once regarded as disobedient to God, are now compelled by the Gospel to declare the Good News of God’s liberating love to all those who live in disobedience to God’s Word.

6. We have come together recognizing the rich history of the African Church and the gift of faith that it has long given to the world. We are reminded of the saints, fathers and martyrs of the early church such as Augustine of Hippo, Tertullian, Cyprian and Perpetua of Carthage, and Athanasius and Clement of Alexandria; and more recent young martyrs of the Continent.

7. We have been distressed by the reports of the suffering and devastation that has occurred in both East, Central and West Africa as a result of recent environmental crises including both drought and floods. We were also disturbed by accounts of the military oppression in Myanmar, political oppression in Zimbabwe and by the conflict between Muslims and Christians in Darfur, Sudan. We are, however, encouraged by the response from the local churches and wider world community. We are praying that all those affected will quickly receive the practical aid that is so sorely needed and the abiding comfort of God’s Holy Spirit.

8. The theme of our meeting was “CALLED TO A LIFE OF FAITHFULNESS” and in his Opening Address, Archbishop Akinola challenged all present to see the importance of our faithfulness to God’s call as it applies to obedience to all of God’s commands, stewardship of all of God’s gifts and mission to all of God’s people. Failure in any one of these areas leaves the church impotent to take on the enormous challenges of today.

9. We were especially reminded of the need for obedience and faithful living when we received the report on our work with the HIV/AIDS pandemic. We were encouraged by the good progress made by the CAPA office in Nairobi but the disturbing growth in the numbers and classes of new infections reminded us that the battle is far from over. This is especially true for many women in Africa who find themselves increasingly vulnerable to sexual oppression and abuse. We believe that as a faith community, in addition to our ongoing care for those living with HIV/AIDS, we must issue a renewed call to prevention through abstinence and faithfulness ”“ with particular focus on the men of our communities. We also call on the UN and the Governments of the G8 nations to fulfill their commitments so that the suffering of our most vulnerable sisters and brothers can be alleviated.

10. The acting General Secretary, Archbishop Nzimbi, challenged us to demonstrate faithfulness in all aspects of financial stewardship throughout our various provinces and especially in our financial support of CAPA. There was unanimous conviction that all provinces presently in arrears will fulfill their commitments by the end of 2007. We were also reminded that the number of people living in abject poverty within our provinces continues to grow and is a devastating indictment of poor governance in a continent that has been blessed by God with remarkable resources. We were encouraged by the report of the Global South Economic Empowerment Consultation (see end note ) recently concluded in Accra, Ghana. We support its recommendations, especially in the call for the recruitment of an Economic Empowerment officer in each of our provinces.

11. Faithfulness in mission is at the heart of our call to be disciples of Jesus Christ. We were blessed by the reports of continued growth in mission throughout many of our provinces. We are, however, very much aware of the truth of the saying that “the church is always one generation away from extinction”. We urge all churches to reach out to and disciple the youth of our Provinces so that they are empowered to stand against the false promises of materialism that bombard their minds, become mature disciples of Christ and take their full part in the future mission of our church.

12. While we have spent the majority of our time focused on the CALL TO A LIFE OF FAITHFULNESS within our own Continent we have been unable to ignore the current crisis in our Communion. The situation is summarized well in “The Road to Lambeth” the report commissioned by the CAPA Primates, and is noted below . We are united in our conviction that the Lord of the Church is calling upon Africa once again to contend for the “faith once and for all delivered to the saints.”

13. We concluded our meeting with a special service for the inauguration of the DORCAS Activity Center at St. Thomas Church, Beau Bassin ”“ an outreach ministry to the underprivileged of the surrounding community. It was a joyful celebration and a reminder that in the middle of all of our struggles God is at work renewing his Church ”“ especially at the local level.

14. We recognize that in the few days that we have shared together we have only been given a glimpse of all that God is doing but it is enough to fill us with hope in God’s love, God’s power and God’s faithfulness. We are grateful for the dedication and commitment shown by the CAPA leadership team over these past four years and look forward to God’s continued blessing in the coming years.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. (Eph. 3:20,21)

* Provinces Represented:

Burundi, Central Africa, Congo, Indian Ocean, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Southern Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, and West Africa.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, - Anglican: Primary Source, -- Reports & Communiques, Africa, Global South Churches & Primates

Tme Magazine–Legal Euthanasia: No Spur to Suicide

In the debate over physician-assisted suicide, opponents have long argued that legalizing it could lead to disproportionately high suicide rates in vulnerable patients. But a new study published in the October 2007 issue of the Journal of Medical Ethics suggests that this concern is more fear than fact: an analysis of reports of doctor-assisted deaths in Oregon and the Netherlands ”” two areas where the practice is legal ”” found that rates of assisted death were no higher than average in nine of 10 patient groups that could be at risk for coercion, such as the elderly or the poor. In fact, the one group that researchers found sought assisted suicide more frequently was younger white men ”” a generally more privileged few.

“People who tend to take advantage of this tend to be well educated when it comes to their options,” says Russell Korobkin, a professor at UCLA School of Law. In the last 13 years in Oregon, only 292 have died under the law. “Mostly what this is good for is giving people peace of mind. They feel like they have control if they need it.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Life Ethics, Theology

NY Times: Marital Spats, Taken to Heart

Arguing is an inevitable part of married life. But now researchers are putting the marital spat under the microscope to see if the way you fight with your spouse can affect your health.

Recent studies show that how often couples fight or what they fight about usually doesn’t matter. Instead, it’s the nuanced interactions between men and women, and how they react to and resolve conflict, that appear to make a meaningful difference in the health of the marriage and the health of the couple.

A study of nearly 4,000 men and women from Framingham, Mass., asked whether they typically vented their feelings or kept quiet in arguments with their spouse. Notably, 32 percent of the men and 23 percent of the women said they typically bottled up their feelings during a marital spat.

In men, keeping quiet during a fight didn’t have any measurable effect on health. But women who didn’t speak their minds in those fights were four times as likely to die during the 10-year study period as women who always told their husbands how they felt, according to the July report in Psychosomatic Medicine. Whether the woman reported being in a happy marriage or an unhappy marriage didn’t change her risk.

The tendency to bottle up feelings during a fight is known as self-silencing. For men, it may simply be a calculated but harmless decision to keep the peace. But when women stay quiet, it takes a surprising physical toll.

“When you’re suppressing communication and feelings during conflict with your husband, it’s doing something very negative to your physiology, and in the long term it will affect your health,” said Elaine Eaker, an epidemiologist in Gaithersburg, Md., who was the study’s lead author. “This doesn’t mean women should start throwing plates at their husbands, but there needs to be a safe environment where both spouses can equally communicate.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Marriage & Family

The Church Times article on Reactions to the New Orleans Meeting

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Commentary, Episcopal Church (TEC), Sept07 HoB Meeting, TEC Bishops

Meghan Keane: A Heartfelt Look at One Side of a Debate

The film does a good job of showing how people discussing the biblical rejection of homosexuality often lack knowledge of scripture, but only allows theologists who agree with the film’s message to debunk the passages in question. Scholars from Desmond Tutu to Harvard’s Peter Gomes argue the case for gay rights; sane, educated, traditional Christians are sorely lacking….

[It also] argues that the gulf between homosexuality and the church can be crossed by a simple awareness campaign and shows many happy, healthy gay individuals enjoying their lives to prove its point. For people who agree, “For the Bible Tells Me So” will be an affirmative study, but the chasm is not entirely one of ignorance, and the film skips over those details. For all its talk of education and acceptance, the film manages to parody Christians much the way homophobes categorize gays.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Movies & Television, Sexuality