Monthly Archives: February 2011

(All Africa) Anglican Church in Nigeria Holds Committee Meeting in Owerri

All is now set for the standing Committee of the Church of Nigeria(Anglican Communion) holding in Owerri, Imo State capital from March 1-5.

The twice in a year event, which is the executive arm of the General synod of the Church of Nigeria, would be Presided over by the Primate, His Grace, The Most Rev’d. Nicholas Okoh. No fewer than 1000 delegates including 14 Archbishops and 165 Bishops are expected to congregate at the Cathedral Church of the Transfiguration of Our Lord (CATOL) in the Eastern Heartland of this ecclesiastical brainstorming event.

Archbishop of Owerri Ecclesiastical Province and Bishop of Orlu, His Grace, Most Rev’d Bennett Okoro PhD disclosed these facts to journalists, at the Bishop’s Bourne Owerri, during the pre-event briefing.

Read it all

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of Nigeria

(Reuters) World raises pressure on Libya, rebels hold key towns

Foreign powers accelerated efforts to help oust Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi on Monday as rebels fought government forces trying to take back strategic coastal cities on either side of the capital Tripoli.

Gaddafi’s forces have been trying for days to push back a revolt that has won over large parts of the military, ended his control over eastern Libya and is fending off government assaults in western cities near Tripoli.

It is difficult for reporters to move around western Libya and reports of fighting were hard to verify independently.

Read it all

Posted in * International News & Commentary, Africa, Libya

(RNS) Islam Dominated Religion Coverage in 2010

Islam was the most frequent topic of religion news coverage in 2010, as the media doubled the amount of time and space devoted to religion compared to 2009.

An analysis by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life found that more than 40 percent of religion coverage centered on three issues: plans to build an Islamic cultural center near Ground Zero, a Florida pastor’s threat to burn the Quran, and commemorations of the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Read it all

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Islam, Media, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture

Erskine Bowles ”¨and Alan Simpson–Congress, the president need to step up to painful choices ahead

The president is right ”” if America is to be competitive in this new knowledge-based global economy, we must invest in education, infrastructure and high-value-added research in a fiscally responsible manner.

But House Republicans are also right ”” spending is out of control, and there is no way possible to address our burgeoning debt without real spending cuts. That means finding ways to make government perform more efficiently, while scaling back or even eliminating certain government functions altogether.

Yet by focusing primarily on domestic discretionary spending, neither plan goes at all far enough to deal with our medium- or long-term fiscal challenges.

With the Fiscal Commission, we spent 10 months closely studying the cold, hard facts. Together, we came to the unavoidable conclusions that the problem is real, the solution will be painful, there is no easy way out and everything must be on the table.

Read it all (emphasis mine).

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Budget, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, House of Representatives, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Senate, Taxes, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, The National Deficit, The U.S. Government

From the Do Not Take Yourself too Seriously Department: A Child's email to Santa

I’m sorry for putting all that Ex-lax in your milk last year, but I wasn’t sure if you were real. My Dad was really mad.

–Bri, age 7, via emailsanta[dot]com, as quoted in Reader’s Digest, December 2010/January 2011 edition, p. 181

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, Children, Humor / Trivia

Canon Giles Fraser tells Ruth Gledhill why the Church should celebrate same sex marriage

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Law & Legal Issues, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Marriage & Family, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Sexuality

(AP) Scammers posing as soldiers on Facebook

Con artists are targeting women on Facebook in what’s becoming an all-too-common ruse: They steal photos of soldiers to set up profiles, profess their love and devotion in sappy messages — and then ask their victims to cut a check.

Army Sgt. James Hursey, 26, discharged and sent home from war in Iraq to nurse a back injury, found a page with his photos on Facebook — on a profile that wasn’t his. It was fake, set up by someone claiming to be an active-duty soldier looking for love.

Military officials say they’ve seen hundreds of similar cases in the past several years. Some of the impersonators have even used photos of soldiers who have died overseas.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, --Social Networking, Blogging & the Internet, Defense, National Security, Military, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Science & Technology, Theology

M. Rex Miller Interviewed by Homiletics–The Church in an Emerging Digital Culture

HOMILETICS: Do you feel that you’re an outsider peering through the window at the church, or that you’re positioned within the church context and thus able to critique it?

MILLER: A little bit of both. My degree is in theology. The reason why I didn’t go into full- time ministry is that I found that the people who were going into ministry had a subculture that really wasn’t connected to the outer culture. And I was more interested in finding practical bridges between the two, because I found a lot more truth in the business world, and a lot more of the principles of change being expressed in the business world than in the church world. So I could almost go from one world to the other with the values I had as a believer and still be able to distill the essential elements of change and truth in the business world and then import them back into the church in practical ways.

HOMILETICS: So are we looking at a church in crisis?

MILLER: Major crisis. The decline of some segments of the church is well documented. Now even the Willow Creeks, Saddlebacks and other event-driven churches are starting to feel the stress fractures of their model.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, --Social Networking, Blogging & the Internet, History, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology

(NY Times) Oscar Coronation for ”˜The King’s Speech’

“The King’s Speech,” the period drama about King George VI of Britain and his vocal coach, won best picture and three other trophies at the 83rd Academy Awards ceremony on Sunday night. But in many ways the Oscars played out like the more populist and less prestigious Golden Globes: veering in multiple directions as voters sprinkled their attention among a half-dozen pictures, with no film walking away with a commanding sweep.

“The King’s Speech” did not make its presence felt until late in the night, with an unexpected victory for Tom Hooper as best director. David Seidler won for his original screenplay for this film, while Colin Firth took the best-actor prize.

“I have a feeling my career’s just peaked,” said Mr. Firth, who went on to joke that he was “experiencing stirrings” somewhere in the upper abdominal region, “which are threatening to transform themselves into dance moves.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Movies & Television

(WSJ) Google Revamps to Fight Cheaters

Google Inc., long considered the gold standard of Internet search, is changing the secret formula it uses to rank Web pages as it struggles to combat websites that have been able to game its system.

The Internet giant, which handles nearly two-thirds of the world’s Web searches, has been under fire recently over the quality of its results. Google said it changed its mathematical formula late Thursday in order to better weed out “low-quality” sites that offer users little value. Some such sites offer just enough content to appear in search results and lure users to pages loaded with advertisements.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Blogging & the Internet, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Media, Science & Technology

(Telegraph) Libya: As world debates fresh steps to evict Gaddafi, more towns fall to rebels

Even as diplomats in Geneva have begun discussions on fresh measures to push Muammar Gaddafi out of power, rebels have overrun several of the Libyan strongman’s strongholds in the western part of the country.

Libyan rebels established a transitional national council to coordinate administration in several cities seized from the Gaddafi regime, and have called on the army to help them take Tripoli, the capital.

The cities now controlled by the opposition include al-Zawiyah, less than 30 miles west of Tripoli, where thousands have taken to the streets to welcome visiting journalists. There was no sign of Libyan security services, who had waged bitter battles with anti-government forces in the town last week, leading to at least 35 deaths.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Defense, National Security, Military, Foreign Relations, Libya, Politics in General, Violence

Possible Lenten 2011 Resource–The Pope's new Book: “Jesus of Nazareth. Part Two. Holy Week…”

There is a website on the book here–check it out. Due to appear the second week of March 2011.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Books, Christology, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic, Theology

James Breig–Oscar Actors of Faith

In the long history of movie making, actors and actresses have won Oscars for playing many different sorts of roles: gangsters (Marlon Brando in The Godfather) and kings (Charles Laughton in The Private Life of Henry VIII); peasants (Luise Rainer in The Good Earth) and princesses (Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday); real-life geniuses (Paul Muni in The Story of Louis Pasteur) and fictional serial killers (Anthony Hopkins in Silence of the Lambs).
A few of the golden statuettes have also been presented to performers who played outstanding Catholics, even saints, or appeared in films that centered on Catholicism.

Presented chronologically, here is a roster of Academy Award winners in the categories of best actors and actresses, and best supporting actors and actresses, who were rewarded on earth for portraying those who had their eyes on heaven….

Read it all and take a guess and see how many you can get first before looking.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Movies & Television, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O God, who hast commanded that no man should be idle: Give us grace to employ all our talents and faculties in the service appointed to us; that whatsoever our hand findeth to do, we may do it with our whole might; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

–James Martineau

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Epiphany, Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Bible Readings

For though we live in the world we are not carrying on a worldly war, for the weapons of our warfare are not worldly but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every proud obstacle to the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.

–2 Corinthians 10:3-6

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture