Daily Archives: October 5, 2010

(Clarion-Ledger) Some Mississippi Congregations meet in nontraditional places

The Rev. Chuck Culpepper leads St. Alexis Episcopal Church in an old warehouse building at 650 E. South St. in Jackson.

Four years ago, the congregation renovated the warehouse built circa 1920 that once housed a furniture store.

“We have done our best to keep the industrial look,” Ward said. “It gives us what we are looking for, which is something that’s different and easily accessible to some who are put off by normal church.”

Culpepper said the building also gives the 80-member congregation more community visibility.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry

Lawmakers asked to raise South Carolina gas tax

Lawmakers will consider a recommendation when they return in January to raise the gasoline tax by 5.5 cents, from 16.75 cents to 22.25 cents a gallon, along with a financial doom-and-gloom message from state Department of Transportation Secretary Buck Limehouse.

Limehouse told lawmakers in a letter he sent Monday that funding is the agency’s biggest challenge. The state gasoline tax pays for road improvements and construction, safety upgrades as well as bridge replacement. That cash is used to pull down federal highway dollars.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, Economy, Energy, Natural Resources, Politics in General, State Government, Taxes, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

(USA Today) DeWayne Wickham: Privacy no more? Tyler Clementi's death should rattle us all

If you want to learn something about the impact of social media, you might try discerning fact from fiction in The Social Network, a new movie that purports to tell the story of how Facebook came into existence.

But if what you’re looking for is a quick primer on the real-life impact that social media have had on our society, you don’t have to spend two hours in a dark theater surrounded by people who may not be your (Facebook) friends. Just type the names “Tyler Clementi” and “Anthony Graber” into a search engine.

What happened to Clementi and Graber is a troubling commentary on an individual’s expectation of privacy in a world overrun by technology that all too often peers behind the curtains of our lives. But their stories also are proof of just how much social media have reinforced Marshall McLuhan’s prophesy that “the medium is the message.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, --Social Networking, Blogging & the Internet, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Psychology, Science & Technology, Theology, Young Adults

For those of you who are "Fringe" watchers, this Morning's Did you know Question?

Which member of the cast of Fringe is a very accomplished classically trained musician who served as a choirboy at Grace & St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Baltimore City?

You can find the answer here.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Movies & Television, Music

In Maryland St. Peter’s Anglican Church searching for building, property

A small, but growing congregation in the Chesapeake City area is searching for a home all its own.

St. Peter’s Anglican Church is hoping to find an existing building, or about 5 acres of available property between Elkton and Earleville on which it can build, according to Wendy Biggs, secretary of the church vestry, and Caroline Prickett, the church’s senior warden.

“We might need children’s rooms or a dining hall,” Biggs said Thursday. “And we have to have a place to park.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, - Anglican: Latest News, Episcopal Church (TEC), Parish Ministry, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)

(The Tennessean) Legitimacy of Islam at heart of Murfreesboro mosque suit

My God is better than your God.

That’s the dispute at the heart of recent hearings in a lawsuit aimed at derailing the new Islamic Center of Murfreesboro. What started as a zoning issue has turned into a fight over theology and the role of government in recognizing religion.

Mosque opponents say that Islam is not a real religion. They argued in a Rutherford County courthouse last week that the world’s second-largest faith, with its 1.6 billion followers, is actually a political movement….

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, City Government, Islam, Law & Legal Issues, Other Faiths, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

(USA Today) Walk this way: U.S. out of step with weight loss

We’d really rather take a taxi.

American adults walk less than adults in some other countries with lower obesity rates, according to a new study in the October issue of Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise.

Researchers compared 1,136 U.S. adults wearing pedometers with adults involved in similar studies in Australia, Japan and Switzerland. The mean number of steps Americans take in a day is 5,117, compared with 9,695 for Australians, the walking leaders among the four countries. The USA’s 34% adult obesity rate is more than double Australia’s 16%.

“It did surprise me how sedentary U.S. adults are,” says David Bassett, the lead author of the study. “The additional walking seems to have an enormous public health benefit for those (other) countries.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Globalization, Health & Medicine, Movies & Television, Psychology

Gallup–Nearly Half of Small-Business Owners May Never Retire

Nearly half, 47%, of small-business owners now plan to never retire until forced to do so for health reasons — up from about 4 in 10 in 2005 and 2007 — according to a recent Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index poll. Another 41% plan to cut back on work but stay involved with their business when they retire. Those planning to stop working in their business altogether fell to 1 in 10 during 2010 from nearly twice that level in 2005.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Personal Finance, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

George Will on Daniel Patrick Moynihan: American visionary

Moynihan – the only person to have served in the cabinets or subcabinets of four consecutive presidents (Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford) – said politics is an argument about the future: “The central conservative truth is that it is culture, not politics, that determines the success of society. The central liberal truth is that politics can change a culture and save it from itself.”

Today, seven years after Moynihan’s death, conservatism’s contention is that liberal politics produces a culture of dependency and a government riddled with rent-seeking – the manipulation of government power for private advantage. Would that Moynihan were here to elevate the liberal side of the debate, as he did throughout his well-lived life.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Politics in General, Senate, Theology

Christian Century–Essential theology books of the past 25 years

We posed this question to eight theologians: Suppose someone who hasn’t been keeping up with theology for the past 25 years now wants to read the most important books written during that time. What five titles would you suggest?

I am interested that you seek to answer the question first before you look at the eight people’s responses they have.

Now go check it out–KSH.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ministry of the Laity, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Theology

Good News (Methodist) Magazine–Stepping around Scripture and Discipline in West Ohio

In a letter to all conference members supporting the election of Mr. [Bill] Brownson, resident Bishop Bruce R. Ough wrote, “He was the only candidate ready right now to assist CFA and the Conference to address the financial constraints that are threatening our mission capacity”¦ I am fully cognizant that some persons will seize upon my participation and support of Bill’s nomination as advocacy of a homosexual lifestyle. The only agenda I have had in the entire search process has been for a financially challenged West Ohio Conference to have a superior CFO.”

Despite a process carefully planned by the conference’s Unity Task Force to ensure fair, informed, and civil debate, many believe the decisive factor in the debate was a seemingly intentional strategy crafted by the CFA outside the agreed upon debate process. These actions included:

Ӣ Presenting Mr. Brownson to lobby with youth and young adult members of the conference prior to the vote with no provision for presentation of an opposing view.

”¢ Using the conference treasurer’s report to repeatedly affirm and endorse Mr. Brownson. The conference treasurer compared the conference to an airliner flying in a storm on one engine. Without Mr. Brownson’s election, the last engine would be gone and disaster would be certain….

Read it all.

Posted in * Religion News & Commentary, Methodist, Other Churches, Sexuality Debate (Other denominations and faiths)

As Maliki Clings to Power, Iraq’s Fissures Deepen

When Nuri Kamal al-Maliki began his bid for re-election as prime minister ”” exactly a year ago on Saturday ”” he pledged to unite a population splintered and suspicious after years of war. He has not, and while he is hardly alone in blame, the consequences could haunt Iraq for years to come.

The purging of ballot lists before the election, the contentious and inconclusive challenges to the results, and the protracted delay in forming a new government since then have all deepened the ethnic, sectarian and societal cracks in a newly democratic state as fragile as an ancient Babylonian vase.

Sunni leaders in particular are angry at the prospect that they may be disenfranchised once again.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Foreign Relations, Iraq, Iraq War, Middle East, Politics in General

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O Lord, take thou full possession of my heart, raise there thy throne, and command there as thou dost in heaven. Being created by thee, let me live to thee. Being created for thee, let me ever act for thy glory. Being redeemed by thee, let me render to thee what is thine, and let my spirit ever cleave to thee alone; for thy name’s sake.

–John Wesley (1703-1791)

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Scripture Readings

For behold, the LORD is coming forth out of his place, and will come down and tread upon the high places of the earth. And the mountains will melt under him and the valleys will be cleft, like wax before the fire, like waters poured down a steep place.

–Micha 1:3-4

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Election Season Puts Politicians in the Pews

Eleven months out of the year, the parishioners of New York City can safely attend Sunday services with no reasonable fear of interlopers, television cameras or quizzical members of the press.

But this is the electoral playoff season of October, when aspiring statesmen show up on doorsteps more often than jack-o’-lanterns. That means politicians are descending on the pews.

By noon on Sunday, three churches along a single two-mile stretch of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, had played host to three of New York State’s more prominent elected officials: the state’s attorney general and comptroller, both of whom are running for statewide office, and the mayor of New York City.

Coincidence? In campaigns, there may be no such thing.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, City Government, House of Representatives, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Senate, State Government

BBC–British IVF pioneer Robert Edwards wins Nobel prize

British scientist Robert Edwards, the man who devised the fertility treatment IVF, has been awarded this year’s Nobel prize for medicine.

His efforts in the 1950s, 60s and 70s led to the birth of the world’s first “test tube baby” in July 1978.

Since then nearly four million babies have been born following IVF.

The prize committee said his achievements had made it possible to treat infertility, a medical condition affecting 10% of all couples worldwide.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, England / UK, Globalization, Health & Medicine, Science & Technology

Comparing the Treatment of Majority and Minority Religious Symbols in the Public Sphere

An article by Susanna Mancini and Michel Rosenfeld the abstract for which says;

The main purpose of this essay will be to focus on certain key questions raised under the prevailing circumstances through a comparative analysis of the handling of the display of religious symbols in public places. These questions include: whether, assuming commitments to pluralism, multiculturalism and religious and non-religious comprehensive views, there may be ways to improve on existing models or to replace them with ones that are better suited to accommodate the new religious and political realities, and whether tolerance can be redeployed to buttress pluralism and to avoid falling into an irreconcilable conflict between religious fundamentalism and antireligious secularism.

You can download it here.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Law & Legal Issues, Religion & Culture