Daily Archives: March 18, 2011

(USA Today) RoboNurse Coming soon to a hospital near you?

Watch “Bond” roll down the hall, and, if you’re of a certain age, at least, you might flash back to The Jetsons, Lost in Space or 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Bond bears a passing resemblance to a headless Rosie, the Jetsons’ robot maid, or an armless Robot ”””Danger, Will Robinson!” ”” on Lost in Space. And it (he?) speaks in the mellifluous tones of HAL, the rogue computer in 2001.

This robot is no sci-fi character, though. Bond is one of three TUGs (named for what they do ”” tugging carts and other things) that are employed by the Washington Hospital Center pharmacy here. They can work 24/7, ferrying drugs throughout the hospital without a human tagging along.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Health & Medicine, Science & Technology

No gentle death: memorial service for murdered Christian Pakistan politician

(ACNS) Preaching at the memorial service held at St Margaret’s Church, Westminster , London , on 17 March 2011 for Shahbaz Bhatti, Pakistan Minister of Minorities, Bishop Tony Robinson, Chair of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Pakistan Focus Group, reflected, “Death came with the fire of the gun. There was no gentle death for Shahbaz Bhatti ”“ as there is also not for many other Christians who are suffering as part of the of minority population of Pakistan.”

Shahbaz Bhatti, a Roman Catholic Christian who was part of the Cabinet of the Federal government of Pakistan was murdered by gunmen in Islamabad on March 2.

The service, held in the presence of the Archbishop of Canterbury, and the High Commissioner of Pakistan was a tribute to a remarkable man who had made a practical difference for the minority populations in his country even though his life was cut short at the age of 42, but also an act of dedication by those present to seek to continue the tasks he had set himself.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Asia, Church of England (CoE), Death / Burial / Funerals, Islam, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Muslim-Christian relations, Other Faiths, Pakistan, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Violence

St Patrick's Day Statement From the Bishop Of Down And Dromore

“Continue laying a firm foundation for a shared future in this province,” says Bishop Harold Miller

The theme of the St Patrick’s Day Pilgrimage from Saul to Downpatrick this year is Shared Past-Shared Future. It is one of the great joys and privileges of my ministry to welcome people from all churches and backgrounds to the pilgrimage each year. Here, Nationalists and Unionists gladly meet, and people from Catholic and Protestant backgrounds worship the One Lord together.

It has been encouraging to see the development in good relations which has taken place in Northern Ireland over the last decade. Not least has been the respect and pragmatism which has overall marked working relationships between different political viewpoints in the Assembly and Executive in Stormont.

Read it all.

Posted in Uncategorized

(Washington Post) Metropolitan Jonah goes to Washington

Jonah’s move to Washington strikes at the core of the traditional Eastern Orthodox reluctance to be on the front lines of the culture wars, much less political conflicts. The religion’s 1 million American adherents, who remain split into 20 separate ethnic groups, are more likely known to the general public as sponsors of bazaars featuring Slavic or Mediterranean food, crafts and dancing than as societal firebrands.

“Orthodox Christianity tends to be heavily theological and more concerned with matters of doctrine, liturgy and belief than evangelical Protestants and certainly the conservative Christian right,” said Rabbi Niles Goldstein, a senior fellow at the Utah-based Foundation for Interreligious Diplomacy. “They’re wrestling with how to find this balance between Christianity and activism, which makes it difficult for them to speak with a unified voice on social policy and foreign affairs.”

But Jonah sees American Orthodoxy at a crossroads where the choice is either to remain in ethnic enclaves and be irrelevant or jump into the stream of culture and politics and make a difference. He dreams of Orthodox Americans speaking out “as a conscience for the culture.” They would have clout in Congress, advocating for persecuted Orthodox around the world, such as the Egyptian Copts. They would stand equal with evangelical Protestants and Roman Catholics in opposing abortion, same-sex marriage, cloning and euthanasia. St. Nicholas would be a hive of missionary work and outreach.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Orthodox Church, Other Churches, Religion & Culture

BBC–Libya 'to halt military action'

Read it all.

Posted in * International News & Commentary, Africa, Libya

(CEN) St Patrick’s Day celebrated in Helmand

The former Archbishop of Armagh, Lord Eames, celebrated St Patrick’s Day last week with soldiers of the Royal Irish Regiment at memorial services at Forward Operating Base Shawquat in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province.

Lord Eames’ March 17 visit took place during the inspection by MPs and Peers of the 16 Air Assault Brigade’s work at Camp Bastion.

“It is an immense privilege to visit the Royal Irish Regiment and to see the wonderful progress they have enabled the local community in Helmand to make towards stability and confidence,” said Lord Eames, the Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All-Ireland from 1986 to 2006.

Read it all (subscription required).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Economics, Politics, Anglican Provinces, Church of Ireland, War in Afghanistan

Notable and Quotable (I)

John Sentamu needs to stay at York and not be sent to Canterbury, an archiepiscopal see of dubious seniority, anyway. He needs to stay at York because of the Lambeth Conference. This is a once-every-10-years get-together of all the archbishops and bishops of the world-wide Anglican Communion and the next such shindig is in 2008.

It will, however, be almost entirely a waste of time and money, a squabble over various matters, particularly homosexuality and, more specifically, bishops with same-sex partners.

It will be an occasion when we shall witness an almighty, ungodly showdown between tradionalists and liberals. And it will probably lead to the final break-up of the Anglican Communion, already seriously fractured over the gay issue.

–Michael Brown, the Yorkshire Post’s Religious Affairs Correspondent, in a column on October 19, 2006

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Church of England (CoE), Global South Churches & Primates, Instruments of Unity, Lambeth 2008, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Windsor Report / Process

Tsunami has made us ”˜miserable’ – bishop

The Bishop of Tohoku, the Rt Rev John Hiromichi Kato, said that the affected area was very wide and diocesan staff had not been able to visit all areas.

One member of St John’s Church, Isoyama, has been confirmed dead but there has still been no news of the tiny church’s other seven members.

“We pray that they are all safe in some temporary shelter,” said Bishop Kato.

The diocese’s main church, Christ Church Sendai, has still not been able to locate some of its members.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * General Interest, * International News & Commentary, Asia, Japan, Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc., Parish Ministry, Pastoral Care

Bishop-elect Claude Berkley consecrated in Trinidad and Tobago

Responding to the shortage of clergy, addressing a “lack of confidence among Anglican Christians”, Christian education and fund-raising are among the priority areas which Bishop-elect Claude Berkley intends to focus on when he takes over as head of the Anglican Diocese of Trinidad and Tobago (TT).

The solemn Eucharist for Berkley’s consecration and ordination took place yesterday (also observed as the Feast of St Patrick) at Holy Trinity Cathedral, Port-of-Spain before a packed congregation. Tents and chairs accommodated the additional persons who could not be seated inside the church. In identifying the issues he would work on, 53-year-old Berkely said he shared a common approach with the outgoing Bishop Calvin Bess.

Speaking to reporters after the more than three-hour Eucharist, Berkley said, “we have the non- ending matter of fund-raising. We need some funds to get our projects done and repair a range of buildings and put the infrastructure in place to do further work.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Provinces, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, West Indies

Church Times–Wakefield synod votes against the Covenant

The first English diocesan synod to debate the Anglican Covenant has rejected it. On Saturday, in Wakefield diocese, the vote was lost in the Houses of Laity (10 for, 23 against) and Clergy (16 for, 17 against, 1 abstention). Both Bishops voted for its adoption.

The Covenant, which governs how the provinces of the Anglican Communion relate to each other, is being debated in each province. Three ”” Mexico, Myanmar, and the West Indies ”” have approved it so far; none has rejected it.

In England, the draft Act of Synod adopting the Covenant has to be referred to diocesan synods before it can return to the General Synod for final approval. Lichfield diocese will debate it tomorrow.

Read it all.

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

(Guardian) US spy operation that manipulates social media

The US military is developing software that will let it secretly manipulate social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter by using fake online personas to influence internet conversations and spread pro-American propaganda.

A Californian corporation has been awarded a contract with United States Central Command (Centcom), which oversees US armed operations in the Middle East and Central Asia, to develop what is described as an “online persona management service” that will allow one US serviceman or woman to control up to 10 separate identities based all over the world.

The project has been likened by web experts to China’s attempts to control and restrict free speech on the internet….

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --Social Networking, America/U.S.A., Blogging & the Internet, Defense, National Security, Military, Foreign Relations, Science & Technology

(USA Today) Life expectancy at an all-time high in U.S.

Children born today can expect to live longer than any previous generation in U.S. history, according preliminary government data released Wednesday.

Life expectancy at birth increased to 78.2 years in 2009, up from 78 in 2008.

“This is a new record high for life expectancy,” says Kenneth Kochanek, a statistician with the National Center for Health Statistics, which is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Aging / the Elderly, America/U.S.A., Health & Medicine

Kendall Harmon–What Was God Doing On the Cross?

This is my Lenten talk from this past Wednesday at the Church of the Holy Comforter in Sumter, South Carolina, as part of their series on the cross. It is an mp3 file,it lasts a little more than 30 minutes and you may find the link here.

You may also be interested in the brochure for the whole series there (pdf).

Posted in * By Kendall, * Christian Life / Church Life, * South Carolina, Christology, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Holy Week, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Theology

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Cyril of Jerusalem

Strengthen, O Lord, we beseech thee, the bishops of thy Church in their special calling to be teachers and ministers of the Sacraments, that they, like thy servant Cyril of Jerusalem, may effectively instruct thy people in Christian faith and practice; and that we, taught by them, may enter more fully into celebration of the Paschal mystery; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

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

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O God, who willest not the death of a sinner: We beseech thee to aid and protect those who are exposed to grievous temptations; and grant that in obeying thy commandments they may be strengthened and supported by thy grace; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

–Gregorian Sacramentary

Posted in Uncategorized

From the Morning Bible Readings

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And before him no creature is hidden, but all are open and laid bare to the eyes of him with whom we have to do. Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we have not a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.

–Hebrews 4:12-15

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(Reuters) Japan quake survivors too shocked to contemplate the future

A week after their lives were turned upside down by the biggest recorded earthquake in Japan’s history, many survivors are too shocked to contemplate the future.

“My house does not exist anymore. Everything is gone, including money,” said Tsukasa Sato, a 74-year-old barber with a heart condition, as he warmed his hands in front of a stove at a shelter in Yamada, northern Japan.

“This is where I was born, so I want to stay here. I don’t know how it will turn out, but this is my hope.”

Read it all.

Posted in * General Interest, * International News & Commentary, Asia, Japan, Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc.

(WSJ) Egypt Said to Arm Libya Rebels

Egypt’s military has begun shipping arms over the border to Libyan rebels with Washington’s knowledge, U.S. and Libyan rebel officials said.

The shipments””mostly small arms such as assault rifles and ammunition””appear to be the first confirmed case of an outside government arming the rebel fighters. Those fighters have been losing ground for days in the face of a steady westward advance by forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.

The Egyptian shipments are the strongest indication to date that some Arab countries are heeding Western calls to take a lead in efforts to intervene on behalf of pro-democracy rebels in their fight against Mr. Gadhafi in Libya. Washington and other Western countries have long voiced frustration with Arab states’ unwillingness to help resolve crises in their own region, even as they criticized Western powers for attempting to do so.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Defense, National Security, Military, Egypt, Foreign Relations, Libya, Middle East

Reuters–U.N. okays military action on Libya

The United Nations authorised military action to curb Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi on Thursday, hours after he threatened to storm the rebel bastion of Benghazi overnight, showing “no mercy, no pity.”

“We will come, zenga, zenga. House by house, room by room,” he said in a radio address to the eastern city.

Al Jazeera television showed thousands of Benghazi residents in a central square celebrating the U.N. vote, waving anti-Gaddafi tricolour flags and chanting defiance of the man who has ruled for four decades. Fireworks burst over the city.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Foreign Relations, Globalization, Libya

Pope makes former Anglican bishops monsignori

The Pope has honoured three former Anglican bishops, the first members of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, with the title of monsignor.

Fr Keith Newton, the leader of the Ordinariate who has most of the functions of a bishop, and Fr John Broadhurst, the former Bishop of Fulham, have been granted the papal award of Apostolic Pronotary, the highest ecclesial title for non-bishops. Fr Andrew Burnham, the former Bishop of Ebbsfleet, has been granted the papal award of Prelate of Honour, and is therefore also a monsignor.

The three men became the first clergy of the world’s first personal ordinariate set up for groups of former Anglicans as a result of the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus in January.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic

ENI–Anglican bishop fights Israel’s denial of visa

Suheil Dawani, the Anglican bishop in Jerusalem, has gone to court to seek a renewal of the Israeli residency permit that allows him to live and work in the ancient city. The Israeli government recently declined to renew the permit and ordered Dawani and his family to leave the country.

Dawani was elected head of the Episcopal diocese in 2007. He was able to renew his visa in 2008 and 2009. But he was informed in writing last August by the Israeli Ministry of the Interior that it declined to renew the permit.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Foreign Relations, Israel, Law & Legal Issues, Middle East, Religion & Culture, The Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East

A.S. Haley–Wikileaks: New Disclosures re: 815's Strategy for South Carolina

[Note: If J.R.R. Tolkien ever took refuge in satire, I am unaware of it. However, in writing the series of recent posts about the coming constitutional crisis in ECUSA and the spurious defense of the new Title IV offered by its drafters, my despair and forebodings, tinged with images from Tolkien’s Mordor, eventually overcame my good sense, and the following piece is the result. I offer it in the same sense that Jonathan Swift published his “Modest Proposal”: in the hope that by taking things to this extreme, what actually occurs may not be anywhere near as bad as depicted.]

Read it all.

Posted in Uncategorized

The Case of Masterson versus the Episcopal Diocese of Northwest Texas

This appeal arises from a property dispute among parishioners from the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd (“Good Shepherd”) in San Angelo, Texas. In 2006, a majority of the Good Shepherd parishioners voted to withdraw Good Shepherd from the Episcopal Church of the United States and the Diocese of Northwest Texas and to reorganize as the Anglican Church of the Good Shepherd affiliated with the Diocese of Uganda, Africa; a minority voted to continue Good Shepherd’s affiliation with the Episcopal Church and the Diocese of Northwest Texas (the “Diocese”). The Diocese and the individual appellees, The Rev. Celia Ellery, Don Griffis, and Michael Ryan (collectively, the “Continuing Parish Leaders”), filed suit for declaratory judgment to establish their rights to continued possession and control over the church property, which was claimed by appellants, who are members of the withdrawing group (collectively, the “Former Parish Leaders”).1 The Former Parish Leaders counterclaimed with a suit to quiet title and request for declaratory judgment that they were entitled to possession and use of the church property. The Diocese and Continuing Parish Leaders moved for summary judgment, which the trial court granted. The Former Parish Leaders appeal, arguing primarily that the trial court erred in failing to properly apply “neutral principles” of law to resolve the dispute. We will affirm the trial court’s judgment.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, TEC Conflicts, TEC Departing Parishes