Daily Archives: April 2, 2011

Appeals Court Order Lets Decision Stand in Pittsburgh

Read it all and follow the link to the court document itself.

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

David Olive on the Differences between America and Canada

Canada is a very different country than the U.S., something Canadians haven’t come to appreciate until relatively recent years. It is more secure in its identity, not subjecting its students to daily pledges of allegiance, raised eyebrows or worse in questioning a U.S. military intervention (rallying around the flag is a Canadian virtue, certainly, when we’re agreed the cause is just, although even then there will be vocal objections widely seen to be legitimate and worthy of a hearing).

Fundamentally, though, the difference between these two countries sharing the northern portion of North America are these. Americans cling to a quite false belief in the power of individualism, with the right to be left alone that accompanies that libertarian spirit, though every significant advance in the American Experience, from the Revolution to the Internet, has been sponsored by the state. Canadians, with no such illusions about the necessity of collective action, chose for their guiding national principal not the defiantly self-interested “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” but “peace, order and good government.” In essence, to be American, according to that country’s founding spirit, is to have the right to do as one pleases. To be Canadian is to consider the implications for others of the things one does. And so civility is our guiding principle.

That is not an argument for the superiority of one culture over others….

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Canada, Economy, Politics in General

Religious Radicals’ Turn to Democracy Alarms Egypt

Abboud al-Zomor ”” the former intelligence officer who supplied the bullets that killed President Anwar el-Sadat and is Egypt’s most notorious newly released prisoner ”” waxes enthusiastic about ending the violent jihad he once led.

“The ballot boxes will decide who will win at the end of the day,” Mr. Zomor said during an interview in his large family compound in this hamlet on Cairo’s western edge. “There is no longer any need for me to use violence against those who gave us our freedom and allowed us to be part of political life.”

In its drive to create a perfect Islamic state, his Islamic Group and other groups like it were once synonymous with some of the bloodiest terrorist attacks in Egypt. But they are now leaping aboard the democracy bandwagon, alarming those who believe that religious radicals are seeking to put in place strict Islamic law through ballots.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Egypt, Islam, Middle East, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture

The Top 10 April Fool's Day hoaxes 2011

See what you make of the list.

Posted in * General Interest, Humor / Trivia

(Telegraph) Polish Catholic Church to pray against road rage

Along with nationwide prayers on Sunday the Church has also organised a two-day retreat for drivers where they can reflect upon their attitude when they get behind a wheel.

Aggressive and bad driving make a significant contribution to the high death-rate on Polish roads, one of the worst in the developed world. A survey by the by the OECD-affiliated International Transport Forum for 2009 found there were 12 deaths on Polish roads for every 100,000 inhabitants while the UK clocked up just 3.9 despite having more cars and a greater road network than Poland.

“Many of us behave like pagans when we’re driving,” said Father Marian Midura, the organiser of the prayer day, which has the support of the national police. “Even though we hang rosaries, carry images of saints and have the early Christian sign of the fish on our cars we do not respect other drivers.” Priests will also beseech people to avoid drink driving, another contributing factor to the death rate.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Europe, Other Churches, Poland, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Spirituality/Prayer, Travel

(WSJ) Vatican Seeks to Clamp Down on Its Finances

The Vatican is scrambling ahead of a Friday deadline to finalize new rules for how the Holy See will monitor the movement of funds in and out of Vatican walls and punish money launderers.

Pope Benedict XVI late last year bowed to the demands of the international financial community and announced the Vatican would create a watchdog to police its bank’s opaque finances and bring to justice anyone who commits financial misdeeds on Vatican territory. As the watchdog formally comes into power on Friday, regulators and banks in Italy and abroad will be watching closely to see if the new measures have teeth.

Among them, officials have drafted a measure that would require all Vatican departments to inform the watchdog when they transfer funds inside the Vatican or abroad, disclosing the sender, recipient and nature of the transaction, according to a person familiar with the matter. It isn’t clear if that will be introduced along with other rules on Friday, as it is still being reviewed, the person said.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Economy, Europe, Law & Legal Issues, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

After an Awful First Half which left them trailing 2-0, Manchester United Rally to Win

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson declared his side performed like “champions” to beat West Ham.

The Premier League leaders recovered from 2-0 down to win 4-2 with striker Wayne Rooney getting a hat-trick.

“We played like champions,” said Ferguson. “It was a real championship performance as far as I’m concerned.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, England / UK, Sports

(First Things) Gilbert Meilaender–Thinking About Aging

From the start, we need to think about how to think about growing old””and, in particular, how to think not simply of aging but of human aging. This will require that we learn from but also move beyond what has become the standard way to think about aging. Scholars study both why we age and how we age. The first seems to invite talk about a purpose, the second a mechanism. The first is more germane to my inquiry here.

Why do we age? The dominant answer today is that of evolutionary biology. We age because nature has relatively little stake in keeping us alive beyond our reproductive years. Insofar as we may speak of our lives having a point, it is to be carriers of DNA. Having passed that on to the next generation, we are dispensable. Any genetic trait harmful enough to cause death before the reproductive years will have difficulty surviving the filter of natural selection. Those who have such traits are less likely to reproduce, less likely to be effective carriers and transmitters of DNA. And, by contrast, natural selection will have relatively little effect on harmful genes if those harms appear only in the post-reproductive years.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Aging / the Elderly, Health & Medicine, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology

(CEN) Loyd Grossman hails the role of churches

The Churches Conservation Trust charity was set up in 1969 to receive from dioceses historic churches which the Church of England considers are no longer required for worship and maintain them. The churches remain consecrated and can be used for occasional services.

The new scheme launched in Lincolnshire is the Archway Project.

“The Archway Project uses historic churches to bring together creative artists and local volunteers as part of our continuing work to place churches firmly at the heart of communities,” said Loyd Grossman, chairman of the Churches Conservation Trust, opening the project at Alford Manor House, Alford, on Thursday, March 24.

Read it all (requires subscription).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Parish Ministry

A Prayer for the Feast Day of James Lloyd Breck

Teach thy Church, O Lord, we beseech thee, to value and support pioneering and courageous missionaries, whom thou callest, as thou didst thy servant James Lloyd Breck, to preach and teach, and plant thy Church in new regions; 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, Church History, Episcopal Church (TEC), Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O Lord, take thou full possession of my heart, raise there thy throne, and command there as thou dost in heaven. Being created by thee, let me live to thee. Being created for thee, let me ever act for thy glory. Being redeemed by thee, let me render to thee what is thine, and let my spirit ever cleave to thee alone; for thy name’s sake.

–John Wesley (1703-1791)

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

On the holy mount stands the city he founded; the LORD loves the gates of Zion more than all the dwelling places of Jacob. Glorious things are spoken of you, O city of God.

–Psalm 87:1-3

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(BBC) Bishop asks more churches to join Back to Church Sunday

The Bishop of Burnley wants to increase the number of churches in Lancashire taking part in Back to Church Sunday.

Last year only 33 of the 250 churches in the Blackburn Diocese took part in the initiative, aimed at getting former parishioners back into the pews.

The Right Reverend John Goddard also called for more of the Christian denominations to join the celebration.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Parish Ministry

Rocker to revivalist: Noted Anglican Bishop Mike Hill holds revival in Orangeburg, South Carolina

While most Christian ministers’ earliest influences are religious mentors and the Bible, Michael Hill’s involved rock music.

That’s what first impressed the Rev. Dr. Frank Larisey, pastor of the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer in Orangeburg, about the current Bishop of Bristol, England.
“When he was about 17 or 18, he was in a band that opened for The Who,” Larisey said. “He was a good lead guitarist.”

The man who Larisey calls “one of the best speakers I’ve heard in my life” will bring his message, “What Happens When You Get It?” to the Church of the Redeemer beginning with a potluck dinner at 7 p.m. Friday, April 1. Hill will also give the sermon during the 8 and 10:30 a.m. worship services Sunday, April 3.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Parishes

Christianity Today: Proselytizing in a Multi-Faith World

Without using the word, we were acknowledging that in such a context, we are multi-faith. When people of different faiths are found together, in a conference, neighborhood, or nation, they are best described as multi-faith, representing different faiths.

Worldwide trends indicate that multi-faith is both a current reality and our future. The number of people who claim adherence to the major world religions is growing. German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche and other post-Enlightenment thinkers predicted the death of God and the decline of religious belief over 100 years ago, but their predictions were premature. In fact, secular thinking has long embraced the idea that religion was the socio-political problem, not so much the solution.

If anything, “God is dead” has been replaced with “God is back.” Economists John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge, an atheist and a Roman Catholic, wrote a fascinating book in 2008 with that title. In it they noted that while statistics about religious observance are notoriously untrustworthy, most surveys seem to indicate that the global drift toward secularism has halted. Quite a few surveys show religious belief to be on the rise. They reference one source that says that “the proportion of people attached to the world’s four largest religions””Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism””rose from 67 percent in 1900 to 73 percent in 2005, and may reach 80 percent by 2025.”

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Evangelicals, Evangelism and Church Growth, Globalization, Inter-Faith Relations, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Theology

(Press Association) Marriage rate falls to record low

Marriage rates in England and Wales are at their lowest since records began, new statistics show.

Just 21.3 out of every 1,000 males aged 16 plus were married in 2009, down from a rate of 22.0 in 2008, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

The proportion of women aged 16 plus who were married fell from 19.9 in 2008 to 19.2 in 2009.

The rates were the lowest since calculations of rates began in 1862.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, England / UK, Marriage & Family, Wales