Daily Archives: April 8, 2009

Anglican Covenant Design Group Communique and latest draft text

(ACNS) The Covenant Design Group (CDG) met under the chairmanship of the Most Revd Drexel Gomez, former Primate of the Church in the Province of the West Indies, between 29th March and 2nd April, 2009, in Ridley Hall, Cambridge, at the invitation of the Principal, the Revd Canon Andrew Norman, former Representative of the Archbishop of Canterbury to the Covenant Design Group. We are grateful for the warm welcome received.

The main work of the group was to prepare a revised draft for the proposed Anglican Communion Covenant which could be presented to the fourteenth Meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council, and commended to the Provinces for adoption. The CDG now presents the third “Ridley Cambridge” draft for the Anglican Communion Covenant.

Read it all and follow the link to the latest draft.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Covenant

Philadelphia's Homeless Run to a better Life

What a heroine this lady is–watch it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, Poverty

A 'tsunami' of Boomer teacher retirements is on the horizon

More than half the nation’s teachers are Baby Boomers ages 50 and older and eligible for retirement over the next decade, a report says today. It warns that a retirement “tsunami” could rob schools of valuable experience.

The report by the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future calls for school administrators to take immediate action to lower attrition rates and establish programs that pass along valuable information from teaching veterans to new teachers.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Education

Liberal imam wins libel claim against Muslim newspaper

A progressive Muslim imam from Oxford has won a libel action against a Muslim newspaper in what he claims is a “watershed moment” in the battle between liberal and extremist Muslims in Britain.

Dr Taj Hargey, who provoked controversy last year when he invited the first ever woman to lead and preach at Friday prayers in Britain, has been awarded a “substantial” five-figure sum in libel damages against the Muslim Weekly, which takes a conservative line on community issues.

In its latest edition, the newspaper urges the Government not to play a “divide and rule” policy over the Muslim Council of Britain. The Government has threatened to cut ties with the council after it refused to sack its deputy leader, Daud Abdullah, who signed a pro-Hamas declaration at a conference on Gaza in Istanbul.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Islam, Law & Legal Issues, Other Faiths

A (London) Times Editorial: Anatomy of a recession

After the humbling comes the shrinking. After Sir Fred Goodwin, the deluge: the Royal Bank of Scotland announced yesterday that its most famous former employee is to be joined by 9,000 more, half of them made redundant abroad and half in the UK. There has not been a more powerful proof since the financial crisis began that its effects are now being felt not just by the institutions and individuals that created it, but by the people who worked for them.

The RBS job cuts will be politically painful for a government that now owns 70 per cent of the bank. They will, more importantly, be materially painful for thousands of back-office workers who never aspired to be masters of the Universe but never ”” until last year ”” seriously contemplated being laid off either.

Read it all.

Posted in Uncategorized

Episcopal Church's Leader visits Delaware for first time

Her sense is that the worst of the schism is over and that those who intend to leave have stated their intentions.

“We lament their departure because we are diminished by it,” she said. “But we will keep on being who we think God is calling us to be.”

In her view, the challenges are not all bad, even though the conflict is nothing anyone would choose.

And she predicted that parishes will come back with a new sense of mission.

All this “may drive some of us absolutely crazy, but my sense is that this is where God is calling us to be,” she said. “We haven’t reached consensus because the spirit is still at work. There is still conversation to be had.”

Read it all.

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

Does the Presiding Bishop Know her own Church?

From her recent visit to Delaware we read this:

She also pointed out that white Episcopal congregations are not growing. “No single diocese in the United States has grown in recent years,” she said.

If this is an accurate quote, it is an error as blog readers perhaps will know. You can look here to see the figures for yourself. I have no desire to elevate South Carolina as we have all sorts of problems and struggles here, as do other dioceses, and, as you can see, there are other places where there is growth (i.e. North Carolina)-KSH.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Episcopal Church (TEC), Presiding Bishop, TEC Data

Letters: Episcopal Life Monthly April 2009

Gear up and take the time to read them all.

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

EDS Chooses Abortion-Rights Leader as Next Dean

Dr. Ragsdale has served as vicar of St. David’s since 1996. Since 2005, she has also served as president and executive director of Political Research Associates, a progressive think tank dedicated to building a more just and inclusive democratic society by exposing movements, institutions, and ideologies on the political and Christian Right “that undermine human rights,” according to information published on the organization’s website. During her tenure at Political Research Associates, Dr. Ragsdale helped the organization successfully broaden its donor base as part of a transition from a founder-led institution.

She has also been a passionate advocate and author on abortion from a Christian perspective. She served for 17 years (eight as chairwoman) on the national board for the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC).

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Life Ethics, Seminary / Theological Education, Theology

Joel Kotkin: The American Suburb Is Bouncing

From the very inception of the current downturn, sprawling places like southeast California’s Inland Empire have been widely portrayed as the heart of darkness. Located on the vast flatlands east of Los Angeles, the region of roughly 3 million people has suffered one of the highest rates of foreclosures and surges in unemployment in the nation.

Yet now George Guerrero, a top agent at Advantage Real Estate in Chino Hills, says he can see the light, with sales picking up and inventories finally beginning to drop. “There’s been a real surge in sales,” Guerrero says. “The market has come back to where it should be. I think we are ahead of the curve here of the overall recovery.”

Read it all.

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

Electricity Grid in U.S. Penetrated By Spies

Cyberspies have penetrated the U.S. electrical grid and left behind software programs that could be used to disrupt the system, according to current and former national-security officials.

The spies came from China, Russia and other countries, these officials said, and were believed to be on a mission to navigate the U.S. electrical system and its controls. The intruders haven’t sought to damage the power grid or other key infrastructure, but officials warned they could try during a crisis or war.

“The Chinese have attempted to map our infrastructure, such as the electrical grid,” said a senior intelligence official. “So have the Russians.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Foreign Relations, Science & Technology

Economy Falling Years Behind Full Speed

As the recession grinds on, more and more of the nation’s means of production ”” its workers, its factories, its retail outlets, its freight lines, its bank lending, even its new inventions ”” are being mothballed.

This idled capacity, like baseball players after a winter off, takes time to bring back into robust use. So even if the recession miraculously ended tomorrow, economists estimate that at least three years would pass before full employment returned and output rose enough for the economy to operate at full throttle.

While stock market investors have embraced tentative signs of improvement in the mortgage market and elsewhere, even a sharp pickup in demand for products and services will take considerable time to play out.

The mathematics are daunting. The shortfall is running at more than $1 trillion in annual sales and other transactions. Only once since the Great Depression has there been such a severe loss of output ”” in the 1981-82 recession ”” and after that downturn, it was seven years before the economy regained the lost production.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

”˜No-Risk’ Insurance at F.D.I.C.

So how much does the F.D.I.C. think it might lose?

“We project no losses,” Sheila Bair, the chairwoman, told me in an interview. Zero? Really? “Our accountants have signed off on no net losses,” she said. (Well, that’s one way to stay under the borrowing cap.)

By this logic, though, the F.D.I.C. appears to have determined it can lend an unlimited amount of money to anyone so long as it believes, at least at the moment, that it won’t lose any money.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, The Banking System/Sector, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, The U.S. Government

Anglican Priest in Baghdad fights for his parishioners' souls ”” and their lives

Of the roughly 80 million members of the Anglican Church worldwide, the Rev. Andrew White reckons none of them would want his job.

Few would voluntarily risk death over six years of war in order to provide the spiritual and daily needs of Iraqi Christians. Who would live in Baghdad if they could get out at any time, with their wife and two children back home in England?

What would possess a man to cross the entryway into St. George’s Church on Haifa Street in downtown Baghdad a few years ago, at the height of the sectarian massacre, on a morning when bodies hung from the streetlights?

In the simplest terms, White said he had a calling.

Read it all and please take the time to look through the wonderful photos of Palm Sunday in Baghdad.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, - Anglican: Latest News, Anglican Provinces, Iraq War, Middle East, The Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East

New Welsh bishops consecrated

(ACNS) More than 30 bishops from around the Anglican Communion joined the Archbishop of Wales and the Archbishop of Canterbury to consecrate two new Welsh bishops at Llandaff Cathedral on Saturday afternoon (April 4).

Gregory Cameron, 49, was consecrated 76th Bishop of St Asaph. He follows Bishop John Davies who retired at the end of last year. He was previously Deputy Secretary General of the Anglican Communion Office and prior to that was chaplain to Dr Rowan Williams when he was Archbishop of Wales.

David Wilbourne, 53, was consecrated Assistant Bishop of Llandaff.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of Wales

Communiqué: The Anglican Jewish Commission

(ACNS) The theme of the Commission’s meeting was ”˜Jerusalem’ and papers were presented by Rabbi Professor Daniel Sperber on behalf of the Jewish delegation and by Mrs Clare Amos on behalf of the Anglican delegation. Extensive discussions took place in a friendly and constructive atmosphere on the many issues raised by the papers

Both papers noted the conjoined terrestrial and celestial understandings of the significance of the city and the creative tensions between them and both appreciated the implications of the theological and scriptural perspectives for the present and future life of Jerusalem. In discussion it was noted that Jerusalem is at the centre of historical and contemporary Jewish identity and also the importance of understanding Jerusalem as a city to be shared between the religions, a house of prayer for all nations and a city which should make all people friends beyond possessiveness. The peace of Jerusalem for which Jews, Muslims and Christians pray should be such as to be a light to all nations

In his paper, Rabbi Sperber spoke of the traditional understanding of the degrees of sanctity emanating outwards from the heart of the temple, the Holy of Holies extending outwards and represented in the mediaeval view of Jerusalem as the navel of the world. The terrestrial Jerusalem is mystically connected to the celestial Jerusalem and is the point from which all creation expanded. The physical Jerusalem is thus a glimpse of the celestial and is the place to which all prayer is oriented and though which all prayers pass. He cited Nathan Sharansky’s understanding of Jerusalem as being the spiritual centre of gravity for all Jews and of the spark of Jerusalem’s sanctity in every Jewish soul.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, - Anglican: Primary Source, -- Reports & Communiques, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), Inter-Faith Relations, Judaism, Other Faiths

NY Daily News: Episcopal priest from Staten Island nabbed in 84G theft from church

A Staten Island preacher was collared on charges of pilfering $84,537 from his flock and blowing it on fancy clothes, plastic surgery, Botox and booze, prosecutors said Monday.

The Rev. William Blasingame, 66, who recently resigned from St. Paul’s Memorial Episcopal Church in Stapleton, took the money from church accounts over a three-year period, law enforcement authorities said.

Read it all.

Update: The parish website is there.

Posted in Uncategorized

(London) Times: Churches may be in crisis, but pilgrimages are booming

In Holy Week, the time when Christians engage in prayers that focus on Christ’s journey to the Cross, it seems apt to reflect on the revival of pilgrimages, one of the most surprising recent developments in Western Christianity. As church attendance has plummeted, more people are travelling the old medieval pilgrim routes across Europe or visiting shrines old and new.

The number of those walking or cycling the Camino de Santiago de Compostela in northern Spain has quadrupled over the past 20 years. A series of apparitions of the Virgin at Medjugorje in the Balkans since 1981 has created a major new pilgrim destination alongside established Marian shrines such as Czestochowa in Poland, Fatima in Portugal and Lourdes in France which draw ever larger crowds of the faithful.

New long-distance pilgrim trails have also been established, such as St Cuthbert’s Way through the Scottish and English Border country from Melrose to Lindisfarne, and the Pilgrim Way from Oslo to Trondheim in Norway, which is based on a medieval pilgrim route to the shrine of Norway’s patron saint, Olav. Both routes opened in 1997.

Read it all.

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