Daily Archives: October 2, 2010

(Star-Telegram)–One of Sudan's Lost Boys finds his calling

Abraham Yel Nhial was only 9 when he was separated from his family and became one of the Lost Boys of Sudan.

Now he is one of the newest bishops of the worldwide Anglican Communion. He was consecrated in July as bishop of the Diocese of Awiel in southern Sudan.

“God called me back home,” Nhial said during a recent visit to Fort Worth. “I never thought this could happen. But God planned it for me. God can use anybody.”

Nhial was among more than 20,000 boys in southern Sudan who were forced out of their villages in the late 1980s by a civil war.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Episcopal Church of the Sudan

BBC–Druidry to be classed as religion by Charity Commission

Druidry is to become the first pagan practice to be given official recognition as a religion.

The Charity Commission has accepted that druids’ worship of natural spirits could be seen as religious activity.

The Druid Network’s charitable status entitles it to tax breaks, but the organisation says it does not earn enough to benefit from this.

The commission says the network’s work in promoting druidry as a religion is in the public interest.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, England / UK, Law & Legal Issues, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture

Palestinians Say Talks With Israel Should Be Suspended

The Palestinian leadership said Saturday that four-week-old direct talks with Israel should be suspended as long as Jewish settlement housing was being built in the West Bank. It called on the international community to pressure Israel to stop the construction.

A statement issued after a meeting of about 35 Palestinian leaders ”” the executive committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, the central committee of the main Fatah movement and a handful of others ”” held at the compound of the Palestinian Authority president, Mahmoud Abbas, said that Israel was responsible for the deadlock.

“The leadership confirms that the resumption of talks requires tangible steps, the first of them a freeze on settlements,” Yasser Abed Rabbo, a senior P.L.O. official said after the three-hour meeting. “The Palestinian leadership holds Israel responsible for obstructing the negotiations.”

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Foreign Relations, Middle East, Politics in General, The Palestinian/Israeli Struggle

(Herald-Sun) Duke Divinity School students pursue multiple paths

There are 583 students enrolled at Duke Divinity School. Slightly less than a third are there for their first year. Most are pursuing a master’s of divinity degree. Some are fresh out of undergraduate school, some have spent time in the working world before deciding to pursue their calling. Most are from the Southeast.

For major events, like the opening convocation Aug. 30, they worship in Duke Chapel, the stained-glass cathedral that is as iconic of Duke as Coach K. But students spend most of their time in the buildings next door — Westbrook, Gray and Langford — which house the Divinity School, including Goodson Chapel, its clear glass windows letting in views of God’s creation. The faculty of Duke Divinity School are experts in their field — theologians and authors oft-quoted and studied. The students share the same hallowed halls, but are still sorting out their spiritual education and career paths.

Robert Moses, who is from Ghana, went to undergraduate school at Howard University before coming to Duke for his master’s of divinity degree, which he received in 2008. He is now two years into the New Testament doctoral program at Duke Divinity and one of just 42 doctoral of theology candidates there….

Read more: The Herald-Sun – Spiritual journey

Read it all.

Posted in Seminary / Theological Education, Theology

An Interesting Resource–Nashotah House Online Audio

Check it out: Baroness Caroline Cox, Archbishop Benjamin Kwashi, now retired Bishop Tom Wright, and others.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Seminary / Theological Education, Theology

A Poem as the Fall Begins: October

O hushed October morning mild,
Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;
To-morrow’s wind, if it be wild,
Should waste them all.
The crows above the forest call;
To-morrow they may form and go.
O hushed October morning mild,
Begin the hours of this day slow,
Make the day seem to us less brief.
Hearts not averse to being beguiled,
Beguile us in the way you know;
Release one leaf at break of day;
At noon release another leaf;
One from our trees, one far away;
Retard the sun with gentle mist;
Enchant the land with amethyst.
Slow, slow!
For the grapes’ sake, if they were all,
Whose leaves already are burnt with frost,
Whose clustered fruit must else be lost””
For the grapes’ sake along the wall.

–Robert Frost (1874-1963)

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Poetry & Literature

More with Episcopal Church Statistics: The Church Pension Group's 2009 Church Compensation Report

This comes as a 19 page pdf–read it all. The whole thing is full of interesting tidbits, but to me the most interesting material is on page 4 in table 5 in the last column (entitled “Total”).

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Men, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Stewardship, Women

An ENS Article on the Ongoing Dispute between the Bishop and Diocese in Pennsylvania

Read it all.

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

The Pennsylvania Standing Committee writes another Letter to Bishop Charles Bennison

As the diocese prepares to come together in convention, and as the hard facts of the Program Budget shortfall become evident to the diocese, we are extremely concerned that your apparent insistence on putting everything back the way it was before you left will cause a large number of parishes to hold back funding to the diocese, both assessments and pledges. The Standing Committee continues to hear from people in the diocese daily, through letters, emails, and phone calls, concerning your return. About 85% of these communications are negative. When it becomes clear to more and more that you want to move us back to some vision of your own, we are afraid that this will add to the potential “revolution” in the diocese.

Bishop, we ”“ i.e., you, the Standing Committee and all the leadership of the diocese ”“ are not here to affirm our own personal vision but to help guide and support the diocese in determining a shared vision. Can we please let that work go forward without throwing obstructions up, creating dissent through distrust and misinformation, and investing heavily in anything that will stretch the finances of the diocese beyond anything realistic and cause more and more parishes to withhold funds.

Finally, and perhaps most shocking of all, we have been made aware of what you said at Diocesan Council on September 25, 2010, concerning the witnesses at your trial: “It is known now that all the witnesses at my trial intentionally perjured themselves.” These are shocking words, and words which we feel you need to address immediately. Can you possibly have meant what you said? If so, this is one more indication of a serious problem. You have managed to ignore or discount the opinions and conclusions of three courts, two Presiding Bishops, the House of Bishops, and untold numbers of lay and clergy in the diocese of Pennsylvania, and now all the witnesses at your trial. We find it amazing that you are able to think that this is in any way normal behavior.

Read it all.

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

Catholic Herald–A new idea of the Ordinariate is emerging

It is time to set aside, for the time being, the much-debated question of how many Anglicans will take advantage of the Apostolic Constitution. Let us focus instead on the core words of Bishop Burnham’s message: his flock is “energetically committed to mission and [local] evangelisation”. Future members of the Ordinariate are offering to help revitalise the Christian mission of the Catholic Church in England and several other countries. It is a wonderful prospect, made possible by their faithful witness to the Gospel over many years and the vision of the Holy Father. Ignore the cynics and hand-wringers who see only difficulties in this historic development: we live in exciting times.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Ecumenical Relations, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic

Episcopal Parish Statistics: Trinity Cathedral, Columbia, South Carolina

In order to generate a pictorial chart of this parish, please go [url=http://www.episcopalchurch.org/109378_107383_ENG_HTM.htm]here[/url] and enter “Upper South Carolina” in the second line down under “Diocese.” Next please wait a moment and then click on “Church” and choose “Trinity (Columbia, SC)”. Then wait another moment and choose “View Church chart” under that line (the middle of the three choices).

You may find the parish website there.

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

A Profile of an Education System that is Effective: Finland's

Watch it all.

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

Harrisburg Mayor to Seek Emergency Aid from the State

Harrisburg Mayor Linda Thompson requested enrollment in Pennsylvania’s recovery and oversight program for distressed municipalities, saying the capital city stands “on the precipice of a full-blown financial crisis.”

Harrisburg faces “imminent and inevitable” defaults on about $44 million in bond payments due by Dec. 15, according to Thompson’s application for the state’s Act 47 recovery program. The city of 47,000 will miss payroll within a month, as well as its payment to the police pension fund due by Dec. 31, unless it obtains short-term loans, the application says.

Harrisburg officials have been weighing bankruptcy after the city missed debt payments for a trash-to-energy incinerator. Under Act 47 protection, Pennsylvania would help the city devise a recovery plan and give it priority in seeking state aid. The designation might also bolster the city’s standing in the credit markets through guarantees of financial support, Thompson said.

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

Final Nominees to be Episcopal Bishop of Northern Michigan Announced

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

An Early Look at Some 2009 TEC Parish and Diocesan Statistics

I do not like the new way the website is laid out at all–it is very user unfriendly. In any event, use these numbers to get a sense of where your diocese has been.

Then go to the link at the end of this sentence and enter the name of your diocese (and parish if you desire) and you can see some of the data from 2009 (Click on the “Studying Your Congregation and Community” words under Research if you have any trouble).

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

(Living Church) South Carolina Bishop Mark Lawrence–A Conservationist among Lumberjacks

While the expectation of visitation is referenced in a canonical change since Dawley’s work, the Constitution nowhere authorizes such action. Furthermore, the lack of juridical powers remains directly and unambiguously supported by our Constitution. Thus the constitutional and polity concerns, among others, I had upon discovering that the presiding bishop’s chancellor had retained in South Carolina an attorney who presented himself as “South Carolina counsel for the Episcopal Church.” Her lack of juridical powers within an independent diocese made the hiring of an attorney without my permission an unconstitutional act. The stated defense for this incursion was the protection of church property to the point of choosing the coercive power of civil courts as the best way to resolve challenges TEC faces over profound questions of doctrine, morality and discipline, regardless of local issues or the decisions of the diocesan ecclesiastical authority.

This is a profound overreach of the presiding bishop’s authority. Though certainly there are many within TEC who strongly disagree with my theological commitments, or my vigorous statements of how TEC continues to tear the fabric of the Anglican Communion, the thing we are confronting now is of a different nature. It is a challenge to our polity: Of how for 200 years the Episcopal Church has carried out its mission and ministry. It is one of the ironies of this time that the Diocese of South Carolina, which has been one of the more serious critics of the “national” church, should be among those defending the polity of TEC and its Constitution. But history is full of such paradoxes.

In protecting our independence as a diocese in TEC, in protecting the diocesan bishop’s authority to shepherd the parishes and missions of the diocese, and in defending the bishop and, in his absence, the standing committee as the ecclesiastical authority, we are in fact defending how TEC has done its work since its conception.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Church History, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, Presiding Bishop, TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Polity & Canons