Tonight, CNN will show a documentary called “Almighty Debt” that focuses on the financial standing of African-American families. There are a number of thought-provoking moments throughout the show, but the one that really takes your breath away occurs when DeForest B. Soaries, Jr., the senior pastor of the First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens in Somerset, N.J., declares that debt is a bigger threat to blacks than racism.
Daily Archives: October 21, 2010
As the U.S. has grown more diverse, more Americans believe that being a Christian is a key aspect of being “truly American,” researchers say.
Purdue University scholars found that between 1996 and 2004, Americans who saw Christian identity as a “very important” attribute of being American increased from 38 percent to 49 percent.
Scholars said the findings, published in the fall issue of the journal Sociology of Religion, couldn’t be definitively tied to a particular event but they suspect the 9/11 attacks and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan could have played a role.
The Catholic group in the Church of England’s General Synod has called for traditionalists to stay, claiming that they have the numbers to ensure provisions for objectors to women bishops.
Led by Canon Simon Killwick, the group claims that a reshuffle in the Church of England’s legislative body means that Anglo-Catholics and evangelicals could successfully oppose legislation on women bishops in 2012 unless it is amended to meet their demands.
They hope to establish a rival organisation to the Personal Ordinariate offered by the Pope, through which Anglicans can convert in groups while retaining their distinctive patrimony and practices, including married priests.
The Archbishop of Canterbury moved last night to counter secret plotting among disaffected Anglicans who are planning to defect to Rome.
In a surprise announcement, Dr Rowan Williams said he wanted to establish a new joint group of Roman Catholic and Church of England figures to oversee the conversion process.
The proposed group would be designed to enable smooth and less painful transition for those who want to leave the Church of England to become Roman Catholics in protest at the ordination of women bishops.
About a month after Washington Mutual Bank made a multimillion-dollar mortgage loan on a mountain home near Santa Barbara, Calif., a crucial piece of paperwork disappeared.
But bank officials were unperturbed. After conducting a “due and diligent search,” an assistant vice president simply drew up an affidavit stating that the paperwork ”” a promissory note committing the borrower to repay the mortgage ”” could not be found, according to court documents.
The handling of that lost note in 2006 was hardly unusual. Mortgage documents of all sorts were treated in an almost lackadaisical way during the dizzying mortgage lending spree from 2005 through 2007, according to court documents, analysts and interviews.
Now those missing and possibly fraudulent documents are at the center of a potentially seismic legal clash….
The idea of an open conversation about death isn’t exactly trendy these days, not that it ever really was. Emily Dickinson once said, “Death is a dialogue between the spirit and the dust.” The famous American novelist William Somerset Maugham said, “Death doesn’t affect the living because it hasn’t happened yet.”
But maybe they were wrong. Maybe a conversation with one’s mortality, and with the people who will experience it alongside the dying, is exactly what people need to lessen the fear and the complicated burdens on those who are left behind.
Michael Barham, associate priest at St. Clement Episcopal Church, feels that death needs to be talked about openly. He and his colleagues believe that when a person doesn’t prepare for the inevitable, the experience becomes clinical and impersonal, leaving no room to grieve.
When Rutgers University freshman Tyler Clementi killed himself after his roommate allegedly broadcast his sexual encounter with another man, the Rev. R. Albert Mohler wondered if anything could have prevented the 18-year-old’s suicide.
“Tyler could just have well been one of our own children,” said Mohler, a father of two and president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, who criticized the Christian treatment of gays on his blog.
“Christians have got to stop talking about people struggling with sexual issues as a tribe apart.”
Two clergymen have gone where few politicians have dared to tread: placing a friendly wager on the outcome of baseball’s American League Championship Series.
The Texas Rangers are battling the New York Yankees in the best-of-seven series, which now returns to Arlington after the Yankees won 7-2 Wednesday in New York. Texas, however, holds a 3-2 edge, with the winner advancing to the World Series.
Rector Jim Burns of Church of Heavenly Rest in New York City and Rector Luke Back of Church of Heavenly Rest deep in the heart of Texas have a bet on the outcome. The wager was food, of course.
Back offered tenderloins from Perini Ranch Steak House if the Yankees win. Burns came up with an equally unique New York offering.
“If Texas wins, I will be sending Luke a NY Nosh basket,” said Burns. “That is what we call the treats of bagels, lox and other Yankee munchies.”
St. John’s, the fourth oldest Episcopal Church in the state, was established in 1853. For most of its history, the church thrived….
[Henry] Delamere said St. John’s predicament is a product of several factors, including a split four years ago in the wake of a church-wide split.
In addition, costs of maintaining the facility continue to increase.
“There’s a combination of other factors,” [Jan] Caselli said. “Megachurches are growing in leaps and bounds, and we have an aging congregation that’s not drawing in young families.”
Women have been ordained as priests in all 110 dioceses of the Episcopal Church, after the last holdout, in Quincy, Ill., ordained its first woman on Saturday (Oct. 16).
The Rev. Margaret Lee, a grandmother of five and former chemist, is the first woman ordained a priest in the Peoria-based Diocese of Quincy’s 133-year history, according to Episcopal News Service. She had been a deacon since 1996.
The Obama administration has adopted new procedures for using the Defense Department’s vast array of cyberwarfare capabilities in case of an attack on vital computer networks inside the United States, delicately navigating historic rules that restrict military action on American soil.
The system would mirror that used when the military is called on in natural disasters like hurricanes or wildfires. A presidential order dispatches the military forces, working under the control of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Under the new rules, the president would approve the use of the military’s expertise in computer-network warfare, and the Department of Homeland Security would direct the work.
A lot can happen in one year.
For the people of St. Luke’s, 365 days has meant a lot of grieving. It has given the church new focus. And, most importantly, it has allowed for a lot of healing to take place. One year ago on Sunday, St. Luke’s held its first service in a small chapel at Glendale Seventh-day Adventist Church, just across Valejo Drive from Glendale Adventist Medical Center, after losing its facilities in a lengthy lawsuit brought by the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles. That Sunday’s service was not unlike any other service I’ve been to at St. Luke’s: While there was music, prayer, fellowship and the usual assortment of families with their kids in tow, everyone knew that an important milestone was taking place.
Today, they are still in that chapel. But one could say that St. Luke’s ”” or by its newly incorporated name, Crescenta Valley Anglican Church ”” is spiritually wiser because of what members have gone through. This past weekend I had an opportunity to sit down with the Rev. Rob Holman, rector of St. Luke’s Anglican Church….
The appellate justices who will decide whether the U.S. Episcopal Church or the breakaway Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin owns the diocese’s church properties on Wednesday appeared uncertain about the court’s authority to rule on the issue.
“We are involved in a very confusing question of power of the church versus power of the court,” said 5th District Court of Appeal Justice Dennis Cornell, who repeatedly compared the schism between the two church groups to the Civil War.
Justice James Ardaiz also acknowledged the case was “confusing.”
O Lord God, when thou givest to thy servants to endeavour any great matter, grant us also to know that it is not the beginning, but the continuing of the same, until it be thoroughly finished, which yieldeth the true glory; through him who for the finishing of thy work laid down his life for us, our Redeemer, Jesus Christ.
–Inspired by Sir Francis Drake
Which of these three, do you think, proved neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” He said, “The one who showed mercy on him.” And Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”
“Whether a target’s on my back or not on my back is not my chief concern,” [Bishop Mark Lawrence] said. “I believe we should get on with the mission to which God has called us in the Anglican Communion.”
The bishop said that energy for mission is moving away from institutions, whether the Episcopal Church or the Anglican Communion’s Instruments of Unity, and toward more direct relationships, such as the diocese’s new arrangement to welcome the Rt. Rev. Michael Nazir-Ali, the retired Bishop of Rochester, England, as “visiting bishop in South Carolina for Anglican Communion Development.”
“Out of these relationships, I believe, the solutions will emerge,” Bishop Lawrence said. “We’re living in a world in which inhibitions and depositions can intrude into a vision.”
Lawrence added that he does not see himself as violating his ordination vows to conform to the doctrine and discipline of the church. Instead, he said, bishops who approve unconstitutional canons or who revise church teaching on sexual morality have violated their vows.
“We’re increasingly in a world in which people expect a bishop to swear fealty to every resolution of General Convention, regardless of its theological foundations,” he said.
Michael Skinner at Washington State University in Pullman says epigenetic effects are swinging the pendulum of scientific attention from the genetic code back toward the impact of environment.
“I think that we’re eventually going to have sort of a merger of this,” he says. “I think that we’re going to have an appreciation of the fact that there is an environmental influence on biology that probably through more epigenetic mechanisms. There’s also a baseline genetic element of biology. And the two combined will actually give us more information about how things work.”
Much of epigenetics is still a mystery. Scientists would like to know, for instance, how often epigenetic signals are passed on from parent to child, or even grandchild. So Morris, in Australia, is hoping to repeat her experiment and see if the effect persists over multiple generations.
The Diocese of Western Louisiana endorsed the Anglican Covenant at its 31st annual convention Oct. 15-16 in Alexandria, La.
Delegates passed by an overwhelming majority a resolution offered by St. Mark’s Cathedral of Shreveport that endorsed the Covenant. The resolution added that the diocese “remains committed to the Constitution and Canons of General Convention of the Episcopal Church while seeking to pursue our identity as constituent members of the Anglican Communion in communion with the See of Canterbury.”
The clergymen stood inside the Lansdowne gun shop on Hollins Ferry Road, in front of a glass counter containing what they called the “instruments of death” responsible for turning the streets of Baltimore into a killing field.
“The city is devastated by violence ”” gun violence,” pressed Rev. Eugene Sutton, a bishop with the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland, whose group protested this store on Wednesday. “We’re trying to get the illegal guns off the street. Too many people are dying. It’s destroying Baltimore.”
Bill and Clyde Blamberg, owners of Clyde’s Sport Shop for more than a half century, listened politely but firmly told the group to seek help elsewhere ”” change the laws in Annapolis before attempting to change the minds of gun shop owners.