Daily Archives: January 22, 2008

Diocese of South Carolina Prepares to Consecrate its 14th Bishop Saturday

The diocese of South Carolina is pleased to announce the upcoming consecration of Mark Joseph Lawrence as its 14th Bishop on Saturday, January 26th, 2008, at the Cathedral of Saint Luke and Saint Paul in Charleston at 11:00 a.m.

Father Lawrence was born in Bakersfield, California, on March 19, 1950. He was educated at California State University, Bakersfield (BA, 1976) and Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry (M. Div. 1980). He has ministered at Church of the Holy Family, Fresno, California (1980), Saint Mark’s, Shafter, California (1981-1984), Saint Stephen’s, McKeesport, Pennsylvania (1984-1997) and Saint Paul’s, Bakersfield, California (1997-2007). Known for being a dedicated pastor-teacher, Mark also served, among many other capacities, as a member of the Commission on Ministry, the Standing Committee, and the Board of Examining Chaplains, the latter of which he chaired. He also served as a deputy to the General Conventions of 2003 and 2006.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops

In Northern California Congregation won't budge on church

The Petaluma congregation that split from the Episcopal Church over the issue of homosexuality, taking a landmark downtown church with it, has rejected an offer to return the building, and the two sides appear headed to court, a local vestry member said Monday.

The impasse between St. John’s Anglican Church and the Episcopal Diocese of Northern California grew from the national schism that began with the ordination of a gay bishop in New Hampshire in 2003 and church support for same-sex unions.

Following the lead of several dozen congregations nationwide, St. John’s 240 members voted in 2006 to cut ties with the national organization, renaming itself an Anglican church while holding on to the 117-year-old complex.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, TEC Conflicts, TEC Departing Parishes

Feeling Misled on Home Price, Buyers Sue Agent

Marty Ummel feels she paid too much for her house. So do millions of other people who bought at the peak of the housing boom.

What makes Ms. Ummel different is that she is suing her agent, saying it was all his fault.

Ms. Ummel claims that the agent hid the information that similar homes in the neighborhood were selling for less because he feared she would back out and he would lose his $30,000 commission.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Economy, Housing/Real Estate Market, Law & Legal Issues

(London) Times–Gays reject equality promoter, Dr Joel Edwards

Gay activists will tomorrow condemn the appointment of openly-Christian leader in the UK to the country’s main equality commission and demand his resignation.

In a ten-page dossier to be published on its website, the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement calls for the head of the Evangelical Alliance, Dr Joel Edwards, to stand down as a member of the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

The commission, chaired by Trevor Phillips, was set up last October under the Equality Act 2006. Dr Edwards was appointed one of 14 members in November as having “exceptional experience in the field of equality and human rights.” The commission’s role is to achieve “a fairer, more inclusive Britain” by promoting equality and human rights across society and providing back-up for discrimination legislation. The commission will also investigate the root causes of inequality in our society.

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

Federal Reserve Slashes Interest Rates 3/4 of a Point

The FOMC’s statement regarding the reduction was as follows: “The Committee took this action in view of a weakening of the economic outlook and increasing downside risks to growth. While strains in short-term funding markets have eased somewhat, broader financial market conditions have continued to deteriorate and credit has tightened further for some businesses and households. Moreover, incoming information indicates a deepening of the housing contraction as well as some softening in labor markets. The Committee expects inflation to moderate in coming quarters, but it will be necessary to continue to monitor inflation developments carefully. Appreciable downside risks to growth remain. The Committee will continue to assess the effects of financial and other developments on economic prospects and will act in a timely manner as needed to address those risks.” Only William Poole dissented, since he believed policy action was not justified before the regularly scheduled meeting next week.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy

Archbishop Williams speaks out against poaching of priests in Canada

The Canadian Anglican church appears to be inching closer to a general approval of blessing committed same-sex unions.

As a result, two retired Canadian bishops – Don Harvey of Eastern Newfoundland and Labrador and Malcolm Harding of Brandon, Man., have quit the Canadian church to become bishops in the tiny South American Anglican church. A small number of priests have indicated they will follow.

Yesterday, Bishop Harvey’s successor, Right Reverend Cyrus Pitman, exacted a loyalty pledge of sorts from his diocesan priests gathered in St. John’s Anglican Cathedral. Bishop Pitman had them repeat their priestly vows and issued them with new licences signed by himself rather than Bishop Harvey.

There was nothing unusual about the renewal of priestly vows – most Anglican dioceses do them annually – but they’re usually done just before Easter.

A senior Anglican cleric, speaking on background, explained that Bishop Harvey likely had “some following” among priests in the diocese.

But the diocese’s executive archdeacon, Geoff Peddle, told CBC that “not a single priest has left our church.”

Bishop Harvey characterized the tone of his successor’s action as “devastating.”

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury

World markets plunge

More than £77 billion was wiped off the value of Britain’s stock market yesterday in its biggest one-day percentage loss since September 11, 2001. Shares across the world plunged over fears that the threatened US recession will undermine the global economy.

London’s leading shares tumbled by 5.5 per cent in brutal market conditions, with the FTSE 100 index losing more than 323 points, its steepest points fall on record, to end the day at 5,578.2.

George Soros, the billionaire investor who prompted Britain’s expulsion from the European exchange-rate mechanism on Black Wednesday in 1992, said the situation was “much more serious than any financial crisis since the end of the war”. Investors were “drowning in a sea of red,” said Henk Potts, an equity strategist at Barclays Stockbrokers.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, Stock Market

Clinton, Obama reach new level of rancor

Their debate truce obliterated in a blizzard of recriminations, Democratic candidates for president on Monday questioned one another’s honesty and fitness for the White House in a televised confrontation notable for its nasty tone.

The harshness of their exchanges was an odd coda to a day in which the Democrats paid tribute to the nonviolent movement propelled by the late Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., whose birthday was celebrated Monday and in whose honor the Congressional Black Caucus Institute and CNN sponsored the two-hour session.

The bitterness was particularly acute between Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama, who belittled each other as if opening their opposition-research files and flinging out the contents. Former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards forced his way into the debate at several points as if to remind voters of a calmer, less divisive option.

The sharpest exchange came near the opening of the debate, when Obama was asked to respond to criticism by Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, that the Illinois senator’s economic stimulus proposal doesn’t add up. Obama tersely denied it, leading Clinton to mock his comments.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, US Presidential Election 2008

Wow, what a Horse

This is just marvelous.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Sports

Convention Delegates May Matter this Year

Imagine that.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, US Presidential Election 2008

Recent Occurrences in the Diocese of San Joaquin

From here:

On December 8th at our Diocesan Convention the overwhelming vote to transfer from the Episcopal Church to the Province of the Southern Cone was passed. At that time I became a member of the House of Bishops of that Province. Therefore, the Standing Committee, which is my council of advice, must be composed of clergy members who are Anglican priests of the Southern Cone. This is required by Diocesan Canons and the Archbishop of the Southern Cone of South America, who writes:

“In welcoming you to the Province of the Southern Cone on December 8th it is my clear understanding that even though you are allowing a period of discernment for those clergy who are still undecided, it would be highly inappropriate for any officer or leader within the Diocese of San Joaquin to be currently undecided or clearly within the Episcopal Church and continue as an officer or leader. The requirement governing each diocese of the Southern Cone is that all members of Diocesan Council, Standing Committee, and those selected as representatives at Synod be recognized Members of this Province.”

The members of the Standing Committee were elected and seated prior to the convention’s overwhelming vote to accept the invitation of the Province of the Southern Cone. At the moment of ratification, qualification for service on Standing Committee, as well as elected and appointed diocesan leadership positions changed. Therefore, certain members of that Standing Committee who do not meet the above qualifications, by their own conscience, understood that they were not qualified to remain in those positions unless and until they can accept fully their membership in the Province of the Southern Cone. Every one of these former members of that Committee are strong, faithful and orthodox leaders within this Diocese who are taking the opportunity afforded them for discernment as parish priests and we thank them for their past, present and future service. Communication and correspondence related to the Standing Committee should now be directed to the new President of the Standing Committee, Mr. Ted Yumoto, at the Diocesan Offices.

–(The Rt. Rev.) John-David Schofield

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Cono Sur [formerly Southern Cone]

Roger Cohen: U.S. Soldiers and Shoppers Hit the Wall

A weak dollar, outsized personal debt, a massive current account deficit, cash-strapped banks and Asian governments purchasing U.S. Treasury bonds to finance the national debt are not signs of American strength. Nor are they necessarily signs of American decline, because inherent U.S. vitality remains enormous.

But as Benn Steil, an economist at the Council on Foreign Relations, suggested: “We could be seeing a secular shift in confidence in the dollar as a store of value as the impression grows that the United States, to some degree, is losing control of its destiny.”

I expect the United States to bounce back, but not quickly. The central fact confronting the next president will be the new limits on U.S. power, both military and economic.

The central challenge will be the provision of needed reforms, primarily universal health care, that begin to alleviate the financial strains on median American families and allow them to get back to saving rather than leveraging assets in a phony consumption boom.

This won’t be easy. But then it wasn’t easy for Franklin Delano Roosevelt in a far worse situation in 1933.

Read it all and the blog discussion also.

Posted in Uncategorized

William Rhoden: Yes, Belichick Really Is a Genius

With all due respect to Paul Brown, Vince Lombardi, Tom Landry and Bill Walsh, Bill Belichick is the genius coach of all time.

His New England Patriots have taken on all comers and triumphed over all styles. In this salary-cap era, when players move from team to team, Belichick has managed to stay one step ahead of the competition.

On Sunday, for the 18th time this season, Belichick entered the interview room and gave a monologue about another game his team had won. The victories have come in all shapes and sizes: late-game runaways, out-and-out routs, flaw-ridden nail-biters.

Yesterday, New England tripped, stumbled and willed itself to its fourth American Football Conference championship under Belichick.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Sports

IHT: Charlie Wilson's Zen lesson

Two messages are appended to the end of “Charlie Wilson’s War,” the artful Hollywood film about a hedonistic Texas congressman who in the 1980s raised covert funding for the Afghan mujahedeen from $5 million to $1 billion, thereby helping to drive the Red Army out of Afghanistan and precipitate the implosion of the Soviet Union. An explicit moral of the movie comes from the real-life Wilson, who lamented that America did the right thing in Afghanistan but messed up “the endgame.” Today there can be little doubt that Washington’s brusque loss of interest in the fate of Afghanistan after the Soviets’ withdrawal was a calamitous error.

But it is the second, more philosophical message that ought to be at the center of current debate about America’s role in the world. This lesson, which the Bush administration has learned all too slowly, teaches the need for humility in those who make America’s moves on a global chessboard – a virtue that seems almost totally absent from the patriotic posturing of the presidential candidates.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Foreign Relations

The Archbishop of Canterbury responds to the Canadian Primate's letter

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury

Marsha Garrison–The Decline of Formal Marriage: Inevitable or Reversible?

All over the industrialized world, marriage is in decline. Cohabitation, which has waxed as marriage has waned, is a much less stable and more varied relational form than marriage. Because of its relative instability and variability, cohabitation presents public-policy and fact-finding challenges that formal marriage does not. Formal marriage is also associated with a range of health, wealth and happiness benefits to adult partners and their children. Because formal marriage and childbearing within such unions offer public advantages that informal unions do not, public policies designed to encourage individuals to delay childbearing until marriage are desirable. So are policies that encourage couples who have marital understandings to formalize their unions through ceremonial marriage. In order to effectively design such policies, however, we need to understand why formal marriage is in decline. This paper critically examines current economic and cultural explanations for these phenomena and analyzes the public policy implications of these explanations.

Check it out (Hat tip: Legal theory blog)

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Marriage & Family

Fear routs world stocks; French, German indexes fall 7%

Stock markets across Europe and Asia plunged Monday on fears that President Bush’s emergency economic stimulus plan won’t ward off recession in the USA.
At one point during the day, stock indexes in London, Germany and France faced their biggest drops since the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks on the World Trade Center in New York.

Monday’s sell-off, which started in Asia and spread to Europe, followed the worst week for U.S. stock markets in five years, as investors registered their forecast for the world’s biggest economy.

U.S. financial markets were closed Monday for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, but U.S. stock index futures were down sharply, suggesting investors don’t have much hope of Wall Street leading a rebound when it returns to business Tuesday.

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Update: There is more here, including this:

“There is indeed some panic,” said Thomas Mayer, the chief European economist at Deutsche Bank in London. “What we’re seeing, in Europe and Asia, is that the markets are pricing in a recession.”

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Asia, Economy, Europe, Stock Market

Presbyterian Church splits off after tiff in court

While Memorial Park leaders said their members’ 664-25 vote with three unmarked ballots means the church is now a member of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, a presbytery official said, however, that under denominational law he still considered it part of the Presbyterian Church (USA).

The ballots were handed out during one Saturday service and three yesterday to people whose names were checked against a membership list. The ballots covered four separate questions:

Ӣ Disaffiliating from the Presbyterian Church (USA).

Ӣ Affiliating with the Evangelical Presbyterian Church.

Ӣ Amending church bylaws to remove any mention of the Presbyterian Church (USA).

Ӣ Affirming all of its current pastors, elders and deacons.

The 692 ballots represented less than half of the church’s 1,675 members, but the number was close to its usual Sunday attendance in January. Memorial Park is the largest church in the Pittsburgh Presbytery, which has 155 churches and more than 40,000 members.

The votes this past weekend had been expected to be uneventful, given that the church’s session, or governing body, had voted unanimously earlier this month to disaffiliate, and the congregation had voted 951-93 in June to seek dismissal from the national church, believing it had strayed from biblical authority and no longer fully adhered to classical Christian doctrines.

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Posted in * Religion News & Commentary, Other Churches, Presbyterian