Daily Archives: January 19, 2011

A New Secretary for Inter Religious Affairs in the Church of England

The Revd Dr Toby Howarth has been appointed to serve as Secretary for Inter Religious Affairs for the Church of England. This is a joint appointment by the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Mission and Public Affairs Council.

Dr Howarth has long experience of working in inter religious relations, and is currently Inter Faith Adviser to the Bishop of Birmingham, alongside his parish work as Vicar of St Christopher’s, Springfield, a church in a majority Muslim area of the city. Toby was Vice Principal at Crowther Hall in Selly Oak where he also taught Islamic studies having previously spent five years in India where he carried out research on the subject of Islamic preaching.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Inter-Faith Relations

New Orleans Area Episcopal Church mobile food ministry keeps the meals rolling

At first it dispensed aid to hungry homeowners rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina. Then the reconstruction volunteers came by the thousands. And so for the past five years, the volunteer ministry of Trinity Episcopal Church has dispensed nearly 100,000 meals, five and six days a week to the young men and women in kerchiefs and tool belts working in neighborhoods all over metro New Orleans.

“After five years, we’re still serving volunteer groups — and that’s wonderful,” said Claire DeBow, the ministry’s only paid staffer. “After we’ve served them they say thank you. And we say, ‘No, thank you. Thank you for being here.’ ”

While still serving volunteer work crews, the ministry has begun to shift focus — showing up with food, coffee, warm clothing and odds and ends to help the homeless around New Orleans.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Episcopal Church (TEC), Parish Ministry, Pastoral Care, TEC Parishes

CNS–Pope sets up structure for former Anglicans; three ordained priests

Almost immediately after he was ordained a Catholic priest along with two other former Anglican bishops, Father Keith Newton was named head of the new ordinariate for former Anglicans in England and Wales.

The Vatican announced Jan. 15 that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith had erected the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham “for those groups of Anglican clergy and faithful who have expressed their desire to enter into full visible communion with the Catholic Church.”

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

(RNS) Religious Leaders Praise new Obama Policy on Cuba

Faith leaders with long-term ties to Cuban organizations are hailing a change in White House policy that reduces limits on religious travel to the island nation.

The White House announced Friday (Jan. 14) that President Obama had directed changes that include permitting religious organizations to sponsor trips through a general license. The administration also will create a general license that permits remittances to religious institutions in Cuba that support religious activities.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Caribbean, Cuba, Foreign Relations, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Religion & Culture

(Bloomberg) One in 10 Sports Fans Legally Drunk By Time They Leave Stadium After Games

Almost one in 10 sports fans has a blood alcohol content above the legal limit as they exit the stadium after football and baseball games, a study found.

There are 100 stadiums in the U.S. that schedule 5,000 games each year attended by more than 130 million fans, according to a report today in the journal Alcoholism. The New Meadowlands stadium, where the New York Giants football team plays, has a capacity of 82,500. If this study holds, about 6,600 people, or 8 percent, leave drunk after watching a game.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Alcohol/Drinking, America/U.S.A., Sports

Southern Sudanese in Southern California dream of forging a new nation

The Rev. Peter Lual gathered his flock of Sudanese exiles in the parking lot of a Denny’s restaurant in suburban San Diego.

Before him stood former guerrillas and farmers, some bearing the intricate facial scars that are a badge of manhood among the major tribes of southern Sudan. Others were students and teachers before they were swept up in the bloodshed of one of Africa’s worst civil wars.

They stood together in a circle to pray as traffic droned by and diners walked past on a cloudy Saturday morning.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Politics in General, Sudan

In Washington Where News Is Power, a Fight to Be Well-Armed Among Congressional Aides

Mr. [Bobby] Maldonado, 26, is one of the dozens of young aides throughout the city who rise before dawn to pore over the news to synthesize it, summarize it and spin it, so their bosses start the day well-prepared. Washington is a city that traffics in information, and as these 20-something staff members are learning, who knows what ”” and when they know it ”” can be the difference between professional advancement and barely scraping by.

“Information is the capital market of Washington, so you know something that other people don’t know and you know something earlier than other people know it is a formulation for increasing your status and power,” said David Perlmutter, the director of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Iowa. “So any edge you can use to get stuff faster, earlier, better or exclusively is very important.”

For Mr. Maldonado, who said that “the information wars are won before work,” that means rising early to browse all of the major newspapers, new polling data, ideological Web sites and dozens of news alerts needed to equip his bosses with the best, most up-to-date nuggets.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, --Social Networking, Blogging & the Internet, House of Representatives, Media, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Science & Technology, Senate, Young Adults

(Telegraph) Former Anglicans could share old churches, says head of Ordinariate

Fr Keith Newton, a bishop in the Church of England until just a few weeks ago who is now an ordained Catholic priest and the head of the Personal Ordinariate of England and Wales, said he hoped churches could be shared between the different congregations.

But he insisted he did not want any “rancour or bad feeling” between Anglicans and those who go over to Rome under the unprecedented scheme.

The Ordinariate was proposed late in 2009 by the Vatican as a refuge for disaffected Anglicans worldwide who oppose developments such as women’s ordination.

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

In New South Wales, new Collie Rector went From Buddhist to Anglican priest

Ian Mabey is to be succeeded as rector of Collie’s All Saints Anglican Church by another Ian ”” Father Ian Bailey. He grew up in a Christian family but deserted the church as a young adult. However the spiritual impulse was not to be denied and he came back to the Christian faith via Buddhism.

Ian Bailey is excited about the opportunity to live in Collie, a place he has never even visited. Next month he will be arriving from New South Wales to become rector of the Collie’s All Saints Anglican Church.

From what he has seen on the internet, he is impressed.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican Provinces, Buddhism, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Faiths, Parish Ministry

(Living Church) George Sumner–Seven questions point toward theological clarity

We may consider the great Bishop Charles Gore, the melancholy protagonist in Michael Ramsey’s Anglican Theology from Gore to Temple. Gore wanted to take full account of historical criticism of the Bible and to engage with modernity, in his case in the form of evolution, and from our different perches we would all applaud this. Bishop Gore believed that the Creeds could remain a kind of safe haven from this hurly-burly, though even in his time, and afterward, a more extreme version of that same modernist method had gone to work on the Creeds themselves (as examples of fourth-century power politics, deployments of outdated Greek metaphysics, premodern cosmology, and so forth).

As a result people could keep reciting the Creeds but mean different things by them. In this vein, a generation ago the renowned pluralist John Hick would say that he enthusiastically affirmed the Creeds, though they were for him only a familiar kind of picture-language for the inexpressible transcendent. A more particularly Anglican tack might be to say that the sheer act of praying (or talking, or in this case confessing the Creeds) together constitutes our unity. My point is not to accuse, but only to point out that saying the Creeds together (which I wholeheartedly support) sometimes locates the modernist question more than it solves it.

Unfortunately the same kind of point can be made for some of the other words that are quite rightly used in the responses to identify the distinctive features of our faith. Jesus is indeed unique, but “uniqueness” per se is something that any one of us could claim.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Commentary, Christology, Episcopal Church (TEC), The Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Theology

In New Military, Data Overload Can Be Deadly

When military investigators looked into an attack by American helicopters last February that left 23 Afghan civilians dead, they found that the operator of a Predator drone had failed to pass along crucial information about the makeup of a gathering crowd of villagers.

But Air Force and Army officials now say there was also an underlying cause for that mistake: information overload.

At an Air Force base in Nevada, the drone operator and his team struggled to work out what was happening in the village, where a convoy was forming. They had to monitor the drone’s video feeds while participating in dozens of instant-message and radio exchanges with intelligence analysts and troops on the ground.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Defense, National Security, Military, Psychology, Science & Technology

Interesting Chart: Which countries match the GDP and population of America's states?

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Asia, Australia / NZ, Economy, Europe, Globalization, Latin America & Caribbean, Middle East, Politics in General, South America, State Government, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

(Post-Gazette) Social media lovers involved in actual life

It appears “social media” is living up to its name. At least that’s the conclusion of a national survey released today.

“On one level, I think these findings sort of push against the notion that heavy technology users are retreating from real engagement with groups and real involvement in social life,” said Lee Rainie, director of the Washington, D.C.- based Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project.

The image of social loner sitting in the glow of a laptop screen is dashed by the survey, which was conducted by telephone from Nov. 23 through Dec. 21, 2010 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, --Social Networking, America/U.S.A., Blogging & the Internet

World Council of Churches–Worship resources for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2011

A 30 page pdf–well worth the time. Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Ecumenical Relations, Liturgy, Music, Worship

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Saint Wulfstan

Almighty God, whose only-begotten Son hath led captivity captive and given gifts to thy people: Multiply among us faithful pastors, who, like thy holy bishop Wulfstan, will give courage to those who are oppressed and held in bondage; and bring us all, we pray, into the true freedom of thy kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

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

A Prayer to Begin the Day

God of Light, we give you thanks for the revelation of your truth in Jesus Christ, your Living Word, which we have received through the apostles’ teaching, first heard at Jerusalem. May your Holy Spirit continue to sanctify us in the truth of your Son, so that united in Him we may grow in devotion to the Word, and together serve your Kingdom in humility and love. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Ecumenical Relations, Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Bible Readings

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

–Ephesians 5:1-2

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

A South Carolina Dog who knows 1,022 nouns

Chaser, a border collie who lives in Spartanburg, S.C., has the largest vocabulary of any known dog. She knows 1,022 nouns, a record that displays unexpected depths of the canine mind and may help explain how children acquire language.

Chaser belongs to John W. Pilley, a psychologist who taught for 30 years at Wofford College, a liberal arts institution in Spartanburg. In 2004, after he had retired, he read a report in Science about Rico, a border collie whose German owners had taught him to recognize 200 items, mostly toys and balls. Dr. Pilley decided to repeat the experiment using a technique he had developed for teaching dogs, and he describes his findings in the current issue of the journal Behavioural Processes.

He bought Chaser as a puppy in 2004 from a local breeder and started to train her for four to five hours a day. He would show her an object, say its name up to 40 times, then hide it and ask her to find it, while repeating the name all the time. She was taught one or two new names a day, with monthly revisions and reinforcement for any names she had forgotten.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, * South Carolina, Animals, Psychology, Science & Technology

(The Age) Anglican Priests flying in to help flood victims

NEW Zealand has already sent civil defence volunteers, search-and-rescue teams, and firefighters – now six Anglican priests are being dispatched to flood-ravaged Queensland.

Their grim tasks could include leading funerals and supporting grief-stricken families.

The Bishop of Wellington, Tom Brown, approached the priests about going to Australia after talking to Brisbane’s Archbishop Dr Phillip Aspinall.

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Posted in Uncategorized

Camden, New Jersey, Police and Firefighters turn in their gear

In a solemn display, laid-off firefighters and police officers lined up Tuesday to turn in their helmets and badges ”” symbols of deep budget cuts that were destined to further erode the quality of life in one of the nation’s most impoverished and crime-ridden cities.

Nearly half the Camden police force, including civilians, and about one-third of its firefighters lost their jobs as city leaders sought to balance the budget amid falling tax revenue and diminishing aid from the state.

In all, the city laid off 335 workers ”” about one-sixth of its employees.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, City Government, Economy, Politics in General, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

Upcoming Conference to Explore Interest in Canada for the Ordinariate

Read it all and follow the link for more information.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic

Daily Mail: Anglican church offers 'baptism lite' to attract non-worshippers

Church of England baptism services may be re-written to remove some references to Christianity.

The plan for a new ”˜baptism lite’ service designed to make christenings more interesting to non-churchgoers will be considered next month by the Church’s parliament, the General Synod. Supporters say the baptism service should be ”˜expressed in culturally appropriate and accessible language’ that is readily understood by ”˜non-theologically versed Britons’. But traditionalist clergy said the idea amounted to ”˜dumbing down’.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Provinces, Baptism, Church of England (CoE), Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Sacramental Theology, Theology

David Brooks: Amy Chua Is a Wimp

Her critics echoed the familiar themes. Her kids can’t possibly be happy or truly creative. They’ll grow up skilled and compliant but without the audacity to be great. She’s destroying their love for music. There’s a reason Asian-American women between the ages of 15 and 24 have such high suicide rates.

I have the opposite problem with Chua. I believe she’s coddling her children. She’s protecting them from the most intellectually demanding activities because she doesn’t understand what’s cognitively difficult and what isn’t.

Practicing a piece of music for four hours requires focused attention, but it is nowhere near as cognitively demanding as a sleepover with 14-year-old girls. Managing status rivalries, negotiating group dynamics, understanding social norms, navigating the distinction between self and group ”” these and other social tests impose cognitive demands that blow away any intense tutoring session or a class at Yale.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Books, Children, Education, Marriage & Family, Psychology