Daily Archives: March 9, 2008

Amy Welborn Cannot Understand the Crisis in the Anglican Communion

But she tried very, very hard before giving up.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, - Anglican: Commentary, Other Churches, Roman Catholic

From Episcopal Life: Creedal gymnastics teach about community

After explaining that they would be reading through the creed phrase by phrase, Woodward would give the charge:

“When the phrase is something you understand on one level or another, and believe, stand up or remain standing. When the phrase is something that makes no sense to you, or is something you do not believe, sit down or remain sitting.”

The resulting dance, he says, appeared to be something akin “to a rebellious exercise class,” with folks popping up, sitting down and squirming to watch their neighbors as they stood and sat and stood again.

At the end, Woodward would ask what they had observed. “The answers were always the same: No one stood all the way through the creed, and no one stayed seated all the way through, and there was always someone standing for every phrase.”

The article is mistitled, it should say that what it tells us is that we are a church which is failing to teach the faith effectively and is not doctrinally serious. Can you imagine if the Founding Fathers of America took this approach with, say, the Declaration of Independence? In any event, read it all–KSH.

Posted in Uncategorized

David Leonhardt: Seeing an End to the Good Times (Such as They Were)

“The question was always, ”˜Would the economy hang on by its fingernails?’ ” said Ethan Harris, the chief United States economist at Lehman Brothers. Based on the employment report, Mr. Harris said, “there’s a very high probability that we’re in a recession now.”

Even the one apparent piece of good news in the employment report was a mirage. The unemployment rate fell to 4.8 percent, from 4.9 percent in January, but only because more people stopped looking for work and thus were not counted as unemployed by the government.

Over the last year, the number of officially unemployed has risen by 500,000, while the number of people outside the labor force ”” neither working nor looking for a job ”” has risen by 1.3 million.

Employment has risen by 100,000, but even that comes with a caveat: there are also 600,000 more people who are working part time because they could not find full-time work, according to the Labor Department.

“The decline in the unemployment rate,” said Joshua Shapiro, an economist at MFR, a research firm in New York, “should not be viewed as good news.”

Read it all from the front page of yesterday’s New York Times.

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

Ahmadinejad's Iraq Visit a Setback for U.S.

Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad visited Baghdad this week to show Iran’s support for the Iraqi government. The visit can be seen as a major diplomatic setback for the United States.

Listen to it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Iran, Iraq War, Middle East

Robert Frost Lectures Find Fresh Audience

Poet Robert Frost gave a series of informal lectures at Dartmouth College in 1947. Transcripts are now being published, using recordings that were in college’s archives for decades.

Take the time to listen to it all, you get to hear Robert Frost’s own voice.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Poetry & Literature

A 'messy, but beautiful' process for Maryland Episcopalians

In the middle of campaign season, about 250 Episcopalians gathered for some electioneering of their own yesterday morning as they came out to meet, greet and grill the six men and women who hope to be the diocese’s next bishop.

The process of picking the new leader of the Diocese of Maryland – which encompasses the central and western regions of the state – is an unusually democratic one, with clergy and delegates from each of the diocese’s 117 churches coming together to make their choice at a convention later this month.

B. Hopkins, a lay delegate from Holy Trinity Church in Churchville, called the open selection process “a virtue of our church.”

Read it all.

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

Notable and Quotable

Hope means hoping when things are hopeless, or it is no virtue at all…As long as matters are really hopeful, hope is mere flattery or platitude; it is only when everything is hopeless that hope begins to be a strength.

–G.K. Chesterton

Posted in Eschatology, Theology

Sunday (London) Times: Hillary Clinton sets her sights on three ways to win

FRESH from her victories in three out of four states last week and surging back in the national polls, Hillary Clinton has crafted a new strategy for winning the Democratic nomination which she believes will legitimise her claim to be president.

Clinton thinks she can win a majority of the popular vote in primaries and caucuses, even if she cannot overtake Barack Obama, her rival, in the number of “pledged” delegates who will vote to choose the candidate at the Democratic national convention in August.

The New York senator has unnerved Obama, who has been left reeling by a series of errors from senior policy advisers. The two opponents face an ugly six-week battle in the run-up to a potentially pivotal primary in Pennsylvania next month.

Democrats boosted Obama in Wyoming last night in state caucuses that gave the Illinois senator a comfortable victory. With almost all votes tallied he beat Clinton by 59% to 40%.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, US Presidential Election 2008

Daily Account from the House of Bishops for Saturday, March 8

Following lunch, the Rev. Canon Brian Cox of the Diocese of Los Angeles and the Hon. Joanne O’Donnell of the Diocese of Los Angeles led a presentation on faith-based reconciliation.

O’Donnell said the goal was not to reach reconciliation but to lead a reconciling life. She was not advocating for agreement, but for a transformation of attitude toward persons whose ideas may differ from your own.

Cox presented eight core values for religious and faith-based reconciliation: pluralism; inclusion; peacemaking; social justice; forgiveness; healing; sovereignty; and atonement.

This was followed by small group discussions on the question presented by Cox: How do my world view, core values and collective identity influence my perception of the conflict in the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion?

Read it all.

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

A New Bible highlights social justice issues

The Bible Society has released an anotated edition of the Holy Scriptures, highlighting over 2000 passages addressing questions of “social justice.”

Whilst poverty and injustice are “two of the biggest issues of our day,” the president of the Bible Society, the Rt. Rev. NT Wright of Durham said, the new Poverty and Justice Bible, shows that in “speaking out” on these questions, “God got there first.”

The impetus for the Poverty and Justice Bible arose from a comment from American pastor Rick Warren who stated that although he had studied the Scriptures, he had overlooked the passages that spoke of God’s love for the poor.

The new Bible highlights over 2000 passages address social justice issues and comes with a 32 page study guide that looks at issues of fair trade, farming and equality in education.

Read it all.

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

New Anglican Bishop of Waiapu

The new Anglican Bishop of Waiapu is American David Rice, the Dean of the Anglican Cathedral in Dunedin.

Bishop-elect Rice was born and raised in Lexington, North Carolina, and he won an athletic scholarship to Lenior Rhyne College, where he played tennis and gridiron – he’s 193cm tall – and he took degrees in history and religion.

He later won a place at the Duke University’s Divinity School, gained a Master’s Degree in Divinity, trained for ministry in the Methodist Church.

In 1991 David and his wife Tracy came to New Zealand, and for two years he served as minister to the Thames Uniting Parish, before returning to another five-year posting at a Methodist church in his home town of Lexington.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, Anglican Provinces

Obama Wins Wyoming Caucuses

Senator Barack Obama continued his string of victories in caucus states on Saturday, projected to be beating Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton in Wyoming by a wide margin.

The victory, while in a state with only 18 delegates, was welcome news for the Obama campaign as it sought to blunt Mrs. Clinton’s momentum coming off her victories in Ohio and Texas on Tuesday. Mrs. Clinton had campaigned here Friday, a day after her husband and daughter, signaling the stakes every contest holds in the fierce battle for the Democratic nomination.

Party officials reported extremely high turnout at caucus sites across the state. More than 1,500 residents of Laramie County came to cast votes at the caucus site in downtown Cheyenne, filling the auditorium. Hundreds more waited outside for hours until they could enter and vote.

Wyoming Democrats, usually a lonely bunch in an overwhelmingly Republican state, basked in their moment in the spotlight.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, US Presidential Election 2008

Nominees for Suffragan Bishop of Dallas

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC)

Church of England Newspaper: Pennsylvania’s Bishop Bennison to face trial

On Oct 31 US Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori suspended him after a review panel found there was prima facie evidence to proceed against him for his actions as a parish rector in the 1970’s.

Bishop Bennison is accused of covering up the sexual abuse of a 14 year old girl by his brother. The family of the victim brought charges against the bishop in 2006, accusing him of having knowledge of the offense, but taking no action. He is also accused of withholding information of the abuse from the Diocese of Los Angeles when his brother applied for ordination.

In May Bishop Bennison will answer charges before a civil court brought by the former president of Forward in Faith, USA, the Rt. Rev. David Moyer.

In a legal first, the Pennsylvania court will allow Bishop Moyer to test the legality of the use of the “abandonment canon” used to rid him of the Anglo-Catholic leader.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Polity & Canons

Bishop John-David Schofield looks to the future of his diocese after its historic vote

Three months after the Diocese of San Joaquin took a momentous vote to leave the U.S. Episcopal Church, the bishop leading the charge says there’s a lot of work to do and there’s no looking back.

John-David Schofield, 69, bishop of the Fresno-based diocese for 20 years, says he never has felt he was leading people down the wrong road.

“The conviction of ‘this is right’ has done nothing but grow,” he said Friday morning in his office in the diocesan headquarters at St. James’ Cathedral.

On Dec. 8, the local diocese became the first American diocese to secede from the U.S. Episcopal Church since the Civil War, largely over differences with the national body’s approval of same-sex blessings, ordination of a gay bishop, the role of women in the church and how to interpret the Bible over such issues.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Cono Sur [formerly Southern Cone], Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: San Joaquin

Russian Orthodox bishop ordered on leave

National church leaders today ordered the head of Alaska’s Russian Orthodox diocese to take a leave of absence while they investigate serious complaints against his leadership.

Bishop Nikolai Soraich must leave the Alaska diocese immediately, the Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church in America announced Friday afternoon.

“Should you not leave the diocese, your failure to comply with the Holy Synod’s directive will be considered willful disobedience,” wrote Metropolitan Herman, the church’s top official in the United States, in a letter dated Friday and posted on the OCA’s Web site.

According to the OCA, the mandatory leave order came only after Bishop Nikolai refused in writing to voluntarily go on leave or to permit “an examination by committee which is neither specified by canon nor permitted to my conscience as an Orthodox bishop.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Religion News & Commentary, Orthodox Church, Other Churches

Paul Zahl Instituted as Rector of All Saints, Chevy Chase, Maryland

Read it all (page 1).

I will consider posting comments on this article submitted first by email to Kendall’s E-mail: KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Episcopal Church (TEC), Parish Ministry, TEC Parishes

From the Washington Window: Kenneth Kearon Describes Plans for Lambeth Conference

“These issues that we’re facing are an issue of every church in the world, and we are the only ones that are facing it,” he said. “We’re getting a right hammering in the media about it”¦ but if we do face it that can be a great gift to the rest of the world.”

While same sex issues are causing friction across the Communion, Kearon said, he believes they are just the “presenting issue” ”“ symptomatic of a wider division.

The Anglican Church, which has its roots in the Church of England, essentially spread with the British Empire, he said, “on a really rather haphazard basis.” After the American Revolutionary War, the Episcopal Church in the United States “began to distance itself” from the Church of England, as it no longer fell under the sovereignty of the crown, and that rift, between the North American church and the church in the British colonies, has continued to widen. When the British Empire began to crumble in the 1950s and 60s, many colonial churches wanted to become national churches, and also loosened their links with the Church of England.

“That does lead today to very different understandings of the church,” Kearon said. “As churches became autonomous, there became a need for different kinds of governance.”

The instruments of unity ”“ the Lambeth Conference, the Anglican Consultative Council, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Primates Meeting ”“ essentially provide this.

“I think as the Communion has grown and become more diverse, those structures have become strained,” Kearon said. “I think there’s a need to look at the instruments of unity.”

One attempt to address these divisions is the proposed Anglican Covenant, first suggested by the 2003 Windsor Report, a commission set up to study significant challenges in the Anglican Communion. This will be discussed at the Lambeth Conference, and will be taken up again in 2009 by the Anglican Consultative Council, Kearon said.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Lambeth 2008

Notable and Quotable (II)

The scariest thing about Miami’s condo meltdown is that there’s no telling how far down the bottom is.

Jack McCabe runs McCabe Research, a company that closely tracks the South Florida condo market. Using a baseball analogy, he says the market is in the “bottom of the third inning, not the top of the ninth.”

From an NPR story yesterday on the Miami condo market

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

Notable and Quotable (I)

“U.S. consumer borrowing rose in January as Americans spent twice as much on their credit cards as they did a month earlier.”

Bloomberg News

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy

Geoffrey Rowell: Egeria the fourth century nun and the litany

Around about the year 381, a nun called Egeria made the difficult journey from the Atlantic coast of Spain or France to the Middle East. She wrote of her pilgrimage in a vivid book of travels, describing how she was welcomed to the great Syrian Christian centre of Edessa by the bishop who marvelled how her faith had brought her “right from the other end of the earth”. The high point of her journey was the places made holy by the life of Christ, and particularly the holy places of Jerusalem and Bethlehem. She carefully noted how Christians worshipped there and especially the pattern of services for Holy Week and Easter. From that ancient description is derived the pattern of the great traditional services of Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter that are still at the centre of Christian celebration of the passion, death and resurrection of the Lord.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Church History