Daily Archives: February 1, 2008

Laura Nolan: Where have all the men gone?

Where have all the men gone? Instead, we have an overload of man-boys ”“ which leaves a generation of single, thirtysomething women who are their natural mates bewildered. I am one of those women.

I am often told that our problem boils down to bad timing. In our early twenties (the age at which our parents tended to meet and marry), we, arguably the first generation of properly educated and professionally ambitious women, were not ready to settle down and start having babies.

By our late twenties many of us did end up reconnecting with our first loves, or met men of a similar age who were still young enough to want to match and hatch. But for those who didn’t, life is increasingly complicated ”“ and infuriating.

The assumption seems to be that it is our fault that we can’t find “him”. I have lost count of the number of articles by female columnists that I’ve read, urging “career women” like me to get pregnant before it is too late. I want to point out that I work to eat, and that earning a salary funds the social life needed to meet new people.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, England / UK

China’s Inflation Hits American Price Tags

China’s latest export is inflation. After falling for years, prices of Chinese goods sold in the United States have risen for the last eight months.

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Posted in Uncategorized

Will evangelicals in southwest Missouri stick with Huckabee?

Kindergarten teacher Tim Atkinson juggles math and a little U.S. history with Bible verses.

One moment he is working on addition and subtraction with his seven young students at Berean Liberty Christian Academy. The next, he is using song to help them memorize passages from the Bible.

At this tiny Christian school, scholastic rigor exists alongside a giant white poster illustrating the seven days of Creation.

Atkinson, 33, an evangelical Christian, is at ease shifting between the religious and nonreligious. Advertisement

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Evangelicals, Other Churches, US Presidential Election 2008

A Man For All Seasons: Mark Lawrence

We who believe in true Christianity as passed to us over 2000 years, said the Reverend Mark Lawrence to the Mercury two weeks before his consecration as Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina, are like a struggler against the tide in a rowboat. Our duty is to continue rowing to home port, never stopping, because in time the tide will turn and again we will be in that majority in our country who will join the current of sound doctrine. The Diocese of South Carolina seems to be in the Episcopal minority in our view of God’s plan for mankind, Jesus’ mission and human salvation. We are in the minority in the U.S.A., he said, but we are in the majority in the worldwide Anglican Church and in worldwide Christianity. We have no need to be defensive. In the end we will prevail as the Christian church has done for two millennia.

The current crisis in mainline Protestant denominations in the U.S. involves not only Episcopalians but also Lutherans, Presbyterians, Methodists, even a small portion of Baptists and others. Bishop Lawrence says we now have an opportunity to become more global in our ecclesiology (the study of church doctrine). Never in history have so many Christians populated the world as today, and never before have we had so great a proportion of Christians to non-Christians. If we keep rowing against the tide, which is now flowing toward the sea of liberal theology, the tide in time will turn toward correct conservative theology and take us toward the safe harbor for which we long.
As we man our oars, he suggested, we need not be reactionary, only to act like Christians, not to react fractiously to liberal interpretations but to spread the true faith as always, to “preach the word in season and out of season,” as St. Paul commands Timothy. The need now is to have faith, to be optimistic, he said.

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

Church Times: Church of England Attendance slides, but several dioceses buck the trend

A patchwork pattern of church attendance emerged this week, as newly released figures for 2006 suggested that half the dioceses experienced growth of one type or another.

Overall, attendance in 2006 was one per cent lower than in 2005. The Church of England counts church attendance over four weeks in October each year. During that time, it measures attendance on Sundays (down from 993,000 to 983,000), at some time during a week (1,174,000 to 1,163,000), and monthly (1,706,000 to 1,694,000). The number of children fell by two per cent (on Sundays: 158,000 in 2005 to 155,000 in 2006; weekly: 232,000 to 228,000). The monthly attendance figure for children remained the same.

The pattern was mixed across the country, however. Of the 44 dioceses, 33 saw some growth in one or more measures of attendance: 24 saw increases in total attendance, 22 in some element of adult attendance, and 24 in child attendance.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Parish Ministry

Stricken US homeowners confound predictions

“There has been a failure in some of the key assumptions which supported our analysis and modelling,” Mr [Ray] McDaniel admits. “The information quality deteriorated in a way that was not appreciated by Moody’s or others.” Mortgage borrowers, in other words, did not behave as expected.

The issue at stake revolves around so-called delinquency rates, the proportion of people who fall behind on their debt repayments. When American households have faced hard times in previous decades, they tended to default on unsecured loans such as credit cards and car loans first ”“ and stopped paying their mortgage only as a last resort. However, in the last couple of years households have become delinquent on their mortgages much faster than trends in the wider economy might suggest. That is particularly true of the less creditworthy subprime borrowers. More­over, consumers have stopped paying mortgages before they halt payments on their credit cards or automotive loans ”“ turning the traditional delinquency pattern on its head. As a result, mortgage lenders have started to face losses at a much earlier stage than in the past.

“In the past, if a household in America experienced financial problems it tended to go delinquent on its credit cards, but kept on paying its mortgage,” says Malcolm Knight, head of the Bank for International Settlements, the central banks’ bank. “Now what seems to be happening is that people who have outstanding mortgages that are greater than the value of their home, or have negative amortisation mortgages, keep paying off their credit card balances but hand in the keys to their house”‰.”‰.”‰.”‰these reactions to financial stress are not taken into account in the credit scoring models that are used to value residential mortgage-backed securities.”

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, Housing/Real Estate Market

The Archbishop of Canterbury criticises 24 hour drinking

The Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams today attacked 24-hour drinking as the “tip of the iceberg” in a culture of alcohol abuse in Britain.
Dr Williams said he was “very concerned” by reports that a review ordered into 24-hour drinking by Prime Minister Gordon Brown last year would conclude that the legislation has been largely a success.
“I would be interested to see why anyone should think of it as a success. I think it has had an effect of making less safe and less civil our public space in many, many contexts, including Canterbury,” he said.
He added: “There is a whole culture of alcohol abuse which this country has failed to tackle and the 24-hour thing is just the tip of the iceberg.
“It is not that I am singling it out as the worst bit of the field, it is just that it is one of the more obviously presenting factors.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Alcoholism, Archbishop of Canterbury, England / UK, Religion & Culture

Twenty one English Bishops have written to Primates urging them to attend the Lambeth Conference

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Lambeth 2008

The Pulpit

Wonderful stuff from Dave Walker.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics

Bishop Michael Scott-Joynt of Winchester Addresses the Diocese of South Carolina Convention

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils

David Callahan: A gentler capitalism

Every few decades, America’s business leaders change their minds about what obligations corporations and the wealthy have to society. This happened 100 years ago, when ex-robber barons like Andrew Carnegie invented modern philanthropy to address social ills, and in the mid-20th century, when leading executives stopped fighting unions and backed more generous wages and benefits. It also happened in the 1970s, when big business rejected that compact with labor, leading to the harsher free-market ethos of the 1980s and 1990s.

Now, corporate leaders are shifting their thinking once more, calling for a gentler form of capitalism.

The latest evidence came last week from two titans of business, H. Lee Scott Jr., chief executive of Wal-Mart, and Bill Gates, the retiring chairman of Microsoft. At an annual meeting of thousands of Wal-Mart employees and suppliers on Jan. 23, Scott pledged that the company — long one of the most ruthless firms in America — would promote energy-efficient products and improve labor conditions in its supply chain. Scott even said that Wal-Mart stores might one day generate electricity with windmills and solar panels. The very next day, Gates, whose company is still under court supervision stemming from an antitrust settlement in 2002, used a speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, to call for a new “creative capitalism” in which “more people can make a profit, or gain recognition, doing work that eases the world’s inequities.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Economy

Minnesota Presbyterians Strguggle over Non-Celibate Same Sex Partnered Clergy

Minnesota Presbyterians have voted to restore the ordination of an openly gay man who has refused to pledge celibacy, the latest test of revamped pastoral guidelines in the Presbyterian Church (USA).

Paul Capetz, a seminary professor, asked to be removed from ministry in 2000 after the PCUSA voted to require that ministers be married to a member of the opposite sex or remain celibate.

But changes made in 2006 to the Presbyterians’ Book of Order allow candidates for ordination to declare a conscientious objection to church rules. Local presbyteries, or governing bodies, then must decide whether the objection “constitutes a failure to adhere to the essentials of Reformed faith and polity.”

On Saturday, the Presbytery of the Twin Cities voted that Capetz’ objection, or “scruple,” did not violate the “essentials” and restored his ordination as a minister of word and sacrament.

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

Oxford Rector enters Muslim prayer row

The Rev Charlie Cleverly, Rector of St Aldate’s Church, said that the call to prayer could drive people away from areas adjacent to the Oxford Central mosque, which hopes to bring in the three-daily azan.

He said: “I feel [the call to prayer] is un-English and very different from a bell.

“It may force people to move out and encourage Muslim families to move in. “I hope and pray the imam will hear the strength of feeling gently and lovingly and change his mind.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Islam, Muslim-Christian relations, Other Faiths

Andrea Jaeger finds joy in serving others

Kelley Coco was 16 when cancer invaded her body. Frightened, and searching for something, or someone, to hold on to, she journeyed from Boston to the Silver Lining Ranch in Aspen in the summer of 2000.

That’s when she met Andrea Jaeger.

Coco had no clue that Jaeger, at age 16, had been the second-ranked tennis player in the world, a pigtailed, 5-foot-5, 130-pound pixie who slammed winners from the baseline. Coco didn’t know that Jaeger escaped the insular world of professional tennis at age 19, searching for something more fulfilling in her life.

All Coco knew was she felt a warm glow when Jaeger flashed a smile and welcomed her with a sisterly hug.

I felt like I was the most special person in the world,” said Coco, now a Los Angeles-based producer for the Hallmark Channel whose non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma has been in remission for seven years. In September 2006, at age 41, Jaeger was ordained as a Dominican nun in the Episcopal Church. Coco was not the least bit surprised.

“It made perfect sense,” Coco said. “I had never met anybody else who really lived what they preached. But she lives it 100 percent.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Religion & Culture

Needing a Hail Mary, Fans Find a Monastery

There is no sauna, no heated pool, no chauffeur or sommelier. In fact, no alcohol is allowed on the premises, and guests share a bathroom with their next-door neighbor.

But for $250 a night in a city where Super Bowl rentals are topping out at $250,000 a week for a mansion in Scottsdale, the sisters at Our Lady of Guadalupe Monastery figure they have an offer that cannot be beat.

In debt from the recent purchase of a nearby parcel, the Benedictine nuns are hoping to make a dent in their mortgage by converting their 10-bedroom spiritual retreat into a crash pad for Super Bowl fans this weekend.

“A Super Bowl doesn’t happen in a city very often,” said Sister Linda Campbell, the prioress of the monastery where rooms usually go for $105 a night. “Then we heard of all the folks that were renting out homes and we thought, wow, that would be something that would be beneficial to the monastery and help us to help others.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Sports