Daily Archives: November 13, 2010

Episcopal Church Fast Facts 2009 and 2002 Compared and a Question

You can find the 2009 numbers here and the 2002 numbers there. Before you click on the link, guess the percentage decline in Average Sunday Attendance for domestic missions and parishes of The Episcopal Church over this time frame–KSH.

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

"Biblical Anglicanism for a Global Future: Recovering the Power of the Word"

This is the topic for the 2011 Mere Anglicanism Conference in Charleston, South Carolina in January.

Consider coming and make plans now.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * South Carolina, - Anglican: Analysis, Anglican Provinces, Church History, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Episcopal Church (TEC), Pastoral Theology, Soteriology, TEC Bishops, The Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East, Theology, Theology: Scripture

Reuters: G20 Closes Ranks but Skims Over Toughest Tasks

In particular, the leaders were unable to reach a consensus on how to identify when global imbalances pose a threat to economic stability, merely committing themselves to a discussion of a range of indicators in the first half of 2011.

Tim Condon, head of research at ING Financial Markets in Singapore said it was “hard to disagree” with the vows of the leaders but they had fallen short of the progress hoped for going into the summit.

“They decided just to put down a lot of laudable objectives as the conclusion of the meeting and hope that they can do better, that more can be accomplished in future meetings,” he said.

The G20 has fragmented since a synchronized global recession gave way to a multi-speed recovery.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Economy, G20, Globalization, Politics in General

(Washington Post) Ted Koppel: Olbermann, O'Reilly and the death of real news

The commercial success of both Fox News and MSNBC is a source of nonpartisan sadness for me. While I can appreciate the financial logic of drowning television viewers in a flood of opinions designed to confirm their own biases, the trend is not good for the republic. It is, though, the natural outcome of a growing sense of national entitlement. Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s oft-quoted observation that “everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts,” seems almost quaint in an environment that flaunts opinions as though they were facts.

And so, among the many benefits we have come to believe the founding fathers intended for us, the latest is news we can choose. Beginning, perhaps, from the reasonable perspective that absolute objectivity is unattainable, Fox News and MSNBC no longer even attempt it. They show us the world not as it is, but as partisans (and loyal viewers) at either end of the political spectrum would like it to be. This is to journalism what Bernie Madoff was to investment: He told his customers what they wanted to hear, and by the time they learned the truth, their money was gone.

It is also part of a pervasive ethos that eschews facts in favor of an idealized reality. The fashion industry has apparently known this for years: Esquire magazine recently found that men’s jeans from a variety of name-brand manufacturers are cut large but labeled small. The actual waist sizes are anywhere from three to six inches roomier than their labels insist.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, History, Media, Movies & Television

Veterans Day retrospective: Photos and interactivity from around the Web

This is very enjoyable–check it out.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Children, Death / Burial / Funerals, Defense, National Security, Military, Marriage & Family, Military / Armed Forces, Parish Ministry

Question of the day: How many American veterans of WWII are still alive?

Guess before you check the answer.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., History, Military / Armed Forces

Preacher Sons Seek Their Father’s Voice, and Heart

On one of his periodic visits from New York to his father in Georgia, the Rev. David K. Brawley realized he was having trouble making out the older man’s words. For the previous four years, ever since cancer was found in his chest, Don Brawley Jr. had gone through periods when his voice weakened, when its baritone clenched into a hoarse rasp.

But this fading, labored tone, his son believed, was something different. And because doctors had recently found his father’s cancer returning, even after the years of chemotherapy and the presumption of being cured, different meant ominous. It also meant humiliating. David couldn’t bear to ask his father to keep repeating and explaining.

David’s brother, Don Brawley III, concurred. He lived near their father in the Atlanta suburbs; their father served as deacon and administrator of the church Don III pastored, Canaan Land International. They were accustomed to speaking several times a week, and in a sneaky, gradual way, his father’s voice had grown so faint that Don III was depending on reading lips and interpreting body language.

So he and his sons, his two minister sons, went in search of his voice, or something that could replace it.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Children, Marriage & Family, Men, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics

Taking Aim at the Mortgage Tax Break

By proposing to curtail the tax deduction for mortgage interest, the president’s deficit commission is sounding an alarm.

The home mortgage deduction is one of the most widely used and expensive tax subsidies. More than 35 million Americans claim it, and the federal government estimates it will cost the Treasury $131 billion in forgone revenue in 2012. Its size, popularity and link to the emotionally charged American notion of homeownership has made it so politically sacrosanct that there are serious doubts whether Congress will even entertain the idea.

But by raising the specter of ending one of the most cherished tax breaks, the commission is trying to jar the public into recognizing the magnitude of the nation’s budget deficit and some of the drastic steps that might be needed to close it.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Budget, Economy, Housing/Real Estate Market, Law & Legal Issues, Taxes, The National Deficit, The U.S. Government

South Carolina's Voorhees leader heads Episcopal college group

Dr. Cleveland L. Sellers Jr., president of Voorhees College, was recently elected chairman of the Association of Episcopal Colleges, the U.S. chapter of the Colleges and Universities of the Anglican Communion.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Education, Episcopal Church (TEC)

Russell Reno on Gene Robinson's Faulty Theology

There are arguments to be made for why the Christian tradition (and all other traditions for that matter) is wrong to treat male-female sexual reciprocity as normative. I don’t find these arguments persuasive, but they’re not stupid.

But I’ve always thought it disastrous to use the “God loves you just the way your are” and “God doesn’t want you to change” slogans, along with the closely related “God doesn’t make mistakes” shibboleth.

Why? Because it turns Christianity into bourgeois religion, and the church into an affirming chaplaincy for the status quo. There’s no salt in a message that tells people that they’re basically good and don’t need to change.

Read it all.

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

G-20 nations agree to agree

President Obama departed Friday from a summit of world leaders here with an agreement that major economies would abide by common standards that could, for example, reverse some of China’s export dominance and help put Americans back to work.

But the deal, backed by the United States and adopted by the Group of 20, is not the detailed code of behavior Obama had sought; instead it’s a statement of principle. Its impact won’t be known until a group of finance ministers and the International Monetary Fund complete what could be months of haggling over the specifics. And if the G-20 meeting proved anything, it is the difficulty of wresting meaningful consensus from nations with increasingly divergent economic interests.

“You are seeing a situation where a host of other countries are doing well and coming into their own and they are going to be more assertive in terms of their interests and ideas,” Obama said at a news conference. “The question was whether our countries can work together to keep the global economy growing. The fact is that 20 major economies gathered here are in broad agreement on the way forward.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Economy, G20, Globalization, Politics in General

From the Morning Scripture Readings

For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become guilty of all of it. For he who said, “Do not commit adultery,” said also, “Do not kill.” If you do not commit adultery but do kill, you have become a transgressor of the law. So speak and so act as those who are to be judged under the law of liberty. For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy; yet mercy triumphs over judgment.

James 2:10-13

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

NPR–Henryk Gorecki, Composer Of 'Symphony Of Sorrowful Songs,' Dies At Age 76

Read it all will not cut it on this one, you need to listen to it all.

The one section that you absolutely must not miss is this one:

One person who was very moved by Gorecki’s third symphony was a 14-year old girl from Sweden ”” a burn victim who wrote a letter to the composer, telling him that his music was the only thing that kept her alive. Gorecki reads from the letter in his interview.

There is an audio link where Gorecki reads the letter through a translator–it made me cry–KSH. (Hat tip: Elizabeth)

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Death / Burial / Funerals, Europe, History, Music, Parish Ministry, Poland

The PR on the newly released statistics from The Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs

The Parochial Report Membership and Attendance Totals for 2009 have been posted to the Episcopal Church website, available here: http://generalconvention.org/gc/parochial_reports

The report was posted by the Rev. Canon Dr. Gregory Straub, Secretary of Executive Council, in accordance to Canon I.6.1 (listed below)

The figures are based on the information submitted by congregations and dioceses through the annual Parochial Report. The report was prepared by C. Kirk Hadaway, Ph.D., Officer for Congregational Research.

Reflective of members in both domestic and foreign dioceses, the report shows 2,175,616 baptized members of The Episcopal Church for 2009, with an Average Sunday Attendance (ASA) of 724,789.

In an accompanying report of Episcopal Domestic Fast Facts 2009 (not inclusive of any of the non-United States-based dioceses), the largest ASA was posted as the Cathedral of St Peter & St Paul in Washington DC (Washington National Cathedral) with 1667. The largest active membership was noted as St. Martin’s, Houston TX (Diocese of Texas) with 8,311 members.
Canon 6:

CANON 6: Of the Mode of Securing an Accurate View of the State of This Church

Sec. 1. A report of every Parish and other Congregation of this Church shall be prepared annually for the year ending December 31 preceding, in the form authorized by the Executive Council and approved by the Committee on the State of the Church, and shall be filed not later than March 1 with the Bishop of the Diocese, or, where there is no Bishop, with the ecclesiastical authority of the Diocese. The Bishop or the ecclesiastical authority, as the case may be, shall keep a copy and submit the report to the Executive Council not later than May 1. In every Parish and other Congregation the preparation and filing of this report shall be the joint duty of the Rector or Member of the Clergy in charge thereof and the lay leadership; and before the filing thereof the report shall be approved by the Vestry or bishop’s committee or mission council. This report shall include the following information:

(1) the number of baptisms, confirmations, marriages, and burials during the year; the total number of baptized members, the total number of communicants in good standing, and the total number of communicants in good standing under 16 years of age.

(2) a summary of all the receipts and expenditures, from whatever source derived and for whatever purpose used.

(3) such other relevant information as is needed to secure accurate view of the state of this Church, as required by the approved form.

The Episcopal Church welcomes all who worship Jesus Christ in 109 dioceses and three regional areas in 16 nations. The Episcopal Church is a member province of the worldwide Anglican Communion.

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

2009 Episcopal Church Statistics are Finally out

Check them out carefully.

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