Daily Archives: November 21, 2010

(Philadelpha Inquirer) Quit Facebook, Jersey pastor tells married church officers

Facebook can lead married people astray, says the head of the Living Word Christian Fellowship Church in Neptune, N.J.

So, in his Sunday sermon, the Rev. Cedric A. Miller will announce that married church leaders have to log out for good, or get kicked out.

This thinking runs counter to churches that are embracing social media to reach their flocks.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, --Social Networking, Blogging & the Internet, Ministry of the Laity, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Theology

Southern Connecticut State University Professor: Americans Overconsume, Overdo Everything

Americans don’t know when to stop. Anything.

They eat too much, shop too much, hoard too much, work too much.

That’s the viewpoint of a Southern Connecticut State University assistant professor who sees a connection between all this “too muchness” and the American Dream.

“We overdo pretty much everything,” said Gayle Bessenoff, who teaches psychology. “There’s something about the American Dream that leads to overdoing everything.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Consumer/consumer spending, Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Economy, Psychology

Growing Up Digital, Wired for Distraction

On the eve of a pivotal academic year in Vishal Singh’s life, he faces a stark choice on his bedroom desk: book or computer?

By all rights, Vishal, a bright 17-year-old, should already have finished the book, Kurt Vonnegut’s “Cat’s Cradle,” his summer reading assignment. But he has managed 43 pages in two months.

He typically favors Facebook, YouTube and making digital videos. That is the case this August afternoon. Bypassing Vonnegut, he clicks over to YouTube, meaning that tomorrow he will enter his senior year of high school hoping to see an improvement in his grades, but without having completed his only summer homework.

On YouTube, “you can get a whole story in six minutes,” he explains. “A book takes so long. I prefer the immediate gratification.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, --Social Networking, Blogging & the Internet, Children, Education, Psychology, Science & Technology

(NY Times) In Rare Cases, Pope Justifies Use of Condoms

Pope Benedict XVI has said that condom use can be justified in some cases to help stop the spread of AIDS, the Vatican’s first exception to a long-held policy banning contraceptives. The pope made the statement in interviews on a host of contentious issues with a German journalist, part of an unusual effort to address some of the harshest criticisms of his turbulent papacy.

The pope’s statement on condoms was extremely limited: he did not approve their use or suggest that the Roman Catholic Church was beginning to back away from its prohibition of birth control. In fact, the one example he cited as a possibly appropriate use was by male prostitutes.

Still, the statement was something of a milestone for the church and a significant change for Benedict, who faced intense criticism last year when, en route to AIDS-plagued Africa, he said condom use did not help prevent the spread of AIDS, only abstinence and fidelity did.

The interviews are to be published this week in a book, and excerpts were posted online by the Vatican’s newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, on Saturday afternoon.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Other Churches, Pastoral Theology, Pope Benedict XVI, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Theology

In Aiken, South Carolina, the Hounds receive an annual blessing for the 16th year

Michael Laughlin’s Mill Race Farm served as the fixture for the Edisto River Hounds 16th annual Blessing of the Hounds, Opening Meet and Stirrup Cup on Saturday afternoon.

Father Garrett Clanton of All Saints Anglican Church officiated the Blessing of the Hounds.

“It’s a good day for a fox hunt, and we’ve welcomed friends and their families,” said D.J. Newell, Edisto River Hounds, joint Master of Hounds. “Among the things that we’re renowned for are safety and education. We enjoy for people of all ages, who are involved in all riding disciplines, to come out and go ride with us. We place an emphasis on teaching people to hunt in a safe environment.”

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * General Interest, Animals, Parish Ministry

NPR Interviews Siddhartha Mukherjee about his new book on the history of cancer

[STEVE] INSKEEP: Is the world we live in today, in terms of cancer, different than the world was 20 or 30 or 40 years ago?

Dr. MUKHERJEE: Absolutely. First of all, it’s biologically different, because we understand cancer in a very fundamentally different way. I think we know now that cancer is an extremely complex disease, perhaps among the most complex diseases that we face, and it has multiple faces.

And there’s very little in the field that calls for a universal cure for cancer, in the sense that one might have imagined in the 1960s and 1970s. So there’s biologically it’s a complete different world. We understand a cancer cell in a much deeper way than we did 20, 30 years ago.

And of course, politically, it’s changed. We now have poured in an enormous amount of resources into cancer. The National Cancer Institute Project, you know, runs about $5 billion a year. That’s a large amount of money, but let’s not be grandiose about the amount of money we’re actually spending on a problem that is attacking us at the most fundamental level of the human species.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Books, Health & Medicine, History

(Wash. Post) Susan Okie reviews Siddhartha Mukherjee's new book on the history of cancer

…cancer remained relatively rare until the early 20th century, when a steady rise in life expectancy propelled this disease of aging cells to its current position as the second-leading cause of death (a ranking it had assumed by 1940). Most of the book’s action takes place during the past 100 years, as Mukherjee traces the recent stunning transformations in our scientific and societal image of cancer – from a death sentence, to a mysterious foe to be bludgeoned with radical surgery and chemotherapy, to a rallying cry for activists in a politically fueled war, and ultimately to an array of separate, endlessly resourceful diseases, distortions of normal human biology that must be understood at the cellular level before they can be vanquished. “It lives desperately, inventively, fiercely, territorially, cannily, and defensively – at times, as if teaching us how to survive,” Mukherjee writes.

And what a story – full of quixotic characters, therapeutic triumphs and setbacks with all the hubris and pathos of Greek tragedy. There’s William Halsted, the obsessive, cocaine- and morphine-addicted surgeon whose disfiguring operation, the radical mastectomy, turned out to be needlessly aggressive for early breast cancer and useless for tumors that had spread, yet was inflicted on 500,000 women between 1891 and 1981. There’s chemotherapist Sidney Farber and socialite Mary Lasker, a dynamic duo who invented the modern marketing of a disease as a social and political cause. Lasker, a masterful lobbyist, helped launch and fund the National Cancer Institute in the 1950s, leading over the ensuing decades to the development of curative chemotherapy for some cancers and culminating with President Nixon’s declaration of a national war on cancer in 1971. It was the perfect Cold War metaphor at a time when the United States, its military stalemated in Vietnam, was preoccupied with societal decay from within….

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Books, Health & Medicine, History

CNS–English, Welsh bishops: Anglican ordinariate to be started in January

Auxiliary Bishop Alan Hopes of Westminster, the bishops’ liaison officer for the ordinariate and the highest-ranking former Anglican priest in England and Wales, said small groups of Anglican laity and their pastors had been preparing for reception into the church and the ordinariate since late September.

“The bishops have warmly and generously welcomed the Holy Father’s initiative toward those Anglicans who are seeking full and ecclesial communion with the Catholic Church,” he told the news conference.

“We have placed it all in the context of our overall ecumenical journey – which is exactly where the Holy Father has placed it – which seeks full communion in faith and fullness of unity for which Jesus Christ himself prayed,” he said.

“It has become very clear that there are clergy and groups of people who wish to make use of this journey into the Catholic Church through the ordinariate structure,” said Bishop Hopes, who was received into the Catholic Church in 1994.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O King of men, Master of our lives, entering into thy glory by thy cross, to whom all authority is given, both in heaven and on earth: We acknowledge thy sovereignty over every realm of life. Come, O Lord, enter into thy kingdom; subdue the world by the might of thy love; for as thine is the kingdom, so thine is the power and the glory for ever and ever.

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

O give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his steadfast love endures for ever! 2 Let Israel say, “His steadfast love endures for ever.” 3 Let the house of Aaron say, “His steadfast love endures for ever.” 4 Let those who fear the LORD say, “His steadfast love endures for ever.”

–Psalm 118:1-3

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Andrew Goddard–Conservatives’ covenant concerns: A critique

If GAFCON and its supporters are genuinely seeking to be not an alternative Communion hoping for the breakup of the existing Communion but a reform movement within the Communion then rather than majoring on the covenant’s minor weaknesses and disparaging and distorting its content they should be embracing and working with the covenant as a reform which moves us in the right direction. Although not without its problems, by God’s grace and through our patience and perseverance the covenant holds out the prospect of gradually bringing greater faithfulness and order to global Anglicanism and so strengthening us to share in the mission of God.

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

RNS–Survey: Four in 10 Americans Say Marriage is Obsolete

Younger people are also hesitant to get married. In 1960, 68 percent of 20-somethings had tied the knot, but now only one in four have.

The economy has some effect on this trend, especially for those in the lower rungs of the socio-economic ladder, since many people seek financial stability before getting married. In 2008, more than half of all adults were married, compared to 72 percent in 1960.

Tony Perkins, president of the conservative Washington-based Family Research Council, took issue with more pessimistic interpretations of the survey.

“A decline in the percentage of adults who are married is largely because people delay marriage, not because young men and women are foregoing marriage completely,” he said.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Marriage & Family, Psychology, Sexuality, Young Adults

Living Church–Communion Partners Meeting Promotes Mission

The focus of Communion Partners gatherings is missional rather than not organizational. Communion Partners has a board but has stayed away from organizational structures that might deter its missional and relational purposes.

“Globalization and the Asian financial crash has opened many doors for unprecedented ministry partnerships in southeast Asia,” said the Very Rev. Canon Kuan Kim Seng, of Singapore.

The dean of the Anglican Church in Thailand, the Very Rev. Yee Ching Wah, described how doors are wide open for English-speaking Anglicans who wish to evangelize through working in schools and prisons.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Latest News, Ecclesiology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Pastoral Theology, Theology