Daily Archives: April 18, 2009

In Florida St. Thomas Episcopal Church's rector dismisses volunteer in 'draping' dispute

The rector of St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church recently removed one of the congregation’s most prominent members from her volunteer position, creating a painful division for church members.

The Rev. Chris Schuller dismissed Marion Fleming, a retired circuit judge and wife of a former rector, Peter Fleming, from a position known as “warden of the acolytes.”

Now the Flemings have decided to move from the Snell Isle church, which she has attended for more than 30 years, and which he pastored for 19. Last Sunday, Peter Fleming’s name was removed from church bulletins, which named him as “rector emeritus.”

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

From the Do Not Take Yourself Too Seriously Department: Who Says Romance is Dead?

When I was ill, my husband and I were stuck in the house for months.

But I made a complete recovery and was so happy the day he bounded into the kitchen and asked, “Would you like to go out, girl?”

“I’d love to,” I replied immediately.

We had a wonderful meal, culminating with my husband making a confession. “Remember when I suggested going out tonight?” he asked.

“Yes,” I said.

“I was talking to the dog.”

–Anita Saunders in the May, 2009, Reader’s Digest, page 133

Posted in * General Interest, Humor / Trivia

Pittsburgh Developments (III): A Living Church Article

In October, a majority of clergy and lay deputies voted to leave The Episcopal Church and join the Anglican Church of the Southern Cone on a temporary basis. The leadership of the Southern Cone diocese has been active in the development the new Anglican Communion province in North America. The Rt. Rev. Robert Duncan, who was deposed from the ordained ministry of The Episcopal Church prior to the diocesan convention last fall, has been designated archbishop of the new province. Bishop Duncan was also re-elected bishop of the Southern Cone diocese shortly after his deposition.

At the heart of the dispute in the latest filings and an April 17 hearing was whether the diocese’s withdrawal from The Episcopal Church violated a stipulation order on real and personal property that the two sides signed in 2005 to settle the lawsuit. After the majority at the annual convention voted to leave last fall, members of the diocese who wanted to remain Episcopalians held a reorganizing convention and petitioned the court to be added as plaintiffs to the Calvary lawsuit.

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

Pittsburgh Developments (II): TEC Affiliated Group Report

A judge has ruled in the Diocese’s favor on several points in its legal dispute with former leaders over the control of diocesan assets.

In a hearing today, April 17, 2009, Judge Joseph James of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, allowed Diocesan Chancellor Andy Roman’s appearance as the attorney for the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh of the Episcopal Church. The judge also granted a motion by The Episcopal Church to intervene in the case.

Both matters had been challenged in earlier court filing by attorneys representing former Bishop Robert Duncan and others who left the Episcopal Church last October.

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

Pittsburgh Developments (I): Anglican Group Report

From here:

On April 17, lawyers for the diocese attended a hearing before Judge James in Pittsburgh, together with lawyers for Calvary Church, lawyers representing The Episcopal Church (TEC) diocese, and lawyers representing the leadership of the national Episcopal Church.

All parties, including the lawyers for the leadership of national Episcopal Church, agreed that there will be hearing based on the assumption that the diocese’s withdrawal from The Episcopal Church was valid. At that hearing, the court will address whether the October 2004 stipulation in the Calvary Church lawsuit was violated by a valid withdrawal of the diocese from The Episcopal Church. No date for the hearing has yet been set.

The issue of validity will be addressed at a later date. Lawyers for The Episcopal Church have announced that they will be filing separate litigation on this issue.

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

A Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Editorial–Unsettled Iraq: With the U.S. pullout problems persist

Even after six years on the ground, problems are beginning to build as American forces in Iraq move toward withdrawal over the next few years.

The question of who is going to rule after the Americans leave is up in the air and will not be resolved until U.S. forces have gone. Apart from the division of political power, there does not exist, for example, a law to govern oil revenue sharing. In the meantime, the American presence will be used by various Iraqi elements to try to improve their positions in advance of the withdrawal.

Since the resolution of the question will almost certainly be by force, preliminary maneuvering will also almost certainly involve force. At this point there is skirmishing, and the familiar weapons of car bombs and assassinations are appearing with greater frequency.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, Iraq War

Living Church on Archbishop Carey: TEC Likely to ”˜Clean Out’ Conservatives

Addressing directly developments in the United States and Canada, Archbishop Carey said, “Some provinces ”“ notably in North America ”“ press for total autonomy theologically from the Communion, while at the same time they impose total canonical autocracy within their dioceses. Ironically and oddly, in such a democratic nation as the United States, a system of ”˜prince bishops’ has arisen who appear to have unfettered control over their rapidly diminishing flocks [and] from which all who dissent from the regnant liberalism are being driven out.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Analysis, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Episcopal Church (TEC), Instruments of Unity, TEC Conflicts

South Carolina jobless rate 11.4% and climbing

Although South Carolina’s jobless rate tied a 26-year record last month, analysts found a few bright spots in the monthly report released Friday.

The state recorded its first increase in total jobs since August and most counties reported declines in unemployment. South Carolina also was replaced as the state with the nation’s second-highest jobless rate.

But economists said that, by the end of the year, things probably will get worse than the 11.4 percent reading in March, a half-percentage point rise over February.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market

In Central South Carolina a Wounded Iraq warrior fights for normal life

Army Spc. Chris Hussey survived five bombings and a rocket attack while serving a yearlong tour in Iraq as a combat medic.

The Columbia soldier, who received two Purple Hearts, has waged a fierce fight to regain normalcy in his life.

Other than a 1-inch scar below his left eye, the 5-foot-10-inch Hussey, who keeps his blond hair cut short, military-style, did not suffer other visible wounds.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, Iraq War, Military / Armed Forces

Muslims Find Bias Growing In Mumbai's Rental Market

The sunny apartment had everything Palvisha Aslam, 22, a Bollywood producer, wanted: a spacious bedroom and a kitchen that overlooked a garden in a middle-class neighborhood that was a short commute to Film City, where many of India’s Hindi movies are shot.

She was about to sign the lease when the real estate broker noticed her surname. He didn’t realize that she was Muslim, he said. Then he rejected her. It was just six weeks after the November Mumbai terrorist attacks and Indian Muslims were being viewed with suspicion across the country. He then showed her a grimy one-room tenement in a Muslim-dominated ghetto. She felt sick to her stomach as she watched the residents fight over water at a leaky tap in a dark alley.

“That night I cried a lot. I was still an outcast in my own country — even as a secular Muslim with a well-paid job in Bollywood,” said Aslam, who had similar experiences with five other brokers and three months later is still crashing on friends’ sofas. “I’m an Indian. I love my country. Is it a crime now to be a Muslim in Mumbai?”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Asia, India, Islam, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture

AP: US ambassador to Vatican could be thorny pick

Since the United States and the Vatican established full diplomatic ties in 1984, little attention has been paid to the process and politics of selecting a U.S. ambassador to the Holy See. That’s changing under a new president whose positions have been criticized by several American bishops and conservative Catholics.

The Obama administration’s search to fill the vacant position is anticipated to bring a level of scrutiny unmatched since the very prospect of diplomacy with the Vatican stirred American fears of papal loyalists swearing allegiance to church over country.

While Middle East peace, U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and relations with the Muslim world loom as shared interests for the military superpower and the religious superpower, the politics of abortion hangs over the process.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Foreign Relations, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic

National Post: Anglican entity has blessing of bishops

But the fact the Global South is at the forefront of fuelling the North American schism is not that surprising, said Philip Harrold, a professor of Church history at the Trinity School Ministry in Pennsylvania, an Anglican seminary.

“The history of Christianity in general and Anglicanism in particular is the history of movement from one epicentre of growth and vitality to another. And the Northern Hemisphere churches by and large are in a period of decline. If you look at the Global South the contrast is remarkable. They are the ones sending missionaries out into the world, which is always a sign of health and vigor and commitment. That seems to be where the communion is going. It’s part of a wider picture of Christianity in general.”

Since 1910, the Christian population of Africa has grown from 10 million to 360 million today.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Proposed Formation of a new North American Province, Archbishop of Canterbury, Common Cause Partnership, Episcopal Church (TEC), GAFCON I 2008, Global South Churches & Primates, TEC Conflicts

Checking in on the Four Bad Bears

A fascinating visual from Paul Kedrosky.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Economy, History, Stock Market, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

Ben Witherington Interviews Bishop Tom Wright

I don’t see the full Christian eschatology as the primary thing to talk about in evangelism. The primary thing is Jesus himself, and the vision of the loving, rescuing creator God we get when we focus on him. However, the vision of new heavens and new earth, and of God’s project, already begun in Jesus, to flood the whole creation with his restorative justice, does indeed generate a powerful evangelistic message: not just ‘you’re sinful, here’s how to escape the consequences’, but ‘your sinful life means you’re failing to be a genuine human being, contributing to God’s project of justice and beauty — here’s how the project got back on track, and here’s how you can be part of it, both in your own life being set right and made ‘something beautiful for God’ and in what you do THROUGH your life, bringing justice, hope, joy and beauty to God’s world as we look forward to the final day’… I’d better not go further or you’ll get the whole sermon?

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Eschatology, Theology, Theology: Scripture

Caitlin Flanigan: The High Cost of Coddling

Apparently, the thing [after the Columbine killing spree] to do was to look not at the largest questions posed by the incident but rather at its particulars and to adopt a “zero tolerance” policy toward any behavior that seemed to mimic them. The result was a longish, culturally embarrassing interlude when kindergartners could get tossed out of school for bringing a nail clipper in a backpack. We began to look like a nation of adults who were terrified of our smallest children.

The one aspect of Columbine that seemed unworthy of examination — when it came to pondering the policy changes that might actually make American schools safer places — was the fact that the two killers had a long track record of doing exactly what deeply disturbed teenage boys have been doing since time out of mind: getting in trouble — lots of it — with authority.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Education, Marriage & Family, Teens / Youth, Violence

RNS: 10 Minutes with ”¦ the Rev. John Polkinghorne

Q: Theology and science are highly specialized, often complex disciplines. Is it feasible for someone to become fully versed in both?

A: I’m not saying that every theologian has to approach theology through the context of science any more than a liberation theologian would say that everyone has to live in base community in South America. I wrote the book to encourage theologians to take the context of science more seriously … without having to master all of the technical details.

Q: You write that theologians should be happy to operate in the “questioning” context of science, but they are often not. Why is that?

A: I’m puzzled by that. That kind of thinking impoverishes theology. Science and theology are cousins on a quest for truth. The insight of science is to move from evidence to understanding, not to start with general principles that will control the whole discussion. Scientists learn that the world is quite often surprising and doesn’t match our expectations. I am very happy to practice my religious beliefs in that sort of way.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology