Daily Archives: March 26, 2011

(BBC) Libya rebels recapture key town

Libyan rebels backed by extensive allied air raids have seized control of the frontline oil town of Ajdabiya from Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s forces.

Insurgents celebrated amid the ruins of tanks and artillery pieces and then moved west to the town of Brega.

Gaddafi loyalists seized Ajdabiya last week as they advanced east to quell an uprising which began in mid-February.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Defense, National Security, Military, Libya

Neil Gastonguay: Reflections on an ”˜alcohol-free’ Lent

This year, the United Methodist Church is recommending that persons conduct an alcohol-free Lent.

This practice would bring about spiritual benefits as persons think about the sacrifice of Jesus in his crucifixion, consider how much importance the use of beverage alcohol has in their lives, and free up money that would have been spent on beverage alcohol to be used for the relief of human suffering. This is in keeping with the historic stance of the Methodist movement, and offers to people an opportunity to consider how the way they live their lives impacts the world around them in positive or negative ways.

In our local congregation in Bath, we support the church’s position in several ways. We support and affirm several of our members in recovery from alcohol addiction, both in our congregational gatherings as well as in small groups; our facilities are always available at no cost for recovery groups to meet; and like all other Methodist churches, our communion services are conducted using unfermented grape juice, so that all persons can participate.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Alcohol/Drinking, Church History, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Lent, Methodist, Other Churches, Parish Ministry

(BBC) Walsingham milestone marked at Westminster Cathedral

A mass at Westminster Cathedral on Saturday will mark the 950th anniversary of a holy site in Norfolk.

The national shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham celebrates its landmark year this year, as it was founded in 1061.

Many Christians from Norfolk are expected to attend the service, which will be led by Archbishop Vincent Nichols at 1400 GMT.

Other guests will include the new Papal Nuncio Archbishop Mennini and Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Church History, England / UK, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

Christ Anglican Church begins anew — again — in own space

Christ Church is welcoming a new building for a new era.

The Fallbrook congregation, formerly known as St. John’s Anglican Church, has been conducting services at Living Waters Christian Fellowship Assembly of God Church for the past two years. The church began sharing space with Living Waters after legal battles over property rights and organizational authority allowed the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego to take over the former church property (which is now operating as St. John’s Episcopal).

The members at St. John’s Anglican had previously voted to secede from the Episcopal Church, which is the North American branch of the global Anglican…[Communion], and reaffiliated with a more theologically traditional conservative archdiocese in Africa. Disagreements regarding homosexuality and biblical authority are at the core of an ongoing dispute between the Episcopal Church and hundreds of its congregations, as well as Anglican bishops in other countries.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Episcopal Church (TEC), Parish Ministry, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: San Diego

Anglican diocese of San Joaquin to consider 4 nominees for bishop

Special events are planned throughout the diocese for candidates to meet and interact with congregations. They will be held Tuesday at St. John the Evangelist in Stockton; Wednesday at St. Paul’s in Bakersfield; Thursday at St. Michael’s in Ridgecrest; and Friday at St. James’ Cathedral in Fresno.

All begin at 3 p.m.

Those events will be followed by question-and-answer sessions involving laity and clergy at 6:30 p.m.

A special convention for the election of the new bishop will be held May 14 at St. James’ Cathedral.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: San Joaquin

(Fortune) Katherine Lewis: Unpaid jobs: The new normal?

With nearly 14 million unemployed workers in America, many have gotten so desperate that they’re willing to work for free. While some businesses are wary of the legal risks and supervision such an arrangement might require, companies that have used free workers say it can pay off when done right.

“People who work for free are far hungrier than anybody who has a salary, so they’re going to outperform, they’re going to try to please, they’re going to be creative,” says Kelly Fallis, chief executive of Remote Stylist, a Toronto and New York-based startup that provides Web-based interior design services. “From a cost savings perspective, to get something off the ground, it’s huge. Especially if you’re a small business.”

In the last three years, Fallis has used about 50 unpaid interns for duties in marketing, editorial, advertising, sales, account management and public relations. She’s convinced it’s the wave of the future in human resources. “Ten years from now, this is going to be the norm,” she says.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

It’s Tracking Your Every Move and You May Not Even Know

A favorite pastime of Internet users is to share their location: services like Google Latitude can inform friends when you are nearby; another, Foursquare, has turned reporting these updates into a game.

But as a German Green party politician, Malte Spitz, recently learned, we are already continually being tracked whether we volunteer to be or not. Cellphone companies do not typically divulge how much information they collect, so Mr. Spitz went to court to find out exactly what his cellphone company, Deutsche Telekom, knew about his whereabouts.

The results were astounding. In a six-month period ”” from Aug 31, 2009, to Feb. 28, 2010, Deutsche Telekom had recorded and saved his longitude and latitude coordinates more than 35,000 times. It traced him from a train on the way to Erlangen at the start through to that last night, when he was home in Berlin.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Europe, Germany, Law & Legal Issues, Science & Technology

(NY Times On Religion) Faith Was on Governor Pat Quinn’s Shoulder

Early on the morning of Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent’s season of penitence, Gov. Pat Quinn of Illinois went through some final, solitary rumination. For much of his political career, he had supported capital punishment, albeit with reservations, even debating it at the dinner table with his mother. Now a legislative bill abolishing it was waiting for his signature, or his veto.

In the preceding weeks, he had heard arguments on the subject from prosecutors who spoke of the death penalty’s deterrent effect and from the grieving relatives of murder victims who saw in it fierce justice. He had reacquainted himself with about 20 capital cases overturned by DNA evidence or tainted by judicial error.

But on that decisive morning of March 9, he laid aside the secular factors and opened his Bible to a passage in II Corinthians about human imperfection. He prayed. And when he signed the bill striking down the death penalty, he cited one influence by name: Cardinal Joseph Bernardin of Chicago.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Capital Punishment, Law & Legal Issues, Other Churches, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, State Government

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O Jesus, Master and Lord, pour into our hearts thine own heroic love; that being filled with love we may know the love which passeth knowledge, and live in the unknown power of love to win men to trust in love, to the glory of God who is love.

–William Temple

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

Declare this in the house of Jacob, proclaim it in Judah: “Hear this, O foolish and senseless people, who have eyes, but see not, who have ears, but hear not. Do you not fear me? says the LORD; Do you not tremble before me? I placed the sand as the bound for the sea, a perpetual barrier which it cannot pass; though the waves toss, they cannot prevail, though they roar, they cannot pass over it. But this people has a stubborn and rebellious heart; they have turned aside and gone away.

–Jeremiah 5:20-23

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Interview with new Apostolic Nuncio to Great Britain: full transcript

Is the ecumenical project alive and well?

In Russia? As the Holy Father said in his recent book when he gave the long interview to the German journalist that there are number of people in Russia who are frightened of the Catholic Church. Not only because of the many centuries of division, but because unfortunately the Orthodox know very little about the Catholic Church and the Catholic faithful in Russia they know little about the Orthodox Church. From the beginning of my mission in Russia I wanted to be present at the liturgy of His Holiness the Patriarch every year to give him a gesture of respect as he is the head of the most important Church in Russia and considering also the meaning, the importance of Orthodox spirituality and the suffering the Russian people have passed through many decades of atheism and persecution. They have had a sad fate, with a high toll of martyrs and people who lost their lives for Jesus.

Will one of your tasks be improving relations with the Church of England in the wake of Anglicanorum coetibus?

I have not yet met His Grace, the Archbishop of Canterbury, but we have an appointment at the beginning of the next month. From what I know the official relations are very good and very friendly. On the other hand, we understand that this passage is a delicate matter, not only for the Catholic side but also the Anglican side, and so the Holy See wants to make clear that we are ready to accept them, but we don’t want to incite them to leave their identities as Anglican faithful.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), Ecumenical Relations, England / UK, Orthodox Church, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

Archbishop Nichols assures Anglicans of a very warm welcome to the Church

Archbishop Vincent Nichols, president of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, has said that Anglicans joining the Catholic Church this Easter will be ”˜warmly welcomed’ and will feel entirely at home.

Speaking before a Lenten lecture at Brentwood Cathedral, the archbishop (right) said that the Catholic Church will ”˜keep open and positive our relationships with the Church of England.’

Around 900 Anglicans, including 60 clergy, are expected to join the Catholic Church at Easter and Archbishop Nichols believes that Pope Benedict XVI’s ordinariate ”˜shows us not to be afraid of diversity within the Catholic Church,’ as well as adding that we can recognise that ”˜the Catholic community has got many different faces in this country now.’

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Easter, Ecumenical Relations, Other Churches, Roman Catholic

Once Rare in Rural America, Divorce Is Changing the Face of Its Families

Forty years ago, divorced people were more concentrated in cities and suburbs. But geographic distinctions have all but vanished, and now, for the first time, rural Americans are just as likely to be divorced as city dwellers, according to an analysis of census data by The New York Times.

“Rural families are going through this incredible transformation,” said Daniel T. Lichter, a sociology professor at Cornell University.

The shifts that started in cities have spread to less populated regions ”” women going to work, gaining autonomy, and re-arranging the order of traditional families. Values have changed, too, easing the stigma of divorce.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Census/Census Data, Children, Economy, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Men, Psychology, Religion & Culture, The U.S. Government, Women