Daily Archives: October 6, 2010

(The Age) Aborted babies 'being left to die'

Babies that are surviving late-term abortions at Melbourne’s Royal Women’s Hospital might be being left on shelves to die, according to an Anglican minister.

Dr Mark Durie, minister of St Mary’s Caulfield, said staff were finding it hard to cope with a reported six-fold increase in late-term abortions at the Women’s since abortion was decriminalised in Victoria two years ago. He said because conscientious objection by medical staff was now illegal, the hospital could employ only people who endorsed late-term abortions.

Dr Durie is bringing a motion about late-term abortion to the annual Anglican synod, which opened in Melbourne last night.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican Provinces, Children, Health & Medicine, Life Ethics

Christopher Chessun named as Bishop of Southwark

Christopher Chessun, currently Bishop of Woolwich, succeeds the Rt Revd Tom Butler who retired earlier this year.

“I was surprised and humbled to have been nominated to be the tenth Bishop of Southwark,” says Bishop Christopher.

“It has been a great privilege and joy to serve as Bishop of Woolwich for the last five years, serving as part of Bishop Tom Butler’s staff team, until his recent retirement.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops

Ephraim Radner–Can the Instruments of Unity Be Repaired?

In sum, I see the Lambeth Conference as the only real continuity into the future; Canterbury as a possible, if hoped-for, resource for the future; the Primates’ Meeting as giving way to some alternative Global South-oriented gathering of episcopal leaders that can move matters forward into the future in a provisional way (which may involve several decades); and the ACC as altogether finished. And this is perhaps all the Communion needs at the moment: we are learning to be less demanding of immediate solutions; more patient with less structured relations; more open to a future that does not depend on institutional sturdiness, but on God’s provisions and leading; less trusting in an ecclesial politics of maneuver and control; more joyous in the face of the Cross and the Resurrection. And in the course of such learning, individual Anglicans and their congregations are going to be drawn into new forms of witness, ones they perhaps never imagined, in a sense more globally bonded because less tethered to structures whose strength lay in local orderings we have now outgrown.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Consultative Council, Anglican Primates, Archbishop of Canterbury, Ecclesiology, Global South Churches & Primates, Instruments of Unity, Theology

A New NPR Series on Being Middle Class in America Today

Now government statistics are emerging to confirm just how dramatically life has changed for the middle class ”” roughly defined as that half of all U.S households making between $25,000 and $80,000 a year. The economic dead center is represented by households earning the median income of $49,777, according to a recent report from the Census Bureau. Of the 117 million households in the U.S. today, half make more than that amount, and half make less.

Consider these recent government statistics:

In 2009, median household income decreased in 34 states and increased in only one: North Dakota.
Nearly 4 million people fell out of the middle class last year and now live below the federal poverty line. More than 14 percent of the population is under that line, set at about $11,000 annual income for one person or $22,000 for a family of four.
In 2009, enrollment in Medicaid, the medical insurance program for low-income Americans, exceeded 48 million, or a record 15.7 percent of the U.S. population.
As of June, more than 41 million people were collecting food stamps. That was up by 6.4 million, or 18 percent, from the previous year.

Read or listen to it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Consumer/consumer spending, Economy, Housing/Real Estate Market, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Personal Finance, Psychology, Stress, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

Wednesday Mental Health Break–Ok Go's Dancing Dogs Video

Enjoy it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, Animals, Music

(WSJ) Middle Class Slams Brakes on Spending

Middle-class Americans made their deepest spending cuts in more than two decades, slashing spending on such discretionary items as restaurant meals and alcohol during the recession.

Households in the middle fifth of the population sliced their average annual spending to $41,150 in 2009, the Labor Department said Tuesday in its annual spending breakdown. That was down 3.1% from 2007 and 3.5% from 2008, the steepest one-year drop since records began in 1984. The drop came even as those households’ after-tax income remained relatively stable over the two years, at an average $45,199.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, Consumer/consumer spending, Economy, Housing/Real Estate Market, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

Anglican Church of Canada Announces Restructuring announced at General Synod offices

Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, met with General Synod staff today to discuss major infrastructure changes made to achieve a balanced budget for 2011.

Fourteen staff positions have been affected. Ten positions have been eliminated. Six people received lay-off notices, while others have been offered different or new jobs. Further details about how the cuts will affect each department will not be made public until the staff involved have had time to decide whether they want the new position they have been offered”¦or the severance. Every General Synod department has been affected to some degree.

The cuts are in keeping with a 2009 decision that deficit budgeting be eliminated by 2012. While cost-cutting measures over the past two years have included staff layoffs, the biggest reduction remained to be articulated in 2011, with an estimated $1.1 million to be cut from the General Synod operating budget.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Economics, Politics, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Economy, Parish Ministry, Stewardship, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

A Living Church Article on Mount Calvary Church's Pending Decision to Leave for Rome

The Rev. Jason Catania, rector of Mount Calvary since 2006, said the congregation has consulted with the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore about the parish’s future and with the Diocese of Maryland about the possibility of amicable separation.

If the congregation affirms the vestry’s two resolutions, the parish will send a proposal to the Diocese of Maryland’s standing committee four days later, Fr. Catania told The Living Church.

“A group from the standing committee has met with the vestry, and Bishop [Eugene] Sutton will be here on Sunday [Oct. 10] to hear from the folks,” he said.

He said Mount Calvary already had begun thinking about becoming a Roman Catholic parish when the All Saints Sisters of the Poor announced their decision to become a Roman Catholic Order.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, Ecumenical Relations, Episcopal Church (TEC), Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic, TEC Conflicts, TEC Departing Parishes, TEC Parishes

NPR–How Fake Money Saved Brazil

This is a story about how an economist and his buddies tricked the people of Brazil into saving the country from rampant inflation. They had a crazy, unlikely plan, and it worked.

Twenty years ago, Brazil’s inflation rate hit 80 percent per month. At that rate, if eggs cost $1 one day, they’ll cost $2 a month later. If it keeps up for a year, they’ll cost $1,000.

In practice, this meant stores had to change their prices every day. The guy in the grocery store would walk the aisles putting new price stickers on the food. Shoppers would run ahead of him, so they could buy their food at the previous day’s price….

Read or better yet listen to it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Brazil, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Credit Markets, Currency Markets, Economy, History, Politics in General, South America, The Banking System/Sector

Cities in Debt Turn to States, Adding to the Fiscal Strain

Harrisburg, the capital of Pennsylvania, dodged financial disaster last month by getting money from the state to make a payment to its bondholders.

It did so even though the state warned that the money had to be used for city workers’ pensions.

Now Harrisburg is calling on the state again. On Friday, the city said it could not meet its next payroll without money from the state’s distressed cities program.

Across the country, a growing number of towns, cities and other local governments are seeking refuge in similar havens that many states provide as alternatives to federal bankruptcy court. Pennsylvania will have 20 cities and smaller communities in its distressed-cities program if Harrisburg receives approval. Michigan has 37 in its program; New Jersey has seven; Illinois, Rhode Island and California each have at least one. This is on top of troubled housing, power and hospital authorities.

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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--

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O Lord Jesus Christ, who at the carpenter’s bench didst manifest the dignity of honest labour, and dost give to each of us our tasks to perform: Help us to do our daily work with readiness of mind and singleness of heart, not with eye-service as menpleasers, but as thy servants, labouring heartily as unto thee and not unto men, so that whatever we do, great or small, may be to the glory of thy holy name.

–John R. W. Stott (1921– )

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Economy, Evangelicals, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Other Churches, Theology, Theology: Scripture

From the Morning Scripture Readings

“Do not preach” –thus they preach–“one should not preach of such things; disgrace will not overtake us.” Should this be said, O house of Jacob? Is the Spirit of the LORD impatient? Are these his doings? Do not my words do good to him who walks uprightly?

–Micah 2:6-7

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Globe and Mail–Canada's changing faith

It has been elastic enough to withstand the pressures that have hounded it from birth: the skepticism of Quebec, the racial tensions brought on by non-white immigration.

Yet for multiculturalism, the rise of religion in the public sphere poses a new and more daunting challenge. Criminal prosecutions for honour killings, reports of genital mutilation and incidents of female repression have rocked many Canadians’ sense of tolerance. Across Europe, multicultural policies have crumbled as a result of deepening public suspicion of newly assertive religious groups.

Can multiculturalism stretch again to integrate newcomers who define themselves by a force that cuts across lines of ethnicity or national origin?

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

New report calls for greater role for nurses in medical care

A report released Tuesday may give nurses with advanced degrees a potent weapon in their perennial battle to get the authority to practice without a doctor’s oversight.

The report, released by the Institute of Medicine and sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, says nurses should take on a larger and more independent role in providing health care in America, something many doctors have repeatedly opposed, citing potential safety concerns. It calls for states and the federal government to remove barriers that restrict what care advanced practice nurses ”” those with a master’s degree ”” provide.

The report calls for elimination of “regulatory and institutional obstacles” including limits on nurses “scope of practice” ”” which are state rules about what care people who are not physicians can provide.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Health & Medicine