Daily Archives: March 29, 2011

(ENS) House of Bishops daily account, March 29

Following Morning Prayer and Bible Study, the session was opened by emcee for the day Bishop Victor Scantlebury of Chicago. The readings for the day from St. Paul’s letter to the Romans continued the reflections on the Abrahamic families which carried over from yesterday’s topics.

The topic for the day was The Anglican Covenant: A New Perspective.

Bishop Neil Alexander of Atlanta introduced a conversation on the Anglican Covenant which included the three Anglican primates in attendance: Archbishop Fred Hiltz of Canada; Archbishop Henri Isingoma of the Congo; and Archbishop Paul Kim of South Korea.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops

(USA Today) Editorial–Muslim teacher's leave request needn't turn into a federal case

In August 2008, nine months into her job as a math teacher in Berkeley, Ill., Safoorah Khan made an extraordinary request: three weeks off in December for a pilgrimage to Mecca, known as the hajj in her Muslim faith.

The school board said no ”” not an unreasonable reply to a relatively new employee whose leave would occur at a critical time, the end of a semester. Khan quit, went on the pilgrimage and lodged a religious discrimination complaint. The Justice Department has now intervened on Khan’s behalf against the school board.

So what could have been a teachable moment has instead turned into yet another federal lawsuit.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Education, Islam, Law & Legal Issues, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture

Resources for the 1st Theological Council of the Episcopal Church in Upper South Carolina

Check out the downloads and see what you make of them.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anthropology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Bishops, Theology, Theology: Scripture

Becky Garrison–The Demise of the Religious Rock Star and Rise of the Village

Gatherings like Episcopal Village confirm my hunch that there’s a strong desire to move away from the attractional model of church that’s looking for the “next big thing” and go deeper. Ancient wisdom proclaims: “It takes a whole village to raise a child.” Episcopal Village, a grassroots community and initiative, resourcing Episcopal dioceses, parishes and leaders for emerging/fresh expression mission with an Anglican ethos and ”˜village’ (diocesan approach) was formed to explore applying this wisdom to the Church.

Jon Myers (a postulant and pioneer missioner in the Diocese of Olympia), who is planting Beacon Hill Church in South Seattle reflects on why he decided to co-envision Episcopal Village along with the Rev. Karen Ward, founding church planter of Church of the Apostles.

On March 5th, a group of Episcopal lay and ordained leaders gathered in Boston for Episcopal Village’s third learning party. During a pre-event gathering at Episcopal Divinity School, The Rev. Ian Mobsby, missioner with the London based community Moot, asked if in this post-secular culture how the church can reach those in who would describe themselves as spiritual but not religious.

Read it all and do follow the links of interest.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Ecclesiology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Theology

Local newspaper Editorial: Goals on Libya still murky

President Obama tried Monday night to clarify America’s goals — and methods — in Libya. Unfortunately, though, just as the international coalition’s air strikes have so far left dictator Moammar Gadhafi in power, the president’s speech to the nation from Fort McNair in Washington left some troubling questions unanswered.

The president seemed to declare victory of a sort while hailing NATO’s looming Wednesday takeover of coalition command. And for the present, Col. Gadhafi has been beaten back by the coalition. But U.S. air power remains the coalition’s most potent weapon. How much of our air arsenal will remain at the coalition’s disposal? For how long?

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, America/U.S.A., Defense, National Security, Military, England / UK, Europe, Foreign Relations, Libya

(ACNS) Theological Education Group meets in Harare, Zimbabwe

The second meeting of the Steering Group of TEAC 2 (Theological Education in the Anglican Communion) took place in Harare, Zimbabwe, February 17 ”“ 24 2011, at the invitation of Bishop Chad Gandiya, Anglican Bishop of Harare and a member of the Steering Group. It was chaired by Archbishop Colin Johnson of Toronto, Canada.

Although problems with obtaining a visa for Zimbabwe had prevented several members of the Steering Group from getting to Harare, and their input was missed, the fidelity and witness amidst persecution of Bishop Chad and his clergy and people offered a vital context for TEAC’s work.

The Group offered two days of ”˜Continuing Ministerial Education’ to about 80 clergy from the Diocese of Harare and other Dioceses of the Church of the Province of Central Africa. The training developed themes explored in the Signposts statement which seeks to set out the essentials of the Anglican Way, ”˜Formed by Scripture’, ”˜Shaped through Worship’, ”˜Ordered for Communion’, ”˜Directed by God’s Mission’. Members of the Steering Group gained as well as gave, honoured to meet with the courageous clergy of the diocese and learn of their experiences. The powerful Shona song, “Namata urinde” “Watch and pray” (which can be heard in the audi player below) marked the beginning and end of the teaching sessions and seemed an extraordinarily apt watchword for these Christians standing firm in their faith in spite of difficulties and dangers.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, - Anglican: Latest News, Africa, Seminary / Theological Education, Theology, Zimbabwe

The Archbishop of York's Third Lent Reflection–Poverty – the wellsprings of solidarity

Wherever I go, at home or abroad, I have often noticed that those who live in the poorest communities are the most welcoming and generous in their hospitality. There is a dignity about giving, about contributing to the common good, which the poor seem to appreciate more than the well-off, because they see what a privilege it is. Jesus pointed out a poor widow putting her last mite into the offering ”“ her action put the wealthier worshippers to shame because she gave her all. It is those who have the most resources who bear greatest responsibility for bridging the gap.

We all need to rediscover the wellsprings of solidarity ”“ the unstoppable grace which hold us together as a human family.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Church of England (CoE), Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Lent, Poverty

Housing market: 13% of all U.S. homes are vacant

High residential vacancies are killing many housing markets, as foreclosed homes sit on the market and depress sale prices and property values.

And it’s only getting worse: The national vacancy rate crept up to just over 13% according to last week’s decennial census report. That’s up from 12.1% in 2007.

“More vacant homes equal more downward pressure on home prices,” said Brad Hunter, chief economist for Metrostudy, a real estate information provider.

Read it all.

Update: Here is an interesting local illustration from California–Vacant homes a clue to Santa Ana’s census drop.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, Housing/Real Estate Market, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

(Telegraph) EU to ban cars from cities by 2050

The European Commission on Monday unveiled a “single European transport area” aimed at enforcing “a profound shift in transport patterns for passengers” by 2050.

The plan also envisages an end to cheap holiday flights from Britain to southern Europe with a target that over 50 per cent of all journeys above 186 miles should be by rail.

Top of the EU’s list to cut climate change emissions is a target of “zero” for the number of petrol and diesel-driven cars and lorries in the EU’s future cities.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, City Government, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Energy, Natural Resources, Europe, Politics in General, Science & Technology

(Century Blog) Steve Thorngate: Is Lent about self-denial?

I grew up around evangelical church leaders who were hardcore about spiritual fasting, sometimes going a week on just water or 40 days on just fruit juice. (I never made it more than a day.) When I started running in mainline circles, I was thrown by the way people used the word “fast” to mean giving up chocolate or beer or television…

Read it all.

Posted in Uncategorized

(NPR) 'Kill Them, Bury Them': The Rise Of Fannie and Freddie

Before the financial crisis, many Americans had never heard of Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. Today, we own them.

The federal government took over Fannie and Freddie after bailing them out in 2008. The bailout cost taxpayers more than the bailouts of GM, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America and Citigroup combined.

By 2010, roughly 90 percent of all new mortgages issued in this country went through the U.S. government. For all intents and purposes, the $1.5 trillion U.S. mortgage market is now a government-run industry.

How did we get here?…

Read or listen to it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, House of Representatives, Housing/Real Estate Market, Office of the President, Politics in General, Senate, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, The U.S. Government

(Zenit) John Flynn–Let us Forget Not the Persecuted

A report recently published by Aid to the Church in Need gives a round-up of how Christians are being persecuted in many countries. In particular it looked at the very difficult conditions in the Middle Eastern countries.

In his foreword to the report, “Persecuted and Forgotten? A Report on Christians Oppressed for their Faith: 2011 Edition,” the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Archbishop Fouad Twal, commented that “Calvary is not a name that belongs only to archaeology and antiquity.”

“It is a contemporaneous reality that describes, to differing degrees, the suffering of many churches in the Middle East where to be Christian means accepting that you must make a great sacrifice,” he added.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Middle East, Other Churches, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Violence

A Prayer for the Feast Day of John Keble

Grant, O God, that in all time of our testing we may know thy presence and obey thy will; that, following the example of thy servant John Keble, we may accomplish with integrity and courage that which thou givest us to do, and endure that which thou givest us to bear; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Provinces, Church History, Church of England (CoE), Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O Thou who hast prepared a place for my soul, prepare my soul for that place. Prepare it with holiness; prepare it with desire; and even while it sojourneth upon earth, let it dwell in heaven with thee, beholding the beauty of thy countenance and the glory of thy saints, now and for evermore.

–Joseph Hall

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

“So you shall speak all these words to them, but they will not listen to you. You shall call to them, but they will not answer you. And you shall say to them, ‘This is the nation that did not obey the voice of the LORD their God, and did not accept discipline; truth has perished; it is cut off from their lips.

–Jeremiah 7:27-28

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(ENS) House of Bishops Daily Account, March 28

The House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church is meeting at the Kanuga Conference Center in North Carolina from March 25 to March 30. The following is an account of the activities for Monday, March 28.

Following Morning Prayer and Bible study, the session was opened by emcee for the day Bishop Julio Holguin of the Dominican Republic.

The topic for the day was: Who is my neighbor? Islam and Christianity….

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops

Remarks by the President in Address to the Nation on Libya

Ten days ago, having tried to end the violence without using force, the international community offered Qaddafi a final chance to stop his campaign of killing, or face the consequences. Rather than stand down, his forces continued their advance, bearing down on the city of Benghazi, home to nearly 700,000 men, women and children who sought their freedom from fear.

At this point, the United States and the world faced a choice. Qaddafi declared he would show “no mercy” to his own people. He compared them to rats, and threatened to go door to door to inflict punishment. In the past, we have seen him hang civilians in the streets, and kill over a thousand people in a single day. Now we saw regime forces on the outskirts of the city. We knew that if we wanted — if we waited one more day, Benghazi, a city nearly the size of Charlotte, could suffer a massacre that would have reverberated across the region and stained the conscience of the world.

It was not in our national interest to let that happen. I refused to let that happen. And so nine days ago, after consulting the bipartisan leadership of Congress, I authorized military action to stop the killing and enforce U.N. Security Council Resolution 1973.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Defense, National Security, Military, Libya, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama

(TEC Off. of P.A.) SCLM extends deadline for comments on possible hymnal revision

The deadline has been extended for submitting comments through an online survey to the Episcopal Church Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music (SCLM) about a possible revision of The Hymnal 1982 through Saturday, April 30.

The online survey in both English and Spanish is available at here.
The Rev. Dr. Ruth Meyers, chair of the SCLM, noted comments are invited from the entire church in this discussion. She previously said, “We have established this survey as part of the Episcopal Church’s ongoing work with liturgical materials and in compliance to Resolution B004 as approved at General Convention 2009. This is important work in the life of our church and we are grateful for participation as our church embraces this task.”

Resolution B004 “authorize(s) Church Publishing Incorporated, working with the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music, to conduct a feasibility study on the need for revision of The Hymnal 1982 by speaking to congregations, dioceses and all seminaries of this Church, and to report its findings to the 77th General Convention.”

The survey is coordinated by the Church Pension Fund’s Office of Research.

The survey results, along with recommendations for next steps, will be presented to General Convention 2012 as part of the SCLM report.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry

(London Times) Coalition could allow Gaddafi to leave Libya

Britain and the United States are prepared to consider a swift exit of Colonel Gaddafi into exile, it emerged tonight.

Coalition nations gather in London tomorrow to plot a future for Libya without him. The official position of Britain and the US is for the dictator to stand trial at the International Criminal Court, but both are ready to accept that a deal under which he leaves the country quickly may be in Libya’s best interests.

Such a move has some European support, including from Italy, and could be facilitated by the African Union.

Read it all (requires subscription).

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, America/U.S.A., Defense, National Security, Military, England / UK, Europe, Foreign Relations, Libya

(WSJ Real Time Economics Blog) The Top 10 Dying Industries

The U.S. economy is recovering from a severe recession, but some industries are unlikely to ever fully bounce back.

A new analysis by research firm IBIS World looks at 10 industries that appear to be dying. The list isn’t exactly shocking, but it represents a mix of sectors that are being left behind by technology or have been hurt by cheaper overseas competition.

The biggest industry profiled by IBISWorld is wired telecom carriers, largely being supplanted by cellphones and the Internet. The dominance of the Web and digital media also puts Newspaper publishers, record stores and video-rental companies on the list. Meanwhile, photofinishing also takes its place among the top 10 dying industries thanks to the growing influence of digital photography….

Read it all (and if you desire to you may follow the link to the whole IBIS research analysis).

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, History, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

(ACNS) 2011 Standing Committee Bulletin ”“ Day 2

In brief:

ACC’s finances given a “clean bill of health” by external auditors
Committee agree Professor Michael Wright as Lambeth Conference Company Chair
Member-Churches to be asked to review their representatives on the ACC
Interactive online book on interfaith relations to go live soon
Committee to encourage a discussion on human dignity at ACC-15

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal

(SF Chronicle) National surge in hunger being felt in California

Lorraine Hanks, a former nutrition instructor, can barely afford to put food on her table.

Two years ago, she was laid off after 17 years working for San Francisco’s Recreation and Park Department, teaching people about healthful meal planning. Still unemployed, the single mom manages to feed her children with free produce and dry goods she gets from the San Francisco Food Bank.

Hanks is one of a growing number of Americans struggling to nourish her family, according to a study released this month by the Food Research and Action Center, a Washington, D.C., nonprofit that works to end hunger.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Economy, Poverty, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

(RNS) Vatican Opens Dialogue with Atheists

A new Vatican initiative to promote dialogue between believers and atheists debuted with a two-day event on Thursday and Friday (March 24-25) in Paris.

“Religion, Light and Common Reason” was the theme of seminars sponsored by the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Culture at various locations in the French capital, including Paris-Sorbonne University and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Read it all.

Posted in * Religion News & Commentary, Atheism, Other Churches, Other Faiths, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic

Benedict XVI Receives Chrysostomos II

Read and watch it all.

Posted in * Religion News & Commentary, Ecumenical Relations, Other Churches, Roman Catholic