Daily Archives: November 6, 2010

Benedict XVI: "Europe Must Open Itself to God, Must Come to Meet Him Without Fear"

The author of the Book of Wisdom, faced with a paganism in which God envied or despised humans, puts it clearly: how could God have created all things if he did not love them, he who in his infinite fullness, has need of nothing (cf. Wis 11:24-26)? Why would he have revealed himself to human beings if he did not wish to take care of them? God is the origin of our being and the foundation and apex of our freedom, not its opponent. How can mortal man build a firm foundation and how can the sinner be reconciled with himself? How can it be that there is public silence with regard to the first and essential reality of human life? How can what is most decisive in life be confined to the purely private sphere or banished to the shadows? We cannot live in darkness, without seeing the light of the sun. How is it then that God, who is the light of every mind, the power of every will and the magnet of every heart, be denied the right to propose the light that dissipates all darkness? This is why we need to hear God once again under the skies of Europe; may this holy word not be spoken in vain, and may it not be put at the service of purposes other than its own. It needs to be spoken in a holy way. And we must hear it in this way in ordinary life, in the silence of work, in brotherly love and in the difficulties that years bring on.

Europe must open itself to God, must come to meet him without fear, and work with his grace for that human dignity which was discerned by her best traditions: not only the biblical, at the basis of this order, but also the classical, the medieval and the modern, the matrix from which the great philosophical, literary, cultural and social masterpieces of Europe were born.

This God and this man were concretely and historically manifested in Christ. It is this Christ whom we can find all along the way to Compostela for, at every juncture, there is a cross which welcomes and points the way. The cross, which is the supreme sign of love brought to its extreme and hence both gift and pardon, must be our guiding star in the night of time. The cross and love, the cross and light have been synonymous in our history because Christ allowed himself to hang there in order to give us the supreme witness of his love, to invite us to forgiveness and reconciliation, to teach us how to overcome evil with good. So do not fail to learn the lessons of that Christ whom we encounter at the crossroads of our journey and our whole life, in whom God comes forth to meet us as our friend, father and guide. Blessed Cross, shine always upon the lands of Europe!

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Europe, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

Pittsburgh Anglican diocese expects 'tame' convention this year

The Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh expects its convention in Sewickley this weekend to be a remarkably unremarkable.

In 2008, at what was then an Episcopal diocesan convention, delegates voted to split from the Episcopal Church. Last year the Anglican diocese was regrouping and fighting property litigation that is still on appeal.

“God willing, this will be a tame convention,” said Archbishop Robert Duncan, the bishop and leader of the Anglican Church in North America, to which the diocese now belongs. The convention began Friday night at St. Stephen Church, Sewickley, and continues today.

The new denomination — which is seeking recognition from the global Anglican Communion — has unusual geographical dynamics. The Diocese of Pittsburgh has taken in congregations from far outside the original 11 counties. Christ Church in Plano, Texas, which draws more than 2,000 worshipers weekly, has asked to join the Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh, as have parishes from Illinois and Wisconsin.

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

New Utah Episcopal leader to be installed

The Episcopal Church of Utah’s 11th bishop ”” Canon Scott B. Hayashi ”” is a minister who will clearly get to know his church members.

That’s what has impressed the Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, the presiding bishop and primate of the 14 countries that make up the Episcopal Church, about the new Utah religious leader.

“I think the Diocese of Utah has chosen a wonderful priest,” she said in an interview Friday afternoon. “I look forward to great things.”

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

(FT) John Authers–Fed’s desperation is watershed moment

….why is the Fed going to such an extreme when the economy might be improving? The answer is the US housing market. Mortgage rates have fallen further than treasury yields, making houses more affordable than ever, but house sales remain depressed. If housing stays moribund, this will have two serious negative effects.

First, there will be more defaults, and thus more damage to banks’ balance sheets. Note that the Fed is buying shorter-dated bonds, which helps banks, whose business is to borrow in the short term and lend in the long term.

Second, people will continue not to be ”“ or feel ”“ rich, and hence will not spend much….

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Credit Markets, Economy, Federal Reserve, History, Housing/Real Estate Market, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Personal Finance, Stock Market, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, The U.S. Government

WSJ–In U.S., 14% Rely on Food Stamps

A huge number of American households are still relying on government assistance to buy food as the recession continues to batter families.

Food stamp recipients ticked up in August, children consumed millions of free lunches and nearly five million low-income mothers tapped into a government nutrition program for women and young children.

Some 42,389,619 Americans received food stamps in August, a 17% rise from the same time a year ago, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which tracks the data. That number is up 58.5% from August 2007, before the recession began.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Children, Economy, Housing/Real Estate Market, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Marriage & Family, Personal Finance, Poverty, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, The U.S. Government

Where I will be teaching this Morning: Trinity, Myrtle Beach

Check it out and yes, we would appreciate your prayers.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * South Carolina, Adult Education, Parish Ministry, Theology

A Prayer for the Feast Day of William Temple

O God of light and love, who illumined thy Church through the witness of thy servant William Temple: Inspire us, we pray, by his teaching and example, that we may rejoice with courage, confidence and faith in the Word made flesh, and may be led to establish that city which has justice for its foundation and love for its law; through Jesus Christ, the light of the world, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

Now he told a parable to those who were invited, when he marked how they chose the places of honor, saying to them, “When you are invited by any one to a marriage feast, do not sit down in a place of honor, lest a more eminent man than you be invited by him; and he who invited you both will come and say to you, ‘Give place to this man,’ and then you will begin with shame to take the lowest place. But when you are invited, go and sit in the lowest place, so that when your host comes he may say to you, ‘Friend, go up higher’; then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at table with you. For every one who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

–Luke 14:7-11

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

NPR–U.S.-Pakistan Ties Overshadow Obama's Trip To India

President Obama is likely to get a friendly but subdued welcome when he begins his visit to India on Saturday.

Many Indians feel that the United States has neglected India, while cultivating strategic relations with its military rival, Pakistan.

That perception will be tough to overcome as Obama seeks India’s help on a range of issues, from helping to balance the growing power of China to supporting the government of Afghanistan.

It could also hamper the president’s efforts to open some key U.S. business opportunities in India.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Asia, Foreign Relations, India, Office of the President, Pakistan, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, War in Afghanistan

Charlie Clauss–What Brian McLaren Can Teach Episcopalians

In his fifth talk ”” “What’s Next?” ”” McLaren discussed how we could avoid the violence of the past. Quoting Gregory of Nyssa, a fourth-century theologian who defined sin as “refusal to grow,” McLaren outlined four stages of growth. Each stage has both strengths and weaknesses, and a basic outlook on life.

The first stage is black-and-white simplicity. People in this stage are highly committed and willing to sacrifice, and life is a war. Simplicity can be simplistic, arrogant, and prone to violence.

People in the second stage, complexity, believe there is always another way to do things. What is important is getting things done, so people in this stage are very pragmatic. Life is a game. Complexity carries with it enthusiasm and idealism, but can be superficial and naïve.
Perplexity is the third stage. When perplexity’s strengths of authenticity and honesty prevail, people see life as mystery or a search. When the weaknesses of perplexity ”” cynicism, lack of commitment, and depression ”” prevail, people see life as a joke. Ultimately perplexity says, “Who can know what is right?”

The fourth stage is harmony. It has the strengths of the earlier stages, along with stability, endurance and wisdom. It can have the weaknesses of earlier stages. Life is what you and God make of it. Rather than being the final stage in life, it is rather the place where a new cycle will begin, with a new simplicity headed toward a new humility.

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